Home Activity: Rainbow Capillary Action

Do you have a kid who is interested in science? Here’s an easy experiment on capillary action that even younger students can do. All you need are 7 cups, water, paper towels, and food dye in three colors: red, yellow, and blue. Arrange the cups close together in a line. Fold a paper towel into eighths. Cut off the ends so it fits into two of the cups, like a bridge. Repeat 5 more times so there are enough paper towels to connect all the cups, but do not leave them in the cups yet.

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Swim With the Sharks

On the afternoon of June 28, at 1:45 pm, at the Florida Aquarium, in Tampa, Florida, I went to the front desk with Mom and Alexa to sign in for the Shark Swim activity. The aquarium website describes it by saying “Swim with the Fishes, an in-water reef experience gives guests 6 and older an adventure on a replica of one of the Florida Keys’ most beautiful coral reef dive sites without being a certified SCUBA diver!” Another girl, Emma (age 12), would also be swimming with us, and there is a maximum of four people, so we just made it in. We were lead by the supervisor, Steve, to the training room, where we would watch a video about the swim, before heading to the lockers. We slowly changed into the tight wetsuits that the Aquarium gave us, and left the locker rooms to head to the employee area of the Coral Reef Gallery.

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Home Activity: Rainbow in a Tube

Rainbow in a TubeOne of our most popular STEM Night activities was “Rainbow in a Tube” where families learned about the properties of density while carefully adding liquids to test tubes. By pouring in each liquid, they created a beautifully layered rainbow with distinct lines separating each layer of liquid without the liquids mixing.

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Bullseye Glass: Fun Ways to Play with Glass

Who would’ve guessed that playing with glass could be both fun and safe?

As parents, we generally tell our kids not to play with glass, but at Bullseye Glass’s free open house, our family found several fun, yet safe, ways to work with glass. We created decorative glass magnets, bent glass into interesting shapes and designs, and cut and broke glass into pieces. Continue reading “Bullseye Glass: Fun Ways to Play with Glass”

How to Get a Pet Tardigrade

by Alexa (age 9, @KNEstemGirls)

Have you ever seen or heard of a tardigrade? They’re super cool! These microscopic critters (also known as water bears or moss piglets) are the toughest creatures on earth. These extremophiles* can survive temperatures down to absolute 0 and up to 300° F, be exposed to 1,000 times the radiation that would kill an elephant, and withstand pressures up to 6 times of what you would find in the deepest parts of the ocean (I am not joking, if you want information or proof, google tardigrade or click on this link to a SciShow about tardigrades). Continue reading “How to Get a Pet Tardigrade”

Rutgers Geology Museum Open House

As my 10-year-old looked at the replica of the human skull, she couldn’t tell if it was Caucasian, African, or Asian? How could we find out?

During an afternoon at the Rutgers Geology Museum Open House in New Brunswick, New Jersey, my daughters learned about the impact of meteorites, the importance of protecting marine bays and estuaries, how to drill for oil, and even how to analyze a human skull! This was the first time we went to the free, annual open house at Rutgers University. Continue reading “Rutgers Geology Museum Open House”

New York Paleontological Society’s Annual Holidays Party

Fossilized FIshIt became a heated battle as a dozen children quickly started bidding on the fossilized fish. The bids started at a mere token and almost instantly climbed up to 20 tokens and went far beyond, but how was that possible? Each child only received 20 tokens – how could anyone bid more than 20?

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The Discovery Room at the American Museum of Natural History

IMG_1432One moment my 7 and 10-year-old daughters were zoologists searching an African baobab tree for birds, snakes, and bats; then they were paleontologists excavating dinosaur eggs and assembling a Prestosuchos skeleton; and the next thing I knew they were anthropologists interpreting a Kwakiutl totem pole! All of this happened within an hour in the Discovery Room at the American Museum of Natural History!

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