My son and I have been enjoying The Kid Should See This curated videos for the past year. It’s videos made for an adult audience, but age appropriate for kids. The topics range from science to arts and entertainment. We subscribe for a weekly email that has five videos. After watching a pile of them, my son selected these four as his favorites to share with you! Read more…
All posts in Science
I’m not prone to trying out science experiments at home. It’s because I am lazy. Even when I subscribed to science projects that came monthly in the mail, it didn’t seem to take with my kids. But I yearn to be one of those moms who can do science with their kids at home.
It’s because when I was struggling with Freshman Chemistry in college — a scarring experience — I met a kid whose parents were BOTH chemists. He said that his mother had the periodic table up in the playroom for as long as he could remember. Needless to say, he was cruising through Organic Chemistry when it was an experience that I had to repeat in order to get a decent grade. Read more…
I went to Easton, Massachusetts for the first time. Given that it’s a scant half hour drive from where I live and that I drive far and wide for my kids’ soccer games, I was surprised that I hadn’t been there before. It’s a lovely town, and, as I missed my turn and parked nearby, I found myself face to face with a trio of what looked like H. H. Richardson buildings, one of my favorite architects.
There are plenty of websites that provide science news for kids. With the latest updates on research findings, cool inventions, and scientific expeditions in various fields, these websites provide scientific content that would interest kids in a manner that they can understand. Scientific news stories are always interesting, and it is understandable that the public would want to read about them.
But why all the focus on kids? How much difference does it make to a ten-year old what Curiosity is doing on Mars? There are various ways in which kids can benefit by staying up to date on the latest science news stories. Here are just a few of them.
A dad friend encouraged me to sign my daughter up for an afterschool elementary school class called Wicked Cool Science. He was a high school science teacher and had a son and daughter of his own.
“If you don’t get your daughter’s interested in science before middle school,” he warned, “They will turn their backs on science permanently.”
That’s alarming. So I looked into this connection.
Many young students, particularly girls, see math and science as difficult, and don’t take any more classes than they have to, not realizing they are cutting themselves off from lucrative opportunities in college and careers.
“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”
It’s my turn to choose the Picture Book of the Day and I picked the 2014 Seibert Winner, Parrots Over Puerto Rico. I thought we’d explore parrots today with a non-fiction picture book, a singalong parrot picture book and an easy reader with a naughty parrot.
Next, I clear up confusion that I have about parrots versus Macaws versus Cockatoos. This will help because I want you to meet some parrot friends. Finally, I am giving away all three books! I hope you enjoy this little parrot adventure! Please share your favorite parrot books!
Picture Book of the Day
Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
Once, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican parrots flew over Puerto Rico where they had lived for millions of years. But by 1937, only about two thousand Puerto Rican parrots, known locally as iguaca, remained in El Yunque, a tropical rainforest in the Luquillo Mountains to the east. By 1975, only thirteen parrots were left. Thanks to efforts by conservationists, a recovery program was set up. But with challenges from mother nature including thunderstorms and hurricanes, will the iguaca survive?
Parrots Over Puerto Rico is the 2014 Seibert Winner!
[picture book, ages 5 and up]
Please welcome my guest blogger, Anna Olswanger. I “met” her when I read a review of Greenhorn and her picture book stopped me in my tracks. It’s powerful story about the Holocaust that really reverberated. I literally could not stop thinking about that little boy and his tin box for days. I added it immediately to my 34 Haunting Holocaust Books for Kids list.
It doesn’t surprise me that Anna notices the little details in life around her. Her story today is about the little House Finch birds that come to her bird feeder that she notices from her window during writing breaks from her computer. She notes with concern that they are sick.
I looked it up:
House Finch Eye Disease
What does conjunctivitis look like?
Infected birds have red, swollen, watery, or crusty eyes; in extreme cases the eyes become swollen shut or crusted over, and the birds become essentially blind. If the infected birds die, it is usually not directly from the conjunctivitis, but rather from starvation, exposure, or predation as a result of not being able to see. Some infected birds do recover.
It’s strange that conjuctivitis which kids commonly get is a very infection disease but really a nuisance more than anything, but for a House Finch, it can be lethal.
Here’s her story and my prayers that her House Finch friend is ok!
The house finch sat on the feeder outside my window and coughed. She was brown, a female. I read about her red, swollen eyes on the Web and discovered she had a respiratory disease that had infected her eyes. In extreme cases, the eyes of these birds would become swollen shut and the birds would become blind. They would die from starvation or predation because they couldn’t see. Read more…
Do you think seahorses are magical too? There is something about having a head like a horse, a tail like a monkey, and skin color that can change like a chameleon. It doesn’t surprise me that Poseidon is the father of horses in Greek Mythology!
Did you know that father seahorses hatch the eggs?! Male seahorses have special pouches for the eggs and part of the courtship routine to win a female includes inflating their pouch by pumping water through it to display its emptiness in order to entice the female to deposit her eggs in it.
The eggs develop in the pouch for two to six weeks, depending on species and temperature, until they become fully formed juveniles called fry. When the male seahorse is ready to give birth, he has muscular contractions to expel the young from the pouch. I wonder if the contractions are as painful as human ones? Read more…
Will we all be eating jellyfish in the future because jellies have taken over the oceans? It’s entirely possible according to marine biologists.
In waters from the Sea of Japan (aka East Sea) to the Black Sea, jellies today are thriving as many of their marine vertebrate and invertebrate competitors are eliminated by overfishing, dead zonesand other human impacts. How have these drifters of the sea reversed millions of years of fish dominance, seemingly overnight? Huffington Post
Will Jellyfish Take Over The World?
At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, their scientists note that this has already happened. Most jelly populations are stable, but overfishing has changed the balance in the ocean, causing jelly populations to skyrocket. This has already happened on isolated occasions in several parts of the world, notably off Namibia, Africa.
When fishing boats remove too many fish, their absence leaves more uneaten plankton to feed jellies. Those well-fed jellies produce even more jellies, which eat small fish and tiny fish larvae in addition to plankton. If jellies become too numerous, fish populations may not have a chance to bounce back, even if overfishing stops. Monterey Bay Aquarium site
What keeps jellies in check? Who are jellyfish predators? Blue rockfish, molas, dogfish, anchovies, chum salmon and mackerel all eat jellies. Sea turtles, an endangered animal, also love to eat jellyfish. Read more…