All posts in STEM/STEAM

Lego STEM Creativity: Building Lego Models

Lego STEM Creativity: Building Lego Models

My son thinks one of the best jobs in the world would be designing lego models. That would be the perfect STEM/STEAM job!

my son and legos

I’ve been collecting LEGO videos for my son on some of the coolest things built from LEGOs. Hope you like them too!

lego kit that shoots things

Lego STEM Creativity: Building Lego Models

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Our Total Eclipse Experience in Woodburn, Oregon

Our Total Eclipse Experience in Woodburn, Oregon

It just so happened on our art school tour of the west coast that we would be in the solar eclipse of totality if we were willing to wake up at 4am and drive for a few hours to get to Woodburn, Oregon by 10am. We were.

Our Total Eclipse Experience in Woodburn, Oregon

Actually, we didn’t have much choice. As we drove from San Francisco heading to Vancouver, British Columbia, my husband could not find a hotel for us in Oregon. We didn’t realize that people had booked up all the rooms in the cities of totality long before we planned out trip.

Our Total Eclipse Experience in Woodburn, Oregon

My husband opted to drive to Roseburg, Oregon since he was able to find a hotel there, and then leave very early in the morning to avoid traffic to get to within the band of totality. I, along with a lot of others, opted for Woodburn, Oregon. It’s the closest city of totality on the Oregon/Washington state border while still on the same highway from Roseburg.

Our Total Eclipse Experience in Woodburn, Oregon

We arrived a few hours early only to find Woodburn breakfast options to be quite crowded. We used Google maps to find a small park nearby to watch the eclipse. There were several more serious photographers at our location. We had only our iPhones but we did have the presence of mind to bring eclipse glasses from Massachusetts with us. The glasses really helped!

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Skittles Rainbow Science Experiment Fail

Easy and Fun Rainbow Science Experiments

A rainbow is made of the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Where did the rainbow come from? All the colors exist in sunlight. We can’t see them because they are mixed together.

When sunlight moves from the air to the water in the glass, it bends in a special way. When it bends, the light separates into all the colors of the rainbow. It’s called refraction. From How To Make a Rainbow video

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DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

This STEM project is to help the bees. Offering native bees a home to build their nests is a good way to share our spades and support them in their hard work of pollinating our gardens. Native bees, if they decide to take up residence in your bee house, are docile and make good neighbors because they are unlikely to sting.DIY Bee House STEM Project for Kids

Thank you to Monsanto for sending us this DIY Bee House kit! Learn about bees with Val from Monsanto. She also goes over how to make the bee house. We made our own bee house, and our video is at the bottom.

Build Your Own Bee House from Monsanto STEM Education Outreach on Vimeo. Read more…

My son's Korean and Japanese Sword Making

Korean and Japanese Sword Making

My son has always loved making weapons from bows and arrows made from sticks, to wooden swords that he carves and decorates himself.

He made this Samurai armor and sword upcycling sketch book covers and cardboard boxes. Duct tape was also involved. It always is involved in his projects.

Korean and Japanese Sword Making

In earlier days, he made swords using aluminum foil and duct tape for a Percy Jackson book club with his friends. Now, he needs a run to Home Depot to buy wood without a curve in it, drawing out his designs that his father cuts out for him. Read more…

Homemade bath bombs and the science behind the fizz

DIY Lush Bath Bombs and the Science Behind the Fizz

My 12-year-old son has had a headache for the past two months. Fast forward five doctor appointments later, and we now think he has a concussion. He found baths soothing and he likes the Lush bath bombs that his sisters gave him for Christmas. They’re pretty expensive at $7 each, so we decided to make them ourselves.
DIY Lush Bath Bombs and the Science Behind the Fizz

An interesting Teachable Moment is the science of bath bombs. My son noticed that when he’s in the bath as the bath bomb gets crazy fizzy, that he feels a cold sensation coming off from the bomb. What is that? I think it’s the carbon dioxide gas that is generated from the chemical reaction. Read more…

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

This DIY robot was fun to make and surprisingly easy to make. It went off without a hitch, except for cutting the toothbrush end off.

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

 

My husband came up with an ingenious way to use friction and heat  while bending it back and forth with pliers to cut it. My son trimmed the rough edge with scissors (not really necessary) and then we started the project.

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush Robots

Brush Bots: Turn a Toothbrush into a Robot!

Brush Bots: DIY Toothbrush RobotsRead more…

Great Backyard Bird Count 4 Book GIVEAWAY

Great Backyard Bird Count 4 Book GIVEAWAY

The 20th annual Great Backyard Bird Count just finished up and the next one is Feb 16 to Feb 19, 2018. Birding is a fantastic reason for families to get outdoors and observe nature—and to read nature books together!

I’m teaming up with Downtown Bookworks for a birding for kids book giveaway that can help prepare any child for the Great Backyard Bird Count—or any day of birding! Awaken the budding naturalists and ornithologists in your child, or just use these books as an excuse to get outside!

p.s. Doodles and Jots has a free printable Bird Journal for kids to track the birds they find!

doodles and jots bird journal

Great Backyard Bird Count 4 Book GIVEAWAY

PBS KIDS Look and Learn Birds by Sarah Parvis
Young birders  will get everything they need to get started with this kit that comes with a book, binoculars, and more.

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ice makes cool sounds

Ice Makes Cool Sounds: Science of Ice and Sound

Ice makes some pretty cool sounds! Check this video out from PBS Kids.

We noticed it ourselves when we found the ice at our dog park sounds and looks like broken glass!

ice makes cool sounds

We’ve also heard that reverberation of ice when we throw rocks at the frozen water in the reservoir. This time, though, we couldn’t find any big rocks to throw.

Coolest concert in the world: instruments made out of ice. And their concert in an igloo! A band in Sweden called Ice Music plays concerts inside an igloo on musical instruments made entirely out of ice.