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Incorporating Science naturally into your home(school)

March 15th, 2016

Guest post from Jamie Strand of Scicamps.org

Photo from Pixabay

3 Fun Lesson Plans for Kids Who Love Science

When parents foster a love of science in their children, they grow up observing, questioning, experimenting, thinking critically, and reasoning. These kids love to hypothesize, figure out why things work the way they do, and experiment while playing. Sometimes, it is more difficult to teach science to kids who already love it because they know so much about it. The basics won’t cut it with these kids because they already have a good understanding of fundamental science concepts. That’s why it is important to use fun, unexpected science lessons with kids who love science. Here are a few options:

1. Construct a Bird’s Nest

Most kids have peered up into the branches of a tree and seen a bird’s nest, but they may not realize just how much work the construction of one requires. Having them construct their own is a fun way to experiment, explore building materials, and gain insight into the amazing world of birds to appreciate some of nature’s most clever builders!

Start by going on a nature walk in a wooded area to get a real look at birds’ nests up close, being mindful not to touch or disturb them. Look closely and make a list of all the materials you observe: twigs, straw, leaves, grass, etc. Look out for any man-made materials — birds often use newspaper and stray pieces of cotton or cloth they’ve found to cozy up their homes.

Next, have the kids gather the kinds of materials they saw used in nests during the nature walk. Make sure there are enough supplies for everyone to build. Don’t forget a small bucket of mud to help hold the pieces together!

Head inside and give everyone workspace protected with newspaper. Have the kids use the materials to construct their own bird’s nest. Help them test to ensure they’re sturdy and hold together. Test them out by placing them outside in tree branches, a hidden corner of the fence, or anywhere else they think a bird may want to call home. Discuss what materials made the strongest nests, what extra substances they added for insulation or camouflage, and all the trials and error involved in the process.

2. Dancing Oobleck

Kids may understand the three states of matter: gas, liquid, and solid. But, they may not realize that there is a strange fluid, called Oobleck, which is a solid and a liquid. You’ll begin by making thick Oobleck with two cups of cornstarch and one cup of water. Allow kids to play with the Oobleck for a bit to realize that when it relaxes it is a liquid, but when they push on it or move it quickly it becomes a solid.

Now is a good time to talk about why the Oobleck changes its state; it is a pressure-dependent substance, like quicksand, that is a liquid when it moves slowly because the cornstarch particles have time to separate but a solid when it moves quickly because the particles are forced together.

To begin the Dancing Oobleck experiment, you’ll need a subwoofer, a thin metal cookie sheet with sides, an MP3 of an audio test tone, and food coloring. Place the cookie sheet onto the subwoofer’s speaker and pour in the Oobleck. Search online for Subwoofer test MP3s. Experiment with various tones to see which works best, and be prepared to turn the volume up fairly high. (The three frequencies that typically work the best are 40Hz, 50 Hz, and 63 Hz.) Kids should make observations of the Oobleck at each frequency.

If you don’t mind a bit of a mess, or stained kids’ fingers, allow kids to add a few dots of food coloring to the Oobleck and test the frequencies again. It is fun to see how the colors mix and it helps kids visualize the ways in which the Oobleck moves by watching the colors mix and form shapes.

3. A Day in the Life of…

There are all kinds of science careers that revolve around animals, but do your kids know about their options?

Have a discussion about different animal-related fields and careers, covering everything from veterinarians, zoologists, marine biologists, animal trainers, and animal behaviorists. Let each child pick their favorite career, then write a “Day in the life” story. They can research it online, in books, or even interview someone in the field. (If you can swing guest speakers for most or all of the careers, even better!)

After they’ve written their stories, ask them to present to them. Have them explain why they chose that career and then read their story aloud. Would they interact with animals directly? What kind of skills are required? Did the research live up to the initial idea they had of the career, or was it different?

Building a bird’s nest, dancing Oobleck, and picking animal-based careers are just a few lessons that will excite kids who love science. Challenging kids who love science with lessons and experiments like these, which take their assumptions and basic knowledge to the next level, is a great way to get them to love science even more.

Jamie Strand loved being homeschooled. Today, he teaches at a local community college. He created SciCamps.org with a friend in order to make it easier for kids throughout the U.S. to find science and math camps in their area. In addition to teaching, Jamie loves spending time with his wife and young daughters.

Author: admin Categories: Nature study Tags: , ,

Illumination Celebration at Wheaton College

March 31st, 2015

Received a notice about this event via email:

Illumination Celebration!

Illumination Celebration!

Saturday, April 11, 2015, 1 – 4pm

Location Meyer Science Center Building

In celebration of the United Nations’ International Year of Light, Wheaton College hosts a free open house featuring science- and light-themed fun! The event takes place on campus at the Meyer Science Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11.

This family-friendly event invites children and families to learn how light-based technologies work, enjoy interactive, hands-on labs, and (weather permitting) use our state-of-the-art equipment for solar observations.

The Meyer Science Center is located at 430 Howard Street in Wheaton; parking is available in the Howard Street parking lot, or on the east side of the Billy Graham Center. For more information, please call the Office of Media Relations at 630.752.5015.

Fermilab adventures

January 18th, 2014

Check this out from Fermilab:

Fermilab Science Adventures — January – May 2014

Fermilab: Explore the Science Around You

The Spring Science Adventure class list, registration instructions and a downloadable registration form are available on our website. http://ed.fnal.gov/sciadv

In addition to many favorite classes, look for these new and returning adventures:

January 25, 2014 – Magnetic Magic, grades 1-4

February 1, 2014 – Snow Crystals, grades K-5

March 1, 2014 – Girls Scientific Salon, grades 4-7

April 26, 2014 – Creativity and Circuitry, grades 3-5 – NEW!

May 3, 2014 – The Bugs are Back! grades 2-4

Spread the word to your friends. To be added to our e-mail notification list, contact sdahl@fnal.gov.

Links to Upcoming Public Events:

Fermilab Family Open House – February 9, 2014, 1:00 – 5:00 PM

The FREE open house will be most appropriate for families with children in grades 3 and up. Tours restricted to those ages 10 and up. Go to the website to register for the tours. Watch the website for updates.

Visit the Fermilab Education Office at Family Science Days at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting

February 15-16, 2014, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Family Science Days

Family Science Days are FREE and open to all. Explore interactive science exhibits, learn about cool science jobs, and have your questions answered by scientists! This free community science showcase features hands-on demos, shows, and other activities appropriate for K-12 children and their families. Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IlL 60601.

Wonders of Science (Ages 7-12) – April 6, 2014, 1:00 – 2:00 PM

Tickets: $4.00/person (nonrefundable). Contact edreg@fnal.gov (preferred) or 630-840-8259 with questions. Printable registration forms available on our website at: http://eddata.fnal.gov/lasso/program_search/wos_form.html

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)) High School Career Expo April 23, 2014, 5:30 – 8:30 PM

The program, held at Fermilab’s Wilson Hall, is FREE and no registration is required.

Fermilab Outdoor Family Fair (Ages 5-12) June 8, 2014, 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Activities include walking the emerging tallgrass prairie, netting for land and water critters and visiting the bison herd. The fair is FREE.

Get to Know the Lederman Science Center

Explore Fermilab science from a kid’s point of view! Bring your family for a guided tour of Lederman Science Center exhibits on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 AM to noon. No registration is required.

Fermilab Science Adventures is also a Facebook Group.

If you are a Facebook member, go to the top search box and search for “Fermilab Science Adventures” and click “Ask to Join Group” on the top right. As a member you can read and post questions and comments to the other members of this group. You can also have online chats with other members of the group.

Contact Program Staff

Marge Bardeen, Education Office Manager, mbardeen@fnal.gov

Susan Dahl, sdahl@fnal.gov

Andrea Cox, avarry@fnal.gov

Upcoming Robotics Competition

March 19th, 2013

Check out all the details at their website: http://www.ilfirst.org/frc/events/midwest-regional.html

April 4-6, 2013

UIC Pavilion · 525 S. Racine Street – Chicago, Illinois

The Midwest Regional is Open to the Public – Admission is Free!

The FIRSTRobotics Competition Midwest Regional is an international, intense three-day event showcasing robots developed and operated by teams of high school students. The competing robots are the result of 6-1/2 weeks of high school students and professional engineering/science mentors teaming up to solve the engineering challenges presented in the Season Challenge/Robot Game. The robots represent the product of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, and managing project deadlines. The mentor/student interaction is integral to the FRC program. It takes a lot of hard work to develop a competitive robot, and it shows when you see them in action at the Midwest Regional.

FRC robots are big, measuring up to 5 feet tall and weighing 120+ pounds. In the competition, two alliances (red and blue) each composed of three robot teams play each other on fields that are the size of a basketball half-court. All day Friday through Saturday morning a series of Qualifying Rounds matches are played between randomly generated alliance teams to determine the top eight seeded individual teams. These top eight individual teams will now select two other teams that they would like to join them in forming an alliance for the Elimination Rounds matches. Saturday afternoon starts off with the eight alliances competing in the Quarterfinal Matches, four alliances will move on to the Semi-final Matches, then the Finals where two alliances will vie for the title of Midwest Regional Champion!

Dubbed the “grand-daddy” of all FIRST Regional Events, Midwest is a highly competitive, exciting and fun premier spectacular! It is a spectator-friendly competition environment that has the feel of both a major sporting event and a rock concert, complete with cheering fans, crazy costumes, special lighting, up-beat music, a large video wall, and energetic emcees/announcers. In essence, the Midwest Regional is a celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics!

We hope that you will join us on April 4-6 for this year’s Midwest Regional at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. Like all FIRST Robotics Competition events, Midwest is free and open to the public! If you do plan to attend, please remember to wear closed-toed shoes and bring along a pair of safety glasses so that you can visit the pit area to meet the robots and the students who built them. And remember…our team members, coaches, mentors, volunteers and Regional staff are all very friendly and will be happy assist you and to answer any questions that you may have.

Free talk on Applied Evolution

February 4th, 2013

Applied Evolution: Implications in Law and Medicine

When: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Refreshments:

6:45 – 7:00 pm

Presentation and Q&A:

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Presented By:

Richard Marrano

Where: 25 W 560 Geneva Road, Carol Stream

The entryway is just west of Gary Avenue on Geneva Road, on the north side of the street.  Enter the drive just east of the sign (next to Slide Chart Company), and park behind the building.  Enter through the rear door.  Handicapped parking is in front, with entrance through the front door.

For more information, visit: www.midwestcreationfellowship.org,

Free admission and refreshments, but donations are welcome

Sponsored by the Midwest Creation Fellowship

www.midwestcreationfellowship.org

Homeschool classes through IIT in Wheaton

January 6th, 2013

Here is a fantastic looking opportunity, and very affordable! Hat-tip to the Naperville Home Educators Yahoo group for sharing.

Hello Home School parents~

I would like to invite your child to participate in the Illinois Institute of Technology science offering, Let’s Be Water Wise! Home schooled students will meet together for 8 weeks (Thursdays), beginning February 21st, at the IIT- Rice Campus in Wheaton. See http://www.iit.edu/rice/about/directions.shtml for directions and location. The class will run from 8:00 AM until 10:30.

The group will be comprised of six to ten students, aged 11-15, and interested parents. I will facilitate. I have taught biology, chemistry, physical science, environmental science and methods in science education for 36 years, working with students aged 6 through adult. After examining the attached syllabus, if you would like your child to participate, respond to this email with your child’s name and age. Next, please send a check for $25 payable to the IIT School of Applied Technology, to my attention at the address below. This will reserve a spot for your child and will cover the lab fee for the class. There may be field trip entrance fees and transportation costs as well, but there will be no other course fee. If you have other questions, let me know.

Looking forward to this new IIT collaboration,Susan
Susan Camasta, PhD
Adjunct Faculty
School of Applied Technology &

Department of Mathematics & Science Education
Illinois Institute of Technology
Rice Campus201 East Loop Road Wheaton, IL 60189
(630) 408-8054

This pilot program, supported by the IIT School of Applied Technology, will run for 8 weeks, meeting once/week at the IIT Rice Campus in Wheaton.  Each session will be approximately 2.5 hours. Field experiences will meet off campus, and at least two are planned.  Six to ten students will be enrolled; the intended audience is young people, aged 12-16. Parents are welcome participants.

Please contact her for more details and a preliminary syllabus.

Research 4 Reptiles

December 11th, 2012

Wanted to share with you about an amazing organization — Research 4 Reptiles.

Research 4 Reptiles, LLC. is a privately-owned company, founded by Holly Zak, whose mission is to provide challenging, hands-on, field-based programs for participants ages 12 years to adult to inspire enthusiasm for and understanding of native Illinois reptile and amphibian species.

This is not your ordinary outdoor education program!

What makes their programs different from the usual outdoor education classes ?

  • Participants assist in real herpetological research whereby they help survey areas for species.
  • Participants help to identify species, mark them for identification, measure them, and record information about each animal capture.
  • Participants learn through critical inquiry, delving into research with inquiring questions!
  • Every class is limited to 8 students.
  • All classes are held outdoors at prairie/pond sites within Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois (approximately 15 miles south of Joliet).
  • Species conservation and environmental protection is emphasized.
  • Best of all, the data collected from research is compiled and given to biological staff at Midewin for species’ management purposes!
3 juvenile painted turtles at Buttonbush Pond

Other opportunities you can find on their website:
If you have a herp lover they have gift certificates available that might make a great Christmas gift.

Also, be sure to check back in January to find  OPEN ENROLLMENT for summer programs!

Contact info: Research 4 Reptiles, LLC.
508 Pheasant Chase Drive
Bolingbrook, IL 60490
Email: research4reptiles@comcast.net
Phone: 630-337-0757
Website: www.research4reptiles.biz
This is a sponsored post from a paid advertiser with our site. For more information about advertising with the Chicagoland Homeschool Network, please email me at info@chicagolandhomeschoolnetwork.com.

Midwest Creation Fellowship presentation

December 2nd, 2012

Received via email:

Midwest Creation Fellowship talk, “The Heavens Declare the Glory of GOD – And a Young Solar System!” by Helmut Welke, M.S. on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 6:45 p.m. at 25W560 Geneva Road in Carol Stream, IL 60188.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of GOD – And a Young Solar System!  Join the Midwest Creation Fellowship (MCF) at its next meeting on December 4, where Helmut Welke will review the scientific evidence from astronomy that debunks the Big Bang Theory of origins.  He will also reveal the current evidence from observations and NASA space probes that indicate our solar system cannot be billions of years old!

Helmut Welke is the President of the Quad-City Creation Science Association; a 4-year old group in western Illinois dedicated to truth in science education.  He is a certified engineering manager with a Fortune 100 company and, in 2006, was elected as a Fellow and to the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), an international society serving the Industrial and Systems Engineering profession.  Mr. Welke holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Meet us for free coffee and refreshments at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4. The talk will be from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., including Q&A. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. We meet at: 25W560 Geneva Road in Carol Stream, IL. The entryway is just west of Gary Avenue on Geneva Road, on the north side of the street. Enter the drive just east of the sign (next to Slide Chart Company), and park behind the building. Enter through the rear door. Handicapped parking is in front, with entrance through the front door.

Please Note:  Helmut will be bringing a number of new books and DVDs from Answers in Genesis for sale at good prices.  There will be a wide variety for you to consider for yourself or as Christmas presents.  So plan ahead, as there will be a good selection of material on astronomy as well as children’s books, DVDs and coloring books.  Credit cards accepted.

For more information, visit: www.midwestcreationfellowship.org, email: wscmcf@hotmail.com, or call: (847) 223-4730.

Healthy habits kits

October 31st, 2012

Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor have free kits available for teaching. Contact kitsforkids@cadencehealth.org for more information or scheduling. Here is info from their publication:

Kits for Kids

Do you want to teach a class about bicycle safety or hand-washing, but need the tools
to do so? Check out our free Kits for Kids, which contain everything a parent, scout
leader or teacher needs to present a lesson, including script, worksheets, interactive
demonstrations and general information.

Ride Smart!

This kit is packed with information on bicycle
safety and helmet use. It includes a gelatin
brain mold, helmet experiment, identification
stickers, coloring books and more. Designed
for preschool through second grade.

Hand-washing:

Your First Defense Against Disease
Seeing is believing! The kit includes a black
light and Glo Germ™ gel that shows kids if
they are really washing effectively. Lessons
explain the importance of hand-washing.
Designed for preschool through fifth grade.

For kit scheduling and information,
call 630.933.2165.

Masters of Lightning!

October 30th, 2012
Received via email:

The Masters of Lightning is coming to SciTech Museum! See precisely controlled “bolts of lightning” – some 15 feet long leap from huge Tesla coils and play music from Bach’s Toccata and Fuge and even the 8 bit theme from Super Mario Brothers!  “Dr. Zeus”, adds an astonishing element to the show by standing between the coils wearing a metal suit of layered chain mail and interacting with the lightning bolts! A Wow! show not to be missed!

  • Doors open at 6 pm, the show starts at 7 pm.
  • Stay and explore the Museum after the show, we will be open until 9 pm.
  • The SciTech Cafe will be open for delicious treats, and there will be popcorn, a juice bar and more.
  • Adult Tickets are $20 and Children 12 and under are $1

Hurry! This show sells out quickly so purchase your tickets now. Tickets are available online here:

Learn more about Masters of Lightning here:

call 630-859-3434 or

visit www.scitechmuseum.org for further information.

18 W. Benton St. Aurora, Il. 60506

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