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Nano Days

26 Apr

Nano Days

We had a blast this past month experimenting with the Nano Days kits provided by NISENet to various educational facilities across the nation to participate in the annual festival known as “NANO DAYS.”

We held a public event on Saturday, March 31st as well as a smaller event for schools coming on field trips to the museum on Friday, April 13th. We’ve also utilized the kits in EUREKA!, our programming within the Lubbock Children’s Museum, and on outreaches to a local Boys & Girls Club.

Seeing as bubbles are my favorite topic to teach about, I particularly love the Thin Films activity. My education partner in crime (otherwise known as “Kevin”), particularly likes the Ball Sorter activity as we adapted it and added the common demonstration known as “Freddy the Fish” to talk about how carbon filters can help environmental engineers and preservationists. The kids seemed to really take to the carbon/graphite activities. They loved experimenting with how much they could color in the rectangle on their paper and see how bright they could light the LED.

Kevin and I are very excited this week, because we begin our outreaches to schools teaching our new nano programs we’ve developed this semester with a grant from NISENet. What is unique about this programming is that it is our first time delving into a new topic neither of us had taught before and now we’ve created all-new programs for schools and the museum on the subject! 

I’m going on the first outreach tomorrow and I must say… I’m nervous! But, I’m also, as I said, very excited to be working on this endeavor and having the opportunity to provide new programming (and FREE programming!) to these schools.

Below are a few pictures from our Nano Days events.

Did YOU attend a Nano Days event this year? If so, leave a comment below and let us know what YOUR favorite activities were!

 

Keep exploring!

-Jacie

 

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Summer 2012 Camp Schedule

6 Apr

Summer Camps 2012

 

Ages 4-6

May 29th-31st

9 AM – 12 PM

Pilot Patrol

Learn the basics of flight as you spend the week training to be a pilot! Learn about how airplanes fly, the history of aircraft, and what it takes to be the best. We’ll even build a fun, easy model of a WWII aircraft! You’re sure to be “soarin’ high” with all the aviation fun!

 

June 5th-7th

9 AM – 12 PM

LEGO® Island Getaway

Sail away on a LEGO® Island Getaway! Build boats that sail, watch the new summer film “The Last Reef,” and explore other tropical topics with LEGO®.

 

June 12th-14th

9 AM – 12 PM

Storybook Science

Explore science with your favorite storybook characters! Learn how to build a home with the Three Little Pigs, study plants & food with the Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar, and make Oobleck with Dr. Seuss’s Bartholomew. And don’t forget that Thursday is “Dress Up Day” where you can come to class as your favorite storybook character.

 

June 26th-28th

9 AM – 12 PM

Junior Wizards Academy

Consider this your formal invitation to attend your wizard training at “Sci-Warts Academy” where we’ll learn the science of magic! Study potion making with our experienced Potion Master, dissect owl pellets, and even learn a few tricks to impress your muggle friends.

 

July 10th-12th

9 AM – 12 PM

Dino Digits

Can you name the tallest dinosaur? What about the fastest? In Dino Digits, you’ll learn about dinosaurs in an all new way! By combining a typical dino camp with math, students will be able to study their favorite prehistoric reptiles while also learning basic math concepts. Camp will culminate with a fun class fossil dig!

 

July 17th-19th

9 AM – 12 PM

Splash!

Be prepared to make a “Splash!” this summer at camp! Students will study oceans and lakes, learn what fun and exciting sea creatures live underwater, and even have a “Splash Day” outside complete with homemade lemonade and games. This is one wet-n-wild camp you won’t want to miss!

 

July 31st-August 2nd

9 AM – 12 PM

Go 4 Gold!

Get in the Olympic spirit this summer! Learn all about the history of the Olympics, the different sports & games played, and the science behind them. We’ll even have an “Olympic Day” on Thursday of camp where students compete in physical challenges. Come a camper, leave a champion in Go 4 Gold!

 

August 7th-9th

9 AM – 12 PM

Grossology

Learn about all things slippery, slimey, and sure to make you say, “EEW!” In Grossology, you’ll learn about things like making fake snot, how earthworms help plants, making band-aid art and more. Be sure not to miss this one-of-a-kind camp!

 

Ages 7-9

May 29th-31st

10 AM – 3 PM

Flight Fanatics

Can’t get enough of airplanes? Then join us for “Flight Fantatics” where you’ll not only learn about aerodynamics and flight, but see and build models of historical aircraft ranging from WWI and WWII to present day. Hope you’re ready to shoot for the sky in this flight-filled camp!

 

June 5th-7th

10 AM – 3 PM

Shipwrecked

Forget Gilligan’s Island! “Shipwrecked” this summer will teach campers fun and practical survival techniques. Learn how to navigate by the stars, what common plants & insects are edible, how to make a raft, and more! With little more than a roll of duct tape and hope, campers will try their best on the last day to show what they’ve learned to get off the dreaded “Shipwrecked Island.”

 

June 12th-14th

10 AM – 3 PM

Mission: LEGO®

Imagine you’ve been selected to join E3: The Elite Emergency Engineers. Campers will have the opportunity to work as a class in a weeklong training learning to build basic architectural structures culminating in a LEGO® rescue mission!

 

June 26th-28th

10 AM – 3 PM

Playing with Potions

Learn to brew with the best this summer! Experiment with the best Potion Master alive today and see what magical mixtures you can create. From tasty treats to slimy substances, you’ll learn everything a good wizard needs to know. And maybe, you’ll even have a chance to make a “bang” by the end of camp!

 

July 10th-12th

10 AM – 3 PM

Dig It!

Get your hands dirty as we dig into the past! Learn about your favorite dinosaurs and how archaeologists uncover them. The class will even take a field trip on Thursday to Lubbock Lake Landmark to experience an archaeological dig first-hand! (*Please see notes about field trip requirements.)

 

July 24th-26th

10 AM – 3 PM

Amazing Race

Think YOU have what it takes to win the Amazing Race? Find out! This summer go on an adventure with Science Spectrum as you team up and compete in fun challenges as we test your knowledge of basic science concepts, reading maps, and teamwork. You’ll even have the opportunity to film some days, just like on the television show!

 

July 31st-August 2nd

10 AM – 3 PM

Go 4 Gold!

Get in the Olympic spirit this summer! Learn all about the history of the Olympics, the different sports & games played, and the science behind them. We’ll even have an “Olympic Day” on Thursday where students compete in physical challenges. Come a camper, leave a champion in Go 4 Gold!

 

August 7th-9th

10 AM – 3 PM

Grossology

Learn about all things slippery, slimey, and sure to make you say, “EEW!” In Grossology, you’ll learn about things like making fake snot, how earthworms help plants, and more. We’ll even do a mystery dissection! Be sure not to miss this one-of-a-kind camp!

 

 

Ages 10-12

June 5th-7th

10 AM – 3 PM

Un-Chained Reaction

Build the ultimate Rube Goldberg Machine! Throughout the week, campers will have the chance to study physics, engineering, and robotics in a whole new way. The class will work together over the week to design and create a large-scale machine in the museum that utilizes robotics throughout the contraption.

 

June 12th-14th

10 AM – 3 PM

Rock-It!: Space Race

Join us in the race to space! The beginning steps to space exploration were in rockets, which is where this camp starts. Learn all about the first major rockets launched during WWII, and then build and launch your own! Continuing, the class will look at where the Space Program headed in the 1950’s-70’s where we’ll build moon-landers and study other fun inventions created invented by NASA.

 

July 10th-12th

10 AM – 3 PM

Cartoons 101

Learn how to make your own cartoon character and then bring it to life! A visiting professional artist will assist the first day teaching basic cartooning and drawing techniques. On Day 2, students will learn about traditional cel animation and make a short hand-drawn cartoon. Camp will end with students making a short 3D stop-motion animated film.

 

July 17th-19th

10 AM – 3 PM

Video Game Master

Impress your friends and learn how to make your own video game! Using open source software, you’ll learn how to make graphics, record sound effects, and create levels in your own unique video game. Because the software is free to download, you can take what you learn and keep creating at home!

 

July 24th-26th

10 AM – 3 PM

Amazing Race

Think YOU have what it takes to win the Amazing Race? Find out! This summer go on an adventure with Science Spectrum as you team up and compete in fun challenges as we test your knowledge of basic science concepts, reading maps, and teamwork. You’ll even have the opportunity to film some days, just like on the television show!

 

July 31st-August 2nd

10 AM – 3 PM

X-treme Physics!

Design & make your own roller coaster, discover how to hit the “strike zone” every time, create & launch a giant catapult, learn how X-Games athletes can nail the perfect 1080, and so much more! We’ll even take some class field trips on Thursday to test out what you’ve learned. Who says physics is boring? (*Please see notes about field trip requirements.)

 

 

All camps for ages 4-6 are from 9 AM – 12 PM for 3 days.
Cost for Members: $48, Nonmembers: $54

All camps for ages 7-9 and 10-12 are from 10 AM – 3 PM for 3 days.
Students in these classes should bring a sack lunch each day.
Cost for Members: $78, Nonmembers: $84

 

Field Trip Notes:

-Parents or guardians must make arrangements for their student’s travel to and from the field trip location.
-Costs associated with the student’s participation in the field trip are included in the camp fee.
-A parent or guardian must sign a permission slip in order for the student to participate in the camp field trip.

 

Registration Information:

-Registration begins on Monday, April 23rd.
-All camps require advanced registration and pre-payment of fees.
-Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
-Early registration is recommended to ensure participation in the camp of your choice.
-You can register by phone or (recommended) in person at Science Spectrum located at 2579 S. Loop 289.
-Registration forms can be found at the front desk or online at www.sciencespectrum.org.

Why Play? Sand Table

3 Apr

Many classrooms have sand tables in them that the teacher can use as a science center. You can add items to the sand table that correspond with the theme being taught. The possibilities are truly limitless. 

But why play in sand? What are the benefits? 

One of my favorite places to get educational toys is from Melissa and Doug. They make sturdy, smart toys for kids that last forever. In their daily email they discuss the benefits of sand play: 

  1. Large Motor Skills
    Large motor skills develop and strengthen as children dig, scoop, sift, and pour. The whole body can get involved in sand play!

  2. Hand-eye Coordination
    Children develop better control over their small muscles as they practice manipulating sand play toys like funnels, mills, shovels, scoops, and sifters.

  3. Social & Emotional
    Playing together in the sandbox or at the beach requires sharing, compromise, negotiation, and turn-taking. Children work together and negotiate minor conflicts as they decide what kind of pretend play scene to engage in, for how long, and what the roles will be.

  4. Math Skills
    Measuring and pouring with cups and spoons, balance scales, buckets and sand molds reinforce the basic math concepts of more and less, full and empty, heavy and light, and counting.

  5. Science Skills
    Sand is the perfect medium for exploring basic science concepts and scientific thinking. What happens when water is added? What kind of sand is best for building? Kids will naturally experiment with funnels, sand mills, filters, and other tools, making scientific discoveries along the way.

  6. Language & Pre-reading Skills
    Exercising language skills can be as simple as describing the sand, toys, and basic structures . . . or as imaginative as dreaming up and building an elaborate sand town with places to name, adventures to describe, and signs in the sand to write and read.

  7. Art & Creativity Skills
    Sand play offers children an unlimited, forgiving space in which to imagine and create. Wirth sand as their canvas, young artists or inventors may be more willing to take creative risks and try out new perspectives, knowing that a drawing or sculpture can be easily wiped out or revised with every new idea.

All Work and No Play?

3 Apr

All Work and No Play?

That’s definitely NOT what happens around here! Some of us had a little too much fun playing with the box when we originally received our Nano Days kit.

 

I have to say, Kevin’s face in his pictures is priceless!

 

We’ll have a REAL update on Nano programming soon!

Keep playing ~ Jacie

Favorite Science, Math, & General Geekery Jokes!

23 Mar

Here are some of MY favorite science-y and geek-y jokes. Leave your favorite in the comments below!

-Jacie

ATOM #1: I think I lost an electron.
ATOM #2: Are you sure?
ATOM #1: I’m positive.

Charlie was a chemist
But Charlie is no more
What Charlie thought was H2O
Was H2SO4

What did the volcano say to his wife?
…I lava you so much!

What do you call two dinosaurs that have been in an accident?
…Tyrannosaurus “Wrecks”!

 What do you do with a dead chemist?
…Barium.

I’ve never been a good swimmer. My DNA almost drowned in its gene pool.

Why is electricity so dangerous?
…Because it doesn’t know how to conduct itself properly!

What do you think of the new restaurant on the moon?
…Oh, food’s great, but there’s no atmosphere.

What did the rock say to the geologist?
…Don’t take me for granite!