Baseball is back! So what better time to start exploring the physics of baseball?
Let’s start with the pitcher. Have you ever seen baseball pitchers do those crazy windups? There’s good reason behind it! It’s called sequential summation of movement. What?! Continue reading “Physics of Baseball”
Simple and quick, this experiment teaches kids about color in leaves. If you are a parent of curious kids, be sure to give this experiment a try!
Leaves are full of chlorophyll, which works to for convert the energy of the sun into food for the plant. Chlorophyll also makes leaves appear green. They have other colors in them as well, but as long as there’s lots of chlorophyll, the green hides all the other colors. However, in the fall the chlorophyll in the leaves starts to break down. This allows other colors such as yellow, and orange to make their appearance!
Want to see a chemical reaction in action? With this egg in vinegar experiment, we observed and followed a regular egg through a transformation to become a bouncy egg.
You’re seeing a reaction between a compound in the eggshell (calcium carbonate) and an acid in the vinegar (acetic acid). This reaction creates carbon dioxide (and some other things) and breaks down the eggshell in the process. The membrane underneath the shell doesn’t react, so it’s left behind. Once the shell is completely gone, all that’s left is the flexible membrane, giving you a bouncy “rubber” egg!
Discover non-newtonian fluids (substances that act as both a liquid and a solid) and liquids that glow under black light with this messy, but delightful science fair project!
Oobleck is called a non-Newtonian fluid because it can change its viscosity. Viscosity is a property of liquids that says how fast they flow or how much they resist their shape changing — kind of like how thick a fluid is. Isaac Newton wrote a law a long time ago that said a liquid’s viscosity was supposed to be a constant (unless you change its temperature). Because he never tried making oobleck, he didn’t know that a changing viscosity was possible!
You can test out viscosity at home by trying to stir different liquids. If it’s tough to stir, it has a high viscosity. If it’s easy to stir, it has a low viscosity. And if its viscosity changes and it gets harder (or easier) to stir, then you’ve found another non-Newtonian fluid!
Why is soda bad for your teeth? Find out why with this experiment and some baby teeth!
It’s interesting to see how the different sodas (and even water!) can have such damaging effects on your teeth — a valuable reminder of why it’s so important to brush your teeth!
For more amazing science fair projects, be sure to check out:
Grow your own salt stalagmites and stalactites in your kitchen!
You should begin to see some crystals form within the next week! The crystals that grow down from the string are called stalactites. The crystals that grow up from the dish in the middle are called stalagmites. These are small scale models of the crystals that grow in caves! Continue reading “Science Fair Projects for 4th Grade”
Everyone loves watching movies, but have you ever thought about how they’re made? In this article, you’ll discover some of the secrets behind movie magic and even learn how to create your own DIY animations!
Tuesday, March 20th was officially the first day of spring! Spring is a time for longer days, flowers blooming, and baby animals. But did you know there’s actually a lot of science behind all these lovely signs of spring? March is a great time to help your kids connect with the world around them and explore the science of spring. Encourage your kids to be observant and ask questions about all that they’re seeing! Continue reading “The Science of Spring”
Jorgen Pedersen is a professional robot designer! He is the CEO and founder of RE2 Robotics, a company whose robots can defuse bombs and perform other dangerous tasks. Check out our interview with him below 🙂
What inspired you to get into robotics?
I have been intrigued by robots ever since watching Star Wars in the late 1970’s. Frankly, I just thought they were cool. This drove me into learning math and science in school and programming while at home.
What was the first robot you ever built?
The first robot I ever built was called “Sidewinder.” I built it as part of a small team of undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon University with the purpose of entering the Walking Machine Decathlon Competition held in the mid-1990’s. Sidewinder I failed miserably during the first year we competed, not even being able to complete one single event. However, Sidewinder II performed admirably the following year, securing third place and giving me the confidence that I could make a career out of building robots!
Your company makes robots that defuse bombs. Why is that especially important to you?
We build robots to save lives or improve quality of life. One of the most dangerous jobs in the military and in the public safety market is rendering bombs or other explosive devices, such as IEDs, safe. We take human operators out of harm’s way. In short, our robots save lives and there is nothing more important than saving human life.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to create their own robots?
Robotics is the fusion of mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. To create your own robots, I would recommend learning as much as you can about each discipline or surrounding yourself with people who are experts in areas in which you are not. Great robots emerge through collaboration and brainstorming.
This interview was originally conducted for and published in our “Radical Robots” Tinkerzine.
Want to practice creating your own innovative designs? Maker Crate delivers a new art and design workshop every month for ages 14+. It’s the perfect way to help your imagination run wild!
The humble egg—it’s incredible and edible. But did you know it’s also a brilliant tool for engaging children in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? With a half-dozen of these beauties and a handful of household items, you are ready to get cracking with these amazing egg experiments.
Held every year on March 14 (3/14), in honor of the number pi (3.14), National Pi Day honors mathematics, and,of course, all sorts of delicious pies! Most people know that pie is a dish with a crust and a filling that can be sweet or savory. (Many consider pizza to be a kind of pie!) But what is the other “pi”? Why is it important? And, besides sounding alike, does “pi” have anything to do with “pie”? The answers center on one simple shape: the circle!