Bread Mold Science Fair Projects Ideas
by Doug Nicholson
If you’re looking for an interesting science fair project, then you may want to read more about bread mold science fair projects that you can do. They are easy and inexpensive to do but also allow you to follow all the steps of the scientific method.
It helps to first understand a little about mold. Mold is another word for fungi whose bodies gather and congeal together to form cottony vegetative bodies. Not all mold is cottony, however.
Types of slimy mold are more like amoeba than their cottony cousins and leave a moister, slicker mass on the molded surface. However when it comes to bread, you will most always see the drier, threadlike mold.
Mold commonly grows on bread faster in warm, dark, moist conditions.
However, mold can grow in light, and some molds can even grow on frozen foods.
Molds grow in varying conditions, at varying speeds, in every color you can think of.
Not just a disgusting addition to old food, mold can be beneficial in many ways.
One of the most common ways mold is used positively is to make antibiotics such as penicillin.
In 1928, Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin when he found mold growing on a discarded petri dish. The mold itself was not the miracle.
Fleming discovered that the mold that had grown had killed the Staphylococcus aureus that he’d been growing in that particular petri dish.
The rest is history!
Now that you know a little more about bread mold, you can use the ideas below to help you find potential bread mold science fair projects.
Does sodium have an effect on the growth of bread mold?
How and why does mold form on bread?
Is bread mold harmful to the human body if consumed? Why?
What are the optimal conditions for growing bread mold? Why?
Does light have an effect on the growth of bread mold? If so, what kind?
Do certain types of breads mold faster than others?
How to grow bread mold…
Take a cotton swab and collect some dust. Wipe the dust over the bread slices you want to experiment with.
Place them in a bag with a few drops of water and seal the bag so the slices don’t dry out.
Now you know a little more about bread mold and the types of experiments you can do. You may have an idea of what you’d like to try as a project.
Simply by asking questions about things that interest you, you can come up with great bread mold science fair projects that can be fun to do!
About The Author
Doug Nicholson is a nuclear engineering technician, science hobbyist, and amateur inventor.
Visit his site science projects resources for some more science fair projects ideas and articles.
What you need:
What you do:
What you do:
These are worms are fun for kids to make
and can be used as gifts, to decorate gifts, planters, etc…
Crafts for Kids: Homemade Bird Feeders
by James Hunt
There is nothing more enjoyable than eating breakfast and watching birds
flutter and dance outside the kitchen window on a snowy morning.
Unfortunately, while children often wonder at the birds and wish to take
part in helping to feed them, there is rarely anything a child can do to
help. Here are a couple of suggestions to help them get involved and to let
them make their own special bird feeders.
Most children hate eating crusts of bread, but birds love them. Next time,
rather than tossing the crust, hand them over to your child with a pencil or
straw and have them poke a hole through the slices, about 1 inch from the
top. If they wish, food coloring can be used to lightly dab some color on
their bread slices, letting them make special designs for their bird
friends. The bread should then be left to sit on the counter overnight so
that it will dry out. The next day, thread a piece of yarn through them,
hang the bread from the branches of a nearby tree and watch feathered
friends flock to their new bird feeders.
With a string of yarn, a straw, and some Cheerios, even small children can
help create these fun bird feeders. Take the yarn (about 24 inches works
well) and tie it around the middle of the straw. This will provide a base,
allowing your child to thread the yarn through the cereal, not only making
an effective bird feeder, but helping develop motor skills. When they have
threaded the cereal up to the top, carefully hold the top of the string and
then untie the bottom from the straw. Knot the two of these ends together,
forming a circlet of cereal, which can be hung outside as a great bird
snack. This can also be done using different colored fruit cereals, helping
your child with repetitive pattern exercises.
Letting your child become more involved in tasks like this, not only helps
them learn but gives them a sense of responsibility as well. Have them keep
track of how long it takes for their homemade bird feeders, so they know
when it will be time to make more. Have them make charts or draw pictures
of what kinds of birds come to their feeders and let them look through
books, to identify who their new feathered friends are. Not only will the
birds thank you, but your kids will have a great time too.
James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher
covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest.
Read more at
Halloween Art Projects For Kids
Fall is just around the corner, and with the cooler weather
comes more inside time for the little ones. Naturally, they’re
going to need something fun and creative to keep them busy.
Help your kids prepare for Halloween by constructing these
adorable craft projects! They’re easy and fun to make and the
kiddos will love displaying them for the holiday.
Egg Carton Spiders
What you will need:
Cardboard egg carton
Something to poke small holes
Cut the egg cups out of a cardboard egg carton. Cut pipe
cleaners into 3 inch sections. To make each spider, poke four
pipe cleaners through each cup sideways. Bend the ends to look
like eight spider legs. Paint the spiders black or in any
wildly creative way you want! After the paint has dried, attach
a length of elastic thread to the middle of each spider. Have
fun holding your thread and bouncing your scary spider up and
down as you take it for a walk!
Plastic Bag Ghost
What you’ll need:
White plastic trash bags
Blow up/inflate the balloons and cover each one with a trash
bag. With the string, gather and tie each bag under the balloon
to make a head. Using your markers, draw a spooky face on the
trash bag. Be as creative as you can …make a scary face or a
funny face. Whatever you want! Attach a piece of string to the
top of your ghosts and display them all around your house and
About The Author: For more crafts and activities for your children, visit www.ShowKidsTheFun.com. And don’t miss Free Online Preschool Themes showmomthemoneyfor more fun ideas to spend time with your children.
Kids Activities – 10 Inspiring Ideas For A Rainy Day
by Lindsay Small
There is nothing worse than a rainy day in the middle of the
school holidays, when children are cooped up inside, you have
nothing planned, and the inevitable cries of "I’m bored" are
not far away! Keep this list of rainy day activities ready for
just such a day. Older children may enjoy choosing from the
1. Sort through the toy cupboard:
It’s surprising how much fun this can be! Get everyone together
and aim to clear one shelf or drawer. You will probably find
that old treasures are rediscovered, odd pieces can be thrown
away, and some things will be ready to be passed down or sold.
If you are not sure whether to get rid of some of the toys, try
packing them away in a box and hiding them in a dark corner of
the cupboard for a few months. When they come out again they
will either cause a sensation, or not – which will make it easy
to decide on their fate!
2. Record the sounds around you:
Get out the tape recorder and make a project out of recording
everyday sounds. Try water running in the bath, someone ringing
the bell and opening the door, or flushing the toilet! It
certainly makes you think about things a little differently
than usual. Suggest that some friends or neighbors do the same
thing and then get together to see if you can identify each
3. Make a story tape:
Grab that tape recorder and a blank cassette, find a story you
enjoy, and make your own story tape! Each child can read for a
while, or can take on the part of a particular character. Make
the appropriate noises too! You will probably have to practice
a few times to get the hang of it, and be prepared for lots and
lots of giggles! Tip: a homemade story tape makes a great
present for a child who has to go to hospital or is bedridden
for a time.
4. Have a jigsaw afternoon:
Get out all your jigsaws and invite some friends around with
theirs too! Clear plenty of space and have a marathon jigsaw
session. Some libraries have jigsaws you can borrow too, and
you can often find jigsaws for sale very cheaply at charity
shops (thrift stores) and car boot sales (garage sales). Tip:
if you buy your jigsaws second-hand and the box has seen better
days, cut out the picture and store it in a re-sealable bag with
all the pieces.
5. Have a mammoth junk modeling session with friends:
Invite a few families around and ask them to bring their
craft-cupboard junk with them – boxes, containers, and other
bits and pieces. You provide glue, sticky-tape, scissors, and
encouragement. You could make houses, or creatures, or boats,
or modern art – or you could all combine together to make one
6. Make a card house:
If you don’t know any good card games or haven’t anyone to play
with, try building a card house! Start by balancing two cards
against each other so that they stand up in an inverted
V-shape. Take it from there!
7. Make an indoor obstacle course:
Check with an adult that this is OK first! Use easily movable
furniture (kitchen chairs, coffee tables) to mark out a course.
Create a tunnel to crawl through with a blanket draped over low
tables, or space cushions around the room to use as
stepping-stones. You will have lots more ideas!
8. Practice balancing:
Balancing is fun! Try walking the length of the room with a
book on your head. When you can do that, try balancing two or
three – then add a cuddly toy to the very top!
9. Create an indoor den:
A few blankets and tablecloths can create the most wonderful
indoor den. Drape blankets between sofas and chairs, over
stepladders and clothes-dryers, or tie the ends to cupboard
knobs and door handles. Once the den is created find some
special snacks, coloring pages and pencils, a CD player and
music, a torch or two, and camp out for a while!
10. Play with string:
Older children can create some wonderful inventions with a ball
of string and their imagination! A toilet roll and a sloping
length of string make a great message chute or rocket. Get some
action toys involved too: try making them a lift (elevator) out
of a box or a basket and hoist them up! Adults should supervise
constantly if there are younger kids around.
About The Author: Lindsay Small is the author of Boredom
Busters for Kids activities for kids like those above. Find it at
Our Favorite Science Links for Kids
Hobbyscience is not responsible for links to third party sites and accepts no responsibility for their content. No connection or association between hobbyscience and the linked sites or their owners should be presumed.
12/21/16 …Michael Hervas wishes to share the following link to an amazing infograhic featured at PSYSCI:
Why Kids Should Science More
Check it out!
5/5/16 … Thank you to MS Andrews for the safety resource link here on tornado safety for adults and Kids:
SafeStars – Tornado Safety
|02/13/12 … Thanks to Amy B for recommending these links for earth science, water cycles:
Erosion Wind Water and Ice
Water Cycle, for Kids
Water in Atmosphere
|04/05/14 … Thanks to Jamie B. of Mrs. Willman’s Science Tutor Group for the following links to more on water studies.
All About the Water Cycle
Wellsville Water Treatment Plant -Links
The Water Page
|K&J Magnetics – FAQs||Metal Dino Puzzle||Blue Bear Wood
|Vat19 Free Arts and Crafts Video Clips||Plesiosauria||Activity TV|
|Arbor Scientific||Science Made Fun|
|American Antigravity||Interactive Sound Lab||Frogs and Toads|
|All About Flies||Smart Neurons||Nature’s Odyssey|
|Science 4 Fun||Science News for Kids||Science Fair Info|
|NG Geography Action||Science Stuff||Weather Wiz Kids|
|Apogee Rockets||Energizer Learning Center||Thinking Fountain|
|Bats4Kids||Bizarre Stuff||School Homework Help|
|Solar System Simulator||American Sign Language Alphabet||Cool Math|
|How Stuff Works||Minax Tarantulas||Tommy Cox’s Model Rocketry Page|
|The Official Young Astronaut Program||Bill Nye the Science Guy||Enchanted Learning|
|Reeko’s Mad Scientist Lab||Sandlot Science||Cool Science for Curious Kids|
|Weather Dude||Ask Jeeves For Kids||Hubble Space Telescope|
|EEK!||Insect World||Vocano World/Kid’s Door|
|American Museum of Natural History||MadSci Network||Bubblesphere|
|Odyssey||Birch Aquarium at Scripps||Coastal Briefs|
|Weather Science Experiments for Children||The National Zoo||The Boomerwolf|
|Amazon Interactive||Magic School Bus Page||Virtual Frog Dissection|
|EPA Explorer’s Club||Amazing Kids!||Science Fair Projects|
|The Science Club||Kids Corner Rainforest Action Network||The Wild Thornberrys|
|Bat Conservation Intl.,Inc||Fun Science for Kids||Ask Dr. Universe|
|Sci4Kids||Neill’s Geology for Kids||Kid Science|
|Jurassic Classroom||KiddyHouse.com||Math All Around Us|
|Nasa Kids||Popular Mechanics for Kids||Quillo’s Online Zoo|
|Earth From Space||Science Made Simple||The Science Explorer|
Science and Misc Cool Stuff Resource Links for Parents:
Model Rockets at 321 Rockets.com
|Stephen Hawking’s Universe||Edmund Scientific Co.||Science News|
|The Raven Project||Whatis||KidsHealth|
|Bot Skool||Magnetic Energy Vids||Ultimate Teacher Resource|
|Crafty Moms||Arbor Scientific|
|Smart Neurons||The ButterRum Cartoon||Coop My Chicken|
|AskLand Scientific||Keelynet||Puzzles HQ|
|Lab Essentials, Inc||Discover This||KidMagnet|
|National Geographic:Habitat Teachers Guide||Science Stuff||Bad Science|
|Nova||Computer Tips||Magnetized Frog Defies Gravity|
|Brainbench Tests||CPR Steps||Sonoluminescence</td|
|Helping Your Child Learn Science||The Exploratorium||Mars News|
|Periodic Table Challenge||Inventors||Volcano World|
|Robotics Lab||Biospherics||Star Trails Society|
|ER1 Personal Robot System||Science Art & More Inc.||SciTechNews|
|Conceiving a Clone||pending||pending|
|The Lemelson.MIT Awards Program||Rainforest Action Network||SAMI Science Resources|
|Science Hobbyist||Oceanography, Top to Bottom|
|Bizarre Stuff||New Stuff||EncycloZine|
|Your Dictionary||World Wide Earthquake Locator||Alaska Science Forum|
|Rosemary Scott Vohs’ Storytelling Links||Encopresis||Hobbyspace|
Richard W. shared these links – “Fire safety is an important – and frankly, a lifesaving – topic, whether we’re talking about fires that start in the home or those that ignite outside”:
© Hobbyscience (hobby science) www.hobbyscience.com
What you need:
What you do:
Using vinegar and a raw egg.
Put an unbroken egg into a jar filled with vinegar(make sure to cover egg completely). Within about 24 hours the shell will dissolve leaving the inner intact and "flubbery". Carefully remove the egg from the jar and rinse with clear water. The egg will be intact and squishy soft.
What do you think will happen?
Remember to record what happens – take notes
Shows how vinegar eats thru, dissolves calcium.
Hold it up to a light and look in!
Draw what you see
Cut into it. What do you think you’ll find? Is the yolk firm or squishy?
Try this using other materials and conditions,
Words to look up
The reaction of the eggshell and the vinegar is an acid-base reaction.
Calcium carbonate, (a base), that makes up the shell reacts with the vinegar (acid) to make carbon dioxide.
The vinegar breaks apart the solid calcium carbonate crystals which the eggshell is made of, into their calcium and carbonate parts.
The calcium ions (ions are atoms that are missing electrons) float free, and the carbonate makes carbon dioxide – this is where you see those bubbles.
Shan, age 14
More Egg Projects:
Easy Egg Science Projects by Doug Nicholson
In this article we will look at some interesting experiments and science fair projects you can easily do with eggs from the refrigerator. You will discover that the common egg has some amazing properties you might not be aware of.
There are a number of egg science projects you can do but I will mention just a few here to spark your interest. I’m sure you will be able to think of many more by using a little imagination.
The Egg Drop Science Experiment
For this experiment you will come up with a way to cushion an egg in a small container so it doesn’t break when dropped from a certain height. You can use something like a small coffee can that leaves enough room for your packaging around the egg to protect it from the fall.
You will need to do a little research to determine what might be suitable materials to keep the egg from breaking. Lots of room to experiment here for sure with different materials and arrangements of the egg in the container.
Do all your drop tests from a set height such as six to eight feet. Also drop the container on the same surface each time to keep your results consistent. As always with any science project, keep records of what you did and the results of each drop test.
The Crushing Strength Egg Science Project
One very interesting feature of eggs is their strength. That strength though is very dependent on the orientation of the egg to the force or weight that is applied to it.
So for this experiment you will determine if eggs are stronger lying flat or standing upright. You may also get an idea of how much stronger they are in one position than the other. I think you will find this very surprising just how much a difference the position of the egg makes.
What you will need for this egg science project:
1. An empty egg carton
2. Some books
3. A couple of small trash bags
4. Some tape
5. A scale to weigh the books(optional)
Remove the top from the carton and place four eggs toward the center and in a rectangular arrangement. Leave a space between them on each row. Place a plastic bag on the table under the carton. Place the other bag over the eggs.
Now start placing books on the eggs one at a time. Make sure they are even and don’t tip over. See how many you can place before an egg breaks. Weigh all the books used if you have a scale. You now have an idea of their strength end-to-end.
Test their strength lying flat:
Place a bag on the table and make four loops of tape with the sticky side out. Place the tape on the bag in about the same arrangement as the eggs were in the carton. This is to keep the eggs from rolling around.
Place another bag over the eggs and then start placing books. How many books did it take before an egg broke. Weigh the books if you have a scale. You now know whether eggs are stronger upright or lying flat. And you have an idea how much stronger they are in that one position than the other.
I hope you enjoyed these experiments and use your imagination to develop even more interesting egg science projects you can do at home.
About the Author: Doug Nicholson is a nuclear engineering technician, science hobbyist, and amateur inventor. Visit his site science-projects-resources.com for lots more Science Fair Project Ideas and articles.
What they look like:
The females have a lump on their abdomen which is a egg sack.
They are brown but most are different browns.
The babies are much smaller than the adults.
Most of the females are larger than the males.
When they shed their skin or die then they are really dark brown or black.
The baby sea monkeys quickly eat their food at the bottom of the tank.
The males eat more than the females.
Female sea monkeys swim around as they eat.
Sea monkeys eat algae and you have to give them growth food once or twice a week.
About the Babies:
The babies sometimes swim to the top of the tank and then go back down.
Most of the babies act like they are playing tag with each other.
If the babies’ tank is covered with a cloth for a long time, then if you shone a light then they would follow it.
The babies start out as eggs.
Sea Monkey Care
Every day you have to give the sea monkeys fresh air because they need air.
Once or twice a week you have to feed them their growth food.
You always need them to be at the right temperature or else they will die.
The scientific name for sea monkey is Artemia Salina.
Most sea monkeys mate when they are 4 to 6 weeks old.
Some sea monkeys live up to 2 years old.
If you let the water they live in evaporate, then the salt content might make it too salty and all the sea monkeys might die.
Sea Monkeys have one eye when they are born and eventually they grow two more eyes making three!
In addition, they breathe through their feet!
Sea Monkeys molt their shells. The molts look kind of a transparent/white. They molt their shell up to seven times during their lifetime.
National Sea-Monkey day is May 16th!
A visitor, (HocusPocus – 11/04/07), shared the following:
I have a neat experiment for older kids
Does the salinity of water affect the hatch rate (and/or survivability) of brine shrimp?
You would need to test a range, you can use 16 once water bottles. (brine shrimp eggs are found in the fish section of larger pet stores, they are fish food. I wouldn’t use “Sea-monkeys” as they are expensive and you can’t measure out exact numbers of eggs to put into the water. Get a large package of marine salt and some brine shrimp food (also found near the brine shrimp eggs) if you want to turn the shrimp into pets, if not, I suppose you could let them die off, but that’s a bit mean, since they are extremely cute and easily cared for.
Get a hydrometer and follow the recommended salinity on the brine shrimp egg package for a few controls, make sure all the water is the same temp and quality (bottled is best, like a few gallons of distilled water) Then alter the salinity up and down for each new group, do maybe 3 bottles of each group (four groups would be best, as more 12 bottles is pretty hard to keep perfectly controlled) then you can record how many eggs hatch and how many of the zoea ultimately survive a certain period of time (2 weeks is a good goal, if you are feeding them of course) then you can see how specific salinity levels affect the survival rate and hatch rate of brine shrimp!
… also some further information on Sea Monkeys from HokusPokus: (11/04/07)
The Aquarium that comes with the kit’s is large enough to safely hold around 75 monkeys, it can contain up to 100, but they generally are not happy and some may die. If your tank does have that many monkey’s in it, you should use the large end of the spoon and just make sure the water is clear (not milky or green) before feeding again. You can “upgrade” your sea monkeys to a mansion home by doing the following: Get a 1/2 gallon goldfish bowl (the tank you get with most kits is about 1/4 gallon) or a 1 gallon goldfish bowl, do not go any larger, or your monkey’s will be lost in the space! If you do 1/2 gallon, get two kit’s of instant life, the kit with just the three packets, the spoon and the magnifier, for 1 gallon, get 4 kits.
You can also get a ceramic fishbowl castle, as something for the monkey’s to do in such a large tank. Anyway, wash out the bowl 2 times in hot tap water, once in cold tap water and then once again in bottled water, THEN do the same thing with the ceramic castle. Put the castle in the bowl and fill it to about an inch below the lip (opening) with distilled water, stir in all four (or two if doing 1/2 gallon) packets of water purifier, wait 36 hours (since it is such a large tank, it takes longer to work) then carefully mix in all the packets of eggs, one at a time. The water HAS to be at 70-78 degrees, so you need to get a thermometer and probably a lamp to set the bowl under constantly.
After a few hours (or days, up to about 10 days) you will finally see the babies with the magnifiers that came in the kit, it helps to place a piece of black fabric or paper behind the tank at first until they get bigger. You will have to feed them with the large spoon, because there will be a lot of them, and you may need to feed every 3-4 days if they eat a lot, You will know when they need to be fed and when they don’t by this simple check, if the water is clear and the monkeys are all white or pink, feed one large scoop, if the water is milky or greenish, OR if the monkeys have a dark stripe, usually green or brown, in the middle of their bodies, running from head to tail, they do not need food. But do not feed them for the first 5 days.
You will have to aerate a whole lot (3-4 times a day) as sea monkey’s run out of air fast or you can get a very small aquarium pump (like the kind for 5 gallon aquariums or smaller) and a length of air tubing and a bubble stone. You should also get a flow restrictor to control how hard the air flows, too much air flow can kill the helpless babies, or you can tie a tight knot in the tubing. This seems like a lot of work and it can be pricey, but you will be really rewarded with your very large sea monkey family! Up to 200 monkeys in a 1/2 gallon or 400 in a 1 gallon! How about telling your friends you have 400 pets!!!!! Try naming them all.
Sea Monkeys got their name from other aquatic animals like for example: Sea Cow Sea Lion Sea Horse SEA MONKEYS!
sent in by Holly Riggs 02-04-08
Sea monkeys are a type of Brine shrimp which means that they’re a type of shrimp!
sent by Holly Riggs 03-16-08
So, what was the trilobite and what about it inspires such fondness among students of all ages? Could it be its unusual body armor that allowed for unique defense mechanisms?
Perhaps it’s the almost friendly appearance, with its prominent "face." Or is it simply because of its broad diversity among the remnants of a long extinct species?
A close look at this ancient creature reveals a certain familiarity, sharing characteristics with modern-day species known to us all.
Arthropods of Distinction
I’ve already mentioned that the trilobite was one of the first arthropods.
Arthropods still exist today, of course; they are those creepy, crawly bugs that invite themselves to our picnics (ants, spiders, mosquitoes, and the like) or the crusty seafood delicacy that occasionally graces our tables.
(Take your pick, shrimp, lobster or crayfish: all arthropods!) The trilobite earned its place among the arthropods because it had a hard exoskeleton, a body that had at least a couple of sections, and jointed legs.
It’s pretty easy to observe the hard exoskeleton in a trilobite fossil. It’s the part that turned to stone!
That process is another whole story, but the important part is that in the trilobites, the exoskeleton was so distinctive that paleontologists use the characteristics to help place the trilobites into different groups for classification.
The trilobite has three easily identifiable sections: the head or cephalon, the thorax, and the pygidium or posterior section.
One might suspect the trilobite to be named for these three sections, but it was not. Its name, "trilobite" means three-lobed, referring to the three lobes that run head to tail: an axial lobe through the center and two pleural lobes on either side, left and right.
This 3-lobed characteristic is common to all species of trilobite, even though the appearance of the three body sections can vary greatly.
Trilobites declined in numbers during the second half of the Paleozoic. The Permian Period was the last period of the Paleozoic Era. It ended in an event called the Permian Mass Extinction.
Many animals including the trilobites disappeared at this time.
About The Author
Claudia Mann is a teacher and a contributor to http://www.fossils-facts-and-finds.com where you can find out more about trilobites.
Claudia and her husband own http://www.fossilicious.com, where you can find trilobites and other fossils at great prices.
Cool Science Shopping
Cool Metal T-Rex Puzzle!
Made in Bellingham, WA
How To Make A Tin Can Luminary By Rachel Paxton
A tin can luminary is a fun, easy craft project for all ages. They are great for any holiday and only limited by your imagination! You can transfer any simple shape onto a tin can to create a beautiful candle holder for any occasion.
I chose to make luminaries for Christmas this year. You can choose any simple design to transfer onto your tin can. I used a favorite clip art program on my computer to look for easy Christmas designs to print out. I chose a Christmas tree, a snowman, and a pair of gingerbread men.
Here’s what you need to get started:
Empty tin cans (washed and labels removed)
Design to transfer onto can
It is easiest to punch the holes in your tin can if you freeze some water in it first. Fill the can with water, leaving 1/4 inch space at the top for the ice to expand. Place in freezer until frozen. Your can may bulge a little at the bottom while in the freezer, but after you remove the ice you can use the hammer to flatten out the bottom of the can.
You might want to freeze a couple more cans then you think you’ll need in case you make a mistake and have to start over again.
After the ice has frozen, take the tin can from the freezer and tape your design to the can. I used packing tape, but you can also use duct tape. The tape won’t stick to the cold can, but you can wrap the tape all the way around the can so it will stick to the paper.
If you don’t have a design on paper, you can also draw a design on the can freehand with a permanent marker. You can also just punch the design freehand without drawing it first.
Lay the can on a folded dish towel so the towel will catch the ice chips that try to escape. It will also hold the can in place. Using the hammer and nail, tap holes around the border of your design, trying to punch holes evenly and not too close together. You want a simple design so that when you see only the holes in the can you will be able to tell what it is!
After punching the holes, remove the paper and tape and admire your design. It is really so easy! If you plan to hang your luminary, also punch two holes at the top of the can. You can make a handle out of wire (from a craft store) or a wire coat hanger.
Place the tin can under running warm water to melt the ice. Dry the can with a towel and place a votive candle in the bottom. You will need a long lighter or match to light the candle.
To further decorate your tin can luminary, you can spray paint the can any color you wish. Be creative!
This is a great family project. Just make sure kids have adult supervision while using the hammer and nails. Have fun!
Photos of finished project:
About the Author: Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom. For more recipes, organizing tips, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at creativehomemaking.com
Do you recall your very first plant? Your first garden? Perhaps
it was the geranium seeds you planted in a milk carton or
Styrofoam cup as part of a class project. Perhaps, if you were
lucky, it was your own corner of your parent’s garden, staked
out and set up just for the plants that you chose. My own
garden memories include experiments with watermelon seeds
(under the back porch where no one would step on them and
where, with no sun, they never grew), orange seeds (the ones in
the garden never sprouted. The one I started in a paper cup on a
window sill still grows in my mother’s back yard) and packets of
all sorts of flower seeds.
Instilling a love of gardening in children gives them a
lifelong gift on which they can draw – for pleasure, for
sustenance and to add creativity and joy to their lives. There
are so many garden-related activities and experiments that you
can do with a garden. It boggles the mind that so many
resources and references to gardening with children concentrate
on "building a sunflower house" when there are so many more
creative ways to introduce children to the pure fun of
Packets of seeds that are labeled "kid gardens" are one way to
go about it – they do usually contain seeds for plants that
grow quickly, at least in grownup terms. For a child, though,
ten days is an eternity. Instead, take a trip to the local
nursery with your child and let them pick one or two flats of
flowers already in bloom. Invest a few dollars in a garden
trowel and fork, and help your child transplant the seedlings
into his own flower bed. That’s the sort of work/reward ratio
that a child understands: one afternoon of digging and planting
equals a flower garden. As the weeks go on, you’ll find their
interest is maintained because they’re into the FUN part of
gardening – watering, picking, and enjoying.
When they’re ready to start from seed, include them in early
spring seed starting. Instead of buying plants, let them plant
them inside to be ready to transplant in a few weeks. Take a
tip from science teachers everywhere – plant several flats in
regular trays, but plant one very special "demonstrator". Fill
a glass with soil, poke seeds down into the dirt against the
side of the glass and put it on a sunny windowsill. Your child
will have the fascination of watching what happens underground
as his seedlings grow – the seed pod splitting, the roots
spreading, and finally, the miracle of the first tiny shoots
pressing upward toward the light and heat.
There are other very easy gardening projects that yield quick
results for children, projects that have the bonus of being
"winter-ready". Cut up a potato, making sure that each chunk
contains at least one eye. Plant it in a cup of dirt with the
eye facing up – and watch it grow. You can do the same with an
onion … just bury the onion in soil with the crown showing. It
will only take days for the shoots to turn green and begin
For more fun gardening ideas for kids, pick up a science
activity book. You’ll find a world of growing and gardening
experiments that children can try, including the ever popular
"cucumber in a bottle" trick.
About The Author: This article courtesy of
Check out Hobbyscience’s Book of Dirt web pages pending
Youtube video by GardenGuy06
Kids Seed Planting Projects
During the clear night sky and as long as the city lights are not close or bright enough to interfere with your naked eye vision, it is always a good idea to grab a blanket and some candles and head to your house’s roof or the nearest hill.
Admiring the stars is not an exclusive activity kids are only allowed to perform, but it can be something you can share with them while introducing them to the unknown world of the universe.
If your child has already looked up gazing the moon and the stars and has asked you all sort of questions regarding their characteristics, their special stories and the interpretation of their slow movements, you should invest some time during a Saturday night to take your kids to the countryside and show them the stars while they awe and wonder on how these “pins” are stuck on the dark sky and why they are not visible during the day.
Introducing your child to the marvels above their heads can be a tremendously educative experience your kids will love to repeat as soon as possible.
Even your back yard is an ideal place to begin the learning journey that can last a lifetime. But parents support that most of the times getting started is the hardest part of this process.
If your young child has not yet learned the basics, then it is probably wisely to throw on your yard’s lawn some blankets and invite your children to join you under the stars.
Asking first questions, before trying to explain how things are, can assist you to figure out what they should learn first and begin teaching them the first astronomy lesson in their lives.
After locating the sky’s landmarks try asking questions that will excite your children and will motivate them to want to find out more. You can begin by locating the most easily recognizable element of the sky, the Moon before attempt to begin explaining why although the moon does not spin around itself, we actually see a portion of it every day until we are able to admire it as a whole.
Furthermore you can look for other landmarks in the sky, like stars, in order to begin explaining the astronomical constellations.
Your children will be thrilled to be able to admire such interesting scenery simply by looking at the moon’s surface and create imaginative stories for the stars.
While children are still in elementary and middle school, they are more already exposed to stars and constellations. But the number of constellations and stars we are able to see each year is actually a very small number out of the plethora of stars in the sky.
But if your last present to your teenager kid was a pair of binoculars, then things become even simpler. Bring a book about astronomy (suitable for your kids age) and begin reading and explaining to your children what you are reading really means.
Remember that outdoor learning activities can be as simple as noting the time and location of sunset and moon rise, and as complicated as finding the names of the brightest stars in the sky during a clear night. Of course, you can repeat it as often as you like if the weather permits such outdoor activities for a family to get together.
But even if the weather conditions do not allow you to go out and admire the night sky, next to a good pair of eyes, the Internet is the backyard stargazer’s best friend. Today, you will be able to find here are almost as many great websites devoted to astronomy as there are stars in the sky.
About The Author
Kadence Buchanan writes articles for livingtheoutdoorslife
This article is reprinted here courtesy of PromotionalEzineArticles.com and is the property of the author.
Astronomy As A Hobby By Yvonne Volante
Beginners in amateur astronomy are faced with a number of different challenges. One of the most daunting is the choice of a telescope. There are countless to choose from and too often there is minimum information on selecting the best one to buy for your specific needs and wants. Clearly, numerous newcomers to the hobby of amateur astronomy are often bewildered by the numerous types of telescopes available on the market.
Astronomy is a fun hobby in which numerous enthusiasts just enjoy looking up at the sky. But if you are more serious than that, then you will need to pick out a telescope. Books and magazines about amateur astronomy are written which can be a good root of information. Some of the additional popular magazines are Astronomy Magazine, Astronomy Now, and Popular Astronomy. You will find clearly written, authoritative, and scientifically sound articles that will cover both science and hobby activities in amateur astronomy. But you will need a reliable astronomy telescope to enjoy the fascinating hobby of star gazing. The professionally made telescope had become a big part of the hobby. Interestingly, some people even focus on amateur telescope making as their primary interest within the hobby of amateur astronomy.
For more information on telescopes, visit yesastronomy.com
In addition to books and magazines, you will be able to get acceptable advice at a local retailer that sells telescopes. Beware, however, that the thoughts you get at a retailer will be biased towards the products and brands that they carry. Another interesting thought is the astronomy club in your local space. Membership is usually open to all those interested in pursuing astronomy as a hobby. They are the best opportunity for people new to the hobby of Amateur Astronomy to ask questions.
Numerous regional star parties are now held by the local clubs and are an essential part of the hobby of amateur astronomy. And for a fledgling beginner to this fascinating hobby of amateur astronomy, there are countless beautiful objects to "discover" for the first time. And, since the hobby of amateur astronomy is one of sharing views with friends and strangers, you are sure to meet numerous new friends who will share your passion and curiosity.
Fortunately the organizations that have formed around amateur astronomy are truly outstanding and helpful. Because of this, the lines between professional and amateur astronomy are slowing blurring. You’ll be surprised how much useful data there is among the members of your local club. Since viewing of stars and other heavenly bodies is adversely affected by light pollution, clubs will also know the best places from which to enjoy your hobby.
For many “astronomers,” the mysteries of the heavens is what draws them to this hobby. Many enthusiasts acclaim that the hobby of amateur astronomy adds a sense of order as well as one of anticipation to life. Is this overly dramatic? Perhaps, but if you have any curiosity at all in the fascinating hobby of astronomy, join an astronomy club, get some magazines and books, and talk to some retailers about how best to approach this bang-up activity. You’ll be glad you did.
About the Author: Yvonne Volante, the author, is a big fan of star-gazing and writes for yesastronomy.com, which is the premier astronomy resource on the internet. You can see all of the articles over at yesastronomy.com
YouTube Videos – Amateur Astronomy for Beginners by truemartian
If your youngster is showing interest in stargazing and astronomy, a kids telescope can get them started with their new hobby without a large investment. Realize that a kids telescope is not a toy, but a fully functioning beginner telescope without all the advanced features.
Giving your youngster a kids telescope will let them know that you support their interest in astronomy and see it as a worthwhile endeavor. A real telescope, even without all the features, can give your child or grandchild a head start in learning about the universe and star systems.
Investing in a Kids Telescope
While you can purchase a child telescope for under $25, these are really more of a toy than a functioning astronomy telescope. A real basic beginner telescope can be purchased for around $100 and can provide the young astronomer with a gateway to the heavens. If you wish to invest a little more, a good starter telescope with some of the more advanced features, will cost anywhere from $200 to $300. This will provide your youngster with a quality piece of stargazing equipment.
As the child’s interest grows, an investment in a more sophisticated telescope model might be appropriate. For instance, many young astronomers enjoy having the capability to photograph certain star formations or passing comets.
Tips for Buying the Right Child Telescope
Many astronomers and educators recommend a telescope with a longer focal length and separate viewer. This allows the child to find objects much easier and reduces the frustration that can result for the novice astronomer.
There are many cheaper models that offer a focal length of only 30mm or 50mm and will provide a more generalized view of the night sky. However, if you want a telescope that will provide a more detailed picture of the planets, moon and constellations, a 70mm or higher focal length is strongly recommended.
Kids telescopes are available from a number of top-rate optics companies like Meade, Celestron, Bushnell, Orion and many others. Even the Discovery Channel offers an affordable 70mm lens kids telescope with easy set-up and easy-to-use features.
Meade provides some of the best telescopes on the market today and caters to the amateur astronomer ? from beginner to expert levels. For example, a 1000mm focal length telescope with photographic capabilities can be purchased for about $150. This is an excellent choice for the new astronomer because it provides a very good view of the heavens and shows details of the planets and moon that are generally not found with a telescope in this price range. An added bonus is that a 35mm camera can be attached to this telescope that allows your child to preserve those special night sky views on film.
How to Use a Kids Telescope
Reading the instructions for your child’s new telescope can’t be stressed enough. Even the basic kids’ telescopes can be confusing to use the first few times. It is advisable for the parent to read through the instruction manual and help the child astronomer learn the basics of the telescope’s operating features.
A great way to enhance your child’s interest in astronomy is to view the night skies together. There is no better way to bond with your child than by enjoying the same hobbies and actively pursuing them together.
A kids telescope can open up a whole new exciting world to your youngster. It can broaden their understanding of the universe and allow them to be a part of the cosmos beyond just this planet. Why not invest in your child by getting them a kids telescope for fun, education, and a true bonding experience.
Source: www.isnare.com az-order
On a nice warm day or even on a winter day, you and your child can go on a Bug Search!
This is a fun project for kids and it can actually turn into a long term hobby. This hobby includes learning, discovery, journal keeping, common sense, empathy, observation, learning scientific names and classifications as well as the bonus of getting a bit of fresh air and exercise. It can also be a good way of breaking your child away from being in front of the TV or “Gameboy”!
It IS a bug world. They outnumber us and you will be able to discover them almost anywhere. Some good places to look are in empty lots, fields, under leaves, under rocks, in trees, on your front porch, in parks, on the sidewalk in front of your home and well, on a wall, just anywhere! Year around, but especially in the winter some will have come indoors, so your search doesn’t necessarily need to be outdoors!
Put together a list of the kinds of bugs you hope to find and then go look! Check off the ones you find. Take scientific notes!
What you need:
This type of hunt is fun. You put together a list of the kinds of bugs you hope to find and then go look! Check off the ones you find.
Take scientific notes!
Write down your observations about each bug you find in your “Bug Journal”.
Keep your “Bug Journal” with you wherever you go. Leave the bugs where you find them! Be careful about handling bugs. They can possess stingers, pinchers, or fangs!
Here’s a possible bug’s perspective (point of view): If your only means of protection from “giants” was a stinger you would definitely use it! Right?
Remember, if you lift rocks, and other objects to look underneath for crawlies be sure to replace them in a careful manner. These are homes. If you capture and bring home a bug to study remember to return it to the wild when you are done.
Go on “searches” during different times of the year. Note which ones you can find and how many.
What do you notice about winter time? Where do they go when it gets too cold?
Going on Bug Searches can be a fun thing to do in groups and you may even find yourself starting a club featuring this new hobby!
Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Come to My Garden
Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybirds, can be a
gardener’s best friend. The ladybug’s bright coloring brings
welcomed cheer to the garden, as well as helping with pest
control. Since medieval times, ladybugs have been valued by
farmers all over the world. Many believe that the ladybug was
divinely sent to free crops of insect pests. In fact, that is how
the ladybug got its name. People dedicated the bug to the Virgin
Mary and therefore called it "The Bug of our Lady", which was
eventually shortened to the present name "ladybug".
Adult ladybugs are usually oval or domed shaped and have red
wings, yellow wings or shades and variations of these colors. The
number of black spots can range from no spots to 15 spots and
they are typically about one quarter inch in size or smaller.
The length of the life cycle of a ladybug varies depending upon
temperature, humidity, and food supply. Usually the life cycle
from egg to adult is about three to four weeks, and up to six
weeks during the cooler spring months. During the spring the
adult female ladybug can lay up to three hundred eggs in an aphid
colony. The eggs normally hatch in two to five days. The newly
hatched larvae feed on aphids for up to three weeks and then
enter the pupae stage. About one week later, the adult ladybug
emerges. There can be as many as six generations of ladybugs
hatched in a year.
The ladybug enjoys popularity around the world. These pretty
insects have long been considered a symbol of good luck and
fortune because of their ability to eat an enormous amount of
aphids. One ladybug can eat as many as 50 to 60 aphids per day.
Aphids (also called plant lice) are herbivores and are one of the
worst groups of pests on plants. They feed in colonies and damage
plants by sucking the juice out of the leaves, stems, or roots.
While aphids feed, they damage plant tissue creating a loss of
plant fluids and the photosynthetic tissue needed to produce
energy for plant growth. Some plants will show no adverse
response to aphids, while others react with twisted, curled or
swollen leaves or stems. Aphids also transmit many plant diseases
from one plant to another.
Apart from aphids, ladybugs eat a variety of other insects and
larvae including white flies, mealy bugs, spider mites, and other
types of soft-bodied insects. They also require a source of
pollen for food and for that reason are attracted to certain
types of plants. Their preferred plants have umbrella shaped
flowers such as dill, fennel, angelica, tansy, caraway, cilantro,
yarrow, and wild carrot. Other plants that attract ladybugs
include cosmos (especially the white ones), dandelions,
coreopsis, and scented geraniums.
If your garden does not have adequate space to plant ladybug
attracting plants, you can purchase ladybugs from numerous
websites on the internet and most nurseries. Before releasing
them into your garden, here are a few tips to help ensure that
the ladybugs stay where you want them:
1. Release ladybugs near infested plants after sun down or before
sun up. They navigate by the sun and are most likely to stay put
in the evenings and early mornings.
2. Water the area where you are going to release the ladybugs.
They will appreciate the drink and the moisture on the leaves
will help the ladybugs to “stick”; on the plants. If released in a
dry garden, the ladybugs will most likely fly off in search of a
drink instead of sticking around to eat.
3. In the warmer months, chill the ladybugs in the refrigerator
before releasing them. This will not harm the ladybugs and they
tend to crawl more in colder temperatures rather than fly away.
Another way to attract ladybugs to your garden is to place
several ladybug habitation boxes around your garden. Fill the
boxes with organic material such as peat or compost to encourage
ladybugs to roost and lay eggs inside the box. In addition, the
habitation box also provides protection for the ladybugs in the
To further promote ladybug populations, consider cutting back on
spraying insecticides in your garden. Ladybugs are sensitive to
most synthetic insecticides and if the majority of their food
source is gone, they will not lay their eggs and therefore will
not continue to populate.
Here are some interesting ladybug facts:
– There are nearly 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide
and 400 which live in North America.
– A female ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.
– A ladybug beats its wings 85 times a second when it flies.
– A gallon jar will hold from 72,000 to 80,000 ladybugs.
– Ladybugs make a chemical that smells and tastes terrible so
that birds and other predators won’t eat them.
– The spots on a ladybug fade as the ladybug gets older.
– Ladybugs won’t fly if the temperature is below 55 degrees
– The ladybug is the official state insect of Delaware,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Tennessee.
As you can see, the ladybug is one of the most effective and
economically important insects to have in your garden. In some
cultures, seeing ladybugs in gardens indicates a bountiful
harvest, an indication of good weather or a good luck omen.
Create an alluring environment for ladybugs and they are sure to
provide charm and pest control in your garden for years to come.
Copyright 2005 Lesley Dietschy
Lesley Dietschy is the creator/editor of The Home Decor Exchange,
a popular home decor, garden decor, and home improvement website.
Please visit the website for quality resources, articles, ideas,
tips, free projects, and much more. The website also has a
shopping marketplace and a unique Gallery featuring Pine Needle
Baskets and Gourd Art.
Some good insect books:
Want to try raising Earthworms? Go to
HSA’s Mother Earth
This experiment is easy and shows how a rainbow of color is hidden in black.
It makes a colorful and artsy science fair exhibit.
My daughter did this one for her 3rd grade science fair and had lots of fun with it.
What you need:
What you do:
What do you see?
What other things can you use besides coffee filters?
This ink project is open in that you can let the child have fun with colors and end up with a display that is a little like a work of art.
My daughter tried using many different things like the coffee filters, paper strips and string and different ink sources such as marker pens, food dye and paints.
Another fun thing my daughter did was to hang the ends of pieces of cotton string in food color and after a bit see how the color would wick upwards.
The kitchen got a little messy over a course of a week, but she had fun and ended up with some very colorful “tie-dye” looking coffee filters.
She wrote a small bit about how she attained the look. Then at her science fair event she displayed her assortment of coffee filters and the materials/pens, etc. that she’d used, using a cardboard backing with her filters taped to it…
Between the filters on this cardboard she taped her written explanation and labels. The cardboard backdrop was folded so that it would sit up on the table. In front she placed the pens and food dyes used in her “experiment”. During the event she took time standing near her exhibit to explain to passersby a little about her display. This part of the whole experience was very valuable to her, I believe. She was not required to stay at this very long and she really wanted to zoom around and see the other classmates exhibits too! I felt this was a simple and fun display for her to do (3rd grade)…stress and pain free, so to speak. : ) If you look up the words below your child can begin to see how these scientific words tie in.
Words to look up:
Make the Colors Dance – Water and Bonding
It can get messy so do this in or near a sink!
Pour some milk into a dish (a small saucer will do).
Put one drop of food coloring anywhere on the milk, but not in the center of the dish.
Repeat this with the other three colors, making sure not to get the other colors too close to one another.
Now carefully drop one drop of dishwashing soap in the center of the milk and watch what happens. The more fat in the milk the more effective the results.
The colors should start swirling all around the milk in the dish as the bonds in the fat are broken up by the soap.
note: Teaches about surface tension and bonds.
This project from A to z Teacher Stuff
Science Fair Projects – Dirty Air, Pee Yew!
You’re outside in the yard with your family or at the local park. Maybe you’re hanging out with your friends at the mall or skate park. A typical beautiful day; having fun, keeping busy, staying healthy.
But wait! What are you breathing in as you go about your typical day? Everyday you are breathing the air around you, wherever you happen to be. You can’t see it but you can feel it as you breath and sometimes you can smell it.
But what is it? Does it matter? Can air quality affect your health? Yes! The air your breath does matter. Even though you can’t see it and sometimes can’t smell it, the air around you can contain toxic particles that can make you sick.
A simple experiment will let you know exactly what you’re breathing and what it can mean to your health.
Our lungs absorb oxygen from the air and pass it into our blood stream so it can be transported throughout our bodies.
Oxygen is important for our whole body as it provides energy we need to survive.
Did you know that in industrial areas you are more likely to develop asthma? It ‘s also true that smokers are more likely to suffer from lung disease.
Years of breathing particles of tar and smoke found in cigarettes and cigars can cause the lung tissue to develop cancer which can lead to premature death.
How clean is the air where you live? What about around your school, where you play at the park, or where you work? Is the air at a park cleaner than air near a busy intersection?
You can do a simple earth science experiment with Vaseline to find out the answers to these questions.
Here are the procedures for a simple project you can do to determine how good or bad the air is where you live, go to school and play. This would also make a great experiment for your school science fair!
You will need some Vaseline, string, a milk carton, and a magnifying glass. These are your first steps:
– Clean and dry the carton thoroughly before use.
– Cut the carton into four flat pieces by cutting along the side seams of the carton.
– Cut each side into 3 square pieces, each piece will be approximately 3 inches long and 3 inches wide. You will have a total of 12 squares when you are done.
– Punch a hole in one corner of each square.
– Tie a piece of string through the hole to make a loop for hanging the square up, on a tree branch for example.
Next, make a data sheet to record where you place your squares, and what data you will collect from them:
– Using a black marker, draw a box about 1 inch square in the middle of the inside of each of the carton pieces.
– Use three squares for each location, Write the name of the location on the bottom of each square.
Then, pick three areas where you spend most of your time. In your backyard, in the school yard, where you shop, where you play, your local park. Try to pick three days without rain or place the collection squares in sheltered spots:
– Hang up three of your collection squares from a tree branch, sign post, light post, or any other safe landmark.
– Spread a thin layer of Vaseline in the black box in the center of each square with your finger.
After three days collect your data from the squares:
– Remove the squares one at a time. Each time, use your magnifying glass to count the number of visible particles you see stuck in the Vaseline inside the boxed area.
– Write the number in your data table.
– For each location you will have collected three sets of data, so you will want to average the data to get a better result. Add the three counts and write the number down. Then divide that number by three to get your average number.
The particles collected are what you are breathing in everyday. Many people are surprised by the number of particles collected. Which sites had the most particulate matter in the air? Were each of your three counts the same or different? What does this tell you about the air quality at each location?
Other project variations could include comparing air samples before and after a rainy day; are there less particles?
Though the number of particles collected can be alarming other environmental factors help filter the air such as plants.
A NASA earth science study determined that indoor plants in a closed, controlled environment were able to extract pollutants from the air. The foliage of indoor plants was capable of removing low levels of pollution, while plant roots, assisted by an activated carbon filter, removed air pollutants at higher concentrations.
These filters around plant roots removed and biologically degraded pollutants before they accumulated.
A follow up science project could be the study of plants in different locations to determine the amount of pollution in an area. Plants near industrial areas tend to grow slower and be less healthy because they are soaking up polluted particles in the area.
The subject of dirty air and how it effects people and plants make great science fair project material that are sure to be a hit at your school science fair!
About the Author
Mort Barish is co-founder of Terimore Institute, Inc. science fair projects with step-by-step guides for children in grades K-12 to help them learn more about science.
Wind & Rain Projects for Kids
… a collection of fun and easy science
and craft projects.
Try Out this weather Station!
Make an Anemometer
An anemometer is an instrument for measuring wind force and velocity/speed.
This project Will require the assistance of an adult.
* * * * * * * * *
What you need:
plastic eggs halves or plastic cups
empty thread spool, – 1 1/2″ diameter
four 1/8″ dowels, (7″ long)
one 3″ long piece of tubing – 1/4″ diameter)..
we used a pencil, you could recycle an empty
pen casing or ?
plastic tape (electrical tape)
What you do:
Make 4 marks symmetrically around the spool.
Have your grownup drill 1/8″ holes at the marks stopping short of the center hole.
Mark the egg halves or cups about 3/8″ in from edges, 2 per cup/symmetrically.
Your grownup drills holes in cups through tape or melts the holes w/heated awl.
(make these holes slightly less than 1/8″.)
Fit cups snugly onto the dowel ends.
The open ends of the cups must be at right angles to the ground and
with each one facing so that they catch the same wind.
Glue the joints where the cups and dowels connect.
Fit the tubing or adapted pencil through the spool. It should spin freely.
Your grownup drills a hole into the broomstick end for the tubing.
Install the tubing/egg cup construct (with the washer between) into the broomstick.
Push the other end of the broomstick into the ground.
Apply colored tape to one cup. This will help you to visually track the spin.
There are several projects you can do with this.
One is to count the revolutions per/ on different days and record this.
You could make a graph.
You could calibrate this device. Can you think how?
* Here’s an interesting site The Beaufort Wind Scale
On April 7th 2010, Kathy emailed and gave us the link to this page about the Beaufort Scale which is used by seamen and coastal observers to estimate wind speed:
Make a Rain Gauge
What you need:
What you do:
Tape the ruler to the outside of the jar. Place the jar outside.
Make a chart to track the rain level each day. You can plot a graph.
Mark inches on one side and days of the week on the adjacent side of your paper.
For more on sayings try this page!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Big ideas, little time!!Please check back again!
What you need:
What you do:
YouTube Bubble Magic video – Geoff Atkins, the bubble juggler:
What our visitors have shared:
Never leave your project for a second! I did, and someone ruined my project!
Justine Age:10 …01/16/06
My son wanted to do The Solar System. I groaned because it is so commonly done as a science project. We used our creativity and made our’s outstanding, and won Best of Show. We used a 3×3 box, covered the outside in dark self stick shelf paper. We lined the inside with black felt, sprayed with silver glitter, then used different size styrofoam balls for the planets. We printed out actual pics of the solar system as a guide to paint our planets so they would be authentic looking. We used a large dowel rod for the middle, then drilled holes through the larger one and used smaller ones for the planets to hang from on very thin transparent quilting thread. You could turn the ‘system’ from the top of the box. We also bought an inexpensive floresent battery operated light to place in the bottom of the box to illuminate the solar system. We left the side flaps on the box to use as extra display space for the pics we printed out. It was very beautiful and it was a hit! The illuminated glitter looked like stars sparkling in space. The teacher asked if he could borrow it (or if we would donate it) to use for science classes of the future. There were plenty of other Solar Systems there, but NONE like this one!
Kim … 12/12/05
I think it would be best to present your project to your family or friends before you present it to the class or the school, they’ll listen
sent by Katelyn …08/24/05
When you want to do a winning project think of something simple and put it into a form of something fun so it looks more complicated than it really is.
from Nick … 06/16/05
o..m…g…I have a great idea it won first place. Which trash bag is stronger? Put them through a series of tasks like which can hold the most books or the most rocks etc. Trust me its true.. it won 1st.
signed, not a show off … 03/21/05
Each Science Fair I am stuck with what to do.
So here is my tip:
When the year gets started put thought into your science project. Don’t Procrastinate !!!!!
Annie M … 03/13/05
When you need to do a project, you could try a kit, it’s safe and then find info on the computer and explain it in your own words.
It’s fun to grow crystals. …by: Zane age: 9… 08/08/01
Many kinds of specimen exhibits can be preserved, displayed and stored in containers filled with rubbing alcohol. We used this to display a cow brain in a jar. …by: a mom… 08/27/01
For tracing a picture, map or diagram try taping your original to a lit up terrarium or fish tank, hold your tracing or blank paper on it and trace! …by: Shannon age: 9… 09/15/01
Science fair display idea… Take the flaps off a large box then cut out a side. Cover the box (decorative) with white or solid colored contac-paper or wrapping paper. Place the box on it’s side (should look like a small stage), tape your charts, science notes, pictures, signs on inside walls, back or even on the outsides. If you place a dowel over the top you can hang items within the box. If you place this whole exhibit on a tablecloth you can extend your exhibit space frontwise to the table edge. …by:Bonnie age: old… 09/20/01
Make sure you guard your display or get a friend to because I had a bad experience with missing items …no name
Here is a great list of scientific questions found on a middle school website
If you have any you’d like to add to this list please email us! Thanks!
•How does light affect the rate that water evaporates?
•How is crystal growth affected by…..temperature, light, concentration, type of seed, etc.?
•How does soil composition affect the rate water flows through it?
•How does the steepness of a slope affect the depth of stream channels?
•What is the affect of salt in the water on the rate sediments settle?
•How does the water filtering ability of cotton compare to sawdust?
•How does the angle of light affect the temperature on a surface?
•How does temperature affect the size of bubbles?
•How does the shape of a tissue paper hot air balloon affect how high it flies?
•How does the shape or structure of a bridge affect it’s strength?
•How does the type of wood affect the strength of a bridge?
•Does plain water or salt water or sugar water move more quickly through a celery stalk?
•Does yeast produce more gas when fed sugar, honey, or fruit juice?
•How does temperature affect the growth of bacteria?
•How do mouthwashes affect the growth of bacteria?
•What affects decomposition? Pick a food, test temperature, light, or some other variable
•How does temperature affect the breathing rate of a gold fish?
•How does the type of food affect the reproductive rate of earthworms?
•How does the shape of a pinwheel affect the speed at which it spins?
•How does the shape of rotor blades affect their lift?
•How does the shape of a parachute affect the time it takes to float to the ground?
•How does the angle affect the shape of a crater formed by a flying object?
•How does the roughness of a surface affect the speed of a car?
•How does the type of metal affect the amount of friction?
•How does the shape of the paper airplane affect it’s flight?
•How does the angle of trajectory affect the flight of the ball?
•How does noise affect a person’s ability to concentrate?
•How is freezing rate affected by adding substances to water?
•How does the pattern of ridges affect the traction of shoes?
•How does car shape affect speed?
•How does the type of fruit affect the amount of electricity generated?
•How do variables affect mold growth? (water, temperature, type of food, preservatives like salt)
•How does the type of metal affect the rate of rusting?
•How does soapy water compare to insecticide in killing aphids?
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*You can expect to be signing up for table space and will need to limit the size of your display to possibly less than 36 inches wide and 36 inches deep. A basic card-table size is a good goal.
*Most exhibits utilize a “backboard” which is a large rectangle of cardboard which you can fold into a 3-sided backboard on which you can glue paste or tape with doubled tape your “text” and image labels. You can locate a sheet of cardboard and fold “wings” that will allow this to stand upright. Or you can purchase this cardboard from a specialty store like a stationery store. Cover with self sticking paper, paint or cover with construction paper using a solid color that will contrast wih font/text print and backgrounds.
*On your computer type out and print your “question” or theory, what you did, what happened, observations, etc., and your summary. Use LARGE, colorful and easy to read font. Make charts or images, photos, and drawings to help pull it together. Check for spelling. Yours…not mine! 😉
*Cut out your “text blocks” and images using pattern scissors for a nice look and place on your background. Arrange them until you are happy with the results before taping, or gluing. Try positiong these slanted at angles and in level positions to see what effect you like best.
*If your project involves moisture you might think about laminating your signage and bring paper towels for clean-ups.
*A table cloth on your table space using a color to match your back-board or text print can make your exhibit look good.
*On the table top nested in the tri of your backboard you will have space to place any solid objects that pertain to your exhibit.
*SAFETY Make sure your project/exhibit/experiment will be a safe one concerning the public; participants as well as spectators.
*Be there…meaning stay near your exhibit in order to answer questions and protect your display from inquiring hands. When you wish to wander and see the other children’s exhibits make sure you leave a responsible person to guard.
*Bring a camera! Get someone to take a photo of you next to your exhibit! You have created something to be proud of!
SAFETY -some things to consider when doing a science project with your kids:
inflammable substances such as gasoline
dangerous chemicals & iffy combinations of
always have a parent or other responsible grownup assist
always clearly label any containers
never touch chemicals with bare hands
do not allow chemicals to come into contact with skin, eyes or food items.
clean up your work and exhibit areas
Working Volcano Exhibit
See a short movie of this volcano model exploding!
What You Need:
What you do:
Paper towels will be handy to have on hand for clean-ups.
If you want to go simpler still you can just use a container like a large pop bottle instead of a model volcano.
Then use same directions as for the above model volcano – In a jug or large jar (with lid for transport), mix about 10 drops of red food dye into about a pint of vinegar. This should be good for several volcanic “eruptions”.
Place + or – half cup of baking soda into your volcano container – the pop bottle
Pour about 2 tablespoons of your red vinegar into the container
Important: Make sure to have a large catch container like a deep tray or large pan underneath your volcano container -pop bottle, and paper towels on hand for clean-ups.
Note: You might want to practice your volcano eruptions at home, maybe outside, to find out beforehand how messy this might be and what size catch-container you will need to use.
Also be sure to create a poster with your exhibit’s information. To know more about setting up for a science fair and what to write on your poster and illustrations to include go to the science fair and site visitor ideas pages.
Release the balloon and watch it move along the string.
This one is fun and if you set up more than one string
track you can have races!
Ants In The Living Room
by: Peter Legrove
There seems to be no end in what you can buy through the mail. Ants, butterflies, frogs and ladybirds can be delivered to your door in secure packages. Ready to be dropped into your readymade bug habitat brought from your local toyshop or possible also delivered by the mailman.
As cities get bigger and nature gets further away we are bringing it back to live in our living rooms. Also it might be something to do with us, the parents, trying to recapture our childhood, reliving our experience with our ant farms that we had 20 to 30 years ago.
The ant farms nowadays are amazing contraptions, nothing like the glass cases with a book on top to keep the ants in. But they still do the same thing. That is to provide a living experience for our kids. Everything comes in the mail, ants delivered separately.
The main drawback from buying an ant farm is the time it takes to get your ants. After buying the farm and setting it up you send your certificate back to the company and then your ants are delivered. You cannot buy the whole thing ready to go sort of thing. It is a two-stage process. And this waiting game kind of takes the excitement out of the project.
As ants are temperature sensitive the companies usually only post the ants when the weather is favorable. That means if it gets too cold you end up with a packet of dead ants.
Also there is no queen ant with the colony so the ants are short lived. They can not reproduce so they die off as there are no baby ants to take over.
We will look at four different ant farms that you can receive through the mail.
The first is Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm Village. This is three separate ant farms hence the name village. They are all joined together with Antway Connector Tubes and the ants climb up Ant Stairs to get from one farm to another. But they are all quite small and one is circular so if the ants are hiding in the middle you can’t see them. The idea behind the three habitats is to start with one and join the others as the colony gets bigger but there is only one problem with this and that is, no queen ant.
Like the other farms they all have plastic models of the standard farm on top so anybody looking at it will work out it is a farm. The main problems with this model seems to be the construction with some people having trouble putting it together and others saying there were too many holes in the containers so the little ants could break free and make a run for the garden.
The next on the list is the Giant Ant Farm from Toys "R" Us. This is a bigger separate unit with just one container a bit over 1 inch think, so it is easy to see the ants. It is ideal for group viewing as it is nearly a foot high and one and a half feet wide. Plenty of room for the ants to do their thing.
The main problem seems to be, the base is not wide enough and it wobbles and sometimes falls over. When that happens the ants usually die because the tunnels collapse. The idea is to make sure the tunnels do not collapse.
The ants in this model are Carpenter Ants and they can give you a really good bite, so keep your fingers out of the cage. Also the color scheme is pretty bland. Mine was just straight green and no other color. Green box, green base and green silhouette farm scene on the top. At least Uncle Milton has some color in his farms.
The next one is another Uncle Milton, the Habitat-Sports Park and this is a bit better than the Ant Farm Village. It has got good viewing spheres with a couple of magnifying glasses as windows as you can get a close up view of the ants.
The construction is pretty sturdy and it is supposed to be escape proof, but some people had their ants escape. I think it is all in the way it is put together, so read the instructions carefully. Some others had their ant farm invaded by other smaller ants. The big red ants are no match for the little black ants.
This ant farm looks like a take off from one of those mouse exercise cages with climbing walls, vertical ramps and gravity hoops.
The last one we will look at is the Ant Hill from Insect lore. This is a very basic ant farm shaped like a cone so you have a three-dimensional viewing area the same as the Habitat-Sports Park. Here most of the activity goes on inside the sand dome so you only see the ants running around the outside of the hill. It has a very wide base so it is pretty stable. If you are a bit worried about having stinging ants running around the place this is probably the safest as it has a locking lid.
My suggestion is if you are really into ants, buy one of the habitats then go and find your own ants. Find a good ant nest and grab the queen ant and a bunch of others then your ant farm should last a long time. Why wait for the ant to arrive in the mail. Also there is some debate about what species of ant you end up with if you order through the post. Just remember most ants bite so be careful.
Article by copyright © Peter Legrove 2006, at animalsdinosaursandbugs.com
About The Author
Toyman, Peter Puzzler, I love toys and puzzles and animals and dinosaurs and bugs. I have kids of my own so I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in toys.
This article is copyright © Peter Legrove 2006 at http://www.animalsdinosaursandbugs.com
Their website specializes in toys, puzzles and games that have an animal, dinosaur or insect theme.
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What you need: a large bucket or tub, bedding material,
screen wire for covering container, 1 piece of burlap, table
scraps, and about 100 earthworms. You can dig for these, but be sure to get permission from your grownup! Or you can purchase your starter stock…some stores that sell fishing gear sell bait worms.
What you do: Fill tub about 8 inches deep with bedding material.
Add water (H2O) until it is moist. You will need to occasionally
add water every 2 weeks or so. Mix in table scraps. Be careful
to not overload them. Cover the soil with damp burlap to prevent
evaporation. With a good balance of this “food” and water you will
begin to notice you have many more worms! By the end of 6 months you
could have more than 4000 worms in there!
What this does: Your worm farm can be a good way to use up some of the kitchen waste and create quality soil for a garden.
Worm Tips: As your worms propagate they can be recycled into your garden or flower beds. (They will nourish and loosen the soil). And if you want to go fishing you’re set!
Keep your worm farm from freezing. This can be an indoor or outdoor project. If you run out of table scraps you can toss in some dog kibble!
Interesting worm trivia: Earth worms have no lungs or gills. They breathe
through their skin. Eggs are laid in a cuff-like structure called the clitellum.
Each earth worm segment or annulus except the first and last has four pairs
of tiny bristles called setae. Earthworms range in size from 1 millimeter to 3 meters
To read more about worm farms try here
What you do: Have a grownup help cut the bottom from
the plastic bottle (about 3 1/2″). Save the bottom part (base).
Put soil in the “base” and place your small plant into the soil.
Cover the roots, press the soil firmly and add a little water.
Fit the bottle over the base and secure with a band of duct tape.
You can fasten a nice looking ribbon over the tape. This
terrarium should not need watering very often depending of
course upon the plant type. If you were able to get a bottle
with one of those plastic caps on the bottom then this project
will be a snap…all you need do in this case is to have your grownup
pull off the base, cut the TOP instead of the bottom, and fit the bottle
top end down. It should fit snugly with no need of tape. Your goal should
be to create as close to a closed system as possible where very little or
no care is needed to maintain the plant or plants. Make sure the location
for your terrarium supplies it with the proper lighting.
Try this Air Quality Science Project ←
click above to try out the dirty air project.
Try raising chickens in your back yard! Hatch eggs! Farm your own eggs! And gain a supply of great garden compost in the process. 😉