Make 3D art featuring Dr. Temple Grandin

Quick. Name a female scientist!

How did you do? A few weeks ago I was posed this question and I thought to myself, “You know, She Loves Science should be helping you to answer that question.”  Then I decided what better way for our kids to learn about female scientists than by reading amazing books about them and doing a fun craft afterward.

Our first female scientist I want to introduce you to is… Dr. Temple Grandin

This book introduces children to a very special scientist named Temple Grandin. It tells her story in a rhyme discussing how she was a unique girl, spoke very little, and processed information through pictures. She was later diagnosed with autism. Her life began to change when she went to her aunt’s farm and observed farm animals. She could relate to these animals in ways other people could not. She also found a very special mentor at school. Temple ended up earning her doctorate degree, giving public speeches, and became a famous advocate for animal science.

The amazing lesson from the book? Learning and thinking differently from others will set you apart and might just change the world.  You can find the book here.

Making a 3D picture about Temple Grandin:

After we read this book I asked my 7 year old what would be a good craft to go along with it. She said she wanted to make a 3D picture. I thought it was a great idea since it IS about a girl who thought in pictures. And a bonus is that 3D crafts, like origami, can help strengthen her spatial skills – a skill vital in being successful in a STEM career. You can read my post here on creatively growing spatial skills.

What you need:  Color construction paper, 8.5″X 11″ white card stock, crayons, permanent marker, scissors, and tape

What you do:

  • Fold the white card stock in half
  • Mark dotted lines for your stands. For this card I chose 5 stands
  • Cut along the dotted lines
  • Open the card stock, push the stands out, and crease them to make stands for the images

  • Draw and color Temple Grandin’s face and “thought” lines

  • Fold in a pieces of construction paper in half and tape it to the white cardstock
  • Make shapes, color, cut out, and tape to the stands to make it 3D

What’s the science: Strong spatial skills are so important for kids interested in science and engineering careers.  Imagine how architects need to visualize a building to design, surgeons need to visualize operating around overlapping organs, and engineers need to visualize a solution to an unseen problem.

Temple Grandin was an advocate for cows. My daughter loves everything about lambs. Perhaps someday she will be inspired by this girl who pursued science – Temple Grandin!

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher to give my honest review and feedback.

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A battle of the slime recipes

Let’s be honest, slime is the new fidget spinner. It’s been so popular that making slime has literally impacted Elmer’s glue production! And closer to home, my kids and I can’t pass by an Elmer’s glue bottle or a contact solution display without them singing a slime jingle they’ve heard on TV!

I thought I knew all about slime too. I can’t count how many times I’ve made Gak with Borax and I’ve been super skeptical of making slime with contact solution ever since I heard the nonsense. I was a Borax girl all the way.

Until my curiosity got the best of me and I decided, let’s just do a little contest to see what’s better. I’ll show my kids not to fall for this new fly-by-night contact solution recipe that the commercials where selling them. So I grabbed a bottle of contact solution and a ton of glitter glue and headed home to pull out my years old Borax and set up a little experiment.

Contact Solution Slime: Glime (we had to give it a name!)

I used the Elmer’s glue recipe found here

What you need: 6 oz.Elmer’s glitter glue, Contact solution (containing sodium borate in the ingredients), and baking soda

What you do:

  1. Pour Elmer’s glue in a bowl
  2. Put 1/2 Tbsp baking soda in bowl and mix thoroughly
  3. Put 1-1/4 Tbsp of contact solution in bowl and mix
  4. Knead the slime with your hands and add a squirt of contact solution if too sticky

Well that was too easy! And the results were astounding. Check out the stretch on that slime; we stretched it well over 8 feet at one point!

Slime Recipe using Borax: Gak

Ok, my preconceived contact solution ideas were shattered. But who can mess with a classic? So let’s compare by mixing up a bit of Gak with Borax. We’ve done this classic recipe before here and loved it.

But truth be told, when we used glitter glue the results literally fall apart.  Allie said it sounded ‘squelchy’. Gulp. My Borax argument was also falling apart.

So I would recommend when making Borax slime use plain Elmer’s glue.

What you need: Borax, 6 oz. regular Elmer’s glue, food coloring, and warm water.

What you do:

  1. Empty the glue into a large mixing bowl
  2. Fill the empty glue bottle with warm water, swish it around, and pour the glue-water mixture in the mixing bowl
  3. Mix glue and warm water with a spoon
  4. Add food coloring
  5. In a separate cup, mix a teaspoon of Borax with 1/2 cup of warm water
  6. Slowly pour the Borax and water into the glue mixture and stir with a spoon

How did our maroon slime turn out looking like a stretchy organ? Uck. 

So which slime won? 

There was no comparison really. Glime won hands down. Contact solution for the win.

Why Glime over Gak?

  • Gak can stretch but mostly squishes and breaks
  • Glime is glittery goodness that stretches and stretches and stretches……

What’s the science in slime?

Believe it or not, Borax and contact solution are derived from the same boron compound called sodium borate.  This compound is the linking agent that links the glue molecules together.  The linked glue molecules trap the water (in the solution) to make the amazing slime!

As much as I love my Borax, I think I’ll be reaching for contact solution and glitter glue in the future! What is your favorite slime recipe? I’d love to hear your slime making adventures!

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments Tags: , , , ,
DIY Bernoulli Balloons

Summer is more than half way over for us but that doesn’t mean there is an end in sight to the scorching Texas heat.  Check out this week’s weather screenshot and the image the Weather Channel chose underneath Spring, Texas. That’s right, they chose firemen putting out flames because it feels like 106°F outside!

But it gets better, my air-conditioning is now on it’s last leg. And when you live in Texas, the worst possible thing to happen in the summer to your house is losing your air conditioning. Currently, my house hovers around 79°F during the day. Not terrible but definitely not comfortable.

So as we wait for the A/C to be replaced, I found my old college fan to keep the kitchen cool during the day. Having that fan out reminded me how I’ve always wanted to recreate the cool floating balloon display at the Children’s Museum (which by the way has amazing air conditioning!) After finding inspiration here I decided how hard could it be and it turns out the kids LOVED it!

What do you need? small fan – (here is the one similar to mine), 2 to 3 sheets of cardstock, balloons

How you do it:

  1. Form a tube with card stock and tape that has a diameter about the size of the fan face
  2. Tape the tube of card stock to the fan
  3. Blow up balloons, turn the fan on, and place the balloons in the vortex created by the tube.

What is the science?

This is an example of Bernoulli’s Principle. Bernoulli was a mathematician in the 18th century and I’m fairly certain would have loved how excited my kids were to do this experiment.

The reason why the balloons float in mid-air is because the air in the middle of the tube is a lower pressure than the surrounding air. This lower air pressure causes the balloon to want to stay floating in the middle!

We tested to see if the size of the balloon mattered on how it stayed in the vortex. At one point the kids were modifying the vortex and making paper airplanes to test to see if they would fly.

If you give a mom a broken A/C… 

She is going to do find her fan from college. When she finds the fan from college, she’s going to look for balloons.. And chances are when she finds the balloons, she’s going to conduct a science experiment to pass the time in the blazing summer heat…

Have a great weekend and stay cool!

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Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, STEM Tags: , , ,
Hello Halley Harper; Science Girl Extraordinaire

Just in time for summer reading, Halley Harper is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle complete with action packed adventure and do it yourself science experiments!

Watch the book trailer below!

This is the first book of a series of children’s chapter books that follow the adventures of 9 year old science whiz Halley Harper.

Science camp is all about learning the laws of motion but someone wants to put the brakes on Camp Eureka for good. Can 9 year old science whiz Halley Harper find the culprit by using her knack of turning ordinary into the extraordinary? Will she find out who is sabotaging the experiments before anyone else gets hurt and camp closes forever?

Get your copy today here for yourself, your friends, and for your kiddos. It’s time for the world meet Halley Harper!

Ge

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, 5 minute experiments, gift guides, he loves science too!, lovely conversations, STEM, Summer Bucket List, thoughts of a girl engineer Tags: ,