Easy No Sew Big Dipper Pillow – That GLOWS in the dark!

Some of my fondest memories of science as a kid were looking into the night sky with my Mom in search of the Big Dipper and another time trying to spot Halley’s Comet with my granddaddy’s old telescope. So it warms my heart when today my 7 year old daughter tells me that when she grows up she wants to be the first person on Mars. As her mom I cringe a little thinking of the long journey and the dangers of space travel, but I also want to help her reach for the stars. So, I decided we would make an easy no-sew pillow with a Big Dipper design to keep her dreaming big dreams while teaching her about my favorite constellation. You can try it too with your science girls!

I am so honored to write this post for a blogging friend of mine with a similar passion at Go Science Girls. For instructions to make this awesome pillow check out her site here

Categories: 3 ingredient experiments, science art 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: , , ,
Empowering with Science: The Cell Respiration Song

One of my resolutions for She Loves Science in 2017 is to showcase girls doing amazing science in their homes, schools, and communities.  I want our daughters to see them  rocking the world with their imaginations, creativity, and especially their amazing knack for science. I have two reasons I want to do this.

  1. Empower her with science: It is my hope that we can show our daughters these girls going ahead of them having amazing fun with science and in turn empower them with their own confidence to take on science and make it their own.
  2. Shining a light: I want to shine a light on all the amazing science that girls are doing in school and at home and show a broader audience that girls love science and science needs their creativity.

The first Empowering with Science feature is very special to me since it is my niece Abbey. You are going to be completely blown away when you hear her creativity with her Cell Respiration Song (to Justin Timberlake no doubt!) I asked her a few questions about her project below. All I can say is… Science on girl.

What was the name of your project?  The Cell Respiration Song

What was the project for? “It was a project for science class and a unit on cell respiration. The project was to choose a way to express cell respiration and photosynthesis.”

What grade are you in? “7th Grade”

What was your inspiration? “I was inspired by doing a similar project a few years ago. This project gave a list of ideas one of which included doing a song. I wrote down a list of my favorite songs and this one caught my attention.”

What would you say to other girls doing science? “Some girls are scared about grades or are embarrassed about putting themselves out there. So don’t worry about what other people think. If they judge you then so what…do what you like and the teachers will love it.”

What do you want to be when you grow up? “I want to major in Animal Science and work at animal shelters.”

You have got to share this video with the girls in your life. I hope this will show how much fun and creative science can really be.

Do you know someone that has done an amazing science project at school or within their community? Do you want to find a place to show off her talents to inspire others?  Contact me and she could be the next feature on the Empowering with Science series!

Categories: science art, STEM Tags:
10 Inspiring STEM Books for Girls

stembooks

I started looking for books that would interest my daughter in science since starting this blog in 2014. Several of these books were recommended by friends or gifts that were given to her.  Now I’ve realized that I have quite a collection of books and I thought I would share them with you especially since Christmas will be here before you know it!

whatisscience

What is Science (Ages 3-7) This is a great picture book to introduce little ones to science. Here’s my favorite line, “So into the earth and into the sky, we question the how, the where, when, and why.” I’ve read this to a class of 3 year olds and they were spellbound with the pictures and the poetry.

math

Bedtime Math (Ages 3-6) I’ve never had so much fun doing math with Allie than reading this book with her. Who would have thought that doing math at bedtime would be so much fun. I asked Allie why she liked it and she said, “It has lot of math and funny things like exploding ketchup.” As a mom, I’ve never really liked math word problems until now!

rosie

Rosie Revere Engineer (Ages 5-7) I love any story that says that the heroine dreams of becoming a great engineer.  Allie loves how she invents things like a cheese hat and I love how the story speaks to perseverance and not giving up.

adatwist

Ada Twist Scientist (Ages 5-7) This is a great follow up to Rosie Revere. Ada doesn’t talk until she is three (much like Einstein) but when she does her first word is “Why?” I love how relatable this character is to our girls and everything she dreams up in the “Thinking Chair”.

zoom

Zoom (5-8) I found this book when looking for alternative ways to build spatial skills. The first page of this beautifully illustrated book has the reader “zoomed in” to a small piece of a much larger picture. As you flip each page it has you reconsidering what you saw on the previous page until it “zooms” you all the way to outer space.

idea

What Do You Do with An Idea (Ages 5-8) This book inspires me every time I read it. The author present an ‘idea’ as an egg that you have the choice to nurture and grow or to ignore. The best lines, “I worried what others would think.” and “then I realized what you do with an idea… you change the world”. Allie said that she learned not to ignore your idea and to make sure you follow you it.  Great message for her to learn so early on.

 

beamoflight

On a Beam of Light (Ages 6-9) This a great way to introduce Einstein to young children and make him relatable. It’s hard to imagine Einstein as a child but we learn that he was riding on his bike and started imagining what a beam of light would do in space. I believe it encourages kids to slow down, day dream, and imagine the possibilities.

 

girlsthink

Girls Think of Everything (Ages 10-12) This book is full of female inventors, scientists, and astronauts. It tells stories about how many inventions came from just being curious and sometimes by accident. But it’s what these ladies did and how they believed in their ideas that made all the difference. Allie’s favorite is Ruth Wakefield and how she invented chocolate chip cookies by using time saving ideas. My favorite story was of Stephanie Kwolek and how she discovered Kevlar and how every step was a learning process.

science65

65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Science (Ages 9-14) A father-daughter duo wrote this book about solving mysteries with science. They present the mysteries using short stories much like Encyclopedia Brown. I love reading it to Allie and seeing if she can guess what the answer is.

shelovesscience

She Loves Science And how could I end the list without adding She Loves Science? I originally wrote this book for moms as a quick read to encourage you to try science with your daughters. But since publishing, I’ve had a few moms tell me that they’ve let their daughters read it too and that their favorite parts are how to apply science to problem solving and engineering. I hope you pick up a copy for a friend, teacher, or even your daughter!

Do you have any other books that you would recommend? I’d love to add to this list and read more amazing stories to my kids about scientists, inventors, and engineers!

Categories: lovely conversations, STEM Tags: ,