By Jared Hottenstein

As anyone in the culinary world will tell you, presentation is everything.  World famous restaurants with multiple Michelin stars put as much effort into presentation as they do in preparing the food.

Science teachers could learn something from chefs.  I’m not talking about adding flashy multimedia and explosions.  The goal isn’t to entertain… but to take a few extra steps that will help our students stay involved.  How do we do that?

A great place to start is integration.  Science teachers think about science.  What if we begin to think of ways to bring in social studies, reading, writing, and math to help with the presentation of our science lessons?  What if a meaningful project could allow students to apply their new learning in myriad areas?  Let me give you an example.

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## ¡La Ciencia en Español! (Science in Spanish!)

By Donna Giachetti

I studied Spanish from kindergarten through college.  Used to be, I could speak and write fairly fluently.  These days I’m a bit rusty but—like the old saying about getting back on a bicycle—the skill does come back with a bit of practice.

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## Using the ZigZag Density Tumbler In (and Out) of the Classroom

by Linda Dunnavant

The ZigZag Density Tumbler is an elegant desk “toy” and much more.  Turn the tumbler over and watch two different colors of droplets float down in a relaxing zigzag pattern.  I like to keep mine on my desk.  I often pick it up and watch it while I clear my head.  Not only is the tumbler a soothing, relaxing activity for busy adults, but it also provides so many possibilities for calming, inspiring, and teaching students. Read the rest of this entry »

## Demystifying the Poly Density Bottle

by Dr. Kenneth Lyle

## The demonstration

The Poly Density Bottle is a fascinating demonstration primarily due to the phenomena being counterintuitive to what one would expect.  The bottle containing white and blue beads suspended in a clear and colorless liquid is shaken vigorously, distributing the beads randomly throughout (bottle A).  Upon standing, the beads separate from one another (bottle B) with the white rising to the surface while the blue sink to the bottom (bottle C).  Then, the two sets of beads move towards one another (bottle D) meeting near the middle (bottle E).  This demonstration can be easily repeated again and again.  And, once prepared, it can be stored for subsequent use year after year.  No additional preparation is required. Read the rest of this entry »

## The “Magic” of the Soother Ooze Tube

By Ken Byrne

Someone once told me that all magic is science, and all science is magic.  To me, a magic show is a series of puzzles for me to solve, trying to figure out just how they pulled off an illusion.  My favorite science demonstrations are much the same.  I love those demonstrations that make me scratch my head and ask, “Why?”

Here is one of my favorites that is easy and inexpensive.  It feels like a magic trick, but it is all science.  It simply involves rolling a cylinder down an inclined plane.  Sometimes the cylinder will roll down quickly.  Other times it will crawl down slowly. Read the rest of this entry »