Classroom Fun with the Static Electricity Electroscope


Educational Innovations Blogby Nancy Foote

The latest addition to my classroom’s Curiosity Table is a Static Electricity Electroscope.  The fact that it looks a bit odd made it even more intriguing to my students.  Once they began to play with the electroscope, they couldn’t stop. Read the rest of this entry »


Introducing the Home Science Lab!


donna_giachettiby:  Donna Giachetti

Albert Einstein famously said,

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

At Educational Innovations, we agree wholeheartedly.  Our company was founded by a master teacher in 1994.  Today it’s still run by a dedicated crew of teachers who share a passion for science… and for fostering curiosity in kids.

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At Halloween, Science Is Cooler than Ever


donna_giachettiby: Donna Giachetti

In the spring
a young man’s fancy
lightly turns to thoughts of love.”

 —Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred may have a point, but these days our thoughts turn to darker, spookier things—zombies, ghouls, witches, monsters and ghosts (more about them later, scroll down to the end of the blog).

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Why is autumn one of our favorite times of year?

Let us count the ways:

  •     A new school year…
  •    Cooler temperatures…
  •    Warm, cozy sweaters and boots…
  •    A procession of colorful fall foliage…

But best of all, there’s the anticipation of HALLOWEEN! What a wonderful time to be a mad scientist! Read the rest of this entry »


Film Canister Capacitors


6769_100121036671012_100000193470961_521_4265928_nby: Norm Barstow

This is a guide on how to make a Leyden Jar that makes awesome sparks with materials you may even find in your house. It’s inexpensive, basically harmless and fun.

Here is the list of materials you will need:

  • An empty film canister with lid.  These are available at Educational Innovations.
  • Multistrand insulated wire; eg. type HPN Heater Cord
  • Single conductor/solid un-insulated wire, about 1.5 mm in diameter (16 gauge copper wire).
  • Some aluminum or copper foil. (NOTE: Any conductive foil will work. Copper foil is thicker and easier to work with than aluminum foil, but aluminum foil works. Heavy duty aluminum foil works best.
  • A bolt (10/24) with a round head that is shorter than the film canister’s height. Two nuts that fit the screw.  Washer is optional.
  • Scotch tape.

Film canister Capacitors

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No-Pop Bubbles!


Ron Perkinsby: Ron Perkins

At first glance No-Pop Bubbles may seem like any other bubbles.  While the bubble solution is a bit more viscous, one blows No-Pop Bubbles like any other bubble.  The small bubble wand suspends a bubble film which, when air is blown through it, releases small bubbles into the air.  These bubbles, however, are no ordinary bubbles.  No-Pop No-Pop BubblesBubble solution begins as a regular soap and water bubble solution.  Added to this solution is a small amount of a non-toxic water soluble polymer.  When No-Pop Bubbles are first blown, the bubbles behave like ordinary bubbles.  As the water evaporates from the bubble’s surface, however, an extremely thin plastic ‘bubble skeleton’ remains.  It is this plastic bubble skeleton which has the properties for which No-Pop Bubbles are named.

No-Pop BubblesBlow No-Pop Bubbles up into the air.  Observe the colors (interference patterns) in the bubbles as they float.  In approximately 10 seconds (depending on the relative humidity) the colors in the bubbles will begin to disappear.  When the bubble are colorless, they may be caught on your finger without popping! Read the rest of this entry »