Making Scientifically-Accurate Snowflakes


By Priscilla Robinson

Snowflakes!  They arrive in flurries, storms and blizzards, not to mention “Winter Bomb Cyclones!”  I’ve always thought the science behind snowflakes is amazing.

A snowflake begins when a tiny dust or pollen particle comes into contact with water vapor high up in Earth’s atmosphere.  The water vapor coats the tiny particle and then freezes into a tiny crystal of ice.  This tiny crystal will be the “seed” from which a snowflake will grow.  The process is called crystallization.

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Using Growing Spheres for 3D Modeling


Using Growing Spheres for 3D Modeling - Educational Innovations Blogby Jen Donaldson

In my classroom, I’ve devised two new uses for Growing Spheres which help students have a better grasp on some otherwise complicated science concepts.  

These small spheres are a wonderful way to make the invisible VISIBLE—in three dimensions!

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Hydrophilic Polymers TV


EI TV - Educational Innovations BlogIf a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is surely worth a few million.  Especially when it comes to scientific explanations, a video is a wonderful tool for conveying information to your students in a visual, easy-to-follow manner.

The videos below offer you and your students a glimpse into the world of hydrophilic polymers—where they are today, what new discoveries we’ve made, and where we are headed in the future.

Enjoy!  If you find a video on hydrophilic polymers that you’d like to share with us, please leave a comment!

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Hydrophilic Polymers in the News


In the News - Educational Innovations Blog

Superabsorbent hydrophilic polymers are everywhere—often, in places we’d never suspect.  Researchers continue to discover new uses for these handy materials:  in concrete, in stainless steel coatings, medical devices, and many other industrial applications.   Truly, they are one of the most fascinating areas of chemical research today.

We have collected below a sampling of news articles about recent developments in the field of SAPs in the hopes that these will inspire conversations with your students about the practical uses of hydrophilic substances.  If you come across an article of interest, please share it with us in the Comments section below.

Happy reading!

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Hydrophilic Polymers Discussion Starters


Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations BlogYour students may already be aware of some ways that hydrophilic polymers are used in our daily lives.  For instance, Sodium Polyacrylate is an essential component of disposable diapers, and Growing Spheres are often used by florists as a soil-free way to store water and keep cut flowers fresh for a long time.

But what else can hydrophilic polymers do?  The answer is, plenty!

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