Center of Mass Challenge


By Jeremy Johnson

In my 13 years of classroom teaching experience, I’ve learned a few tricks to keep my students from becoming overwhelmed—or bored—by their science textbooks.  One of my favorite tricks is to get my kids up on their feet, doing science instead of reading about it.

When I teach about gravity and center of mass, for example, I like to shake things up by turning our classroom into an impromptu biokinetics lab.  I challenge my students to perform a series of seemingly simple physical tests, described below.  Lift a chair?  Raise your leg?  Pick up a quarter?  No problem!  (Or so they think…)

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You Said It! Forces and Motion Product Reviews


You Said It! Product Reviews - Educational Innovations Newsletter

Need help explaining the fundamentals of forces and motion to your students?  Hands-on science demos to the rescue!  We have a dynamic array of energy conversion products as well as an impressive collection of simple machines to demonstrate pushes and pulls… just to name a few of our many energy-related materials.  Read on to hear what our customers are saying about our some of their favorite EI teaching tools.

If you have a favorite Educational Innovations product, we invite you to send us a comment below.  We’d love to share your review with your fellow teachers and science lovers.

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Engaging Students with Electrochemistry… and Goldenrod Paper


Educational Innovations Blogby Nancy Foote

I’m in love with goldenrod paper.  I’ve loved it for a long time.  In my never-ending quest to emotionally entangle my students in the content of our science curriculum, Color-Changing Goldenrod Paper provides a long-lasting entanglement.

If you’ve never done the bloody handprint goldenrod paper demo with your students, you are truly missing out—and so are they)!  This is the most engaging “engage” part of the 5 E’s I’ve ever experienced.  I like to do the bloody handprint demo around Halloween, but we don’t do acid/base chemistry until February.  That’s a long time to wonder, ponder and try to figure out exactly what is happening.  But that’s for another blog post.

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You Said It! Thermal Energy Product Reviews


You Said It! Product Reviews - Educational Innovations NewsletterTo put it simply, we think thermal energy is cool!  Many of our best-selling discrepant event demos are related to thermal energy, as you’ll see from the reviews below.  With our Ice Melting Blocks, you can ask your students to predict which block will melt an ice cube more rapidly…  Use a Chemical Heat Pack to challenge your class to figure out how heat—usually associated with melting—can be produced by a reaction that turns a liquid into a solid…  Or dazzle them with Nitinol Memory Wire that changes shape upon heating!

If you have a favorite Educational Innovations product, send us a comment below.  We’d love to share your review with your fellow teachers and science lovers.

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Demystifying the Poly Density Bottle


Dr. Kenneth Lyle, Duke University Department of Chemistryby 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 »