You Said It! Hydrophilic Product Reviews


Educational Innovations Newsletter - You Said ItWhat do artificial snow and baby diapers have in common?  Some folks may scratch their heads, but if you’re a science teacher you probably already know the answer(s):  they both contain sodium polyacrylate, and they both fall into the fascinating category of SAPs—superabsorbent polymers.  These polymers simply LOVE water!

This edition of our newsletter is all about hydrophilic, or water loving, materials.  We’re proud to share these comments from science loving teachers!

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Teaching Electric Circuitry with the Electri-Putty Kit


linda-dunnavant-headshot-for-blogMy Electrical Secret

by Linda Dunnavant

I have a dirty little secret.  As a teacher, I have been asked to teach concepts that I don’t personally understand very well.  Electricity is one of those topics for me.

When I was a new teacher, I remember standing in front of a class of fifth graders and attempting to explain how circuits work.  Not only did I confuse my students with my explanation, I think I also confused myself!  I remember feeling embarrassed about my lack of understanding when it came to the topic of electricity, and like my students, I could have benefited from a hands-on approach to learning about electric circuitry.

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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 »


The “Magic” of the Soother Ooze Tube


KenByrneBy 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 »


You Said It! Density Product Reviews


Educational Innovations Newsletter - You Said ItWhenever we attend a science convention, we bring plenty of density demos.  They are invariably among our best showstoppers!  There is something wonderfully confounding—and compelling—about watching a (seemingly) heavy object float against our expectations, or seeing (seemingly) identical beads travel in separate directions.  This curiosity is the heart of why discrepant events are so valuable to educators.

Is it magic?  No, it’s density!

Is your favorite Educational Innovations‘ density product on this list?  If not, write to us in the comments below and let us know what we forgot!

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