Tabletop Fossil Safari: Science Camp in a Box!


Tabletop Fossil Safari: Science Camp in a Box! Educational Innovations Blogby Priscilla Robinson

Dinosaurs inspire curiosity and wonder in scientists of all ages.  With the help of Educational InnovationsHome Science Lab: Tabletop Fossil Safari, young learners can conduct investigations at home to dynamically discover how fossils were created millions of years ago, and to better understand how they continue to be unearthed by paleontologists today.  Everything you need comes in the nifty Home Science Lab box: six activities organized in a booklet filled with easy-to-follow instructions, whimsical illustrations and photographs, assorted chemicals, household items, and of course, real fossils!

It’s so easy, even a grandmother can do it.  Seriously!

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How to Throw a Science-Themed Birthday Party


by Linda Dunnavant

Most kids find the idea of science thrilling.  It conjures up images of potions, explosions, and top-secret laboratories.  When I asked my son what kind of birthday party he wanted this year, he eagerly exclaimed, “A science party!”  That night, I was taken aback when I Googled science birthday party ideas.  Many of the suggestions seemed far too adult-led and complicated—not to mention expensive!

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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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First Graders and the Drinking Bird: A Love Story


First Graders & the Drinking Bird: A Love Story - Educational Innovations Blogby John Frassinelli

Having first seen a “drinking bird” in elementary school myself, I had never forgotten it.  Our teacher, I think, had placed one on the windowsill.  We had no air conditioning in those days, and the windows actually opened!  Air circulated through the room, and that probably influenced the bird.  I think it’s too bad that many classrooms are hermetically sealed these days, but we do what we can.

Recently I decided to introduce my first graders to my old friend, the Drinking Bird.   I bought a few birds and fooled around with them, making sure each one would “drink” as it was supposed to.  I learned that some birds need a bit of adjustment—their centers of mass might be too high or too low.  But this is easily remedied by gently twisting the bird’s body and raising (or lowering) it on its metal clasp.

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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 »