Centripetally Yours

Donna Giachetti, Educational InnovationsBy:  Donna Giachetti

Around the EI offices lately, something magical has happening.  Folks are laughing more… There’s a lighter spring in their step and a happy-go-lucky chirp in their voices…  It’s as if we have all become enchanted.

Well, let me amend that…

EI employees are a very grown-up, responsible bunch.  They take pride in doing their jobs as well as humanly possible.  If you haven’t yet read Ted’s blog (EI’s Pick-and-Pack Customer Service Crew), don’t miss out!  It’s a paean to the hardest working group of individuals I have ever met.

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Ultraviolet Humor


While UV radiation may not be a laughing matter when it comes to skin damage, there’s nothing under the sun like a good joke to brighten your day.

Why not insert a bit of ultraviolet humor into your next quiz or homework page?  Extra points for students who guess the right punchlines to our riddles!

If you have a favorite cartoon or joke, insert it below as a comment, or email us at socialmedia@teachersource.com.

Happy teaching!

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Learning About Light

MARTY SAGENDORFby: Marty Sagendorf

Light is magic stuff: it has no mass, it comes in many colors, it has energy, it can be emitted and absorbed, but it can’t be saved in a bottle or bucket.  Even though we can’t ‘save’ it, we can explore the many ways that light behaves around us.  We are told, or we read, about reflection, refraction, and the many other properties of light’s interaction with objects, but until we actually experience these we really don’t fully appreciate ‘the magic of light’.

Let’s start learning about light!

That’s what this Optics Kit, from Educational Innovations, allows us to do – experience light by doing.  This kit provides the necessary components to perform extensive investigations – ten are completely detailed – and new ideas for experimentation will naturally develop as optics principles become familiar.


Let’s begin with something we see every day:


Start by drawing a line along, and one-half inch from, the long side of a piece of 8-1/2”x11” white paper.  At the mid-point of this line, draw a perpendicular line extending across the paper.  This line represents a ‘NORMAL’ to the mirror’s surface.

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Two Prisms: Four Demos

Martin Sagendorfby: Martin Sagendorf

Most everyone knows that an equilateral prism will refract white light into its constituent colors: a spectrum ranging from red to violet.  But, if one uses two prisms, there’s much more to be discovered.

All that’s required:

–       a source of white light

–       a slit mounted on a large piece of cardboard

–       two equilateral prisms

–       two small pieces of card stock

–       a square of ground glass.


The light source and slit are arranged as shown.  A fairly narrow (1/4”) color spectrum will be displayed on the ground glass.  Note that the light beams are DIVERGENT.

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Using Gigantic Growing Spheres to Illustrate an Aspect of Rainbow Formation

Gordon R. Goreby: Gordon R. Gore
BIG Little Science Centre

Educational Innovations has a new product called Gigantic Growing Spheres (Catalogue #GB-760) which physics teachers might find useful for illustrating internal reflection. These are a very large version (about 6 cm) of the Growing Spheres (also called Jelly Balls) discussed in earlier issues of BIGScience*.

Basic Equipment Needed

1 green* laser pointer (* works much better than red)

1 fully grown ‘Giant Growing Sphere’ (about 6 cm diameter)


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