Snow Goggles!


Ever find yourself squinting on a snowy-day, blinded by the light reflecting off of the snow? Then YOU need a pair of Snow Goggles!

You will also need:

  • Snow-Goggles Template
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pipe cleaners

Use the template below to cut out a pair of “goggles” (heavy paper like Card-Stock works best).  Next, cut out the eye-slits.  Attach a pipe cleaner in each corner on the frame.  Put them on, and you are ready for action!

These “goggles” let in a significantly  smaller amount of light, allowing you to see more clearly (even though your field of vision is a lot smaller).  Remember, don’t wear them while driving!

April is Flying-Things Month!

April is Flying Things Month for The Science Works!  My Monthly Preschool Science Visits will be focused on the themes of flight and flying, as children test and try out the World’s Simplest Glider, the Helicopter, the Flying Fish, and even the Doughnut Airplane!

The workshop starts with the “World’s Three Greatest Airplanes”:  As I demonstrate them, they are…

  1. A crumpled up ball of paper
  2. A piece of paper,and
  3. The world’s simplest glider.

Not too impressive sounding, granted, but they do lead to a lot of science-questions.  In testing the first two, the children and I discover…

  • the crumpled up ball falls fast to the ground
  • the piece of paper floats slowly down to the ground
  • they appear to move differently through the air….why?

The first thought that always comes up from the children is that the ball of paper is heavier, and that is why it falls faster.  But opening it up we can see that is it the same kind of paper as the one that floats, and indeed it floats slowly down to the ground itself when dropped.  So we keep thinking and generating ideas.  It usually takes them a few tries but generally we come around to the idea that the flat piece of paper floats down to the ground because it is spread out, and the ball of paper falls fast because all of its weight is concentrated in one spot.  I then compare these two to a baseball and a parachute.  Just as a ball of paper would not make a good parachutes, the piece of paper makes a lousy baseball!  Trying to throw a flat piece of paper is like wrestling jello.  The air pressure pushes the paper onto your hand as your hand is moving, keeping the paper “stuck” onto your hand!  As long as  you keep your hand moving…you have invented “Sticky Paper”!  It will never fall off! (or at least not before your hand stops moving!).  Testing the crumpled up ball on top of the paper will also create some interesting results.  When it is In the center of the paper, the ball and paper together fall faster than the flat paper, but slower than the ball by itself.  When the ball of paper is set off to one side, the piece of paper tips and “flies” in that direction.  It is actually  possible to tape a crumpled up ball of paper in just the right spot on a piece of paper so that it will really fly!

This leads us to the last paper airplane, the “world’s simplest glider”.  This is a single piece of paper with one edge folded over and over until the paper is about half its size.  When you let go of this one it glides in the direction of the weighted side, and flies very far.  This is very similar to the piece of paper with the crumpled ball attached to it:  a wide, flat surface with a weighted edge.

From here, setting up an “Airplane Creation Station” with paper in different weights and sizes, straws, tape, scissors and glue, along with these two models, can give children the inspiration they need to make their own inventions and discoveries in the Art of Paper-Airplane-Creation!


Balls and Ramps Extravegaza!

All set up and ready to go for my Balls and Ramps Extravegaza at the Greenfield (NH) Elementary School today!  We’ll be experimenting with ramps, tubes, and inclined planes all day (after the students teach me what a ball is, of course!  You’d think after the hundreds of times I have presented this program I would know by now!)



Science Ideas on Pinterest

Are you a Pinterest Fanatic?  If so, look up The Science Works!  I have pin-boards for “Science Center Ideas”, “Globe Collecting”, “The Cabinet of Scientific Curiosities” “Rampant Creativity”, and more!

Here is my most recent pin onto “Globe Collecting”:

How the world should be like


I.D.E.A.s for Educators

Investigations, Discoveries, Experiments, Activities
For Children and Teachers to Try At Home or School!


Here’s a Science Magic experiment to try yourself!
You will need:

  • A shoe box
  • White copy paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Sand-box sand
  • A small magnet
  • A paper clip
  • The picture at right

Sand is made up of small pieces of rocks and minerals, including tiny pieces of iron called iron-filings. These small pieces of iron or iron-ore can be moved around with a magnet, to look like a Sand-Bug!

To make your Sand-Bug Theatre, cut the bottom out of a shoe box, and tape a piece of regular copy paper over the hole. Decorate your “Theatre” any way you’d like. (You can use the image above on the front!)

Bend open a large paper-clip so that it looks like an “L”. Tape a small button magnet onto the paper clip.

To operate, spread sand over the top of the theatre, and move your magnet around underneath. Your “sand-bugs” should dance and race around the surface!

Got an idea of your own? Send it in, using the comment form below!