Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween Science: Goblin Eggs!

It's about to get messy in here!

Halloween is my favorite time of year and it's a great time for science! From sticky slime to shrunken heads, it's a fantastic time to get messy and experiment with the world around you!

One of our favorite science experiments is the Naked Egg experiment. This is one of the first chemistry experiments we ever did, and we love it! The result can be a bit messy, but it's a lot of fun! When I had my niece over for Fall break, we tried it again. Only this time, we gave it a bit of a Halloween twist...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Let's Take A Trip Through The Digestive System!


We're going to make a digestive system cake, eat our digestive system cake, then...
DIGEST our digestive system cake!

It's an anatomy cake of SCIENCE!!!!

Today I'll share how we made our digestive system anatomy cake, took a blind taste challenge, and modeled the process of the digestive system! You can find the projects listed throughout this blog post (with a cake finale!), and links and resources at the end. But first, let's take a look at how the digestive system works...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

It's A Bat Tunnel Extravaganza With The Scientific Mom and AZ Game and Fish!

This post covers the epic turnout for our field trip to the Phoenix Bat Tunnel. For information on both Bat Tunnel locations, as well as further reading and educational resources, please scroll to the bottom of this page!

Bats emerging out of the 24th Street overflow tunnel in Phoenix.
Photo Credit: Eric Proctor, AZ Game and Fish Dept.
Ever since we found out about the urban colony of  Mexican Free Tailed Bats in Phoenix, Kat and I have gone every summer to check them out. Every year, between the months of May through October, we make our way to one of the downtown overflow tunnels to hang out with 10-15,000 Mexican Free Tailed Bats! Last year, we decided to invite our friends and fellow community members to join us. We had approximately 40 people come out to learn all about megabats, microbats, bat anatomy, echolocation, and of course, to see the colony of Mexican Free Tailed Bats as they took off to hunt for the night!

Our first field trip to the Phoenix Bat Tunnel was a great success!
Photo Credit: Devon Adams 2013

Last year's field trip went so well, we decided to make it an annual event. This time, my good friend Eric Proctor, the Wildlife Educational Coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, got involved with us and threw in some wonderful surprises! Not only would we invite our fellow nature lovers out with us again, but this year our presentation would include mummified bats, live bats, bat skulls and skeletons, and sonar listening devices that we could use to listen to the bats as they used echolocation to hunt at night!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It's An Intergalactic Geek Extravaganza At Burton Barr!

Have you ever wanted to have story-time with Darth Vader? Have you ever wanted to meet real superheroes and find out where they got there powers from? Have you ever wanted to hang out with real Jedi Knights as you work to protect the galaxy?

Pretty In Pink
Darth Vader at Burton Barr Library
If you love Superheroes, Science, or Star Wars, then you're going to love what the Phoenix Public Library has to offer this month! As a part of their library card extravaganza, the month of September is going to be packed with all things geek! The only tickets you need to get in can be found on your library card! If you don't have a Phoenix Public Library card, do not fear! They can sign you up at the door (it's free!), as you waltz your way into the a geek's paradise.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dissection: Let's Take A Look Inside The Heart!

This post contains images of a heart dissection. There is no blood in the heart or in these pictures, but there are several close up images of the dissected heart and muscular cells! 

When Kat and I were learning about the heart and cardiovascular system, we really wanted to get an in depth understanding about the human heart and how it works. We had built a model of a pump to mimic a heart, we had made up a circulation game with little blood cell pieces, and we had even made an anatomically correct model of the human heart! What we hadn't done, was look at a real heart, in the flesh, and see how we we learned looked in reality.

For this, we turned to the tried and true method of biological dissection! A biological dissection is a very detailed examination of a deceased (and sometimes preserved) plant or animal. It often involves cutting it open at specific points to get a good look at the inner workings of the organism. Kat is no stranger to doing dissections, as she did her first when she was four years old. She had found a giant crab spider that had perished in our office and wanted to take a look at it. She actually made a fascinating discovery, that spiders have almost metallic looking springs loaded in their pedipalps (pads on their front two legs) that they use in mating!

Kat's crab spider dissection, featured in
The Not So Creepy Crawlies

Saturday, July 26, 2014

TV for kids: Science, Engineering, and Technology, with Annedroids!

What if your kids had a full yard of parts, tools, and laboratory space at their disposal? What it anything they could dream of would be right at their fingertips, if they could just find a way to engineer them into reality? Sinking Ship Entertainment's new TV show Annedroids has a new take on the 3 musketeer group of friendships, and these kids have just that!

Image Credit: Scientific American

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sweet Science: Strawberry DNA Extraction Lab!

Science at the park! A DNA Extraction lab on a crisp fall day.
Photo Credit: Alex Gregory, ASU Photojournalism student

One of our favorite biology labs to do is the DNA Extraction Lab. We've been doing this activity since my daughter was 4 years old, and it is a fantastic and fun way to get a closer look at the tiny world inside of us!

DNA exists inside of every single cell in our bodies, as well as every living cellular organism (that we know of) on Earth. You can think of DNA as the "code" that lets our cells know what job they have, and what category of tissues they belong to. Some cells are coded to be a part of our eyes, while others are coded to be a part of our muscle tissue. Every cell is encoded with DNA, even red blood cells, bacteria cells, and skin cells!