Saturday, October 13, 2012

Halloween Science: DIY Shrunken Heads!

With just a few common kitchen ingredients, you can turn ordinary apples into

Halloween is the month for all things creepy and it's a great time for playing with science! There are a lot of great science projects that can carry a Halloween theme, ranging from glow in the dark potions (that you can drink!) to dancing gummy worms. Halloween is a great time to bring out the fun in chemistry, and teach some really interesting concepts at the same time!

I wanted to kick off our month of Halloween chemistry with a spooky take on an old idea. The experiment we conducted involved the science of decomposition and preventing the biological processes that cause it. We followed the simple instructions for making apple dolls, though ours would take the form of Halloween shrunken heads!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Batty For Bats!

October is the month for all things related to Halloween and Kat and I have begun decorating our house in full festive fashion! While we were cutting out bat silhouettes to line our spooky hallway, we began talking about the animals themselves. We knew the basics: they are mammals, they fly, and they use sonar to find their food. Beyond that, we didn't really know much about them. So, for the next two weeks, we learned a lot about bats, played batty games, and even went to a local bat colony!

Bats are really quite fascinating. We've all heard the phrase "blind as a bat", but did you know that it is scientifically inaccurate? Bats can see just as well as humans; they are not blind at all. In fact, many fruit bats and other fruit/nectar eating bats can see exceptionally well, as they use their senses of sight and smell to locate their food. It is the smaller carnivorous bats, who hunt moving prey at night, that rely on echolocation to find their food.