Saturday, August 31, 2013

Maker Space is Coming to Phoenix!

MAKE is coming to Phoenix!

Have you ever wanted to play with electronics, but weren't sure how they worked? Have you wanted to introduce squishy circuits, snap circuits, robotics, and circuit building to your kids but weren't sure how to start? Are your kids interested in the maker spaces that are sweeping the nation, enticing kids to embrace inventiveness and creativity and MAKE things?

If so, I have fantastic news for you! The Phoenix Public Library is opening up a FREE weekly make space for kids! They'll be exploring electronics using snap circuits, squishy circuits, Arduiono, Makey Makey invention kits, and more! Hackers Haven will be open in the Phoenix Library every Tuesday, from 6-7pm, spanning the months of September, October, and through the end of November.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Taking School to Las Vegas!

We're taking school with us to Las Vegas!
Here we are, setting up a designated school drawer in our hotel room.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I took our daughter out for a vacation in Las Vegas! My husband was attending the Jeff McBride Magic and Mystery School  and while he was busy during the day, Kat and I would venture forth on our own adventures to see what the city of glitz had to offer traveling families. Since casinos aren't exactly appropriate places for kids (and I don't care to gamble anyway), I decided to look off the strip to plan our family fun. This led to a pretty tough question: What can you do with your kids in Las Vegas, that doesn't involve the Las Vegas strip?

To find the answer, I had to get creative. I turned to the locals for advice and asked where they take their kids on a hot summer day (the desert equivalent of the elusive "rainy day"). I found a wonderful blog called Wandering Off, written by Sarah Vernetti. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter, and reviews various Vegas locations (and other travel destinations!) from a parent's perspective. I also asked the wonderful community of people on The Scientific Mom's facebook page, and was fortunate to receive some great responses from people who have visited with their kids, as well as from people who live there!

Without further ado, here are the fabulous places we went during our family trip to Las Vegas!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Nature Protectors Unite! It's Time to Talk Trash!

Hello, world. Let's get to recycling!
Image Credit: Earth 911

What happens when you put your recycling into the big blue bin? After the city trucks collect it, where does it go?

My daughter asked me this as we took our recycling out for the weekly pickup. While I didn't know the answer to her questions, I did know who would - the Public Works Department of Phoenix! I called the North Gateway Transfer Station and arranged a tour of their recycling facility! We were actually going to take a tour of a recycling center to see where our trash goes! This was awesome! Boy, it sure was going to be hard to wait for a whole week!

I decided to take this opportunity to think a bit more about our own waste management. We've always been fairly considerate of our impact, trying things such as composting, making "no littering" signs, and organizing a small Earth Day parade at our local park. This time, we decided to take a closer look at ourselves and our habits. We wanted to know, what were our own contributions to waste and recycling? We decided to track our waste for a week to find out...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Home School at the Arizona Science Center!

We've got our safety gear on, it's time to do some SCIENCE!

Kat and I LOVE the Arizona Science Center. We've been members for over three years, and for much of that time, we've been making weekly trips to what we affectionately call our second home. Their planetarium shows are wonderful, the exhibits are spectacular (check out their physics room and Forces of Nature!) and the staff is friendly, fun, and exceptional at bringing the excitement of science to kids of all ages! What makes the science center extra special for us, is that they offer incredible science classes and labs for homeschooling families here in the Phoenix area!

For the last seven years, Mary Campbell and the AZ Science Center have been providing the Phoenix homeschooling community with a unique opportunity to participate in some incredible science courses, going through the whole spectrum of scientific study, and exposing homeschooling parents and their kids to some pretty sophisticated science lessons.