Dark vs Light

With so much discussion about climate change, I decided to devise a fun and educational experiment that can show kids the difference between air temperatures on a planet taken in the open ocean and on ice caps, like the Arctic and Antarctica.  We started with a few simple tools: a large glass bowl to represent the…

What’s That Sound?!?!

Accidental cooperation of cicadas emerging out of the ground at the same time allows this insect a unique advantage. Some species arrive every spring, like those in the Sonoran Desert, but others emerge on a ‘prime’ cycle every 13 or 17 years. Can you imagine sleeping underground for that long? No, neither can I, but it may be advantageous…

Decoding the Black Hole

All those movies about information coming out of a black hole may be touching on real world science. Physicists have calculated a way to retrieve bits of information that “evaporates” out of black holes. Of course, they haven’t figured out how it happens or if the information may create more questions than answers, but it…

The World’s Toughest Animal

What animal can be frozen to 80 degrees Celsius for 10 years, thaw out and run around in 20 minutes? If you haven’t guessed by the photo above, it’s the very cool tardigrade, also known as the water bear. Scientists recently sequenced their genome and found that 17% of it comes from foreign DNA, compared to…

Physics Can be a Drag

“Nearly everyone is familiar with how a wedding ring or a coin spins and wobbles around on a tabletop. But as the video above shows, in the end the two shapes follow different paths, and physicists have explained why. When a coin or disk spins, its edge circles in the same direction as its center,…

Bats

There are 45 different species of bats in the United States, and none of them are out to suck your blood. These cute little creatures are insect, nectar and fruit-eating bats. They live in caves, under bridges, and trees, but you are most likely to see them when they start to come out to feed at…

Inventor at Any Age

If you sit on the beach long enough, you are bound to see plastic trash wash up on shore. Not surprising when there is at least 5.25 trillion tons of it in the oceans, and 8 million tons of plastic entering the oceans each year. What most of us don’t see are the tiny particles of…

Let’s Go Subatomic!

How to Reveal Subatomic Particles at Home | NOVA How crazy and cool is it that you can see a subatomic particle at home doing a simple experiment? Maybe we should start off with explaining what a subatomic particle is. Subatomic particles are protons, neutrons, and electrons. These subatomic particles are the building blocks of…