Category Archives: Cool Products

The Beauty of Clouds

Ever since I was little, clouds have fascinated me.   A simple little visible mass of condensed water vapor floating in the atmosphere,  I realize, but mesmerizing, nonetheless.  Storm clouds have especially intrigued me over the years, and with weather season right around the corner there is no better time to talk about clouds, then now!

My Instagram-ed photo ofLenticular Clouds at sunset just outside the Spangler Office.
My Instagram-ed photo ofLenticular Clouds at sunset just outside the Spangler Office.

As a child I would lay in the grass and imagine the fluffy white clouds as the gates to heaven… beyond which, the wonder of the universe was endless.   And sometimes… they just looked like an animal or an ice cream cone. Nature’s scribble pad for me to browse through for hours on end.

Nature's Paint Set
Nature’s Majesty – some stratocumulus clouds at sunset over my apartment. Kind of makes you want to break out your True Color Tablets, doesn’t it?

In school, we learned that clouds form when moist, warm rising air cools and expands in the atmosphere.  When that water vapor condenses, it forms tiny little water droplets.  After the cloud droplets form, they either collide with each other and grow by joining together.  If those droplets grow too large, they will fall to the ground as rain or snow.

Which is cool and all, but it’s the beauty of the cloud,  the visual stimulation of the formation itself, is what always makes me stop in my tracks to snap a shot.

Cumulonimbus Cloud with a rainbow
Nimbostratus Cloud with a rainbow – caught on my way home from work one day.  Time to break out your prisms, right?

As I grew older, I began snapping pictures of clouds, particularly clouds during storms,  and have gained quite a collection of some amazing cloud formations.  So I have decided to share them with you throughout this post.  Some clouds are in formations that I had never seen until I moved to Colorado.

I’m no expert by any means, but I’ve done my research over the years.  When I snapped a picture of an interesting cloud, and wanted to know more, I did what every other human being would do..I asked the internet! hus have decided to share some of the facts that I’ve found!

Super Cool, dark and ominous Nimbostratus Clouds.
Super cool, dark, and ominous storm clouds I caught on my way home one day.  The darker the better for me and my camera!

 

Did you know that the smaller those cloud droplets are, the brighter they appear?  This is because the tiny droplets scatter more sunlight.  Large droplets allow more sunlight to pass through, which is typically why it’s lighter during the biggest downpour in a thunderstorm, rather than the darkness we experience during  the cloudy portion of the storm. (Which is my favorite part!)

Wall clouds during sunset.
Wall clouds at twilight can be super pretty, even though they may pose a weather threat.  These however, feel less threatening as I take them through my window!

Wall Clouds are large formations caused when moist, humid air near the ground gets drawn up into the storm cloud, and condenses to form this monster. (Even though it may appear that the cloud is being compressed from above.)  These amazing clouds are always rain-free because of the air moving upward into the cloud.

Wall Cloud Rotation
Wall Cloud Rotation

Wall Clouds often have a very noticeable rotation, which is what makes our other not so welcoming friend, the tornado!

 

Mammatus Cloud Formation
Small Mammatocumulus Formation

Mammatus (a.k.a Mammatocumulus)   I found is a meteorologic term used for cloud pockets or pouches that hang underneath the base of a cloud.   These clouds do not produce severe weather, but tend to be associated with strong storms and tornados. But don’t fret, they do not signal that a tornado is forming like our wall cloud friends sometimes do.   What really happening is that those pouches are created when the high concentration of saturated air is heavier than the surrounding air, so it sinks back down toward the earth. 

Mammatocumulus formations out my window.
Mammatocumulus formations just outside my living room window.

 Hole Punch Clouds  are another formation that has always made me ask, “How did that happen?”  These formations are found in altocumulus cloud layers, but the reasoning behind the formation tends to cause speculation.  What is believed to be creating these formations are airplanes.

These altocumulus layers  where the Hole Punch Clouds reside, contain super-cooled water.  When something comes in contact with the clouds, like an airplane, the cold water droplets rush over the warm propeller blades or wings of the plane.  As this happens, those tiny frigid water droplets begin to expand and contract.   They will contract back into the cloud themselves, leaving a hole in the layer.

If the droplets can’t find a particle to cling to you get drifting ice crystal particles that will sometimes fall, and make a streaky cone shape under the hole, which is also called a Fall-streak Cloud.

Super Pretty formations, most likely due to an airplane.
Super Pretty Hole Punch Cloud formations, most likely due to an airplane.

Wow, I didn’t realize how much I knew about clouds!  So, thanks for allowing me to share some of my photos with you today!!

Anyone know what kind of cloud this is?
Anyone know what kind of cloud this is?

Intrigued by weather yourself and want some great weather related products?  Look no further than with us here at Steve Spangler Science!  We have fun things like Insta-Snow Powder, Tornado Tubes and Cloud in a Bottle that can really boost your weather lesson.

Need more ideas or just love clouds like I do? Leave a comment below!

Back to School with Steve Spangler Science

Do I smell freshly sharpened pencils?  Is that the clicking sound of a brand new protractor?  Are you surrounded by notebooks, fun new pens and markers that you’re dying to use?

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Back to School with Steve Spangler Science!

Yes!  It’s back to school time!

Not ready for back to school?   Wondering who do you turn to for help to start your new school year off right?   Back to School with Steve Spangler Science is always a great place to start! We’ve never let you down in the past, have we?

Now that you know where to go, you’re probably wondering what should you buy first? Well, the First Days of School Kit, of course!  It’s packed with a little bit of everything to get the kids excited about science.  Jelly Marbles, Water Gel, Windbags, UV beads and more – what else could you need?

First Days of School
First Days of School

Oh yeah, stuff for the rest of the year!

Here’s the good news!  You know that Steve Spangler Science  has all the reliable products that you and your students have come to know and love in the years past.  I mean, who can go a whole school year without  Insta-Snow, Windbags, Jelly Crystals, Slime and Worms?  BUT..did you know that most of the experiments you love come in Classroom Kits, too?  The classroom kits provide enough product for 24-30 kids. Plus, you will also find a teacher guide and even a student guide (in most classroom kits) to help ease the pain of lesson planning.

I see that glimmer in your eye… now, you’re getting excited about the new school year! Which is great, because we have so many more new and  exciting products  coming for 2014-2015.

If you been on the website at all this summer, you probably noticed things like new digital experiment guides, but did you notice that there has been a new Sick Science kit  released each week?

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New Sick Science Kits – Only from Steve Spangler Science!

No? Here are the 6 new Sick Science Kits you may have missed, but were newly released this summer:

Plus,  5 more new Sick Science Kits are still on the way!

Not sure how to incorporate more Science into your curriculum for the year? Your friends at Steve Spangler Science can help with that, too!

With younger students, you might want to try connecting Science to Children’s Literature.  Here are some great stories that keep the kids interested and inspire thought, paired up with fun science experiments: Axle Annie with Insta-Snow, Put Me in the Zoo with Spot Dot, Diary of a Worm with Insta-Worms and Zack’s Alligator (you get not just one, but two growing alligators with this activity set).

Zack's Alligator Kit
Zack’s Alligator Kit

Need more ideas on Science and Literature connections but like to learn in the privacy of your own home?  You say you also need more continuing education credits, but prefer a hands-on workshop? Then you’ll probably want to take Julie Gintzler’s Story Time Slime Online and Steve Spangler’s Virtual Science Workshop!

Story time Slime
Story Time Slime Online

Steve’s putting the “S” back in STEM! The Virtual Science Workshop will teach you how to use inquiry-based experiments and eye-catching demonstrations to promote independent exploration, increase student engagement and open the opportunity for STEM careers.

So go ahead, click that bookmarked SteveSpanglerScience.com webpage and start ordering up some Back to School fun!  If you need help finding experiments or activities to fill your lesson plans, don’t hesitate to call our friendly Customer Service Representatives at 1-800-223-9080, or leave a comment below!

Joy Gintzler's Bio
Joy Gintzler’s Bio

Bio: Joy Gintzler is a jack of all trades.  Currently a Customer Service Guru and Blogger for Steve Spangler Science.    She mixes cereal without remorse and loves engaging with customers, especially when helping plan events. 

 

 

 

#SpanglerSelfie Winners!

Well, you’ve done it!

You’ve allowed yourself to be sucked in by the selfie craze… and we LOVE IT!!  We are ecstatic that you are enjoying Steve Spangler Science product, so much that you have chosen to include them in your #SpangerSelfie!

Our Spangler Team definitely had a tough time judging all the wonderful selfies that we have received.  But we finally came up with  the top picks.

Here are your #SpanglerSelfie Winners:

Brandy Kauffman‘s wonderful Worms Selfie!

Is that a worm sneeze?
Is that a worm sneeze?

 

Maliha Iqubal‘s super-staticy, plasma ball selfie!

Maliha and her daughter playing with one of their favorite experiments - the plasma ball!
Maliha and her daughter playing with one of their favorite experiments – the plasma ball!

 

Jessica & Ashlin Cook‘s fun-tasticly fizzy selfie!

First Grader Ashlin Cook gets fizzy with some pop rocks and soda!
First Grader Ashlin Cook gets fizzy with some pop rocks and soda!

Chris Carpec Trinckes‘ crazy conference creations selfie!

Chris with her conference pals making windbag structures at SITR14!
Chris with her conference pals making windbag structures at SITR14!

Kara Dahlberg‘s colorful Bubbling Concoction selfie!

Colors are so bright, you gotta wear shades!
Colors are so bright… you gotta wear shades! (Extra Points if you can name the song reference! Anybody?)

 

Isn’t alliteration fun?

Congratulations winners!  Now it’s time to get ready for some cool Spangler products to head your way! All winners were notified via email and accepted their prizes.

Much appreciation to everyone who submitted a #SpanglerSelfie!  We hope that more of you out there will continue to send  and cpost your favorite photos (selfies and standard) of you with your science experiments.

Need more science experiments to fill your days?? Itching for some of our new Sick Science Kits??  Well good news, we have some!! Why not try out the Egg in a Bottle , the Rising Water Secret or the Density Divers?

As always, don’t forget to leave comments below to let us know what you think!

Blast Back to School with End of Summer Fun!

As the long lazy summer days begin to dwindle and the new school year fast approaches,  it’s a rush to pack in all of your summer fun.

End Summer with a Blast - Rocket Science from Steve Spangler Science

Wait a minute.., do I see you moping?  That is no way to enjoy the last few days of vacation time. Turn that frown upside down and blast back to school with end of summer fun! Not sure what to do to put some pep back into your summer? Why not let your friends at Steve Spangler Science help you find some fun experiments and activities to pull you out of your end of summer doldrums? Here are some great ideas to take away those end of summer blues:

Tie Dye T-Shirts from Steve Spangler Science

Want more instant ideas?  Try downloading one of our digital experiment guides!

That’s right, now you’re excited!  So go ahead, get that brain of yours back in gear with super fun, end of summer experiments from Steve Spangler Science!

Have more ideas for end of summer fun? Share them with us by leaving a comment below!

Science Takes a Summer Vacation – Selfies from the Road

Although our science kits and materials don’t sit on the shelves in our distribution center for long, they are still granted a summer vacation, like all of our human staff members at Steve Spangler Science.

Our science kits are also not exempt from the selfie craze.

Summer Science Selfies - Science Kits from Steve Spangler Science

We gave our science kits a one week summer vacation and let them lose in the world. They traveled from coast to coast and even checked out a little football in South America.

The Larry's Lab Crew Visits Times Square in New York City - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
The Larry’s Lab Crew Visits Times Square in New York City

Our products demonstrated that they can go anywhere and bring learning to everyone. This is road worthy hands-on science!

Saltwater Truck visits the Sand Dunes - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
Saltwater Monster Truck visits the Sand Dunes in Colorado

The science kits have returned and are ready to head to your home or school in time for back to school learning.

Growing Creatures visit Washington, DC - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
Growing Creatures visit Washington, DC

We want to hear where you like to do science. How did you bring Steve Spangler Science into your summer vacation? Did you make Insta-Snow on the beach in Hawaii? Or grow a lizard in Death Valley? Shoot soda geysers in Millennium Park? We want to see your summer science selfies.

6 Test Tube Experiments in a Rack visits the St. Louis Arch - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
6 Test Tube Experiments in a Rack visits the St. Louis Arch

Share your science selfies on InstagramFacebookTwitter or email them to us. Use #SpanglerSelfie so we don’t miss them.

Magic Sand visits Rio and the World Cup Soccer - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
Magic Sand visits Rio and the World Cup Soccer

If you haven’t celebrated summer with science yet, what are you waiting for?  Get colorful, get geyser soaked,  slime it up,  wear growing gators as a mustache or whatever your heart desires.  Just make sure your selfie makes you smile!

The Growing Lizards Visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
The Growing Lizards Visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Send us your selfie by August 1st. Our team of science selfie experts will choose four favorites and notify the winners by Aug. 5th. Winners will have 24 hours to respond with email, phone and address. If they fail to do so in the time frame, another winner will be chosen in their place. Kits will be sent out after Aug. 6th.

Beaker and Instant Snow Day visit Mount Rushmore - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
Instant Snow Day and Beaker visit Mount Rushmore

Our favorite four #SpanglerSelfies will win a science kit that you can take wherever you’d like.

Geyser Rocket Car visits the Beach - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
Geyser Rocket Car visits the Beach

We also need your vote -

The products have a bet going on whose vacation was the best. What is your favorite #SpanglerSelfie? Is it Magic Sand at the World Cup or Larry’s Lab in Times Square or one of the others? Share it socially or leave us a comment below with your vote. Help us settle the bet and calm down our disputing product line. Those products can get unruly after returning from some down time.

Instant Snow visits the Grand Canyon - Steve Spangler Science Selfies
Instant Snow visits the Grand Canyon