Category Archives: Cool Products

Time Lapse Photography Shows Crystals Forming and Growing on Paper Tree

Carey Brown, father to our Customer Service Manager, Zarah Brown, shared these amazing time lapse photography videos. He was experimenting with his new time lapse photography equipment and used our Magic Growing Crystal Trees as his subjects.

Carey shot the time lapse using a Canon MP-E65mm super macro lens and a Canon 5D2 camera.

Pour the growing liquid into a plastic tray and insert the paper tree. Allow it to soak and after about 15 minutes, crystals will begin forming. The entire process takes about six hours. Once the tree is dry, you can keep it in a safe place to enjoy for weeks.

In the first video, you can see the capillary action as the water moves up the paper, and then crystals begin to grow.

In the second video, you can witness a crystal forming and growing up close and personal. The delicate spider fingers that grow and stretch really demonstrate how the crystals


Spectacular Science – 4th of July Activities

This is an encore posting from June, 2011 on 4th of July science activities. Many areas in Colorado have cancelled their fireworks displays this year due to extremely hot and dry conditions. Here are some ways to celebrate without fireworks or firecrackers…

Independence Day is the absolute best of summer – picnics, barbecue, fireworks and family fun. Are you looking for something to keep everyone entertained during your 4th of July summer picnic? We have some suggestions for summer learning fun…Fourth of July celebrations.

Before you watch the rockets red glare, how about firing off some of your own rockets, making your own ice cream and designing your own light show?  Here are some of our recommendations to make your 4th of July barbecue sizzle.

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How to Say Thank You to That Special Teacher

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

Every time I help out in the classroom, I am in awe of what my children’s teachers do every day. Not only do they have the responsibility of molding, shaping and educating young minds, but they also must deal with a constant influx of small issues. One child wants to share what they did over the weekend; another lost an earring and their ear hole will close in five minutes if it isn’t located; another is sitting at their desk without a pencil or the ability to locate another; another needs a book;  someone else left their lunch at home; and another is wandering aimlessly around the classroom. Let’s not also forget the meeting at the coat rack about why someone can’t play with the others at recess. And that is just in the first five minutes of the day.

Teachers wipe noses, bandaid boo boos, soothe hurt or upset feelings, go on search and rescue missions, serve as a mediator along with trying to educate young minds.

Even though both my mother and father were teachers, teaching is not in my blood. I know I’d either be huddled in the fetal position by the time the bell rang every day or I’d be crushing fragile souls with “just find it yourself!” I don’t have the patience or stamina to be a teacher.

That’s why I am so appreciative of what my children’s teachers do every day. They should be put on a pedestal and celebrated every day. Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7 – 11th this year. Make sure you honor and thank your children’s teachers for everything they do day in and day out. And don’t forget the other professionals at the school – the art, music and PE teachers, the office staff, school nurse and classroom aides. It’s a big list, but all of these people are helping to prepare your child for the world.

If you are at a loss for how to say thank you, we have a few suggestions beyond the Starbucks cards and body lotion.

Gift Certificates
Teachers spend an average of $2,000 to $3,000 a year out of their own pockets on classroom supplies. A gift certificate to Steve Spangler Science allows the teacher to choose exactly what they need or want for the classroom. You can send them immediately via email or have them delivered to the teacher’s door.

Steve’s Hands-on Science Experiment Books
Your teacher introduced you to thousands of amazing hands-on science experiments this year, so Steve Spangler’s Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste and Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes books are the perfect gift to say thank you. Both books are filled with a great collection of experiments and are now only $20 for the set.

Beaker Mug
Keep your teacher sipping in style with this scientifically modeled Beaker Mug. This mug, handcrafted from a real beaker, is a must for your favorite science teacher. They’ll never need to worry about someone “borrowing” their mug again. Theirs is the awesome Beaker Mug!

 Tie Dye Lab Coats 
Every year I give my kids’ teachers a lab coat. After several years at the school, it’s fun to see all of the teachers we have touched. So after a fun-filled year with your teacher, show them your appreciation with a Tie Dye Lab Coat. It’s a guaranteed hit and your teacher will love the way they look in their brightly colored lab coat. Safety has never looked quite so good.

 

These are some big ideas as gifts for the end of the year, but you don’t have to go big to show how much you care during Teacher Appreciation Week. Have your child write a note to their teacher, give them a plant, school supplies or a special treat. For more ideas, visit our Teacher Gifts page or for more crafty ideas and do it yourself ideas, visit our Pinterest Teacher Appreciation category.

Toy Fair 2012 – The Effects of Launching Over 800 Mentos Geyser Cars

This year marked my 14th trip to the New York Toy Fair. And since Toy Fair is always scheduled during Valentine’s Day, this is my 14th year to be away from my wife. So, instead of sending her flowers or taking her to dinner, I just bring her home the latest X-Men action figures and a remote controlled helicopter. Yes, the marriage is going well… thanks for asking.

Almost 27,000 professionals involved in the toy or retail industries from over 100 countries converge on New York to attend the largest and most successful toy trade show. Buyers from over 6,000 retail outlets search through over 100,000 products for “gems” to sell in their stores. Wholesalers and inventors alike display their toys in hoping to find a gateway into the global toy market.

It’s always fun for me to get the opportunity to debut my newest toys at the Be Amazing Toys booth. This is a company that we started in 2002 to serve as the wholesale division for our science toys that were best suited for specialty toy stores and mass-market retailers around the world. After growing and selling the company in 2004, I continue to work in Product Development… which is just a fancy way of saying that I create new science toys and kits each year and market them through Be Amazing Toys.

This year’s hot products were the Mentos Geyser Car and the Energy Stick. Over the course of three days, we launched over 800 Geyser Cars in the booth as prospective buyers considered carrying the new product. Powered by a 2-liter bottle of diet soda and only three Mentos, the new Geyser Rocket Car will travel over 150 feet at a rate of about 12 miles per hour. The fancy Plexiglass enclosure created by our design guru, Jeff Brooks, kept the crowds from getting soaked with spewing diet soda, but the demonstrator (that’s yours truly for part of the time) was not completely protected from the erupting geyser. By the end of the day, my once pale white hands and arms were now a strange shade of carmel brown… which closely resembled the color of Diet Coke. Go figure.

The less messy but ever popular Energy Stick garnered lots of attention from a wide range of interested buyers. It’s a battery-powered device that turns your body into a human conductor of electricity. You and a friend hold onto each end of the Energy Stick while completing the circuit with your other hands. When the circuit is complete, the Energy Stick flashes and the buzzer lets you know that you’ve completed the circuit. Rest assured that there was lots of hand holding going on in the Be Amazing Toys booth at Toy Fair.

Both the Mentos Geyser Car and the Energy Stick are currently available at SteveSpanglerScience.com and will be coming to a toy store near you later this year.

But the best part of Toy Fair for me is being able to walk the exhibit floor to meet up with old friends and to make a few new acquaintances as well. Out of the clear blue, I turned the corner and ran into Cindy Burnham, one of the co-creators of the famous Tornado Tube product. Cindy’s husband, Craig, actually invented the toy many years ago, and it continues to be a best-seller today.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Shelly Brady, the creator of the original Tub Tints. Over the years, our team has created dozens of products that use her fizzing tablets to color water. Shelly is one of those success stories where a great idea gets teamed up with a big company and the rest is history.

I also did a live television segment with Christopher Byrne, the Toy Guy, to talk about the hottest toys this year.

 

It’s easy to gauge the success of Toy Fair by the number of business cards, postcards and other forms of wadded up paper that are bursting out of every pocket. There are lots of phone calls to make, e-mails to write and toys to ship in 2012.

 

Fire Bubbles & Naked Eggs Book Set – 12 Days of Wonder

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

We have reached Day #12, our final day in our 12 Days of Wonder. Today’s spotlight is Steve Spangler Book Set – Fire Bubbles & Exploding Toothpaste and Naked Eggs & Flying Potatoes .

This is our final day of the 12 Days of Wonder, but continue to check the Deal of the Day every day for great savings on science toys and kits. Or, sign up to receive a daily Deal of the Day email.

Steve Spangler Science is celebrating the 12 Days of Wonder and highlighting our top 12 science toys and kits that are perfect to put under the tree. As blog editor, social media coordinator and mom of two budding scientists, I will share my review of each product.

Day 12 of the 12 Days of Wonder features the Steve Spangler Book Set – Fire Bubbles & Exploding Toothpaste and Naked Eggs & Flying Potatoes .

Today only, this kit is our DEAL of the Day for $14.99. Regular price is $24.99.

My Review: 

Steve Spangler published his first book, Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes in 2010 and it was an instant hit for science fans and teachers everywhere. In 2011, his second book, Fire Bubbles and Exploding Toothpaste was published to the delight of his fans.

If you are looking for a book of science experiments to do with your children, Naked Eggs and Fire Bubbles are the perfect books. Each book offers a variety of experiments to do at home or at school with clear instructions, a list of simple materials, and a lesson on the science behind the activity. The experiments are easy to follow with “Let’s Try It,” “What’s Going on Here,” “Real World Applications” and “Take it Further” sections.

Fire Bubbles also offers a special “Teachers Only” section full of science demonstrations for the classroom teacher. And yes, these books make the perfect teacher gift this holiday season.

My favorite part of both books are the color photographs. Who knew science photography could be so captivating and breath-taking?

Here is a short list of experiments available in Naked Eggs:

  • Bubbling Lava Bottle
  • The Incredible Can Crusher
  • Nails for Breakfast
  • The Folding Egg
  • Quicksand Goo
  • Screaming Balloon
  • Burning Money
  • Trash Can Smoke Rings
  • Glacier Gak
  • Flying Toilet Paper

Here is a short list of the experiments in Fire Bubbles:

  • Floating Bowling Balls
  • Pop Bottle Music
  • Bouncing Smoke Bubbles
  • Walking on Eggshells
  • Balancing Nails
  • Fireproof Balloon
  • Skateboard Rocket Car

You can’t beat today’s price for both books. Purchase the set for the Deal of the Day and receive both books for the price of one. They are beautiful coffee table, classroom companion, kitchen science, or homeschooling science lessons books and so much more.