Category Archives: It’s Not Science But…

Will Wheaton Anti-Bullying Message is Right On

This video is a few years old, but we thought it needed to be shared. Again. Wil Wheaton was in Denver at Comic Con and was asked if he was bullied as a child and what he did to deal. The question came from a young girl in the audience. His anti-bullying message was spot on.

Wil Wheaton at Denver Comic Con 2013 From CGPhotogcom

When a person makes fun of you or when a person is cruel to you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s about them feeling bad about themselves. It’s about them feeling sad,” Wheaton explains.

Every parent and every child should watch this video. When we all understand where bullying comes from and how to defeat it, maybe then it will disappear from our culture.

There’s 50,000 people here this weekend who went through the exact same thing and we are all doing really well.

“Don’t you ever let a person make you feel bad because you love something that they decided was only for nerds,” he ended with. “Your loving things for you.”

 

Snow Monsters That Glow in the Dark!

JoAnna Cobb is a math teacher in southern Indiana by day, but by night, she creates snow monsters!

Mrs. Cobb and one of her Snow Monsters
Mrs. Cobb and one of her Snow Monsters

Mrs. Cobb is an excellent teacher who likes to make her math classes as interesting as possible – she’s been known to use some Spangler Science, in fact!

But during this long snow day after snow day week, Mrs. Cobb and her mom decided to be innovative with their snow creations.  Some inexpensive Glow Bracelets (Dollar Tree – two for a buck!) and some snow-rolling later, and the Cobb lawn was covered with creepy snow creatures with glow-in-the-dark eyes and a scary, smiley mouth!  (At least Mr. Cobb won’t have to mow for a while!)

Did I mention that Mrs. Cobb’s mother came over and helped cover the lawn with monsters?  Proof:

Mrs. Cobb's mother likes to make snow monsters, too!
Mrs. Cobb’s mother likes to make snow monsters, too!

Mrs. Hackney, you’ve definitely done a good job raising your daughter.  I think we know where she got her creative streak, too!

If you’re passing the Cobb lawn and see a swarm of glowing-eyed snow monsters, don’t be afraid.  They’re friendly.

I think.  Well, what do YOU think?

They're not scary, right?
They’re not scary, right?

Maybe I’ll wait until daylight to drop in, Mrs. Cobb.

Science isn’t always about labs and test tubes and chemicals, you know.  A lab is any place where experiments are being performed, and a snowy yard where people are experimenting with glow-in-the-dark faces on snow monsters is definitely a lab.  Every classroom is a lab.  Every kitchen is a lab.  Yes, every classroom, and every kitchen.  Any place wherein people are laboring in some way is a LABORatory.   Working in your yard?  You’re working in a lab.  You’re LABORING, aren’t you?

Mrs. Cobb’s yard was definitely turned into a laboratory this week.  She didn’t know how the Glow Bracelets would work until she experimented, did she?

Laboratory.  Experiment.

Spangler Science Has Awesome Pinterest Boards!

Do you need ideas for the science fair?  Spangler Science has a board for that!

Find great ideas for your science fair project!
Find great ideas for your science fair project!

Are you looking for specific grade levels for activities for your students or your own kids?  Spangler Science has a board for every grade level, from kindergarten through high school!  And of course, science doesn’t really have an age limit, so be sure to browse all our grade level boards!

This is your brain, before and after a brisk walk!
This is your brain, before and after a brisk walk!

Did you know that your kitchen is a science laboratory?  Cooks are using chemistry every day in there!

Those eggs change when heat is applied.  That's science!
Those eggs change when heat is applied. That’s science!

Spangler Science has a Pinterest board for holidays.  Spangler Science has a Pinterest board for math, and literature, and art, and history.  Whatever you are looking for, you will probably find on a Spangler Science Pinterest board!

Hey, we even have a Pinterest board for creative school lunches!

What kid wouldn't love to find this in his/her lunchbox?
What kid wouldn’t love to find this in his/her lunchbox?

The point here is that Spangler Science Pinterest boards cover pretty much anything you could possibly be seeking for your students and for your own children.  And for yourself – our stuff is pretty cool for any age!  We have much more than just science – we have EVERYTHING!

Come on over to the Spangler Science Pinterest Boards!  What are you waiting for?  Many of our boards are interactive, so what’s stopping you from sharing your own stuff with us?

Pinterest is a wonderful way for all of us – teachers, parents, scientists, EVERYONE – to share our ideas.

Our kids benefit greatly, and so do YOU.

 

 

Do You Love or Hate Back to School Supply Shopping?

The smell of 24 newly sharpened pencils is in the air – it must be time for Back to School supply shopping.

Back to School Supply Shopping - Do you Love it or Hate it? | Steve Spangler Science Blog
Is that a chisel-tipped low odor marker?

It’s an emotional and expensive time of year for parents. Their babies are taking another step towards adulthood – entering a new grade and sometimes even a new school – be it kindergarten, middle school, high school or college.

Don’t forget the added pressure of registration fees, bus passes and so many other expenses flying at parents from all directions.

Add to the todos a complicated list of required school supplies and you have the makings of hurricane mama spinning through the aisles at Target.

Over the years I’ve heard a lot of parents complain about the number of pencils or glue sticks needed or size or materials of notebooks and folders. The question is always WHY? Why so many glue sticks? Why a SAFE-T 12″ View-Thru flexible Inch/CM ruler?

Here’s an example of a real school supply list I found online:

        • 2 Boxes Facial Tissues, 160 count box
        • 1 Ruler – SAFE-T, 12″, View-Thru, flexible, Inch/CM
        • 1 Calculator, Texas Instrument TI-108
        • 2  Notebook Filler Paper – Wide ruled, 150 pages, 8×10.5
        • 1 Scissors – Fiskars for Kids, 5″ pointed tip
        • 1  Notebook – Composition book, Mead, 100 pages, wide ruled (black and white)
        • 2  Glue stick, washable school glue (1.4 oz.)
        • 1 Pencil case – Zipper, Mesh pocket, 3 ring for binder
        • 9 Folders – 2 pocket, with fasteners, plastic, no paper – 2 yellow, 2 blue, 2 green, 2 red, 1 purple
        • 1  Markers – Crayola, 8 color pack, thin line (classic colors)
        • 2  Pen – BIC Round Stic, ballpoint, medium point, single (blue)
        • 4 Pen – BIC Round Stic, ballpoint, medium point, single (red)
        • 1 Index Cards – Ruled, 3×5, 100 count
        • 1  Protractor – SAFE-T “View-Thru,” 6″, clear
        • 2  Dry Erase Markers-Expo Low-Odor, 4 bold colors with chisel tip, and eraser

No wonder parents are losing it.

Those plastic, pocketed, 3-prong folders in specific colors are usually the items that drive me to the edge of sanity. How many stores do I have to visit before I can find 1 purple, plastic folder, with prongs and pockets?

Parents have a vision of teachers compiling these lists as they wring their hands and cackle about the torture their new parents suffer in August.

A recent post on People I Want to Punch in the Face vowed tongue-in-cheek revenge on a merciless teacher’s school supply list. The author claims it is a joke, but all parents understand the emotion, stress and general frustrating truth behind it. We’ve all been there.

Teachers can’t possibly choose the 8-crayon packet ($3.99) because they know the 24-crayon pack will be on sale for $0.25 just to spite parents and make them pay more.

Anytime I’ve talked to a teacher about the unattainable treasure on the supply list, they have a suggestion or a replacement. They don’t hold those lists to the letter – the 24 pack of crayons is usually just fine.

Teachers are also facing the stress of pulling together their classrooms and collecting supplies they need but may not have the budget.

Parents stop stressing and complaining over the supply lists. Work with your teacher and compromise. Stop taking the list as the end all vex from teachers to parents. They don’t intend it, I promise.

If you are a teacher,  share your thoughts and processes for creating the supply lists. Do you have a say in it? Does the school or ultimately the district that develops these lists? How strict are you with exact supplies?

If you are a parent, share your frustrations and let our teachers know what you are facing out there in the school supply jungle.

Let’s stop complaining and start working as a team.
We are all in this together.

While you do that, I’ll be out hunting down low odor Expo chisel-tipped markers…

 

Susan Wells Blog EditorSusan Wells is a mom of two girls who are growing up way too fast. She is the Marketing Manager and Blog Editor for Steve Spangler Science. In past lives, Susan has been a social media manager, web developer, web content manager, online news writer,  photographer, classical and jazz bass player and live sound technician.