Coolest Yule Log Video Ever! A New Science Twist on an Old Favorite

YouTube recently challenged our Spangler Effect team to create a new twist on an old favorite – come up with a Yule Log video that breaks the mold of the old, outdated looping fire in the fireplace.

By Far The Coolest Yule Log Video Ever | Steve Spangler Science | The Spangler Effect | #NowCasting #YouTubeFireplace

This is not your mama’s yule log video. It’s by far the coolest science yule log video ever.

Steve and his team came up with different techniques to light and reignite the yule log of the future.

So warm up your holidays by casting this YouTube fireplace from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV using Chromecast. The video loops over and over for about 60 minutes so you can put it on and let it play during your holiday celebrations.

If you enjoy our video, please share it with your friends using hashtags #NowCasting and/or #YouTubeFireplace. And don’t forget to subscribe to The Spangler Effect channel so you don’t miss an episode. 

By Far The Coolest Yule Log Video Ever | Steve Spangler Science | The Spangler Effect | #NowCasting #YouTubeFireplace

 

After watching the video (it loops about every 5 minutes) come back and watch our Making of The Spangler Effect Yule Log. In the video, Steve explains the science behind each of the ‘tricks’ and how they made each one.

Here’s a special Behind the Scenes look at how we put together and filmed the Yule Log video.

Christmas Science Craft – Insta-Snow Globe Jar

Are you looking for a quick, easy and unique decoration to brighten up your home or give as a gift?

Make a festive Insta-Snow Globe jar.

Insta-Snow Globe Holiday Decoration | Steve Spangler Science

Materials

  • 4-5 scoops of Insta-Snow powder (depending on the size of your jar)
  • Jar with a lid (a wider, shorter one works best)
  • Miniature decorations
  • Candle or flameless candle (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Water

Insta-Snow Globe Holiday Decoration | Steve Spangler Science

Activity

1. Scoop Insta-Snow powder into a clean jar.

Insta-Snow Globe Holiday Decoration | Steve Spangler Science

2. Add water until Insta-Snow is fluffy but not over-saturated and gelatin-like.

3. Fluff and mix the snow with your hand to mix water and powder completely.

Insta-Snow Globe Holiday Decoration | Steve Spangler Science

4. Decorate by adding miniature trees, people and other holiday decorations.

5. Glue ribbon around lid and place on top of jar.

We used a tiny Santa, tree and snowman from a Christmas village set. Get creative – make people out of baked clay, foam stickers, Legos, Pom Pom people or branches and pine cones from your backyard.

Closing the lid on the jar keeps the snow fresh and wet. You won’t need to re-hydrate it. If you decide to leave the lid off the top, you will want to spritz the Insta-Snow with water every few days to keep it moist.

One more thing, because the Insta-Snow is wet and will keep the jar humid, if you decide to use a flameless candle do not leave it in the jar. Remove it when it’s not in use or the batteries and switch may rust.

We found this originally on All for the Boys and their post Interactive Snowscape. They use sugar for the snow, but we swapped the sugar for our Insta-Snow. Thanks for the great idea!

Christmas Science Craft – Pearl Swirl Reindeers

By Blog Editor Susan Wells

My favorite part of my job as Social Media Manager at Steve Spangler Science is seeing all the amazing experiments and lessons teachers share with us on Twitter. Some of our nation’s best teachers share how they make science come alive in their classrooms.

Pearl Swirl Baby Soda Bottle Reindeers - A Science Craft for the holidays | Steve Spangler Science

This week, we received a tweet from Zachary Champagne, a district facilitator for the Mathematics Formative Assessment Project at the Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. He is also a fourth and fifth grade math and science teacher in Jacksonville, Florida.

Zak says one of his favorite things to do is be a guest teacher in his own children’s classrooms.

He explains, “Initially I would schedule time with my son’s teachers for me to come in and do some awesome science (all inspired by Steve and this blog!).”

Pearl Swirl Baby Soda Bottle Reindeers - A Science Craft for the holidays | Steve Spangler Science

About three years ago, Zak was planning to do a holiday-themed science activity and was brainstorming ideas with his son, Aiden.

Aiden really wanted to do something with Pearl Swirl Baby Soda Bottles and decided to turn them into reindeers. His dad wasn’t immediately sold on the idea, until Aiden explained, “we can glue eyes on the bottles and use pipe cleaners as antlers.” And that was the beginning of Pearl Swirl reindeers. 

Pearl Swirl Baby Soda Bottle Reindeers - A Science Craft for the holidays | Steve Spangler Science

They have made the reindeers every year since. This year, Zak made them with his daughter Anna and 36 third grade students at Greenland Pines Elementary. He explains the experience -

I think the highlight of the pearl swirl reindeers is that each child gets to keep their reindeer and take it home.  And it always reminds me of a lesson I learned from Steve years ago…if we can make it to the dinner table then we have won.  I just picture these 36 third graders teaching their parents and siblings over the holidays about how liquids move inside themselves and continue to move after a force has been applied.  It gives me chills.

- Zachary Champagne

Remember that we mentioned our teachers are the best of the best? Here’s a little additional info on Zak. He was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 2006 (the Nation’s highest honor for a mathematics or science educator) and was named Duval County’s Teacher of the Year in 2010.

Not too shabby.

Pearl Swirl Baby Soda Bottle Reindeers - A Science Craft for the holidays | Steve Spangler Science

Materials

Activity

1. Fill each Baby Soda Bottle 3/4 full with water.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring or True Color Tables (won’t stain like food coloring).
3. Mix.
4. Add a few drops of Pearl Swirl and top Baby Soda Bottle with water.
5. Replace cap on BSB and tighten to prevent leaks.
6. Glue eyes, antlers and nose to make the reindeer.
7. Let dry.

Pearl Swirl Baby Soda Bottle Reindeers - A Science Craft for the holidays | Steve Spangler Science

If you have a fun, new and engaging activity that you use to make science come alive for your own children or in your classroom, share it with us @SteveSpangler or @SpanglerScience or use #MakingScienceFun.

 

Move Over 'Selfie' – Merriam-Webster Dictionary Names 'Science' the Word of the Year

Move over ‘selfie,’ there’s a new word of the year in town.

Merriam-Webster, America’s leading dictionary publisher, announced its Top 10 Word of the Year on December 3rd. Their choices weren’t based on the new, hip buzz words, but instead by the lookups on the online dictionary. The words that made their list had the biggest increase in lookups over last year.

Move Over Selfie, Science is the True Word of the Year According to Merriam-Webster | Steve Spangler Science

The words that increased in lookups were not new or headline-worthy, but instead were “words behind the stories in this year’s news.”

‘Science’ saw an increase of 176 percent in lookups in 2013.

Peter Sokolowski, Editor-at-Large at Merriam-Webster believes ‘science’ tops the list because of a wide variety of topics and discussions that came about this year, from climate change to educational policy.

“We saw heated debates about ‘phony’ science, or whether science held all the answers. It’s a topic that has great significance for us. And it fascinates us–enough so that it saw a 176% increase in lookups this year over last, and stayed a top lookup throughout the year,” Sokolowski explained.

Move Over Selfie, Science is the True Word of the Year According to Merriam-Webster | Steve Spangler Science

We decided to have some fun at the recent National Science Teacher Association’s conference in Denver.  Some crazy science teachers took #ScienceSelfies with Steve. Are you a science teacher, science student or science fan? Take your own #ScienceSelfie and share it with us on Twitter using the hashtag. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler Share your #ScienceSelfie with us on Twitter. @SteveSpangler

 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2013:

  1. science
  2. cognitive
  3. rapport
  4. communication
  5. niche
  6. ethic
  7. paradox
  8. visceral
  9. integrity
  10. metaphor

 

 

 

Send the Teacher in Your Life Back to School and Save $100

What happens when you put 150 teachers from around the world in the same room for three days with a team of instructors who are over-the-top excited about teaching science? Enthusiasm for making science fun spreads like a virus!

Science in the Rockies Teacher Training with Steve Spangler in Denver | Steve Spangler Science

If you are looking for the perfect gift for the teacher in your life, consider giving them the gift of education. Steve Spangler and his team of educators come together for three days in July for Science in the Rockies.  This is hands-on science professional development training that is guaranteed to re-energize and excite every teacher.

This is not a “sit-and-watch” teacher training… this is a “get-up-and-do” learning experience featuring over 75 engaging activities that teachers can take home and immediately share with their students.

Science in the Rockies teacher training with Steve Spangler

The best part? All of the activities are aligned with Common Core and Next Gen Science Standards, so teachers can easily fit them into their lesson plans.

The workshop is $895 for three days. All participants leave the workshop with $300 of hands-on learning materials. They also receive a 250-page training manual that details the entire learning experience.

In just three days, teachers will learn how to use exploration and inquiry to create unforgettable learning experiences for their students. Send your favorite teacher to Colorado July 8-10, 2014 for this inspiring workshop!

SAVE $100 Register by Dec. 31, 2013
In the past, we’ve had parents combine funds to send their teacher, or husbands surprise their wives with a trip to Denver so get creative and put together the most in demand teacher field trip for your favorite educator. Save $100 off registration before
December 31, 2013. Use the discount code VIRTUAL100

REGISTER NOW

 Science in the Rockies teacher training with Steve Spangler