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

 

Product Spotlight – Kinetic Sand

We have a lot of cool stuff cross our desks at the Spangler Labs. Occasionally there’s one that really stands out, even amongst all of the awesome stuff found in our store.

We were all excited when Kinetic Sand joined our catalog late this summer.

Kinetic Sand - Moving, Moldable Sand creates a hands-on science experience for all ages | Steve Spangler Science

Kinetic Sand looks like plain old sand, but this is not the sand you find on the beach. It flows and moves by itself, yet it can also be molded and decorated. (And no, it’s not wet.)

Kids (and adults) won’t be able to stop playing with this sand.

Everyone in our front office has a bowl of sand on their desks for those fidgety or stressful times. They’ve built sand balls, ice cream cones and even created the likeness of each other with the Kinetic Sand.

Kinetic Sand - Moving, Moldable Sand creates a hands-on science experience for all ages | Steve Spangler Science

It is made of 98% real sand and the secret lies in the remaining 2% with a special, non-toxic polymer. Kinetic Sand won’t dry out, won’t leave residue on hands and is easy to clean up.

While Kinetic Sand might appear to be just a fun material, this moving sand is actually designed to aid young developing minds. The unique properties of Kinetic Sand help develop fine motor skills, enable sensory development, and assist in cognitive development. It’s also a great tool to use alongside other materials for sensory therapy and special needs kids.

Kinetic Sand - Moving, Moldable Sand creates a hands-on science experience for all ages | Steve Spangler Science

Kinetic Sand has earned its place on our Top 12 Gifts this holiday season. Check out the other 11 remaining products that made the cut (and it wasn’t easy choosing only 12).

 

Save 30% Sitewide With Cyber Monday Savings

This sale is over, but keep watching for additional sales and deals this holiday season. 

The Thanksgiving weekend is over. The turkey is gone. Black Friday sales are but a memory…

That means today is Cyber Monday and we are celebrating by having our biggest sale ever. Today only take 30% off everything on our site. That includes Geyser Cars, Microscopes, Science Kits, Insta-Snow, Robots and so much more.

Steve Spangler Science super sales this week only. Our biggest sale ever!

 

If you need some ideas, check out our Top 12 Gifts to put under the tree. You won’t go wrong with these fantastic educational toys.

Skip the battery operated toys, the dolls, the cars and give the gift of science this year.

Don’t worry if you miss our sale today…we will continue celebrating by offering a few leftovers.

Tuesday – take 20% off the entire site.
Wednesday – take 10% off the entire site.