Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Science Night!

The big night is almost here!  Come to Science Night tomorrow night (Wednesday) from 7 to 8:30 for all kinds of science fun!  See student projects, try experiments, see live animals and make paper!  Special guests include the Academy of Natural Sciences, Briar Bush Nature Center, Sustainable Choices (Papermaking) and Microscope Science.  Hope to see you tomorrow night!

Raptor Resource Project

The Raptor Resource Project is the ultimate in reality shows!  Following an eagle family high above a fish hatchery in Iowa, you can watch as the adult eagles bring prey back to the next, feed their young eaglets and protect them during good and bad weather.  It is on 24 hours a day so you can see the action anytime!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Mealworm Life Cycle

Prekindergarten students have watched their mealworms change from larvae to pupa and now to beetles.  It's been a fascinating journey.  As mealworms, we studied various aspects of mealworm behavior, such as what they like to eat, if they can follow a maze or crawl backwards.  Playing with the darkling beetles was great fun, and it was wonderful to watch students who initially said; "I am afraid of beetles", enjoy having them crawl all over their hands and arms.  If you'd like to play with a mealworm too, you'll have a chance on Science Night!

More Magnet Maze Mania pictures.....

Magnet Maze Mania with Kindergarten!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Volcano Pop-ups

As part of our study of earth science, 3rd grade students do a variety of activities.  They make egg models of the layers of the earth, use Milky Way bars to demonstrate plate tectonics, make working volcano models and many other activities.  Today's activity was to make volcano pop-ups.  Students picked a type of volcano to study; shield, composite or cinder cone.  Then they illustrated a pop-up display and added facts about their type of volcano.  Look for the pop-ups along with the clay volcano models on Science Night!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Summer Science Camps

If you are looking for a summer camp for your child that is science related I have included some links to programs that I know are great.  If you have any questions about any of these (or know of others I should add to the list) let me know.

The Academy of Natural Sciences
Science Explorers
The Franklin Institute
Briar Bush Nature Center
Morris Arboretum
Riverbend Environmental Education Center
Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education
Mercer Museum (Robotics)
Mad Science

PreKindergarten Mealworms

PreK students have had a great time exploring the exciting work of mealworms.  After a series of experiments on mealworm behavior, the students enjoyed building mazes for their worms to try to follow.  Do you think a mealworm can follow a maze?  Ask a PreK student for the answer!

4th Grade Mold Symposium

The 30th Anniversary of the 4th Grade Mold Symposium was a complete success!  AFS hosted two other schools for a day filled with science discovery and fun.  First, the students presented their work in small groups.  Then, it was on to "Moldy Lunch" (ask a 4th grade student what we ate) and then each school presented a mold song.  There was a short movie about the whole process.  Come to Science Night to see all of the hard work the students put into designing, carrying out and presenting their experiments.

Magnet Fun with Kindergarten!

Transpiration Experiments with 1st Grade

Did you know that the water cycle occurs in plants also?  1st grade students learned this when they placed stalks of celery in red water for a week.  The xylem vessels of the celery turned red as the water was drawn up through the stalk.  It was a lot of fun trying to remove long strands of xylem vessels from the celery!

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Did you hear the thundersnow this winter?  It was really amazing. Here's an interesting article about this unusual weather phenomenon. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wagner Free Institute of Science

Do you like Antique Roadshow?  Then you should attend the Natural History Road Show at the Wagner Free Institute of Science on May 7th.  This event will be sure to please all ages.  You can bring all of your treasures to be identified by one of the museum's experts!  Bring minerals, fossils, shells and insects to this one-of-a-kind event.  While you are there, check out the unique Victorian-era natural history museum, it is truly a gem. 

Kindergarten Chemistry

Take 4 different substances. Sand, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix with water. What happens? Something very different with each one!

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Mold Symposium Experiment, Week 4

Just a preview of some of our disgusting, but wonderful, results! The Mold Symposium is in a little less than a month and our results have been amazing. Students are hard at work now making their display boards so they can share their projects at the Symposium!

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3rd Grade Geode Making

In a wonderful art/science collaboration, Jody and I made beautiful geodes with 3rd Grade as a part of their study of rocks and minerals. First, in art class, the students created the geodes out of clay formed around real rocks and glazed the insides of the geodes. In science class, using aluminum sulfate, the students made crystals inside of the geode halves. The results are really spectacular!

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Field Guide to Snowflakes

Since it seems like we're likely to have more snow events this winter, you might want to carry this handy snowflake chart with you at all times.  Then, as the snowflakes fall, you can easily identify each individual snowflake!  If they land on a dark surface it makes it easier to see the intricate patterns.  Also, if you have a camera that take close-up pictures, it's pretty easy to snap some beautiful photos of each snowflake.  For fascinating reading about Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley and his snowflake photography, check out the website here.

Morris Arboretum

One of the real gems in the northwestern corner of Philadelphia is Morris Arboretum.  It's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.  There's a Victorian fernery, outdoor model railway, environmental sculptures, streams and ponds.  It's easy to spend a whole day lost in the natural beauty of the place.  Follow the link below to see their complete listing of courses this spring! 

Morris Arboretum List of Spring Courses

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Color of Science - An Evening with Prominent African-American Scientists at the Franklin Institute

New Exhibit at the Franklin Institute

Great new exhibit!

The Philadelphia Science Festival

The Philadelphia Science Festival is a brand new two-week, community-wide celebration of science that will take place annually in April, featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages.  Our own Science NIght will take place right in the middle of this wonderful new event! Check it out at http://www.philasciencefestival.org/

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bernoulli's Principle and the 1st Grade

As part of our study of air, the 1st grade did some experimentation with the effects of air pressure.  First, we tested just how much pressure we could apply to a wall when standing still, walking, and then running.  It's a lot harder to press hard on a wall when you are running alongside of it!  That's just like air pressure.  The faster the air is moving, the lower the pressure.  Next, we figured out how to blow up giant wind bags using that same concept. Them it was back to the classroom for more experimentation.  Watch for the results of all of our hard work at Science Night in April!  

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