Behind the scenes: Science of parades

Posted by Paige Bowman on November 27, 2019

Festive. A spectacle. A procession of fun. One of the most exciting and most popular aspects of local and school homecoming and holidays is often the parade. The community gathers to see the marching bands, athletic teams, fire trucks and police cars, horses, and likely all different kinds of floats.

When you start looking beyond the local scene and to some of the most well-known parades, such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Rose Parade in Pasedena, or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the floats become massive pieces of incredible showmanship. In some cases, engineers start working on float designs more than a year in advance to prepare for parades!

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Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Culture, Engineering, Careers, Activities

Celebrating National #STEMSTEAMDay!

Posted by Patty Cooke on November 08, 2019

We celebrate a lot of days and things, some more known than others. But November 8 is definitely a day we think deserves NATIONAL RECOGNITION. It's National #STEMSTEAMDay, a day to celebrate what we here at Pitsco love best (besides students and teachers, of course) – science, technology, engineering, art, and math!

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, Technology, STEM, Resources, Engineering, STEM Units, Activities, Hands-on Learning, STEAM, Math, Art

Stories and algorithms? The 4 Rs of 21st-century STEM education

Posted by Jessica Born on June 18, 2019

The three Rs of education – reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic – were the foundation for much of 20th-century learning. Even as we advance well into the 21st century, those foundational skills still carry significant importance for today’s learners. Students absolutely need solid literacy skills – print and digital – as well as the ability to write well and complete basic to complex mathematic tasks.

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Science, Technology, STEM, Trends, Resources, Engineering, Coding, Future Ready, 21st Century Skills, Math

How do bicycles work? The science behind this ‘simple’ machine.

Posted by Katlie Brynds on June 07, 2019

Bicycles are used by millions of people worldwide, for various reasons. People bicycle to work out, commute, deliver packages, compete in races, or just ride for fun. Riding a bicycle might seem easy to some, but it’s actually very complex. Both the rider and the bike play an integral role in the process, which is really more of a science than an art. So, how exactly does this two-wheeled object get us from Point A to Point B?

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, Resources, Engineering, Physics

National Peanut Month means it’s legume and jelly time!

Posted by Tommy Ly on March 28, 2019

Author’s Note: This blog was co-written with Educational Consultant Preston Frazier.

This month marks the 45th celebration of National Peanut Month (Nationalcalendarday.com). As the title suggests, and as many of you might already know, peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re legumes. Unlike its kidney bean, lentil, and pea cousins, the peanuts enjoy the limelight as one of America’s favorite snacks and food sources (Peanut-institute.org); it’s an important ingredient in several mainstream candy brands; and need I mention that it inspired a pretty catchy song and dance in 2001 (Peanutbutterjellytime.net)? In honor of National Peanut Month, we’re spreading the science (along with the tech and engineering) behind what it takes to make this infamous legume jelly’s other half.

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, Technology, STEM, Engineering, TETRIX Robotics, Hands-on Learning