For the love of popcorn: The science behind the pop

Posted by Patty Cooke on March 14, 2019

I love popcorn. Microwave, stove-top, movie theater, street- and store-bought popcorn. I love it all. And I’m not keen on sharing my popcorn with others either. I’ll buy – or pop – you your own bowl, bag, or bucket, but I want my popcorn all to myself. I’m a generous person, but hey, this is popcorn we’re talking about! So, when I heard there was a Popcorn Lover’s Day, I happily volunteered to research and write about this awesome snack food.

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

STEM and football join teams

Posted by Preston Frazier on February 02, 2019

Sunday’s big game is almost here! People have made their team picks of who will win the most prestigious trophy in professional football. Even if you’re not a football fan, this is the perfect time to look at some math and science connections that your students can relate to the big game on the gridiron.

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Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Culture, STEM, Resources, Activities, Physics, innovate

Winning the snowball fight: The science of snow

Posted by Patty Cooke on January 03, 2019

When I was a kid, winter always seemed to bring at least one big snowfall every year. It’s possible these snowfalls seemed larger in comparison to the ones I see now simply because I was about two feet shorter back then, but whatever the reason, I remember engaging in numerous snowball fights over the years. As the fourth in a family of 12, and growing up in a neighborhood filled with children, I never lacked for fellow snowball fight competitors. So, I watched and learned a few tricks about packing snow to create the best snowballs and snow forts. What I didn’t know was that all this involved physics.

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Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Activities, Hands-on Learning, Physics

Relaunching a favorite: The Straw Rocket Launcher gets an upgrade

Posted by Patty Cooke on November 01, 2018

If you read Anna Gudde’s recent blog post, “Cover to cover STEM!,” you know that our 2018-19 Elementary STEM catalog came out recently. And if you’ve browsed the pages of the catalog, you might’ve noticed an exciting change to one of our most popular products – the Straw Rocket Launcher.

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Collaborations, STEM, Engineering, Activities, Hands-on Learning, Physics

That sinking feeling – what the plunge of a roller coaster causes

Posted by Katlie Brynds on August 16, 2018

Imagine being on a roller coaster. You’re heading up the first big hill, and all of a sudden, the car tips over the top and plunges down the loop. You can feel yourself rising from the seat, and its as though your insides are floating. The weightless feeling you experience in this situation isnt an illusion. If you had a scale, you would find that you actually weigh less in that moment.

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Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, STEM, Hands-on Learning, Physics