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Earth Day: Staff Picks!

As I wrote my blog essay in celebration of Earth Day, I found myself in unexpectedly bug-laden territory, without a compost bin, wind turbine, or reusable food container in sight. But Earth Day is about all of those things. It's about taking a moment to recognize what's around us, to take stock of where we are, and to consider ways in which we can make changes, big and small, that can make an impact on the environment. It's about conservation and awareness. Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth?

I asked members of the Science Buddies team to pick their favorite Project Idea for Earth Day from the Science Buddies Project Ideas Directory. Here's what they chose:










    MarisaMarisa: The Big Dig

    Test how biodegradable different materials are, from paper products to different kinds of bags and other everyday items.








    PeggyPeggy: Swimming in Acid: Understanding Ocean Acidification
    Many scientists are concerned that the increased absorption of carbon dioxide is causing them to become more acidic. What impact does that have on the marine life? In this ocean science fair project, you will demonstrate ocean acidification and investigate the effect on the shells of marine life.
















    DebbieDebbie: Growing a Soil Menagerie
    Make a mini biosphere (Winogradsky Column) to test the response of soil microorganisms to environmental changes in a closed system.







    SandraSandra: "Earth Day is about stopping to take the time to appreciate the outdoors and making sure that we humans are living in a way that allows future generations to do the same. Does that mean we're going to abandon our cars and turn off our electricity? Realistically speaking, I can't imagine doing that! Finding ways to solve environmental problems while maintaining our lifestyles seems more realistic. Here are two Project Ideas that I think allow us to start evaluating and tackling some of those environmental problems:"

  • Do Your Storm Drains Keep the Ocean Trash Free?
    Test models of local grated storm drain inlets to determine if they are designed in a manner that keeps plastic litter from entering your community's stormwater drainage system. If not, design a new model!

  • Water to Fuel to Water: The Fuel Cycle of the Future
    Follow in the footsteps of MIT researchers as you examine water's usefulness as a renewable energy source by observing how efficient a cobalt-based catalyst can be at helping to form molecular oxygen.


(Thank you to our partners and sponsors whose support helps up continue to produce environmentally-aware science and engineering projects and materials for K-12 students, teachers, and families.)


Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


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School and family science weekly spotlight: explore how different sorbents might help clean up an oil spill.

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Highlights and favorite posts from last year on the Science Buddies Blog—great science project overviews, visual spreads that show hands-on science in action, and real-world connections.

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A new website feature at Science Buddies, sponsored by Cisco Foundation, brings science news to students. With the news feed, students can easily locate science news stories related to a project or science interest.

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Thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the INFINITY Science Center, and Science Buddies, teachers in Mississippi got a booster course in rocket science—and paper airplane folding.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: use dough to explore the relationship between dimensions of an object and volume.

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In movies like Dolphin Tale, you don't have to look far to find the engineering design process in action. With the steps of the engineering process being acted out as the story unfolds, students see that success often involves a great deal of trial, error, testing, and redesigning.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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