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Science Mom Archives

The Science Buddies Blog gives students, teachers, and parents an inside look at student science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects, activities, success stories, and real-world connections.

Previous posts in the Science Mom category


Time for Spooky Halloween Science

As trick-or-treat night approaches, we have plenty of suggestions for hands-on science you can fit in with Halloween festivities and discussions! Meet your kids where they are—in the Halloween mindset! Science Buddies has great ideas…


Electronics and Play Dough: Fun, Tactile Family Science

With a new group of electronics Project Ideas and a cool kit from the Science Buddies Store, you can turn ordinary play dough modeling into a great hands-on electronics activity with your kids. Since the trio of "electric play dough"…


Science Projects that Double as Halloween Costumes

If you are still thinking about what to wear this Halloween, you might find you can combine a science project and your costume needs to good, possibly ghoulish, effect!


A Trick of the Eye for Halloween

Exhaust your eye cones in just the right way, and you can enjoy the spookiness of seeing something that isn't really there!


Building Bristlebots: Basic Toothbrush Robotics

As this mom discovered, with a bag of toothbrushes and some basic electronics supplies, you can give a group of kids a fun introductory robotics experience—no prior robotics expertise necessary! Since the BristleBots robotics project…


Family Math: M&M Color Statistics

Use colorful candies to explore science and math with kids!


Student Science: Straw Suspension Bridge

How does the Golden Gate Bridge or another suspension bridge work? Does the suspension design help it support more weight than other types of bridges? In the "Keeping You in Suspens(ion)" science project, students put these questions to the test.…


Basketball Science on the Court

Have a sports-oriented kid? Playing basketball can engage muscle power and brain power! For summertime fun, hit the courts to explore the science behind shooting hoops. By Kim Mullin Better Basketball? Can science help you improve your…


Math Riddles for All Ages

A new book brings math into the realm of bedtime stories. Whether you read it with your kids at night or during the day, Bedtime Math encourages families to talk about math every day—and to have fun doing so! Talking About and Doing…


Green Family Science: Pinpointing Constant Power Drain

Are there energy vampires in your house? There are probably more things sucking on your household energy than you realize! This summer, band together with your students to analyze your family's power usage—and to see what steps you can take to…


Where's Waldo Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: investigate the science behind visual search and find.


Calling Naturalists of All Ages: Citizen Science Projects for the Whole Family

Birds, frogs, ladybugs, and butterflies—these are a few examples of species in which growing waves of scientists are helping contribute to a global knowledge base. You and your family can, too! Image: University of Florida, Institute of…


Avoid the Summer Slide: Bring on the Family and Home Science Projects!

Boost your summer break with hands-on science the whole family can enjoy. From activities you can do with the kids in an afternoon, to projects you can set up as challenges for the kids to work on throughout the summer, summer science can help keep…


Create a Carnival of Robot Critters this Summer

With a bit of planning, you can stock up on materials your students can use to create a cadre of cool robotic animals, bugs, and creatures this summer. Upcycled vibrating motors may be your best friend for inspiring hands-on engineering with your…


Girls at After-school Program Science Event Explore Paper Airplanes

Hands-on engineering doesn't always require high-tech materials. Armed with a stack of paper and the steps to folding a basic dart airplane, a volunteer leads a paper airplane station at a local science exposition and realizes, with surprise, that…


Family Math: Making a Geodesic Dome from Straws

Geodesic dome math project: A model dome like this can be made in any size (as long as you figure out the relative lengths of the struts). This one is pretty big!

Exploring Engineering with Hands-on Building Systems

Born on May 15, 1863: Frank Hornby, an inventor whose "toys" included Meccano, an engineering construction set of nuts, bolts, and strips of sheet metal. Hornby first devised the system for his children. When he moved on to mass produce Meccano, he…


Flower Pigment Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: use paper chromatography to see what makes up the colors of flowers.


Colorful Carnations: Hands-on with Capillary Function

What color flowers do you want this week? Nature produces a wide array of wonderful colors, but plant biology opens the way for a whimsical "choose your own color" flower experiment, perfect for home or the classroom. April showers, May…


Crystal Chemistry: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science weekly spotlight: grow crystals at home and explore the chemistry behind the big ones!


Flip-book Animation Science: Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight

School and family science project weekly spotlight: create easy and fun flip-book animations to explore the optical illusion behind animation.


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Circus Science

School and family science weekly spotlight: use marshmallows and sticks to explore how the distribution of an object's mass determines how the object will balance.


Bot Building for Kids and Their Parents: Celebrating Student Robotics

Find out how to get your (and your kids') feet wet with hands-on robotics engineering projects and activities. From taking robotic steps with LEGO® to upcycling toothbrushes or recouping the innards of cast-off electronics, robotics projects can turn kids on to creative thinking and STEM tinkering! Start at the beginning with simple bots that require only a few parts, and then move on to increasingly more innovative and sophisticated designs, building know-how with each new bot. Watch your student's understanding of robotics engineering grow bot by bot!


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Candy Chromatography

School and family science weekly spotlight: paper chromatography to explore the colors in candy coatings.


April 1 Science: April Fools' Day Inspiration

Finding the fun in April Fools' Day gags and pranks—and the science connections to capitalize on the fun! Photo: Screenshot from Google Nose video. It is April 1, and April 1 means April Fools' Day jokes and pranks from trickster…


A Close-up Look at Egg Shells: One Family's Science Experience

Before settling down to serious Easter egg-dyeing with her family, this cool science mom did the "How Does a Chick Breathe Inside Its Shell?" activity with her daughter (age 9) and her nephew (age 3). Eggs and three-year-olds can sometimes lead to a scrambled science experience, but with a few extra eggs on hand, the experiment was a success!


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Soft-boiling Eggs

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of eggy projects that are just in time for more Easter-inspired science with your family!


Egghead Science: The Strong and the Weak of It

When it comes to structural engineering, there is a lot to be learned from the shape of the mighty egg. At the same time, sitting on an egg doesn't always work out so well. From eggs to domes to bridges, there is family science at hand perfect for…


Spring Break Science: A Hands-on Project Survival Guide

Follow along all week as we highlight great picks for keeping the kids busy with hands-on science during spring break. Carefully-selected projects and science activities can be fun and engrossing.


Finding the Science in Spring Break

If spring break is on the calendar, take advantage of the week to tackle some hands-on family science or set the kids up with STEM projects that offer a fun challenge and some focused exploration. Great science activities and explorations for…


A Family Science Hop Along: Egg-centric Science Exploration

If you and your kids are planning to boil and dye eggs this week, don't miss out on the great opportunities for fun, colorful, and possibly smelly, family science!


Weekly Science Project Idea/Home Science Activity Spotlight: Silk Tie Dyed Easter Eggs

School and family science weekly spotlight: a pair of art meets chemistry projects perfect for Easter-inspired science activities with your family!


Science in a Flash: Turn Milk into Plastic!

Try this quick and easy way to introduce kids to chemical reactions and polymers. One Science Buddies mom even used it for spur-of-the moment entertainment at a slumber party! Simple household kitchen ingredients and materials let one science…


Snap Photos from Science Camp

A new app and site from Elmer's® Products can help you capture and organize all the sticky, amazing, robotic, solar-powered, glue-filled, and otherwise amazing and inspired moments of summer science camp. Help your kids preserve the excitement…


Tower Talk: Hands-on Materials Science and Engineering

Families and young engineers can get hands on exploring the ins and outs of tower building using LEGO®, spaghetti, or even newspaper. Have fun seeing who can build the tallest tower, but be prepared for some structural collapses along the way as…


Creative Summer Science: A Science Collection

Creating a display of a science collection can be a wonderful exercise in observation and classification. Plus, your student will end up with a tactile visual reminder and keepsake. Creating a foam board display of a science…


Making Room for Math

Multiplication tables? Fibonacci sequence? First 23 numbers of Pi? Algebra problems? Solid shapes? Bucky balls? Zany stories about rabbits that multiply exponentially? School may be out for the summer, but studies suggest that sending math skills on…


Hovercraft: A Multi-Terrain Vehicle

Planes, trains, and automobiles... all great ways to get around. But when it comes to exploring cool travel, the hovercraft shines with its ability to effortlessly glide across land or water. Make one at home to explore the aerodynamics at…


Blueprints for Family Science Fun

In a series of fun and accessible family science projects, Science Buddies and Scientific American make it easy to add family science to your together-time activities. Each week, Scientific American posts a new family science activity at…


Putty Science: Family Fun with Polymers

Creating a batch of homemade putty puts polymers in the palm of your hand. This family science activity may inspire nostalgia, but your kids will have a blast exploring the tactile medium. From slime-factor to elasticity to bounciness,…

Hooked on Manga: Comic Science

If your readers are fans of one comic format or another, you may find that science-themed manga titles are a welcome addition to your younger and middle students' summer reading lists. Guidance for Parents If your kids gravitate toward…


Roller Coaster Science: Marbles, Tubes, and Loops

Building paths for marbles to race, climb, and loop brings physics to heart-pounding life—minus the admission fee, height requirement, and endless wait in line. A willingness to uncover principles of energy and laws of motion is required;…


Beat Brain Drain with Summer Science

Student "brain drain" during the summer is more than just media hype. Statistics on academic loss offer a cautionary tale, but taking steps to infuse summer fun with summer science can help keep critical skills in motion. Summer science might be…


Family Dinner: Serving Up Science

Families who gather around the table to eat turn off the electronics, put down their books, pass the salt, salad, or main course, and tune in to one another. With busy schedules carving out the hours of the days for both students and parents, the…

Pinhole Viewer: Trying Again for the Transit

The Venus Transit offers a wonderful opportunity for family summer science and an easy DIY science activity—making a pinhole viewer. From parallax to exoplanets, tomorrow's transit raises plenty of talking points for students and their…


Family Science: Pinholes and Safe Solar Viewing

Creating a pinhole projector for the eclipse encourages hands-on family science—and offers a lesson in perseverance. Family science doesn't always turn out exactly as planned, but everyone learns something along the way. Tubes, tape, and a …


Parent Perspective: Understanding Your Role in Your Student's Science Project

Watching kids trying to create super bubbles reinforces the importance of hands-on learning for this science mom—and reminds her that parents should watch but not take over. Image: Bigstock. A trip to the science museum strikes a…


The Wonder of Bioluminescence: Organisms that Glow

Many beaches and waters glow blue or green thanks to marine organisms that create their own light as a result of a biochemical reaction. The above photo, taken by photographer August Bach at Grayton Beach, shows "waves" of glowing blue light…


Learning from Worms

April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. But if you look closely, you'll find that April showers also bring creepers, slimers, wrigglers, and crawlers out in force. Every student's and every parent's tolerance level for organisms like…


Putting Your Eggs All in One (Dye) Basket

eggs,boiling, hard-boiling eggs, hardboil eggs, soft-boil,vinegar,science mom,family science


Shhhh...Don't Tell Your Kids Camp is Good for Them!

By Kim Mullin Children may feel like summer vacation is a distant dream, but July will be here before we know it. A summer science program can be the start of a lifelong interest and an enthusiasm about science that can continue into the…

New Paper Plane Record

A plane designed by John Collins set a new world record last week. Thrown by former football quarterback Joe Ayoob, the plane flew 226 feet, 10 inches in an indoor hangar on the McClellan Air Force Base, breaking the previous record by more than…


Arsenic and Rice

If you think arsenic poisoning is something relegated to the pages of mystery novels, think again. Arsenic may be in foods you routinely eat—but it's undetectable by taste or smell. How much arsenic in your diet is safe? Number 33 on…


Science Buddies Helps Scientific American Bring Science Home

Image: Wikipedia. The following Science Buddies activities appear as part of Scientific American's Bring Science Home: Starch Power: Generating Gooey Gels (full Project Idea) Earthquake-Proof Engineering for Skyscrapers (full Project…


Licorice Root, Please

Licorice root may help fight cavities and other oral health problems, but most "licorice" candies are actually flavored with anise. Image source: Pikaluc, Wikipedia. Willing to try a licorice-based toothpaste? When it comes to candy,…


Find a Feather, Pick It Up?

Hanson's essay is thought-provoking and eye-opening, and for students with an interest in birds, or even an interest in paleontology, there is plenty of potential for inspiring and inspired science projects that may find a launching point in an essay on feathers. One path students might follow involves considering the question: where did feathers come from? And why do birds, alone, have them?


The "Science" of Giving

(Editorial note: the following fun science giving suggestions and selections are from one Science Buddies science mom and do not represent official endorsements by Science Buddies, with the exception of the Science Buddies Kits. Many of these gift…


Mom of Two Emerging Video Game Designers

Got students who are interested in video games? There's science and engineering to be discovered and leveraged—even as they rack up points and level up! The December 2011 issue of the Science Buddies newsletter focused on video and…


Pumpkin Seed Puzzle

By Kim Mullin With Thanksgiving this week, you might even be counting on pumpkin pie after dinner, at least once! If the baker in your house is using fresh pumpkin, it's a perfect time for young scientists to turn pumpkin guts into a…


Can You Harvest the Moon?

Do the phases of the moon also effect agriculture? Do plants need moonlight to stay healthy? Do they grow better when planted during a particular phase of the moon?


The Goo on Gluten

The above ball of dough has been kneaded. Students can explore kneading as one variable that influences the strength of the gluten in a food. For many of us, Thanksgiving brings with it the feast mentality and ushers in a season full of…


Good Hand Washing? Turn on the Black Light!

"Glowing" germs let students test their hand washing techniques, evaluate areas of the hand, and investigate germ transmission! Image source: Glo Germ, used with permission. With its emphasis on creepy, crawly, nighttime fun, Halloween…


Candy Chromatography

Brightly colored candies in your Halloween bag might be the key to your next science investigation! Image: Wikipedia. Trick or treat! Today's the day! But what will you do with all the candy you accumulate going door to door in this year's…


Glow-in-the-dark Chemistry

Glow-in-the-dark items can be fun year-round, but the eerie glow of a chemiluminescent reaction like the one shown here fits right in at Halloween!


Biodiversity at Halloween: A Spider Variety Show

Kim and her kids spotted an Argiope aurantia like the one shown here on a daily walk. Image: Wikipedia, Deisy Mendoza. Family Exploration Remember, your students are curious about the natural world around them. A simple walk to…

Sounds Like Halloween

Family "Listening" Fun What does Halloween sound like? Ask your kids, and they'll probably come up with a rapid list of eerie sounds they associate with Halloween. You can explore principles of the Movie Music science project with…


Trick-or-Treat Science

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Halloween is next week, and you may have your mind on the treats you hope to rack up going door to door in your neighborhood, candy bag open. While Halloween's entourage of ghouls, goblins, and zombies may push…


The Science of Too Sour

Tang, an orange-flavored, powered drink developed by William Mitchell was popularized on board NASA's Mercury flight in 1962. Experimenting with powdered drinks and levels of "sour" can offer kitchen science fun for the whole family! Image:…


Color-Soaked Bugs: Color Sense in Insects

Dr. Mohamed Babu, India, turned thirsty garden ants into a cool series of photos and an interesting hands-on look at color sense and insects.


Form and Function: A LEGO Camera

Legotron camera, by photographer Cary Norton. Image used with permission, courtesy of Cary Norton. Photographers with an engineering streak are always looking for creative ways get an image from an unexpected source. Sometimes invention…

Slingshot Science: The Physics in Angry Birds

It's hard to believe that a year ago I wasn't yet wise to the squawking, oinking, glass-shattering, wood-breaking, and highly addictive cacophony of Angry Birds. Slingshot a little bird through the air to knock down a structure that seems…


Inspired by Neil Armstrong

Born on August 5, 1930: Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. The story of Neil Armstrong's historic Apollo 11 mission captivates and inspires many young moon watchers. With the right science projects, they can turn their…


The Artful Side of Bacteria

The art itself occupied two large, fully-enclosed, wall-mounted Winogradsky Panels, each filled with bacteria-laden mud that had taken on impressionistic shapes in a spectrum of colors, including reds, greens, and golds. From afar, you see a piece of "art"—not millions of bacterial organisms. In reality, this display is a version of a Winogradsky Column, an experiment which enables students to observe and investigate the growth of a microbial community and the influence of oxygen and light.


Blow: From Marshmallows to Microbes

The parts of a woodwind instrument, like the clarinet reed and mouthpiece shown above, could turn the band into a bacterial hotspot! Photo: James Eaton-Lee Njan Wikipedia. At Maker Faire a few weeks ago, I wandered with my kids through a…


Hard-Boiled Science

Hard-boiling and dyeing eggs offers a number of avenues for families to explore both food science and chemistry. Forgoing boxed dye tablets, the eggs shown above were dyed using natural ingredients like turmeric and beets. Photo: Whiteley…


Earth Day: Turn Over a New Log

"Beetle collection at the Melbourne Museum, Australia," Wikipedia In celebration of Earth day, take a colorful entomological look at biodiversity by browsing Pheromone: The Insect Artwork of Christopher Marley. When it comes to things…


Watch Science Mom on Mom's Homeroom

Courtney Corda, AKA "Science Mom," appeared in a video segment (Episode 6) of Mom's Homeroom this week with a roundup of great tips for parents whose students are doing science projects or preparing for the school science fair. Walking a group…


Summer Science Programs

Roller coasters? Pinball machine design? Model planes? Stop motion animation? Renewable energy? "Myth-busting" (putting those science stories to the test)? Video game programming? Kite flying? Greenhouse gardening? Cooking? Photography? Medicine?…


A "Science Mom" Thumbs-Up Science Detectives Series

[Editorial Note: Amy, whose blog entry appears below, is one of several "Science Moms" at Science Buddies!] Image source: screenshot from video trailer of The Case of the Terrible T. rex. We love our math and our science and our…


Science Mom: Experiencing a Shower...in the Driveway

I read about the Perseid meteor shower in the newspaper the morning of August 12--the day the annual meteor shower was predicted to peak. The Science Mom in me flagged the event, but even so, I thought to myself, "I'm not sure I want the kids to miss their bedtime again."

Science Mom's Radio Appearance

If you missed Science Mom on the radio Saturday morning, you missed a great talk about science, parenting, and the ways in which science impacts every aspect of our lives! See a list of projects and listen to the show online!


Science Mom on the Radio

Courtney Corda, our very own Science Mom, will be live Saturday morning (May 8, 8:30 AM PDT) on the KGO radio Joanie Greggains show. A former PE teacher, Joanie Greggains is a special advisor to the California Governor's Council on Physical…

Science Mom Uncovers Science in Gelatin Dessert

"Science Mom" Courtney Corda appeared live on View from the Bay today to demonstrate the way enzymes and proteins interact when you mix various fruits with gelatin. For Courtney, the kitchen is the perfect place for parents to get hands-on with kids…

Courtney "Shakes" Things Up on TV

Courtney was live as resident "Science Mom" on ABC's "View from the Bay" last week. Tune in as she talks about science literacy, the basics of earthquakes, tectonic plates, P-waves, and the importance of putting real-world…

Science Buddies on Air

In her appearance on The View from the Bay, Science Buddies Vice President, Courtney Corda, talks about the value of making science an everyday subject and topic of family discussion. Courtney encourages parents to approach…

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