Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Fun and Learning: Meet the Elements

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

We are always looking for resources to further our children’s education. We found a band named They Might be Giants and their album “Here comes science.” Today I am sharing the video called Meet the Elements.  They do a lot of songs and videos that are interesting and accurate. This music video is catchy, intelligent and well done. Enjoy.

 

Blinded Me with Science – Quantum Mechanics

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Those who are children of the 80s probably remember the song “She blinded me with Science” (follow the url for the video).  Lately I have been looking curriculum and resources related to science.

Youtube has an amazing amount of videos, both amateur and professional, on scientific subjects.  Levi in picture to the left is watching a video on the Standard Model of Quantum Mechanics.  It is a graphical introductory video and both boys seem to like it.  The picture is showing the four known forces of matter and energy and their separation at the big bang.

The four known forces in the universe are:

  • Electromagnetism
  • Gravity
  • Strong Nuclear Force (holds nucleus of atoms together)
  • Weak Nuclear Force (causes radioactivity)

I was concerned about the availability of science resources.  I have found quite a few resources.

If you have an interest the video is here.  It is about 15 minutes.

The Pond View

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

The boys looking into a pond

Last Friday, we took a trip to the Lost Bridge State Recreation Area.  We arrived around 5:00 p.m.  The sun was beginning to set.  We took a flashlight just in case it got dark before we returned to our car.  Levi initially did not want to go on the hike.  After a while he started to enjoy himself and played in the leaves.

We also observed two deer,a buck and a doe.  Levi yelled at them and scared them off.  Still they were pretty close.  The view in the woods and off of the pond around sunset is quite simply amazing.  The trail has markers.  Both boys started counting them down from 16 to 1 (we walked the trail “backwards”).  It is amazing what they pick up and learn by themselves without prompting.  Opportunities to learn are everywhere.

We finally cleared the woods and arrived at the pond as the sun was setting.  The boys wanted to go out onto the dock on the pond.  They took some leaves and tossed them in and watched them float.  We spent some time there on the cool and quiet water letting the boys observe and experiment.

We finally returned to the trail as twilight arrived, and we used the flashlight briefly as we returned the van.  It was a fun hike in the woods for us and the kids.  I look forward to doing this more often in the future.

A Holy Curiosity

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Levi found my middle school yearbook yesterday, and managed to color several photos fuschia before I caught him. As I flipped through to survey the damage, I paused to reminisce.  One page spread showed pictures from various classes: physical education, math, science, social studies.  Aside from the captions, I couldn’t tell most of them apart.  Here, I’ve shared the picture labeled “Science.”  Pardon me, but I don’t see much science happening in this picture.

Contrast this with yesterday’s outing with the kids.  We took a nature hike, snapped some family photos, and took in the beautiful fall day.  They experienced firsthand the flora and fauna of a temperate forest, our local biome.  They experimented with physics by throwing small rocks over a ledge and widely missing the lake below.  They collected pods from locust trees and shook them, listening to the seeds rattle inside.  True, there is something to be said for systematic learning, and some science facts (e.g. the periodic table) must be memorized.  We’ll do plenty of both over the next several years.  Still, there is no replacement for observing one’s world, guided by innate curiosity.  Perhaps Albert Einstein said it best when he said:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.

As Nate and I educate our children, one of our goals is to preserve and enhance that curiosity.  I am concerned that the type of “science” occurring in this yearbook picture would stifle it.