Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three Ideas For Shaking Up Your Science Routine

IDEA ONE. The History of Biology (HT to Subadra). Kiddo is hooked on trying to solve the mystery of why Dr Walden A. Shyre, a scientist (virtual of course), has disappeared. In the process, he has to complete a number of missions that involve researching the discoveries of several notable scientists. The site offers a free 7-day trial. However, if you want to proceed past the first challenge, you'd have to cough up some dough for a license. We chose the annual student license ($19.99) since it was the cheapest option. Kiddo plays with it mostly independently but I have had to help him along here and there and in the process, found the set up interesting and the clues challenging. You can give the free version a whirl here.

IDEA TWO. Watch science changing lives. We love catching up once in a while with the latest updates on how science makes this world a better place. The video above, one of the latest from TED, shows you just that. It is a little dry for the first 4 minutes but thereafter, it'll amaze you and perhaps even make you reach for a tissue. Enjoy!

Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices to Channel Your Inner GeekIDEA THREE. Okay, how quickly can you say Magnetorheological Fluids? We discovered one of the coolest magnet tricks today. All you need is a small plastic cup (a film canister will do too), about 2 tablespoons of iron filings, a little vegetable oil and a popsicle stick. And one strong magnet (we used a ring variety). Mix the iron filings and oil together in the cup using the popsicle stick. Then play with the mixture using the magnet. We made the popsicle stick jiggle in the paste and then were astounded when it suddenly stayed still after a magnet was introduced to the wall of the cup. It's so fun! Discover the science here.

Idea courtesy of kiddo's Gonzo Gizmos book. He is now excitedly babbling to his Dad about its possible uses in real life, such as stabilizing buildings for earthquake-safety. And yes, we do eat a lot of Haagen Dazs ice cream lol.


  1. I love these ideas! Thanks for posting this.


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