Sunday, February 19, 2012

Science Vacations With Kids in Baltimore and DC

Okay!  So what does a science teacher do with her own children when on vacation?  I take them to fabulous science museums all over the country!  On the docket for this vacation:  a trip down to Baltimore and Washington DC.  Amtrak is having a deal on companion tickets to Baltimore: save 30%.  It's a pretty good deal and the kids love the train.

Why Baltimore? you ask.  The most amazing aquarium I've ever been to!  The Baltimore National Aquarium on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.  When you get to the site, click Plan Your Visit>Discounts and Promotions to find deals on the tickets, which are pricey.

 I usually buy my tickets for everything a la carte, but you can find some packages for hotel, meals, and VIP admission to the aquarium right here at the Visit Baltimore Harbor Magic Site.  

Other destinations: the new science museum in Baltimore: The Maryland Science Center.  This museum is also right on the water in the Inner Harbor.  I booked my hotel on Priceline, and it allows you to select the Inner Harbor location.  

I haven't been inside YET, but I was in Baltimore in December and went for a walk around the beautiful harbor.  There was a long line outside the museum waiting for it to open on a sunny Sunday.  Both the Aquarium and the Science Center have incredible deals on Friday nights!  Starting at 5pm, they sell tickets for full admission for $8.  Amazing!  You can add on additional activities (like IMAX movies, 4-D theater, dolphin shows, etc.) for a small fee.

There are so many cool places to go with kids in Baltimore's Inner Harbor! But those are the two places I will take my kids in March.  

The next day, I have friends who live in DC, so we're staying with them and then going to the FREE museums there:  

The National Air and Space Museum is first on the list:  it's a classic!  I remember seeing my first IMAX film here in was amazing!  The Space Shuttle Discovery is arriving there in April, so we'll be too early for that. 

Then, my older son is insisting on seeing the Hope Diamond at The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.  The best part is: we can go in and see the diamond and leave for lunch without worrying about admission:  the admission to the DC museums is free!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Free Study Tool! iPad Smartcover App: Evernote Peek

This is absolutely adorable.  About 20% of my students have iPads...they are going to LOVE this!  It's free in the Apple App Store.  Click here!

Science Project Timeline

I have been running science fairs successfully with my students for 12 years now.  For new teachers, managing a project of this size and scope can seem daunting.  Why not just copy what I've got so far and make changes where you'd like to make them?

This link will take you to my 6th and 7th grade Project Timeline, which has worksheets, guidelines and rubrics attached for most of the items that are to be submitted.  Let me know which work best for you...if you'd like me to post something in particular, drop me a comment!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Edible Science Model Project: Part 4: Periodic Table of the Cupcakes!

Here we are, folks!  The Periodic Table of Cupcakes was a phenomenal success--thank goodness for 90 minute lab block periods...

We had a TON of extra cupcakes.  So, after all of the classes in the school had an opportunity to see the Table of Cupcakes, we sent representatives to the Lower Elementary School classrooms to explain what they were and to share them.  The younger kids got a real kick out of "eating Plutonium" or "eating arsenic".

...too bad you can't taste them from there, the homemade marshmallow fondant was incredibly tasty.  Click here to view the inspiration for the project and the link for the recipe for the fondant.  Keep in mind--it's so easy a 7th grader can make it (a Very Smart 7th grader).

More Edible Science Model Project Posts...

1. Jello Cells
2. Cell Cakes

Got more edible Science Projects?  Contact me for a guest posting on my blog!

Modeling the Scale of the Solar System? Try THIS one on for Size--It Covers the Entire Country of Sweden!

Many teachers of astronomy begin with activities or projects that help students to grasp the enormous scale of the solar system--which is a good idea, because all of the diagrams we see in textbook give us the poorest sense of it.  (See this post for more information on that...)

However, here's the biggest one on our planet--in Sweden.  It begins with the Sun (the Ericsson Globe) in Stockholm--modeled at 110 m in diameter and ends at the Terminal Shock.  The Terminal Shock (the edge of the heliosphere) in the Swedish model is 950 km away from Stockholm!