Posts Tagged “Teaching Science”

A Fall Family Favorite Game: Hit The Habitat Trail

By |

Animal and environmental trivia game for the whole family. Test your knowledge of the eight habitats and ecosystems.

Affiliate links are used in this article. The opinions expressed herein are strictly our own.

Habitat Trail Profile Pic

Hit The Habitat Trail is a family board game that brings you a bit closer to nature. Designed for 2 to 6 players, the game is played similar to many trivia board games by answering questions and moving around the board.  Players compete by correctly answering game trivia cards in an attempted to collect 2 cards from each of the eight habitats. The habitats are Ocean, Jungle, Forest, Wetlands, Mountains, Dessert, Grassland and Arctic.

Habitat Trail 3

Players who incorrectly answer the game questions, must roll the die and move backwards that number of spaces. Trivia questions range from animal behavior to habitat info to ecosystems and more. They offers a variety of information and trivial facts.

If a player is lucky, he or she will draw a “Wisdom” card, which can be traded for a habitat card for the habitat that player is current in or used to trade among players. These wisdom cards can be held for later use, as a strategic advantage. While the wisdom cards aren’t necessarily designed to offer advice, some of the cards have wording that might be helpful, insightful or inspiring. One example is “You use leftover water from any water bottle to water a plant”.

Habitat Trail 2

We like this game because of the different trivia questions and the fact that they are things learned in Science class or the Discovery Channel. There aren’t many points to the game, which make it easy to set up and get into. One thing we’d like to see improved would be the use of the habitats… perhaps questions specific to a habitat and its ecosystem of plants and animals… maybe offering a slightly more challenging concept. Otherwise, it is what you would expect from a trivia game and for that we appreciate Hit The Habitat Trail from Jax.

Read more »

Satisfy Your Curiosity With Curious George

By |

As Ambassadors for the day, Mark and Victoria were invited for a complementary blogging tour of the Liberty Science Center. Admission tickets are in exchange of this honest review where all ideas and opinions expressed are strictly that of myself, Mark and Victoria. #Sponsored

curious-george-at-liberty-science-center-profile-pic2

A key to enhancing your child’s learning experience is to tap into their natural curiosities.  So naturally we were very excited when the opportunity arose to check out the new Curious George exhibit at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. It was a hike for us South Jersey folks but well worth it. Victoria and Mark had the opportunity to explore the exhibit as part of a special bloggers event, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop.

curious-george-at-liberty-science-center-profile-pic

Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! is on display now through January 8th, 2017 with plenty for our youngest explorers to discover. Children are encouraged to get curious and hands-on. The exhibit is, in part, retrospective of Curious George’s career with artifacts from his classic tv show and stories. Curious George as an astronaut, farmer, and construction worker… taking you back yet? The showcase features snippets of his greatest adventures. Like Barbie, he’s done a little of everything.

curious-george-at-liberty-science-center-showcase

There are several interactive and super creative areas like this rocket-ship below. This was probably one of the most popular attractions with spiral stairs. As was the Farmer’s Market with a register, aprons and the full feel of running a market/store.

rocket-at-liberty-science-center

Toward the back of display, the writer’s story comes to life with an old time office and memorabilia. Victoria was obsessed with the phone and office set up. She returned at least three times to this display and was completely wrapped up in her own world of imaginative play.

curious-george-at-liberty-science-center-2

Another family favorite was the Barn – equipped with a crafting area and a wind sock (how cute). Victoria made a pin wheel. And again the imagination kicked in with her playtime. The exhibit was beautifully decorated with murals from scenes of the books along the walls including a bakery, city, farms and a park. It really came to life with extras like park benches, balloon trees and Curious George for pictures. The construction zone was impressive with a two-story crank taking foam blocks to the top level.

barn-at-liberty-science-center

Mark was really impressed with the mini golf arrangement with 3 little holes interactive with cranks and ramps. He felt it was “a very creative use of PVC piping as tunnels”. He was equally taken back with the apartment scene whereas Curious George was hanging onto a rope to clean the windows… another famous scene from his stories. The front of the building had wheels and pulleys with ropes to pull George up and down to clean the apartment windows. The whole exhibit had quite a lot to take in, including the lobby with a doorman dress up station, mail cabinets and an interactive elevator.

curious-george-at-liberty-science-center

Young visitors are invited “to let curiosity and inquiry be their guides as they explore familiar buildings and locales from the “Curious George” books and television series on PBS KIDS. The exhibit presents key concepts in science, math and engineering, which are woven throughout the exhibit.” – LSC Press Release Sept 2016

The Liberty Science Center did an amazing job incorporating a childhood and family favorite classic: Curious George (and the Man with the Yellow Hat) into a fully engaging exhibit promoting the experiment of weight, size & sorting, engineering concepts,  light & shadow, physics, creativity, and wind power. A beautiful blend of exploration and nostalgia.

Wanna Visit? Win a Family Four Pack of Tickets

We are excited to announce a giveaway for one lucky family, winning a four-pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ. Admission to Curious George: Let’s Get Curious Exhibit is included in general admission. This prize pack is worth up to $87. Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway below to enter the contest.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Liberty Science Center has far more than this “museum within a museum”. Be sure to check out all of their programs – something for everyone ages 0-99. We are greatly looking forward to sharing additional articles highlighting some of their other permanent exhibits. So definitely stay tuned.

Read more »

Soak Up Last Days of Summer with Nature Explorer’s Handbook

By |

Although this post contains affiliate links, the opinions expressed herein are honest and my own.

Nature Explorers Handbook Profile Pic

In the Nature Explorer’s Handbook, youngsters will be enticed to explore the outdoor world of their backyard with the colorful and easy to read pages, checklists and varying activities. Encouraged to get dirty, get close to the ground and up close to nature… Science has never looked so accessible and fun!

Nature Explorers Handbook 2This handbook is tabbed with five sections:

Awesome Bugs

Garden Critters

Birds and Bats

Woodland Adventure

Plants

Splashes of tips and trivia make this resource engaging and cool. The spiral bound handbook is easy to carry and keeps the page open while your child is busy exploring on their own.

Nature Exporers Handbook 3

Other features include Safety Tips and “Do It” suggestions, 60+ stickers and a fold out calendar for seasonal exploration. I love that Nature Explorer’s Handbook has thought of clever ways to draw children into scientific discovery using checklists, activities, journalist techniques and showcasing year-round exploratory advantage.  Part journal, part workbook, this Nature Explorer’s Handbook is designed for taking notes, doodles, and on the go discovery… and it couldn’t be done better! Be sure to have a pencil in hand with this book.

Checklist allows children to track their progress and really zero-in on the details of their findings.

Superb resource!

Nature Explorers Handbook

PS – The blue Para’Kito Mosquito Repellent band on her ankle was previously provided as a review product… and we truly love it. You can read our review of this outdoor necessity item HERE.

Read more »

Philadelphia Science Festival

By |

Philadelphia Science Festival is calling all families to #GetNerdyPHL

It is that special time again, when Logan Square transforms into a major science carnival with booth after booth of fun and engaging experiments. The Philadelphia Science Festival is a nine-day, concentrated focus on all things science.

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Science Festival

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Science Festival

Join thousands of science enthusiast in #GetNerdyPHL spirit April 22 through April 30, with literally something for everyone. Science shows, special exhibits, demonstrations, contest and the amazing outdoor Science Carnival at Logan Square… no child goes bored.

IMG_4467

Last year we attended an extension of the Philadelphia Science Festival held at Rowan University. My daughter had a terrific time with several hands-on science activities. Last year and in 2013, we attended the science carnival with my niece and daughter, and together – they couldn’t get enough. Here are some of our favorite moments:

IMG_4480

DSC_0788

DSC_0703

20150426_150109

For more information, please visit our write up from last year’s Philadelphia Science Festival event AND visit http://philasciencefestival.org for the specific details for this year’s festivities. If you have attended in the past, what exhibit did your family find the most intriguing?  What are you hoping to see this year?

Read more »

Getting Gross with Animal Grossology Science Learning Fun

By |

mom and me and the cow“That’s Disgusting!”

Between shrieks of “Ew, that’s disgusting!” and “Hey, check this out!” the Academy of Natural Science has successfully launched an amazingly engaging and totally gross exhibit for all ages in Animal Grossology.

Tapeworm exhibit really puts this into perspective.

Tapeworm exhibit

It is a tough time of year to keep kids engaged in learning, with warmer weather settling in and summer camp plans brewing… insert Grossology, the perfect opportunity to keep your children engaged in learning. With disgusting facts of hairballs, vomit and poo, mixed with awesome animal animatronics… this is sure to be an exhibit talked about for months and definitely a little something for them to share with friends in the lunch room.

Interactive exhibits

Interactive exhibits

“Oozing with disgusting science, Animal Grossology provides a slightly off-kilter view of the animal kingdom at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Get ready to be totally en-GROSS-ed!  Based on the best-selling Grossology children’s book series by Sylvia Branzei, Animal Grossology is packed with hands-on fun that celebrates those yucky topics moms warn their kids not to discuss at the dinner table.  Animal Grossology offers a fresh take on some of the more disgusting things animals do and engages visitors in how blood, vomit, pellets, dookie, and slime can be fun, funky and even fascinating.”

– Press Release, Academy of Natural Sciences

stinkyjellyfish fact game 2worm and via
Many thanks to the Academy of Natural Sciences for the ANIMAL Grossology Trivia below:
* Animals have red, blue, yellow or clear blood. Blood is very nutritious as it contains a lot of protein.

* A cow has one stomach but it is in four parts. A cow’s stomach is equal in size to nine human stomachs.

* Some frogs belch their babies into the world.

* Ticks often relocate by hitching a ride on a migrating bird.

* A Hagfish may be the slimiest creature on earth.

* Tapeworms grow inside the stomach and can grow up to 60 feet-long.

*Animals use smells for recognition, defense and attraction.

* Slime is essential to some animals, providing important functions such as facilitating motion, aiding in digestion and for defense.

* Blood slurpers transmit infectious diseases.

*What is caca, feces, dookie, guano, splay and stool stand for? All are names for “number 2”!

*Sea stars eat by shoving their stomachs out, digests the food and sucking their stomach back in.

* You can identify an animal by its “dookie” sizes, content and shape.

* An animal may feel very different from what you expect, once you have touched them.

* Why do owls purge “pellets”?

* Houseflies taste food using their feet and legs!

AND…

Did you know that copper gives some animals blue blood?
Did you know that flies fly at 4.5 mph?
Did you know that cats use their tongues as natural combs to remove loose hair?
Did you know a cow’s stomach is equal in size to nine human stomachs?
Did you know that shark skin is covered with tiny tooth-like scales called denticles?
Did you know the female mosquito needs a blood meal to lay eggs?

mom and meThe Academy of Natural Sciences is located in Philadelphia with weekday hours Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; and weekend hours of Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information on exhibits, changing exhibits, tools for education and direction please visit their website at www.ansp.org.  The Animal Grossology exhibit is showing until August 30th.

Hands-on exhibits with sound effects

Hands-on exhibits with sound effects

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post, whereas we were invited to a media preview of the exhibit. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own. Trivia and Press Release provided by the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Read more »

Philadelphia Science Festival with a Little Something Science for Everyone

By |

It’s time to get your geek on…

20150426_135322 20150426_141517

 

 

Philadelphia Science Festival is April 24th through May 2nd 2015 and holds so many amazing family activities. Festivities include events for educators, families and even adult only educational entertainment (careful though as they sell out quick quick).

 

DSC_0713

DSC_0714

DSC_0703

DSC_0745

 

In 2013, we attended the Philadelphia Science Festival Carnival – which is hosted Saturday, May 2nd this year. Below you’ll find some of our favorite moments. Tent after tent… there were activities for all ages: messy stations, starry ones and lots of engineering and puzzle solving. We are so excited to return this year.

 

DSC_0788

DSC_0732

DSC_0758

DSC_0812

 

This year we took our geeky-selves to Rowan University in partnership with the Philadelphia Science Festival. Several departments had family exhibits… of course the messy and colorful ones were Victoria’s favorite. Check out the highlights below and definitely consider a trip out to Rowan University next year for early festival festivities.

 

Philadelphia Science Festival

Philadelphia Science Festival

Philadelphia Science Festival

Philadelphia Science Festival

And Hey, we were not compensated for this post. All the content and opinions herein are strictly mine and my family’s. We had a great time exploring the Philadelphia Science Festival and look forward to the remaining events this week include that awesome Carnival coming up on Saturday.

Read more »

Back To School with Adventure Aquarium

By |

Back-to-School signs, sales and commercials remind us that the summer is coming to a close. And while it might be fun to pick out new clothes, get together with school friends and get back into sports and activities – kids don’t want to summer to end so quickly.

As parents we’re torn between taking advantage of every drop of the summer sunshine and ramping up the education and routines. Are the summer reading lists complete? Are the back to school supplies neatly packed into new backpacks? Did you pull out the flashcards to keep multiplication facts fresh? And on the other hand – did you get to the beach as often as you promised? Take that family bike ride? How about the day trips you planned out at the beginning of summer? With only a few weeks of summer left, how will we manage to make the most of it from an educational standpoint and family summer fun?

Learning Fun for Dads and Daughters

There are many options to family learning fun but one of our summer favorites is the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. August is perfect with coming off of Shark Week. We love that it is local and easy to get to. It is located on the Delaware River with fantastic views of Philadelphia and water traffic. Next door is the Camden Children’s Garden – another “must see” and don’t forget Battleship NJ is open for tours.

The aquarium is awesome and here’s why. Inside, the Adventure Aquarium has many animal attractions to include an amazing hippo exhibit, touchable sharks and sting rays, and beautiful displays of tropical fish, coral and more. Don’t miss the jellyfish and shark tank with sea turtles, both mesmerizing.  We especially loved the octopus and dart frog displays.

Hippo Greetings

The outdoor Penguin Island exhibit is so playful. Congrats to the penguin family on their newest addition: Casanova. Here you’ll find the penguins diving in and out of the water exhibit, chasing and playing with the audience and each other. For a break, grab a snack or catch a show on the big screen. Check out the Kid’s Zone for active learning fun and a few more hands-on experiences.

The BIG attraction for this summer – ending Labor Day – is Mighty Mike. He’s massive and amazing. Get your picture taken with this 14 foot-long, 800 lb American Alligator. While we were there he actively backed his way out of our photo shot – not so polite but very cool to see him in motion. Who knew an alligator would be camera shy? Parents – you’ve got to check out this whole resource pack online for Mighty Mike’s exhibit. It includes kid’s Q&A, puzzles and some truly interesting facts about Mighty Mike and it explains the difference between alligators and crocodiles. Expand your family experience and learning opportunity with this packet as well as other educational tools on Adventure Aquarium’s website. Grab a toy set, puzzle or a book from the gift shop to even further extend your experience.

Many area schools plan the Adventure Aquarium as a class trip. Don’t let this discourage you from taking your family. If in fact your son or daughter had visited without you – allow them the opportunity to guide your family experience. Watch for the exhibits that most fascinate your family and spend a little extra time at each of those. Observe long enough to see their patterns of behavior or ask the Guest Services staff for feeding schedules of your favorite exhibit. Consider additional adventures like swimming with sharks or petting penguins (click here to see the adventure options).

Adventure Aquarium is a wonderful way to ease out of summer and back into their learning worlds. Comment below with your favorite exhibit and be sure to check out Might Mike before he leaves Labor Day.

Disclose:  A special thanks to my friend Sherri who allowed me to borrow her son for an amazing adventure day with us.  This post, the pictures and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I did have the pleasure of attending a media day at the aquarium, whereas admission was complimentary.  We were not compensated for this article. 

Read more »

You Be The Chemist Challenge 2013

By |

Last year Homeroom At Home had the pleasure of attending the National You Be The Chemist Challenge held at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, where we met some of the contestants and their families. Here’s a look back at last year’s You Be The Chemist Challenge.

As this year’s National YBTC Challenge approaches (June 24th), we are excited to learn more about the program, competition and education efforts of the Chemical Educational Foundation. While the national competition holds a lot of excitement, especially since we’re coming right up on the date – the excitement isn’t just getting started, but in fact, students across the US have been enjoying this chemistry program’s fun for months.

So what’s the program if it’s not just competition?

The Chemical Educational Foundation established the You Be The Chemist program as a creative way for educators [note: I include parents in this category] to present and teach concepts of chemistry and science to students in a way that they will not only understand but truly get excited about. The YBTC program consists of the YBTC Challenge (competition), YBTC Activity Guide for educators/parents and YBTC Essential Elements, a hands-on workshop to help teachers enhance classroom experience in using the YBTC program materials.

The Chemical Educational Foundation’s mission in creating the entire You Be The Chemist program was “designed to enhance K-8 science education by introducing the science of chemistry as it relates to our everyday lives and to the study of other sciences” with goals as follows according to www.chemed.org/media:

  • Enhance science education through innovative techniques, such as hands-on activities and chemistry competitions

  • Inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and chemical industry leaders

  • Effect long-term change in the general public’s understanding of, participation in, and general acceptance towards chemistry and the chemical industry

  • Provide opportunities for collaborative initiatives between chemical industry members and the communities in which they operate

The You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge engages children in grades 5th through 8th in a peer-based “interactive academic competition in learning important chemistry concepts, scientific discoveries, and laboratory safety.” An excerpt from https://www.chemed.org/ybtc/challenge/home states that the Challenge offers the following benefits:

  • Introduces students to the central role of chemistry in all of the sciences and in their everyday lives.

  • Uses the drama of competition to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

  • Provides educators with an exciting way to educate their students and assess their learning.

  • Encourages parents to participate in their child’s education.

  • Allows industry members to connect with their community and actively show their support for science education.

Sounds like fun – how do you get started?

The Chemical Educational Foundation makes it easy to get connected with an existing YBTC group or to start your own. Click here to find out more information. Note, however, that schools aren’t the only place that groups are formed, but local science clubs or the Boy Scouts are examples of other groups that have taken advantage of this opportunity. Make sure you read the guidelines for competition rules and such. Resources are available by clicking here for the study materials.

What is the incentive for making it to the National competition?

The upcoming National YBTC Challenge will be held again at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. This is an exciting time for the students who’ve won their regional and state challenges and are preparing for this final round. But it is so much more than that… more than a competition on several levels. The students that are participating in the national competition have the opportunity to meet with chemical industry leaders, educators and businessmen and women. They have the opportunity to visit with local science attractions and celebrate their accomplishments in a welcome dinner and a celebration dinner both held at local science museums. The package is an amazing opportunity for those who’ve earned a place at the national competition level – oh yeah – and there are participant prizes!


And what if competitions aren’t our thing or my children aren’t old enough for the YBTC Challenge?

Parents, you can download the material and activity guides (grades K-4 or 5-8) for your own family science fun. Perhaps with a couple of cousins or neighbors – select a few simple projects for the kids to enjoy and learn together. The materials are comprehensive, making the lesson easy with everyday household items and enjoyable for grown-ups and students alike. The educator’s Activity Guide is an excellent resource for weekend or summertime learning fun. I particularly appreciate the section on “Tips for teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)” as the tips are just as applicable for parents wanting to engage their children in such topics, as well as teachers. Parents, you hold a tremendous amount of influence when it comes to educating your children – I encourage you to tap into that power and see where your collective interests and efforts take you.

In addition, The CEF site offers “Newton & Kelvin’s Laboratory” with interactive web activities, games and online flashcards for the Periodic Table.

Resources for this post include the variety of materials provided by the Chemical Educational Foundation website. This is a non-sponsored post, whereas I was not compensated. All the opinions expressed herein are strictly mine.

Read more »