For a complete introduction and to get to know each Quirkle, work your way across the main menu bar above. Have fun exploring, and please contact us with any questions you may have!
But that's not all. Check out the introductory video that explains why we created the Quirkles, or take a look at the sample book Gilbert Gas below.
Not only are cranberries good to eat (and super healthy), but also a tool that can be used to teach science lessons. This month we offer four activities with either a Thanksgiving twist or a way to release some energy (while learning about important science concepts) after the big meal.
What’s Thanksgiving without some sort of cranberry dish? Nutritionally power packed, cranberries are one super food you’ll want to include on your holiday table! Today Americans consume 400 million pounds of this “native to North America” fruit each year.
Native Americans recognized the nutritional properties of the berry far before science proved them to be true. They created sauces and meat cakes called “pemmican” out of the berry, and used it medicinally to stop bleeding and to help cure blood poisoning. The nutritional properties of the cranberry were capitalized on during international voyages at sea also when sailors would eat the red berries to keep scurvy at bay. Later it was determined that prevention was possible due to the fruit’s high Vitamin C content.
So what about the science lessons? Read the Quirkles® book Density Dan, then see if cranberries (not dried) will float in water. You’ll simply need two or three berries and a cup of water. What happens? How can something “solid” float? Cut open the berry and see if the inside structure provides some insights.
Or, how about making cranberries “dance?” Offer a Thanksgiving variation of the activity we share in Density Dan called Density Dan’s Dancing Raisins. You’ll need a colorless soda or carbonated water, a clear drinking glass, and some dried cranberries.
When the cranberries interact with the bubbles (carbon dioxide gas) in the soda, they will be carried up to the top. When the bubbles pop and release the carbon dioxide, the cranberries drop down. This makes it seem like they are “dancing.”
So now the big meal is over and it’s time to go outside for a little fresh air. If it’s not too cold, try Mary Motion’s Spinning Bucket. Check out our video where young scientist, Chloe, demonstrates centripetal force. If you do it right, you’ll get some exercise and you won’t take a shower!
Finally go to our Fuddlebrook webpage to see our friction activity called the Fuddlebrook Magic Money Stack. Several nickels and a butter knife will keep kids engaged for a long time! This is a fun way to learn about friction, release some energy, and have fun, too!
Changing seasons, fall colors, and a fun holiday make for many teachable moments during October.
This month watch as Chloe, our budding young scientist, and Ms. Terri show you an activity called Gilbert Gas’s Oozing Bubbles. We love Halloween so we offer a spooky twist (Ghost Bubbles) but if you don’t celebrate the holiday, you can simply teach about states of matter. Our video shows a little more dramatic variation, but you can make the same point with a tall cylinder or glass, water, some dishwashing liquid, and the secret ingredient—dry ice (carbon dioxide in solid form). Kids love this really cool demonstration.
Want more ideas? Take a look at some of our other October videos from the past. These include Zany Science Zeke’s lesson on polymers. We’ve “Halloweened” it up by calling it Wanda the Melting Witch. It’s pretty cool regardless of what you name it! There’s also a variation of Vinnie Volcano’s Volcano (chemical reactions) we’ve modified to make a spewing pumpkin. Finally, try Ollie Oxygen’s Fun Foam (exothermic reaction) to make a Halloween or fall potion.
Fall and science just go together. Enjoy the season and the ideas we offer to make it full of fun, robust, and memorable learning.
You better not be afraid of getting wet! If you do this right, centripetal force will keep the water from spilling.
Dry ice (carbon dioxide in solid form) not only helps reinforce the concept of states of matter but adds an element of fun to any fall party.
I really appreciate your ideas and support!!! I am amazed at the Quirkles series that you have created and know you all must be FABULOUS teachers!!!
Cindy, Lower School Science Coordinator, Suffolk, VA
It is very hard to put into words exactly how much I love the Quirkles. They totally changed my attitude about teaching science to kindergarten and first graders as an enrichment class in my school.
Lynn, Gifted Teacher, Springdale, AR