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.
What do blood and the city of Venice have in common? They both operate the same way: they are both a "floating city," if you will. Blood moves in a circular maze through the body, 24 hours a day, through a series of arteries, veins, and capillaries. The average person has about 1 to 1½ gallons (4-6 liters) of blood. The body makes blood-- red blood cells, which carry oxygen, white blood cells, which fight infections, platelets, which are cells that help stop bleeding, and plasma, a yellowish liquid that carries nutrients, hormones, and proteins throughout the body. And at the "heart" of the circulatory system? The heart of course as it pumps our blood!
Speaking of blood, here are some more interesting blood facts:
While humans have red colored blood, other organisms have blood of varying colors. Crustaceans, spiders, squid, octupuses, and some arthropods have blue blood. Some types of worms and leeches have green blood. Some species of marine worms have violet blood. Insects, including beetles and butterflies, have colorless or pale-yellowish blood.
Human blood contains metals atoms including iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, lead, and copper. You may also be surprised to know that blood contains small amounts of gold. The human body has about 0.2 milligrams of gold that is mostly found in the blood.
It is well known that white blood cells are important for a healthy immune system. What is less known is that certain white blood cells called macrophages are necessary for pregnancy to occur.
Matured human blood cells have varying life cycles. Red blood cells circulate in the body for about 4 months, platelets for about 9 days, and white blood cells range from a few hours to several days.
The most common blood type in the United States is O positive. The least common is AB negative. Blood type distributions vary by population. The most common blood type in Japan is A positive.
February, the month of valentines and hearts, seems to be a great time to explore, with the Quirkles Yawning Yolanda, our amazing human body, and more specifically our circulatory system. Don't forget to try our tasty blood model activity too!
An elderly man was bothered every afternoon by a group of kids on their way home from school. They’d ring his doorbell and run, taunt him while he was working in his garden, or throw things at his house. He shouted at them, and thought about calling the police or talking to their parents. But then he had a better idea.
On a Monday afternoon, when the unruly students ran by at the usual time, he called them together. “I’m an old man, and I don’t get much company,” he told them. “I want to show you my appreciation for paying some attention to me, so every time you kids come by, I’ll give each of you a dollar.” That sounded good to them, and they each collected a dollar bill from the man. Happy, they ran off and left him alone.
On Wednesday, the man told them, “I’m a little short today, so instead of a dollar, I can only give you a quarter.” That was still better than nothing, so the children took their quarters and ran home.
The following Monday the man came out of his house and told the kids, “I’m afraid I don’t have much money left, so all I can give each of you for visiting me is a penny.”
“Forget it!” they shouted, and left, never to come back to bother the old man again.
How’s that for creativity in solving a problem?
January is International Creativity Month, so capitalize on your creative powers by devoting the month to exploring new ideas and strategies to make you, and the children in your life, more creative.
So how do we do this—particularly during the cold dreary days of January? New evidence suggests that you can boost your imagination by bundling up and getting outside to spend some time in nature. Researchers from the University of Kansas describe the findings this way: “Nature is a place where our mind can rest, relax, and let down those threat responses. Therefore, we have resources left over – to be creative, to be imaginative, to problem solve.”
Similarly, some of us feel more creative wearing our favorite green T-shirt. Research suggests that the colors around us actually do influence how well we do certain tasks.
But sometimes we can't take a hike or sit in a soothing colored room. Then what? When you are in one of those "dry" spots, try some of these other tips for generating fresh concepts:
Gather information. Research whatever you’re trying to develop ideas for. Don’t think about solutions initially; just immerse yourself in the subject. You may uncover a single fact that can spark a dozen ideas.
Mix everything together. Take a bird’s-eye view of what you’ve collected. Look for underlying assumptions, common concepts and roads not taken.
Let it simmer. Concentrate on something else for a while. Listen to music, take a walk, sleep on it. Let your subconscious take over and sort through what you’ve learned.
Brainstorm. Invest some time in generating more ideas from the information you’ve processed. Quantity often breeds quality. Your third or fourth attempt may prove more useful than your first and most obvious idea or solution.
Share your idea. Run it past someone you trust for feedback. An outside perspective can often be very useful!
Accept mistakes. Give yourself permission to try things even if you’re not sure they’ll succeed. Often you’ll stumble across a different strategy or a better path along the way.
Copy other ideas. Don’t directly steal anyone else’s work, but look at what’s been done with an eye toward doing it differently. Even the most familiar landscape can come to life in interesting ways depending on the colors you use to paint it, or the point of view from which you show it.
Hmmm...Sounds a lot like science process skills, doesn’t it? So get in, get your hands dirty, and try new things. This month we offer a creative take on something you and your children are definitely familiar with—blowing bubbles. Did you know you can make some really cool bubbles using a sock and plastic bottle? This is one of our most viewed videos from the past. Enjoy Rainbow Snake Bubbles!
So as a new calendar year and school semester begins, look for ways to foster your creativity. It will serve you well at work, school, and in your personal life.
This is the month of hearts and candy. We look at both and learn about the components of blood.
While Bubbly Burt didn’t make the final 26 Quirkles cut, he’s still near and dear to our heart. After all, there’s a lot to be learned from bubbles! While this activity is not in any of our books, it’s a great one. Also use your bubble mixture to try Lindy Light’s Color Spectrum or Ellie Electricity’s Static Balloon Investigation. Both of these activities are found in the More Quirkles Experiment book.
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