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.
Don’t know what to do for your classroom holiday party this year? Or do you need something to keep the kiddos occupied over the winter break? With a little imagination, a story with a holiday twist, and a science activity, you’re sure to have the makings for a fun, memorable, and educational event.
Here are some ideas from our two series, the Quirkles® and Fuddlebrook School® Science series to help you become the hit of the holidays. First, from the Quirkles Pressure Pete, try Pressure Pete’s Vacuum, or a variation we show on our video, the egg in a bottle. Explain that Santa’s gained a little weight this year (maybe too much Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie???) and you’re going to have to figure out a way to help him down the chimney.
Finally, an inexpensive container of FLARP!® Noise Putty makes for a fun relay game (and tons of laughs) plus a lesson on polymers that ties to Zany Science Zeke. See how much fun this can be as we demonstrate on this month’s video.
But that’s not all. In the Fuddlebrook series, use Herman’s Rocket Launch (from The Case of the Vanishing Moon) and pretend you’re watching the reindeer fly across the sky pulling Santa’s sleigh. Or, watch the “elves” on our video catapult ornaments on to the Christmas tree (Freddie’s Marshmallow Launch from Freddie’s Dance Lesson). If you need more help visualizing how to make your catapult, check out our blog post that explains it in more detail.
These are just a few ways to turn everyday science into holiday science. You’re really only limited by your own imagination. Tell a story and have fun! On a serious note, however, make sure to take time to explain the science behind these activities. Don’t overlook a teachable moment!
Want more ideas? Check out all our videos on YouTube for more than 90 activities and variations of many of our experiments. And from all of us to you, we wish you the brightest and best of the holiday season!
Persistence is an important attribute for a scientist. Sometimes one must try over and over before an experiment comes out “right.” Did you know persistence also played a big part in getting Thanksgiving recognized as the holiday we know today?
“Mary Had a Little Lamb” is probably a nursery rhyme you’ve known since childhood. But, did you know the author of this poem was largely responsible for the establishment of a national Thanksgiving holiday in this country? Sarah Joespha Hale campaigned for nearly 20 years to get Thanksgiving “officially” recognized.
During her campaign, which spanned five presidents before she found one who would take her idea seriously, she continually lobbied congressman, wrote editorials, sent letters to each state governor, as well as to U.S. presidents. Finally her persistence paid off when she was able to convince President Abraham Lincoln that this holiday would help unify the country after the Civil War ended.
Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. From that point on, until Congress officially set the date of Thanksgiving into U.S. law in 1941, every U.S. president, with the exception of Franklin Roosevelt, would annually declare the last Thursday in November as the recognized day in the U.S. for giving thanks.
What about FDR? Remember we were just coming out of a deep economic depression. He changed the date of Thanksgiving to the second to the last Thursday in November in 1939-1941 in order to extend the Christmas shopping season by a week. Unfortunately only about half the states went along with him; most stuck with the last Thursday tradition. Texas, on the other hand, decided to take both days as a holiday. That confusion ultimately led Congress to step in and officially set the date to the last Thursday of November.
Why do we eat the foods we do on Thanksgiving? Again, you can give credit back to the persistent Hale. In her editorials she outlined various recipes she recommended to be used for the Thanksgiving feast. These things that would not have been served at the Pilgrim’s thanksgiving dinner, but common to ours included turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and cranberries.
So just like budding scientists who see a problem and work to try to figure a solution, we celebrate and are thankful for the persistence of Sarah Joespha Hale, who fought so hard for a national day of thanksgiving! Enjoy the food-related science activities we bring to you this month from our Colorful Caroline, Kitchen Chemistry Kal and Gilbert Gas book. More importantly, enjoy and offer thanks for the family and friends who gather with you to celebrate the season. Happy Thanksgiving!
Help! Santa’s eaten too much Thanksgiving dinner and now needs help to get down the chimney. Pressure Pete to the rescue!
November is the month we pause to give thanks. It’s also a month of food! And food and science go hand in hand. Check out our video where milk and food coloring make for a fun kitchen science activity.
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