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 you just love the sounds of spring? The soft pitter-patter of drizzling rain, music and laughter as we head outside to enjoy nice weather, and of course, the chirping birds signaling the change of season.
We hear millions of different sounds every day and we tend to take this sense for granted. Sounds are waves which pass through our ears via vibrations and travel by vibrations of molecules. These vibrations occur whenever any object is struck or is made contact with. Every time any of these particle vibrations occur, our ears pick them up and we construe them as sounds. Slow moving particles create low sounds while particles that move fast make high sounds. This month we feature the Quirkles Susie Sound and explore the awesomeness of this sense.
Did you know…
There is no sound in space because there are no molecules there. Here on Earth, we have air molecules which vibrate to our ears.
Sound travels slower through air than by water. In fact, the speed of sound via water is 4.3 times faster than by air. However, sound does travel far faster through steel than both air and water.
The loudest natural sound on Earth is caused by an erupting volcano. (Check out the Quirkles Vinnie Volcano.) In August 1883 the volcano on the island of Krakatoa erupted violently. The sound from this blast took roughly four hours to travel from the erupting volcano across the Indian Ocean. The loudest sound ever recorded, it reverberated around the globe seven times before diminishing. It could be heard 4,000 miles away, and people within 100 miles suffered permanent hearing loss.
Flies are not able to hear any sounds at all.
Most white cats that have blue eyes are often unable to hear sounds and are usually deaf.
Whale voices are able to travel a whopping 479 miles through the waters of the ocean.
Sound travels at a speed of around 767 miles per hour.
The majority of cows which listen to music end up producing more milk than those that do not.
Superior canal dehiscence is a disease that affects the inner ear and amplifies all internal sounds. It gets to the point where the sound of the eyeballs moving in their sockets sounds like “sandpaper on wood.”
The reason why we hate the recorded sound of our voice is because our skull changes the resonance of our voice from within and creates more bass. When we hear a digital recording of our voice, although slightly unfamiliar to ourselves, it’s exactly how other people hear it.
Elephants are so afraid of bees that the mere sound of buzzing is enough to make an entire herd flee. They have even developed a special rumble just to warn each other if bees are nearby.
So now that you have an impressive amount of sound trivia, check out our video where Chloe demonstrates how sound changes depending on how much water is in each of her “musical” glasses. After you’ve finished this fun activity, go outside and enjoy the sounds of the season!
Recently we came across a quote that really struck a chord. “Expecting a kid to learn only from a textbook is like asking to look at a travel brochure and calling it a vacation.” (venspired.com) We can totally relate this to science. Kids often hate reading about science in dull books. They do, however, love seeing how it applies and doing science. But it takes too long, it’s messy, and expensive is the argument some use to avoid hands-on activities in the classroom or at home. It doesn’t have to be. This month we show that it doesn’t take much to drive home science process skills, have fun, and teach several science concepts at the same time.
A clear plastic bottle, some vegetable oil, water, food coloring, and an antacid can teach about density, light, color mixing, carbon dioxide, and immiscibility. It only takes a few minutes too. Watch our video to learn more. We tie this to our Density Dan and Colorful Caroline books. You can also tie in some pop culture history too.
If you remember the 1960’s (or at least watched shows on TV) you probably remember the “groovy” lava lamp. Maybe you even had one in your childhood bedroom or college dorm. There really is something mesmerizing about this 50-plus year old cultural icon as you watch the blobs of color move around inside its rocket-like container.
Like many other products that come and go, tastes changed and the lava lamp craze cooled by the late 1970s. But amid the Austin Powers-fueled nostalgia, the public again warmed to the lamps. Now millions are sold each year to retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart.
Here’s another fun “electrifying” idea that takes little time but teaches concepts related to electricity. (We would use this as an extension to our Ellie Electricity story and activities.) Learn about closed circuits and what conducts electricity. The human body conducts electricity. What about water? An apple? A banana? What’s the common denominator with all of these? Let children experiment with all sorts of materials as they close their circuit and try to come to a conclusion.
One energy stick costs only a few dollars but can be used in a variety of ways. (It’s also a great way to illustrate the power of teamwork.) It really doesn’t take much…time, mess, or money. Invest some time in important, educational, and fun science. http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/4-pack-of-steve-spangler-s-energy-stick.html
See how the amount of water makes the sound change. Through this investigation, learn about sound and make beautiful music, too!
A clear plastic bottle, some vegetable oil, food coloring, and an antacid tablet can teach about density, light, coloring mixing, carbon dioxide, and immiscibility. It only takes a few minutes, too!
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