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.
February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s certainly not one short on activities or things to commemorate. We’ve got Ground Hog’s Day, the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day just to name a few. It’s also Black History Month and National Heart Month.
In our part of the world, February is also one of the coldest months. This month we talk about static electricity, which is more prevalent in winter because the air is typically drier. Also people wear more layers of clothing, which have the potential to rub against each other, causing charge separation. Read the “hair raising” story of Ellie Electricity and watch our video as the children create “Ellie’s Wild Hair.”
Speaking of hair, and in conjunction with Black History Month, learn about Madame C.J. Walker (Sarah Breedlove). She was born in 1867, near Delta, Louisiana. After suffering from a scalp ailment that resulted in her own hair loss, she invented a line of African-American hair care products in 1905. She promoted her products by traveling around the country and eventually established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories to manufacture cosmetics and train sales beauticians. Her savvy business prowess led her to be one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.
The Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company was wildly successful, with profits that were the modern-day equivalent of several million dollars. An innovator, Walker organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which recognized not only successful sales, but also philanthropic and educational efforts among African-Americans.
In 1916, Walker moved to Harlem. From there, she would continue to operate her business, while leaving the day-to-day operations of her factory in Indianapolis to its forelady.
Walker quickly immersed herself in Harlem's social and political culture. She founded philanthropies that included educational scholarships and donations to homes for the elderly, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and other organizations focused on improving the lives of African-Americans. She also donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.
So here’s to February! Enjoy all the special things about February, the days, the people and the science!
Whether you live in the cold North or the sunny South, you can still make a little snow if it doesn’t fall naturally this winter. Snowflakes are crystalline water ice, formed when super cooled cloud droplets hit freezing temperatures. Molecules from the droplets join together by chance to create a random arrangement around a nucleus. A snowflakes shape is determined by environment, including temperature and humidity, at the time the snowflake forms.
Here's an activity idea that lets you make real snowflakes. This definitely takes adult supervision! Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil. Hold a clear jar over the boiling water, open end facing down, until the jar fills with steam. Caution! Use tongs or oven mitts to hold the jar as the steam can cause burns. Quickly cap the jar and place it in the freezer. Collect steam for no more than 30 seconds. If the jar gets too hot, the temperature change could crack the jar. Check the jar every ten minutes and record your observations.
A common misbelief is that no two snowflakes are ever alike, with random patterns forming in a manner that is virtually impossible to replicate. Although unlikely, there is no scientific fact that proves snowflakes cannot be identical. In fact, it can be argued that snowflakes formed in the same conditions and within close proximity, may in fact take on identical characteristics.
To learn more about crystals and to make Epsom salt “snow,” do the activity in the Quirkles book Ronnie Rock entitled “Ronnie’s Rock Crystals.” Also watch our video that integrates three Quirkles books--Colorful Caroline, Kitchen Chemistry Kal, and Zany Science Zeke in fun snow activities. With all these ideas, you'll never be bored on a snowy day!
Read the “hair raising” story of Ellie Electricity and watch our video as the children create “Ellie’s Wild Hair.”
We all know snow is made up of crystals. In this demonstration from the book Ronnie Rock, you observe how crystals are formed.
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