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.
This month we consider motion, gravity, and Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and demonstrate a very cool activity that reinforces Newton’s First Law of Motion (and gravity) in a fun and memorable way. All it takes is a raw egg, clear drinking glass, water, non-breakable pie plate and toilet paper tube.
But before we start “slinging” eggs, let’s learn a little about Sir Isaac Newton. After all, he is considered one of the most important scientists in history. Even Albert Einstein said that Isaac Newton was the smartest person who ever lived. During his lifetime Newton developed the theory of gravity, the laws of motion (which became the basis for physics), a new type of mathematics called calculus, and made breakthroughs in the area of optics such as the reflecting telescope.
In grade school you probably learned Newton’s apple story around the time you learned about Washington cutting down the cherry tree and the Pilgrims celebrating the first Thanksgiving with their native American friends. Since neither of these stories proved to be true, you probably have your doubts about whether Newton actually sat under an apple tree and had a “eureka” moment concerning gravity, either.
It might surprise you to learn, then, that Newton was indeed sitting under an apple tree when he had his so-called “eureka” moment on how gravity worked.
Although, it took him over two decades more to develop the fully-fledged theory of “universal gravitation” and he also didn’t complete it without some ideas others had already come up with, such as Christopher Wren, Robert Hooke, and Edmond Halley (of Halley’s comet fame). So perhaps “eureka” is an exaggeration. From accounts, he was more just put on the correct path while musing under the tree.
Further, it would seem that the apple didn’t fall directly on his head- at least there is no documented evidence of this. But if you discount the notion that he near instantly fleshed out his universal theory and the “fell on his head” bit, the common story is pretty accurate.
And through that we begin to understand gravity, the mysterious force that makes everything fall down towards the Earth.
Newton is credited with many well-known quotes. Perhaps one of the most inspiring is this: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” As for our budding Quirkles scientists and many, many others, they have stood on the shoulders of the giant Sir Isaac Newton.
Science plays a part in almost every aspect of our lives. This month we explore acids and bases. Perhaps, like in our book Andy Acid, you’ve eaten too many acidic foods like tomatoes or blueberries and needed to take an antacid. There are plenty of acids found in the human body, including hydrochloric acid or stomach acid—which, in large quantities, causes indigestion. To neutralize, we take a base.
Or, maybe you’ve changed the lovely flowers on a hydrangea plant from blue to pink or vice versa by changing the amount of acid or base nutrient you’ve added to the soil.
Baking soda is example of a base with multiple purposes. Baking soda is used in fighting fires, because at high temperatures it turns into carbon dioxide, which smothers flames by obstructing the flow of oxygen to the fire. Of course, baking soda is also used in baking, when it is combined with a weak acid to make baking powder. The reaction of the acid and the baking soda produces carbon dioxide, which causes dough and batters to rise. Additionally, it can be applied as a cleaning product.
Enjoy our activities and video this month that demonstrates fun ways to learn about acids and bases. And, the next time you cut into a lemon, eat a tomato, wash your dishes, or bake a cake, know the science of acids and bases are at work!
This month we celebrate Sir Isaac Newton. He is credited with the quote, “What goes up, must come down.” Let’s just see about that! This activity might take some practice, but it’s worth the effort!
Through science investigations using common ingredients like vinegar, red cabbage, water, ammonia, and lemon juice, learn about acids and bases!
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