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.
Not only are cranberries good to eat (and super healthy), but also a tool that can be used to teach science lessons. This month we offer four activities with either a Thanksgiving twist or a way to release some energy (while learning about important science concepts) after the big meal.
What’s Thanksgiving without some sort of cranberry dish? Nutritionally power packed, cranberries are one super food you’ll want to include on your holiday table! Today Americans consume 400 million pounds of this “native to North America” fruit each year.
Native Americans recognized the nutritional properties of the berry far before science proved them to be true. They created sauces and meat cakes called “pemmican” out of the berry, and used it medicinally to stop bleeding and to help cure blood poisoning. The nutritional properties of the cranberry were capitalized on during international voyages at sea also when sailors would eat the red berries to keep scurvy at bay. Later it was determined that prevention was possible due to the fruit’s high Vitamin C content.
So what about the science lessons? Read the Quirkles® book Density Dan, then see if cranberries (not dried) will float in water. You’ll simply need two or three berries and a cup of water. What happens? How can something “solid” float? Cut open the berry and see if the inside structure provides some insights.
Or, how about making cranberries “dance?” Offer a Thanksgiving variation of the activity we share in Density Dan called Density Dan’s Dancing Raisins. You’ll need a colorless soda or carbonated water, a clear drinking glass, and some dried cranberries.
When the cranberries interact with the bubbles (carbon dioxide gas) in the soda, they will be carried up to the top. When the bubbles pop and release the carbon dioxide, the cranberries drop down. This makes it seem like they are “dancing.”
So now the big meal is over and it’s time to go outside for a little fresh air. If it’s not too cold, try Mary Motion’s Spinning Bucket. Check out our video where young scientist, Chloe, demonstrates centripetal force. If you do it right, you’ll get some exercise and you won’t take a shower!
Finally go to our Fuddlebrook webpage to see our friction activity called the Fuddlebrook Magic Money Stack. Several nickels and a butter knife will keep kids engaged for a long time! This is a fun way to learn about friction, release some energy, and have fun, too!
There’s no better time of year for science than in the fall. From the changing leaves to shorter days to spooky Halloween science, you’re only limited by your imagination. While not everyone celebrates Halloween, we use the holiday and its traditions to create a memorable lesson about polymers.
A Styrofoam® cup (polystyrene) and some acetone (adult supervision required) create a very cool activity the kids will absolutely love. In honor of Halloween, we call this science lesson Wanda the Melting Witch. (If you don’t like witches, call it what it is, a “melting” cup. The science is the same.)
What is the science behind this? Styrofoam® is a polymer, a long chain of molecules linked together. Plastic bottles, latex paint, and chewing gum are other examples of polymers. See the dramatic results in our fun video as the Styrofoam® transforms in front of your eyes .
Want more ways to learn about polymers? Read the Quirkles® Zany Science Zeke story and do the activities. Create “Zop” and Zany Science Zeke’s Bouncing Ball, a sticky material similar to the well known Silly Putty®.
You better not be afraid of getting wet! If you do this right, centripetal force will keep the water from spilling.
The Wizard of Oz has nothing on us. She’s melting, she’s melting, she’s melting!
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