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.
As you head out for your early morning or evening walk, pause to enjoy the beautiful plant life all around you. We often take them for granted, but plants are essential to life and utterly awesome!
Did you know that there are about 400,000 plant species on Earth? Plants are important for human existence. Not only can plants be beautiful, put provide the oxygen we breathe, ingredients to create medicine, paper, fabric, and more, and provide much of our food source.
Many thousands of plants on land and in the ocean are not yet identified or categorized. Additionally, plant life is oceans make up about 85% of all greenery on Earth. The scientists called botanists work to learn about, organize, and help protect different kinds of plants. Botany is the study of living things which use photosynthesis to make food. This can include trees, grasses, mosses, fungi, kelp, or algae. The genetics of plants, the way they breed and grow, and the way humans impact plants are all studied in botany.
One of the most famous American botanists is George Washington Carver (c. 1864 to January 5, 1943) who was born into slavery. He went on to become one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time as well as a teacher at the Tuskegee Institute. He devised more than 100 products using one major crop — the peanut — including dyes, plastics and gasoline.
This summer, read the Quirkles story, Botanist Bert, then watch our video of Botanist Bert’s Colored Flowers. Try it yourself with different colors, flowers, or even celery! Feeling more ambitious? Plant some seeds and make your own garden. Learn more about botany and George Washington Carver.
If you’re planning a summer outing, visit his monument close to our stomping grounds that is west of Diamond, Missouri — the site of the plantation where Carver lived as a child. This was the first national monument dedicated to an African-American. The 210-acre complex includes a statue of Carver as well as a nature trail, museum and cemetery.
The days are warm and long and we spend more time outside. It also offers the opportunity to try some fun science activities at home or school that just lend themselves to the days of summer and the occasional mess that’s better outdoors! Watch our video as Rowan enjoys a root beer float and learns about the states of matter, too. Then with the leftover root beer, try Gilbert’s Gas to see if all the carbon dioxide gas escaped when making the float.
The Quirkles offer many more fun summer science activities too. Here’s a few other ideas in other Quirkles books:
Andy Acid: Talk about acids and bases then demonstrate with the lovely hydrangea plant. How can you make the flowers pink or blue?
Jazzy Jet: Make paper airplanes of different sizes and shapes and measure the distance they fly. What makes them aerodynamic?
Kitchen Chemistry Kal: Once something a little more ambitious than root beer floats? Make homemade ice cream! The easy recipe is in the book.
Mary Motion: Learn about centrifugal motion with Mary Motion’s Spinning Bucket. Be careful, you might get wet! (More Quirkles Experiments)
Vinnie Volcano: Vinnie’s Exploding Soda Volcano uses dry ice (adult supervision required) and a two liter bottle of soda to make an oozing outdoor volcano.
But that’s not all. Try all 52 Quirkles experiments (or the 52 additional ones in More Quirkles Experiments). Or check out our other fun science series The Fuddlebrook School Science Series and join Herman Tweed, Mrs. Wigglebum and the gang (www.fuddlebrook.com) for even more fun science ideas. Yes, make this a science summer!
Plants are not only beautiful and delicious to eat, but generate oxygen, food, and fuel that allow higher life forms to exist.
How about some fun science activities that demonstrate states of matter? But the best part? After learning about solids, liquids, and gases, you can eat this tasty treat!
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