Category Archive: Uncategorized

Dec 03


Jeanette focuses microscope

Both classes zoomed in on pennies, wood grain, whiteboard eraser, and more.  Many US cents have President Lincoln on the front and his Washington DC Memorial on the back.  Microscopes reveal a faint outline of Lincoln sitting in the Memorial and a duck or goose climbing the stairs.  We used this activity to launch a …

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Nov 12

Newton’s Cradle big or bouncy

bouncy with plans 2

Jeanette designed and built a bouncy Newton’s Cradle.  She stapled dental floss to glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls and suspended five of them from a framework of skewers, coffee stirrers, and a paper towel tube.  Alignment of floss and stability of frame prevented the ideal bouncing of balls, we suspect. Click on the photo on the right …

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Nov 08

Nano-Link 2015 Day 2

The first day of the 2014 Nano-Link Conference in Minneapolis is blogged at Here’s day 2: Maya Blue is the name of the colorant  found in murals from Mesoamerica dating back many centuries. The remarkable thing about Maya Blue is that it lasts, it does not degrade with time, chemicals, or ultraviolet light. Thomas Higgins of …

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Nov 07

Nano-Link Conference 2015

The 2014 Nano-Link Conference in Minneapolis ( focused on nanoscience/ nanotechnology education. I Miguel) attended to learn about teaching nanotechnology in high school. Here is some of what interested me: Karen Arnold of Nanocopoeia ( said a great high school project would be anything that requires students to define a problem, design an experiment, execute …

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Nov 04

Lava lamp and optic fiber

optic fiber 1

  In Miguel’s Science Class we played with optic fibers and watched a documentary on the history of glass. We discussed plasma as a 4th state of matter, discovering through a bit of research that, like the gas state, it has no definite shape or volume.  Plasma does interact with electric and magnetic fields, unlike gas. We …

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Oct 28

Plasma skull and bowling balls

bowling ball drilling considerations

Video of the skull encasing a plasma globe created in the last session of Miguel’s Science Class is on YouTube, linked from the skull image. We discussed states of matter (who knew there was more than plasma?!?), identifying which states tend to persist in volume and shape with change of pressure.  Playing with a balloon, …

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Oct 23


skull glowing front

Anticipating Halloween, Miguel’s Science & Technology Class (2014 Oct  21) encased a plasma globe inside a foam skull.  Measuring the radius of the globe, we measured back from the eye sockets to determine where to slice the skull in half.  Then we carved out a spherical space inside the skull, repeatedly trying to seat the skull …

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Jan 15

Lightning Experiments

    Leaf after 2 electrocutions With two new students in class, we revived the Van de Graaff generator, because everyone wants to see and feel lightning. Students asked questions I thought would lead nowhere, like what happens to leaves near the base of a copper tube leaned against the generator? I guessed that the …

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