Category: KidSci

So why isn’t our atmosphere sucked into space

Sulfur Cycle

When you think about it, Earth is a closed system. The water you’re drinking is part of the same water cycle as the water the dinosaur’s drank. The ground you’re walking on has been there for millennia. As rocks are worn away by weathering and soil erodes, the resulting materials make their way into the cycle […]

400 Sumatran Tigers Left

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There are only 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the world! Today you’ll see #SumatranTiger and #EndangeredSong rippling through social media. The reason for this is that “Portugal. The Man,” in conjunction with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and National Zoo, has released a song to bring attention to this sorry news. To bring the plight […]

Q&A Penguins

Penguins Baby Hi

I’ve just been reading a fantastic book about penguins. Smithsonian Q&A Penguins by Lloyd Spencer Davis has everything I’ve been wondering about. It’s written in accessible language. It’s also fun to read. I’ve read a lot about marine mammals, and I was wishing there was a similar volume that included penguins. The best I could […]

Crittercam

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National Geographic has a terrific device known as the Crittercam. The penguin on the left is wearing one. He’s not the only animal that has. It’s been worn by a variety of animals, including humpback whales and a bear cub. The idea for the Crittercam came to marine biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall in 1986. […]

Play Ball!

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It’s Opening Day! The start of the baseball season. What could be more? For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting excerpts from an interview I had with NJIT Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Bruce Bukiet, aka Baseball’s Chief Geek. He’s a mathematician with a bias toward math with a purpose. His annual projections […]

KidSci: Hydroponics

Featured Kid

Are you ready for a challenge? How about growing some tomatoes without soil? I’m going to give it a try, but I have to admit I’m going to have help in the form of a Baby Bloomer. Hmm… Doesn’t seem fair. To even things up a bit, I’ll also grow some tomatoes with all of […]

KidSci: Seasons

Basics

Try this interactive activity from Scientific American to see how the seasons work!   Source: Scientific American Science Buddies More seasonal stuff: Why is Summer Hot? Summer in the US – Winter in Australia

No Jetson Future?

Big News

Say it isn’t say! Say it can’t be true that the vision of personal flying cars is about to be supplanted by —- drones delivering pizza! Talk about your cruel and twisted outcomes! When I was a kid, we were often asked to envision the future. Our dreams always included flying cars or personal flying craft of […]

Why with NYE

Bill Nye

Who doesn’t love Bill Nye? He’s not just the science guy. He’s one of a kind, or, as he says – “If you’re like me, and I know I am …” He is also the guy who has a genius for presenting accurate science in an exciting way. His newest science program is Why with […]

Buoyancy: Swim Bladders

Aquatic

We’ve all heard that a shark must swim continuously or sink. Do you know why? It’s because sharks do not have a swim bladder. “This gas-filled sac provides buoyancy and helps to keep the fish afloat by keeping it in a neutrally buoyant state.” When in this state, the fish is neither rising nor sinking in […]

An Ocean of Air

Basics

In 1644, Evangelista Toricelli wrote, “We live submerged at the bottom of an ocean of air.” We don’t fee the force of the pressure of this fluid any more than aquatic creatures feel the force of the water on all sides. Why? Because there is a uniformity of pressure in both cases; gravity exerts pressure on all sides.

Animal Adaptation: Camouflage

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Let’s look at caterpillars as an example of camouflage. The objective of the caterpillars in our scenario is to make it to adulthood so that they can lay eggs. We have three types of caterpillars. One type has spots, another is multi-colored, and the third is a solid color. The only predator of these caterpillars is a species of bird that lives in the region for twelve months of the year. These birds aren’t picky, they’ll eat any caterpillar they can find.

Animal Adaptation: Mimicry

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Take butterflies as an example. The objective of the butterflies in our scenario is to survive long enough to lay eggs. We have three types of butterflies. One type is bright blue with emerald green spots, another is multi-colored, and the third is a solid color. The only predator of these butterflies is a species of lizard that lives in the region for twelve months of the year. These lizards aren’t picky; they’ll eat any butterfly they can find.

Sam the Space Monkey

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Remember Sam? The Rhesus monkey who took a spin on Little Joe 2 as part of the Mercury program back in the early 60’s? Here he is, before and after the flight, showing off his model of the Mercury fiberglass contour couch.