critical thinking

An Easy Swing?

I have taught several classes on Amusement Park Physics, and I usually include several activities on the carnival type games. Those games often use science, making something look simple and easy, when it is actually difficult to do. This activity is based on a carnival game where you try to swing a weight on a string and knock over a bottle.

Air has Weight

This experiment comes from a question sent to me a homeschooling mom named Elaine. It is based on a "classic" experiment often seen in textbooks to show that air has weight. While it starts simple, it takes some twists along the way that often cause people to misunderstand what is actually happening.

A Cup of Cold

This experiment comes from some research I am doing on "Science With Your Refrigerator," but it has its roots in my childhood. You may recognize some of your childhood too.

A Compass at the South Pole

This experiment comes from a question sent to me by a subscriber. His question was, "If I were standing directly on the South Pole and I was holding a compass, where would the needle be pointing?"

Lets do this scientifically. Before you read on or try the experiment, think about it. Think about what you know about magnets. Think about how a compass works. Once you have come up with an idea of what you think would happen, then you will be ready to try this.

75% Water

When you read that 75% of the Earth's surface is covered by water, what does it really mean? The answer goes far beyond just a simple fact. As with many topics in science, the deeper you go, the more you find.

Air Space

There are only two more days before we head for New Zealand. I am looking forward to the farm, the beach, seeing friends, and the food. It will be a LONG flight, but I am even looking forward to that. Most of my packing is done, and I am down to the "what did I forget" stage.

Building a Rain Gauge, part 2

Back to part 1

What Does a Rain Gauge Really Tell Us?

Now that we know the proper shape and location for a rain gauge, lets take a look at what they can tell us, and why they are important.

Lets start by imagining that you put a rain gauge in your yard. After a rain, you find that there is one inch of rain in your rain gauge. We can use that to calculate how much rain fell on your yard.

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