October is…… And, the winner is ……

You could say that October is Science Month!

Next week features the announcements of the Nobel Prizes.  So, look for a number of science related stories and features from various science organizations and businesses.  You can anticipate that the news will be filled with science applications connected to the winners of the Prizes in medicine, chemistry and physics.

Additionally, October generally features announcements for various science competitions.  Check out the Intel, Siemens and other notable companies as they begin to announce their regional and national activities.  (You can also check out Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and Science Channel – for many activities, lesson plans, etc.)  There are sites with monthly themes such as the Siemens Science Day in addition to topic specific sites.


October features National Chemistry Week (October 19-25, 2014).  This years theme is the Sweet Side of Chemistry – Candy.  There are a number of activities planned around the United States.  These will be hosted by Local Sections of the American Chemical Society, as well as Student Chemistry Clubs.  You can find teacher resources and associated materials at the American Chemical Society NCW website.  Of particular note – related to this NCW topic – was the dedication of the second National Chemical Historic Landmark related to the production of sugar on October 1.  This Landmark recognizes the work of Rachel Holloway Lloyd, a woman chemist.  (The first recognized the work of Norbert Rillieux, whose birth record states “Norbert Rillieux, quadroon libre, natural son of Vincent Rillieux and Constance Vivant. Born March 17, 1806. Baptized in St. Louis Cathedral by Pere Antoine.”  More information about the work and life of Rillieux can be found here.)

October is a great time for slime, glowing science, bubbling punch, and other fun home/class experiments.  Take a few minutes to do a quick search of the American Chemical Society education resources while you are looking at the Sweet Side of Chemistry – to find a bunch of “goolish” fun activities.  (You can also find sites related to Zombies, Bone Chilling Science, Vampires, and even a bit of graveyard science.)

Have fun and don’t forget to stay safe!  (PS if you need safety resources you can always pick up a copy of Staying Safe while Conducting Hands-On Science.)

Fun Activities for November

Now that Halloween has past and we are beginning to look toward the holiday season – there are a number of activities that can be integrated into any curriculum.  In the northern hemisphere – fall colors are in full display.  In North America – Canada and the US – Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And, the summer season is starting in the southern hemisphere.

So here are some ideas for some fun science!

Natural dyes are great this time of year – as fruits, berries and spices are abound.  The Learning Channel has a “how stuff works” activity on natural dyes. There is an integrated science-art lesson plan from the University of Minnesota.   And, there is a quick article from Gardening Know How, which will help you to integrate science into everyday life.

While food science is fun any time of year – in the US and Canada – November is a feasting month.  Chemistry and physics abound in the kitchen – look for anything written by Shirley Corriher (Cookwise and Bakewise) – she has wonderful descriptions of what is happening during the cooking and baking.  Penn State has a list of several food science activities.  The American Chemical Society has an activity page for food as well.

So have fun in November – doing great science while playing in the kitchen.

Don’t forget to stay safe while conducting any hands-on activities with children.  These activities should be conducted under the supervision of an adult and should be reviewed prior to conducting them.  For more safety tips for hands-on activities.  Return to http://www.sophicpursuits.com/Educational-Materials.html.

Need some fun Halloween Activities or Demonstrations

The American Chemical Society has a great page of fun Halloween based activities, demonstrations and experiments – you can find them at http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/students/highschool/chemistryclubs/activities/chemclub-halloween-activities.html#P25_2879

But – remember that many of the activities need to be done under direct supervision of an adult or teacher.  You can also find – safety tips and resources on the ACS pages or from Sophic Pursuits