November 18 Inspiration for Hands-On Science Fun

For most people – if you ask what happened this day in history on November 18 – not much comes to mind.  It is not as famous as Veteran’s Day.  But, there are events which occurred on this day – that can spur a flurry of fun science activities – particularly in the area of photography.  Nov. 18, 1928 – was Mickey Mouse’s debut on the big screen as “Steamboat Willie”. In 1929 on this day – Dr. Vladimir K. Zworykin demonstrated the Kinescope – a forerunner of the video tape machine.  And, in 1787, Louis-Jacques Daguerre was born – the namesake for the daguerreotype – an early type of photograph.

So here are some fun hands-on activities to help explore concepts of photography and moving pictures:

* Pinhole Camera – Instructions from Kodak

* Flip Book from Wikihow – also if you do a quick search on flip books – you can find out how to do them online.

* Using lenses and prisms to bend light – here is one with a magnifying glass  – you can

* Fiber optic demonstrations -from the University of Rochester

One other “cool” event for this day in history is the discovery by US Navy Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer – Antartica

Have fun and stay safe with your hands-on activities.

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