How to Make Shaving Cream Easter Egg Dye

This is how you can make some awesome marbleized looking Easter Eggs quickly and easily, without a lot of mess and spending a lot of money. Here’s what

Source: How to Make Shaving Cream Easter Egg Dye

I found a link on pinterest the other day that I just thought “Ooh, eggs and shaving foam”, pinning it for another day. Then I thought, let’s actually look at the method! It looks so, so simple. We’ve been planning on trying to make natural dyes (raspberries, coffee, etc) to paint some eggs here in school, but this method is much simpler and easier to put together.

In fact, I’ve put the ingredients on my shopping list to try at home!

Happy Easter!

E is for Explore!: Red Bull and Milk Reaction

E is for Explore!: Red Bull and Milk Reaction.

What happens when you add Red Bull to milk in a 1:1 ratio?

What about vinegar and milk in the same ratio?

Change the type of milk from whole, to semi, to skimmed!

Why does any of this happen?

This simple, quick and clean demonstration is perfect for an introduction to States of Matter, to get brains thinking on an Open Evening or as a mini experiment for a STEM session.

Definitely one to try out! And easily performed and explained at home.

Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity –

Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity –

This is a fantastic resource for designing a bio-dome, excellent for studying ecosystems, specific environments and engineering (there’s also a nice little bit of recycling of plastic bottles involved). The webpage also details how to approach a number of lessons teaching with regards to the bio-dome that students can build. There is also a Bio-dome workbook in pdf that can be downloaded from the page, a full list of materials needed, an introduction with extra vocab section and a simple to use instruction on how to build a simple model bio-dome.

The lesson plans given by Teach Engineering break down different things to look at/study within the bio-dome (energy flow, plants, animals and then decomposers), these could easily be adapted to fit what a teacher specifically wanted or to fit different timescales, you wouldn’t need to add plants, animals and decomposers over 3 weeks unless it helps to establish each one first. Maybe that’s what a school technician is for, hehe!

I think it would be fascinating for a class (or STEM group) to do this over perhaps a few weeks with maybe one built bio-dome for everyone, to see the effects of the bio-dome. The website recommends roughly 5 hours of “lesson” time, but however much of it could be done outside of a lesson to speed learning up.

British Science Week – Activity Packs

From 13th to 22nd March, it is British Science Week and a page of Activity Packs has been produced by the British Science Association, linking to 15 short activities, arranged by age that can be done to celebrate British Science Week.

There is also a flyer that can be printed, and a collection of curriculum links that apply to the under 11 and 11 – 16 year old activities.

Some of the activities included are building a giant egg timer (prepare in advance with multiple 2 litre plastic bottles!), battery building (not too different to the fruit battery testing that our own STEM group did), wireless signal blockade (handy if you have the right equipment and are allowed to use your phone in a classroom), metallic food (separation techniques, magnetism and easy to do at home as a nice food comparison), and many others.

I think it would be nice to give a class or STEM group their choice over which practical they’d like to do and to work their way through a selection of them. That’s why I’m going to post this earlier than British Science Week – to get you ready and prepared!

I might also keep this list handy to try some at home in a few years!

Food Preservation and Microbial Growth – Spices!

I got sent the following link to have a look into for our KS4 and possibly STEM groups – Antimicrobial Properties of Spices – and it looks really interesting, although I am biased as Microbiology is my background. The journal article is very well laid out and planned, easily adaptable to use in a classroom setting or even for some at home science and the scientific explanations are not too difficult to get your head around. Some rice pudding and different spices… that’s all you really need and you’re off. You could use any spices that you want, powdered and out of date samples like the paper uses, too.

I then did a very quick google search and found this link – Ability of Curry and Cinnamon to Inhibit Bacterial Growth – and loved the even greater simplicity. This method would be perfect for our STEM sessions. I do prefer microbiology experiments to be performed on actual agar (I think it makes it safer for the students as they are consciously more aware that it’s bacteria they’re dealing with) and it can be regulated far easier. The Science Fair suggests using normal agar, dirty fingers and then cinnamon and curry oil to watch the bacterial growth. I wonder if it would work with direct contamination of a bacteria (like the E. coli we always have) and then either disks of different oils or a dilution range of oils or a plate for each oil. One of our Microbiology stock experiments is using different hand soaps on disks to see its effects on E. coli, how about adding in an oil? Or more food preservatives? This could be handy in a food storage unit.

Definitely one to try. Either version!

The Science Spot: Science Classroom

The Science Spot: Science Classroom has a nifty little collection of Science projects – Element Trading Cards (with worksheets), Bursting Balloons (looking at Charles’ Law) and two Christmas themed activities.

The first one (Christmas Chromatography – Deck the Halls with Science) is something that popped up from a colleague in my inbox over a year ago for a Christmas now long forgotten! The actual link is to a pdf worksheet that can be downloaded and printed, but the basics of it are: draw a bulb, cut it out, put ink on it, make a colourful chromatography bulb to then hang up once they’re all dry. The worksheet comes with handy shapes to use as templates for your bulbs and a method of chromatography using water and pipe cleaners.

Of course, if you have access to coffee filters, you can do this at home and make yourself a pretty garland of “lights” as a family – explaining the science of course!

The science spot page even says that this activity could be adapted for Easter eggs, flowers or rainbows. What other holidays or events could be used? July 4th, perhaps? Valentines hearts, scary Halloween monsters? Maybe fireworks if it was done right. Or, using filter paper pre-cut to form the letters of your school, get students to make them colourful in preparation for or during an Open Evening. Or just to put your teaching name up on the wall!

The second Christmas based activity they have is The Case of the Christmas Cookie Mystery, which I think I have seen before, but never tried. Pdf worksheets and details are available for download and this activity involves testing six powder samples to find the Christmas Cookie Mix. Again, this one can probably be adapted for other holidays, but would make an excellent end of year activity for Science class, STEM session, extended tutor time. Maybe then make your students make a pretty light-bulb garland in the last few minutes of the Christmas lesson!

Merry Christmas!

Invitation to Build: Gumdrop Christmas Trees – Left Brain Craft Brain

Invitation to Build: Gumdrop Christmas Trees – Left Brain Craft Brain.

Build a Christmas Tree

Okay, we’ve done challenges like this before in STEM club – spaghetti towers, marshmallows are far too messy, “buy” different types of building materials. I think one year we did it as part of STEM week and had to balance Creme Eggs on the top of a tower! It had never occurred to me to make this twist and make a Christmas Tree version!

Maybe part of the challenge could be to hold a particular star or tree ornament.

I love how you can adapt the other challenges, involve a planning session to get students to look into the best shapes involved to make a tower and then devote an hour to building a Christmas Tree. I think it would also be incredibly useful in an end of term lesson or even for a tutor-time activity. There might not be time to add it in for this year, but perhaps next year!