Steve Spangler Science

Love in a Test Tube – Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas!

Valentine’s Day celebrates love. Or maybe it celebrates all the kids in your child’s class with the big exchange of small paper postcards. If they’re lucky, they will get a lollipop attached to the paper card. Woo hoo. The holiday brings doilies, construction paper hearts, paper Valentines and don’t forget the candy. Come on people, Valentines can be more exciting than this. Last year I decided I was not going to phone in the Valentines. I wanted my daughters’ classmates to get excited when they received their Valentine. I even wanted them to take home the Valentine and learn something from it. Yes, sometimes I get carried away. How you ask? I made Valentines filled with science of course! I purchased Baby Soda Bottles (indestructible test tubes made from soda bottles before they are expan...

Spangler Sunday: Four Ways to Make Spooky Halloween Sounds

Halloween is all about things that glow in the dark, things that are slimy, things that bubble and boil, but Halloween isn’t Halloween without spooky, eerie sounds. If you are planning a Halloween party at school or in your home, here are some ideas to set the sound stage. Screaming Balloons **Caution! This experiment uses small pieces, so be very careful if you are doing this activity with young children. Adults should blow up the balloons and tie them off before giving to children. This is an easy experiment you can do with a balloon and a hex nut. If you are doing this with a large group, make sure to get enough supplies so everyone can go home with a screaming balloon. First, you’ll need good quality latex balloons (9” to 11” in size) and some ¼” hex nuts from the hardware store. Squee...

How to Make Ghostly Dry Ice Bubbles and a Dry Ice Crystal Ball

Bubbles are fun anytime. Fog is a necessity for spooky Halloween effects. What if you combine them and make smoke filled bubbles? Then bounce and play with the super bubbles and you will be the hit of your Halloween party. Touchable Boo Bubbles Materials: Two liter bottle Dry ice (ask the front desk at your local grocers) Heavy-duty glove Funnel Strip of cotton fabric Rubber tubing Dish soap Utility blade (box cutter) Small plastic portion cups (2 oz works best) Towel Bubble gloves Safety glasses Adult supervision Dip the free end of the rubber tubing into the bubble solution to wet the end of the tube. Remove the tube from the bubble solution with one hand while covering the jar with the lid in the other hand. This will take a little practice, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it. Th...

Make Bubbling, Spooky Halloween Cauldrons with Dry Ice

I have never been much of a Halloween fan, but after working with Steve Spangler for more than eight years, Halloween has become one of my favorite holidays. I had no idea you could have so much fun with dry ice and warm water. If you are planning a Halloween party this season at home or helping plan a school party, dry ice is a must to create oozing and bubbling fun. I have brought the following demonstrations into my daughter’s classrooms and performed them at Halloween parties for the past few years. I love to do these activities to watch the excitement and wonder in the children’s eyes. Okay, I also love it myself. The kids give me the excuse to play. First, some background information on dry ice. What is Dry Ice? Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide. It doesn’t melt; it turns, instead, in...

Last Minute Do-It -ourself Science Christmas Gifts

Have you completed Christmas shopping or do you still have a few gifts to produce between now and early next week? I recently had a mom ask about science-themed gift ideas that her children could easily make. Here are a few crafty ideas that use kitchen science and materials found around the house. Secret Messages

Build Your Own Black Light Secret Message – Perfect for Trick or Treating!

We are always looking for new and fun science activities at the Steve Spangler Science Labs.This Halloween season we have really outdone ourselves with a new product line that includes Vampire Slime and Vampire Veins. We have also created this simple and easy craft that also teaches a lesson in the science of glow. Some of the adults in the company may also sneak into Steve’s Playroom, turn off the lights and put together puppet shows with our black light projectors. I won’t tell if you won’t tell. I’m also prepping to do this activity with 20 Brownie Girl Scouts this Tuesday. I can’t wait to see what they all come up with. I know it will be beyond anything that our Spangler lab rats have created the past few weeks. This black light projector is perfect to tak...

Thanksgiving Table Tricks –Entertain Your Guests with After Dinner Science

The meal is wrapping up, the dishes are in the sink and everyone is sitting around the table waiting for the pie to come out. Now is the perfect time to stand up and amaze your family with a few science “tricks” using materials found in your kitchen. Remember that you shouldn’t try these experiments at home…do them at a friend’s home. Singing Glasses and Move a Match with Your Mind If you like to annoy all of your dinner guests by running your finger along the rim of a wine glass to make it sing, you’ll soon have your friends convinced that you

Are Parents Desperate for Extracurricular Learning or Just Looking for Babysitting?

Our school’s PTA asked me this fall if I’d be interested in running a science club after school. As if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I agreed. After tossing around the best way to have a science club, we decided to start with a Halloween science club. One that would meet one time in October and share some of the best experiments from my arsenal. I have it easy, because I work at a science toy and education company. We would gauge response and see if an actual club is viable for the second semester. I was offering two sessions – one for grades 1-3 and one for grades 4-6. The PTA was sponsoring and providing the opportunity for free. They would fill at 20 and admission would be on a first come first served basis. I hoped someone would think my little club sounded cool and sign up their k...

The Science of Light Sticks – Liquid Light

Just give the plastic light stick a little “snap” and a shake and the liquid inside begins to glow. Some people call it liquid light. Light sticks are more popular than ever and have become almost required apparel for Halloween to cast an eerie glow on the candy seekers. I always buy them for my girls to wear while trick or treating. Did you know you can learn a little science from light sticks? Light sticks are also a great and inexpensive teaching tool to learn how temperature affects the rate of the chemical reaction. **Caution! This experiment requires the use of very warm water, which requires the assistance of an adult helper. Take advantage of the holiday and stock up on some light sticks during the Halloween close-outs. You’ll need three light sticks of the same s...

Make Your Halloween Party Glow With Easy Ideas From Steve Spangler Science!

Do you love Halloween as much as I do? It is my favorite holiday…gorgeous fall weather, turning leaves, pumpkins, candy and glowing, bubbling activities. Welcome to Spangler Science Saturdays with Steve Spangler Science at Mile High Mamas. Halloween is highly anticipated at Steve Spangler Science. We have an entire section dedicated to Halloween experiments and activities complete with how-to videos. Today, we are focusing on activities that glow in the dark. Halloween is all about spooky, creepy things that lurk in the dark. There’s nothing better than turning off the lights, bringing out glowing, mysterious and slimy materials to touch and watch. The kids will ooh and ahh. Whether you are planning a Halloween party, looking for unique decorations or just want to have some fun with your o...

Bubbling, Burping Halloween Science – Win an Ultimate Dry Ice Kit

It’s almost October and my favorite time of year is just around the corner…Halloween. I can do without the gore, the tombstones, the skeletons, but I love making bubbling, smoky concoctions. That makes me the most popular room mom in the school. If you are looking for the perfect Halloween kit to share with your kids’ teachers and bring into the classroom, the new Ultimate Dry Ice Kit is for you. This kit will teach the different phases of water, carbon dioxide, chemistry and a little bit about sublimation. Zzzz. Are you bored? This kit will get the kids excited and begging to get up close. I’ve experienced shouts of, “Me too! do it to me!” and “Can I do it again and again?”

Decorating with Science for the Holidays

Have you decorated your home for the holidays yet? They are coming up quickly and if you haven’t finished sprucing up the home, why not try decking the halls with a little science? First, you’ll need to head out to your local craft store, garden store or science supply store, like SteveSpanglerScience.com and purchase a few supplies. You’ll need some basic things like vases, candles, scented oils, holly branches and ornaments. To add in the science, you’ll need some fake or Insta-Snow, Jelly Marbles, Water Jelly Crystals and fizzy tub tints or color mixing tablets. You can also use food coloring. I prefer the tub tints, because they do not stain like food coloring. Hydrate the marbles or crystals for about 24 hours in water. The marbles and crystals are polymers and will grow 200 times the...

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