Monday, December 17, 2012

Singing and Dancing Bones

Appropriate Age Level

Science Concepts Learned

The names of the bones of the body using a song. You can teach as many bone names as you want, all 206 if wanted. 

Here are all the bones:


The run down of this activity is to put the names of the bones that you want your child to learn into a song, with them making up the song as you go.  Kids learn well through song, so why not learn some biology in the meantime. 

Here is an example of a bone song, that comes from the ever popular Hannah Montana.  You can learn 30 or so bones from it.

Doin' the Bone Dance

When I milk the cow
On uncle earl's farm
I use the ulna bone
That is in my arm


Everybody knows the bones
Just had to find a way
Everybody know what I'm talking 'bout
That's how I'll get an A

My body's many parts
And this is where it starts
Phalanges I have 10
And Metatarsals then

I got some Tarsals too
I'll put them in my shoe
The Fibula is next
According to my text

Then comes the Tibia
That ain't no Fibia

And now up to my knee
Yeah, yeah, yeah
That's the patella to me

We're doing the bone dance
You study the answers
Again and again til I get it right

We're doing the bone dance
You dance and you learn it
And we won't mess up this test
We'll get it perfect

And now I take it home
With the Parietal bone
It might be crazy
But we learn that way

Temporal and frontal too
And now we're finally through
That makes two hundred & six
I found a way that clicks

Chant: Bone Thugs in the house

We're doing the bone dance
You study the answers
Again and again till I get it right

We're doing the bone dance
You dance and you learn it
And we won't mess up this test
We'll get it perfect... word!

Time Allotted 

~ 30 minutes

Friday, December 14, 2012

Your Bedroom Door and Torque

Appropriate Age Level
5+ (math for older children 10+ , concepts for younger children 5-9)

Science Concepts Learned

Torque (τ) : the ability for an object to rotate around (spin around) an axis when a force (a push) is applied.

τ= rFsinφ

r=radius (m) (probably will be measuring in cm and will have to convert)
F=Force (N)
φ = angle of rotation 

Materials Needed

Hinged Door


1. Explain that a door has torque, and that the hinges are its axes. 

2. Have the child pick 3 different distances, about the same distance apart at the middle of the door.

3. Have the child push the door with the same strength at each distance/radius. (If you are doing the math portion of this experiment, measure each radius from the end of the door and assign 1N for the arbitrary amount of force being used.)

4. Discuss how it was easier to push the door further away from the hinges than closer because it has more torque due to the radius being longer, and that it was harder closer to the hinges because it has less torque.  (If doing the math part here, plug in the numbers, and also use a protractor to see the angle associated with the movement, place the protractor at the end of the door where the hinges are to get the most accurate measurement. The protractor should have one side where the door started and the other where the door ended when pushed.) 

5. Now have the child push the door with 3 different strengths at the same point in the door.  (Measure angles again with the protractor, and use 1, 2, and 3 N as the force increases smallest push to biggest push)

6. Discuss how the differences in pushes made the door swing different amounts, the smallest push was the smallest force and therefore had the least amount of torque etc.

7. And there you have it torque!

Time Allotted 

15-30 depending on how quickly the math is carried out

Physics for Scientists and Engineers 5th Ed. 2000

Friday, December 7, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin vs. Sugar Cookies, A Case of Mixtures

Appropriate Age Level
3 +

Science Concepts Learned

Mixture - variable composition; meaning it consists of different things
Homogeneous - visibly indistinguishable parts; everything blends together
Heterogeneous - visibly distinguishable parts; you can pick out different pieces of the mixture

Chemical change - a given substance becomes a new substance or substances with different properties and composition; the components went through a change and can no longer return to its original state.


1. Find two recipes or cookie mixes, one for oatmeal raisin and the other for sugar cookies.

2. First get out all the ingredients for the sugar cookies and talk about all the different items being put together to form what is known as mixture.

3. Mix all components of the mixture together, adding according to the recipe directions.  While mixing and adding items, have the child look at the mixture to see if they can see the different parts of the mixture.

4. When the mixture gets to be smoothly mixed so that you can no longer make out individual components, declare it homogeneous and explain why.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 with the oatmeal raisin cookies.  However, this mixture will never be homogeneous and instead will be heterogeneous.  Explain to the child why its different and ask them what they can still see in the cookie batter that makes it heterogeneous.

6. Bake cookies according to directions.

7. I threw this one in for a bonus, but once baked you can explain to the child that the cookies went through a chemical change, they no longer can be batter anymore, but are cooked and changed chemically. (You honestly can leave this experiment with just the mixtures part, but I thought since it was there why not add it in)

Time Allotted 
15-30 minutes for mixing, follow baking instructions per mix.

References: Zumdahl Chemistry 5th Edition, 2000. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Activity Layout

The activity layouts will be presented in the following layout:

Activity Title
Name of Experiment

Appropriate Age Level
What aged child will benefit from this activity

Science Concepts Learned
Named concepts and definitions of said concepts

A layout of the meat and potatoes of what should be happening, with step by step instructions

Time Allotted 
A range of time the activity should take

About this Blog

Science is something that can be learned through the every day.  Many of us think we have to be in a lab to learn science, but its around us everywhere.  This blog is to help us, especially parents, teach children this concept of everyday science that can be done at home.

Science can be learned in cooking, in play, in crafting, and playing outside among other things. As a PhD in chemistry, I want to use my knowledge to help kids get excited about something that many find daunting.

Experiments and Activities to come soon!