Looks like James Franco's character on "General Hospital" loves our wind-up toys. I spotted a Critter, a Sparklz, a MxyKikker, and a Skidum. But you don't have to be a crazy murderer character to enjoy these fun wind up toys from Kikkerland. So get your own army of wind characters and set them loose!Read More
James Franco on General Hospital Plays With Our Toys
March 21, 2013 9:19:40 AM CDT
Terrariums, Seeds, and Windowsill Gardens
March 19, 2013 11:18:24 AM CDT
Today, on the first day of spring, we are going to feature one of our product categories - Green Thumb Science. We carry many fun plant and science products such as windowsill gardens, educational plants, large terrariums, seeds and more items that are the perfect tool to start a child's lifelong fascination with plants. Kids love watching things grow and working with plants can foster an understanding of nature, our ecosystem and our impact upon them as well as being fun and satisfying for adults.
Our capsule terrariums are a fun, easy start for young gardeners. We started growing one of the Good Luck Eggs last month hoping to have Shamrocks or Clovers growing in time for St. Patrick's Day. I placed the small terrarium on the windowsill of our office and we had clovers growing within a week. Check out the results to the left after just a couple of weeks. We'll keep it growing and update you as it grows!
We're also growing one of our Farmer's Garden large terrariums in the office. These large terrarium sets include everything a young gardener will need to get their very own vegatable gardens growing. These terrarium kits include dirt, seed and decorations. You'll be amazed when the dirt discs absorb all the water to fill the terrarium bowl. We planted Lettuce, Carrots and Beans seeds and the lettuce seeds started growing in under a week! We'll keep this terrarium growing and hopefully have a bounty come harvest time!
Our seed bombs are a very popular, new outdoor gardening toy. These small clay balls are packed with seeds. We have many varieties of Seed Bombs including ones packed with Wildflowers, Herbs, and our Wild Game mix seeds. Check out this time lapse video of the Seed Bombs growing in the manufacturer's laboratory.Read More
5 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing A Science Fair Project
February 19, 2013 10:34:48 AM CST
Choosing a science fair project can be difficult. You should consider what you're studying in class, current events and your own personal interests when determining your science fair project topic. Once you come up with some ideas, it's time to narrow down your choices. If you think you have your science fair topic picked out, you should ask yourself these five questions first.
1. Is it within my abilities?
Students should have some familiarity with their science fair topic beforehand. This can come from their own classroom studies, their personal interests or perhaps a knowledgeable parent or family friend. Sometimes students may pick a topic to large for a science fair project. If you feel nervous about the idea of presenting the topic to your instructors, it's best to try to come up with something else.
2. Do I have enough time?
Students must take into consideration the amount of time it will take to complete an experiment. Some experiments, like the one I laid out on Germ Growth in Agar, take longer than others. Students are normally given 3 to 4 months to prepare their exhibit. So if the student is proactive, most projects should come in under this time frame. Some biology projects involving plant growth may be over that time frame, so it's important to consider the time required.
3. Can I afford it?
You won't need a lot of money to complete a successful science fair project, but you will need to determine your budget beforehand. Our student nutrient agar kits start at just $10.95 and make a great base for a bacterial project. Our potato clock is a great starter for a science fair project. With the potato clock you can determine which fruit or vegetable is the best conductor for an electrochemical cell. Projects can easily be affordable, but determining your budget beforehand is a key step.
4. Do my parents and teachers approve?
All project ideas must first be approved by your teacher. The number one reason I've seen for rejected science fair projects is that the statement will not involve any testing or analysis. Simply building a model will not pass your teacher's approval. Your parents will also have to approve any work you may be doing in the house. They might not want you growing bacteria in their refrigerator!!
5. Is it safe?
Safety is key in any science experiment and must be considered before making the final decision on your science fair project. Your teacher should be able to guide you through any issues that may arise with your topic choice.
Color Changing Chemical Reaction
February 4, 2013 11:41:50 AM CST
Color Changing Chemicals
Chemistry Classroom Experiment
Video courtesy of TheAppleManDan
This fun classroom experiment will allow students to see the color reactions that appear when Manganeseis oxidized. Watch as the chemicals change from purple to blue to green to yellow to orange and finally to red. Using just a few chemicals from our stock, you can have a great exciting classroom experiment.
- 1 - 1000ml Erlenmeyer Flask
- 2mg of Potassium Permanganate
- 10g of Sodium Hydroxide (Very corrosive, use caution)
- Magnetic Stirrer and Stir Bar (preferred, but not required)
- Distilled Water
1. Prepare one solution by dissolving the Sodium Hydroxide and Sugar in 750ml of distilled water. I would recommend using the stirrer to easily mix the Sodium Hydroxide, Sugar and Distilled Water.
2. Prepare the second solution by dissolving the 2mg of Potassium Permanganate in 250ml of distilled water. This should result in a light purple solution. You can add more or less Potassium Permanganate as you experiment.
3. Add the Potassium Permanganate to the Sugar solution on the stirrer. If you do not have a stirrer, you can mix the chemicals by slowly rotating the flask in your hand. (But please, pick up a stirrer for your classroom.)
4. Now watch as the chemical brightly change colors!
This fun experiment does have some serious science behind it. The color changes your students will see is due to a redox reaction occurring between the chemicals. This basically means that new compounds are formed when one chemical takes electrons from another chemical. Here, the potassium permanganate is reduced, meaning it gains electrons, and the sugar is oxidized, meaning it loses some. As the chemicals continue to oxidize, they will continue to change colors. The color changing chemical experiment is a redox reaction just like photosynthesis reducing carbon dioxide into sugar or the formation of rust on an old car!Read More
The Fire Syringe - Starting a Fire With Air Compression
January 31, 2013 9:56:34 AM CST
Heat to temperatures greater than 700°F by just using air compression!
Video from the science video blog - Veritasium
The fire syringe is an excellent demonstration of what happens when you rapidly compress air. Nearly every gas heats up when compressed and the fire syringe is an exciting demonstration of that. This can make for an excellent physics or chemistry classroom demonstration. Topics covered in a fire syringe demonstration include heat & thermodynamics, energy transfer, air compression and how pistons and explosives work. Compact fire syringes have been used in Asia since prehistoric time but our model, with its clear inner and outer tubes was designed for demonstrations.
Our fire syringe kit has everything you need for a classroom demonstration. Simply place pieces of the included cotton balls in the acrylic chamber and then rapidly press down on the piston. The energy from your motion will transfer to the fire syringe and cause the cotton ball to ignite. You can experiment with various non explosive substances in the fire piston to see if they will ignite. Just to give you an idea of how hot it gets inside the fire syringe - the kindling point for untreated cotton is 765°F!!! That is how hot the inner chamber of the fire syringe will briefly rise to when you rapidly compress the air inside of it.
Pick up your fire syringe today!Read More