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Everyday science experiments

This category contains 13 posts

Building experience into sustainability learning

I’m working on creating the next level of sustainability course for the university where I teach sustainability. Part of my plan is to integrate some community engaged learning or work-integrated learning opportunities. There are several reasons that I want to do this but among my leading reasons is a firm belief that learning that never … Continue reading

Oh the drool!

I think about Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov surprisingly often. Every time my palm starts sweating before the physio comes to see me I think about Pavlov and his discovery of classical conditioning. But given that Pavlov’s original discovery involved salivating dogs, he has been even more present in my thoughts as I am often confronted … Continue reading

Cat Genetics

I’m teaching a bio course this term and I’ve been looking for ways to engage students in lab type activities given that we can’t go into a lab. When someone sent me an article about why most of the human genetic traits we like to use in genetics lessons are inaccurate I was, shall we … Continue reading

Why is the water so brown?

When you’re used to clear water coming out of the tap it’s easy to make assumptions about how clean a water body is based on how clear it is. This means that most people assume that the North Saskatchewan River through Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is pretty dirty, particularly in the spring. The visible brown colour … Continue reading

Toasted marshmallows: A delicious scientific treat

As summer starts up so do campfires and toasted marshmallows. So what gives a golden brown, melty marshmallow its amazing flavour? What makes them puff up? And why isn’t a burnt one as sweet anymore? Let’s start with the ingredients of a marshmallow. A marshmallow is around 50% air. This actually starts to answer our … Continue reading

The science of creating the perfect dyed Easter egg

I thought I’d do a little experiment to check out how vinegar or a weak acid affects dying eggs with food colouring. The recipe I’ve seen most often is a teaspoon of vinegar in a cup of water so I used this recipe, but I added two other tests: just water and half water and … Continue reading

Mini post: What happens when we share a passion

I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person, so I thought I’d look for a different take on the day of love and what I found was some amazing graphics and almost 180,000 people sharing a love of birds and science. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a program called eBird that has been operating for … Continue reading

Making it snow

I was going to do this post as a magic Monday until I read about all the people who have been burned doing this trick, so perhaps it is better left as one that you binge YouTube videos of. The trick is that you take boiling water outside in frigidly cold temperatures and toss the … Continue reading

Magic Mondays: Oobleck

I wrote a post a while ago that you can read about non-Newtonian fluids so I’m just going to give you the potion recipe here. I’m not sure if I’m going to continue magic Mondays on a weekly basis. It might become a monthly thing instead. But you can still download the potions book and … Continue reading

Magic Mondays: Density and a Time Jar

Our third Magic Mondays post before Christmas. Remember you can get all the potions plus a muggle reference guide for $5 CA and help support science education. The muggle reference guide includes additional questions and ideas to support critical thinking. Actual Recipe Water Vegetable oil Food colouring Alka-seltzer tablet Potion Recipe Water Giant Squid Slime … Continue reading

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