Showing posts from 2020

Citizen Science Kids Can Do at Home

Today marks the 55th day since schools closed in California. Although state and local governments are working to put a reopening plan into action, schools are going to remain closed for the rest of this 2019-2020 school year, and summer programs are likely going to have difficulty reopening too. So what are kids to do? We have all these children with sharp eyes and brilliant minds, and not much to use them on apart from video games. Enter Citizen Science! As citizen scientists, kids can use their mental energy (and Internet bandwidth) to work toward furthering a good cause like studying wildlife in remote regions of the globe, tracking climate change, learning about distant galaxies, or discovering underlying causes of diseases to move researchers closer to finding treatments.  So today I gave a webinar highlighting my personal favorite citizen science projects for kids to try. There are thousands of projects out there, and I must have played at least a few dozen of them before

Exploring the Night Sky: Astronomy Festival for All Ages

On Thursday, February 27, we had a special astronomy festival for the whole family! People of all ages got to learn something new and inspiring about the way our understanding of the universe has grown, and also the ways that you can help scientists track changes in night sky visibility. Globe At Night Neighborhood Science Kit When Los Angeles Public Library got a grant for bringing Neighborhood Science to other libraries, Pasadena was chosen as one of the first libraries to get their Neighborhood Science kits. There are currently five Neighborhood Science kits  at Pasadena that you can check out and use to conduct observations and collect data that will help scientists understand more about the way our climate is changing, our air and water quality is changing, etc. The Globe At Night kit  includes a Sky Quality Meter for measuring the darkness in your area, and other tools and information. You can use a Sky Quality Meter to get a reading of the sky's level of darkness, and t

George Washington Carver for Kids by Peggy Thomas: a book review

What rock have I been living under, that I had no idea George Washington Carver , the scientist whose name is forever linked in my mind with peanuts, was also an accomplished  painter ? That he loved music and paid for piano and voice lessons with his paintings? Talk about putting the "A" in STEAM! He, in fact, had so many interests that one of his friends commented: "Whoever heard of any one person doing half so many things?"   Who, indeed! And that isn't all. I didn't know he built his own sod house on the frontier. I didn't know much about his many, many experiences of racism. I didn't know that he pulled himself up from nothing to put himself through college with unbelievable drive and sheer will, living in horrible, subhuman conditions, scrubbing clothes to pay his tuition. And despite all his hardships, he still comes across as just the most pleasant, inspiring, hardworking, and mindblowingly talented person you could ever me