Hello and welcome to The Scientific Mom!
Around here, we take chances, make mistakes, get messy, and experiment our way to a greater understanding of the world around us! Here, you’ll find fun and engaging hands-on activities and experiments that kids can use to understand how the world works, as well as ways to encourage the passionate curiosity that can light the fire of exploration in our young explorers!
My name is Amy Oyler, and I’m a science educator based in Phoenix, Arizona. My husband and I are the parents of two bright and beautiful little girls, Maizy and Katie, and our furry little critters, our two cats Meeko and Milo, and our fluffy dog Quinn!
Katie is my oldest, and the one you’ll see featured the most in this blog. That’s because we’ve been exploring the world of curiosity and science since she was 3 years old! She’s grown up with a brilliant fashionable flair, loves animals, loves biology and chemistry, and is one of the coolest kids I know, bursting with confidence and an endless desire to try new things!
Maizy is the newest member of our family, and is right at the age to start stepping into toddler exploration and learning fun! She loves beetles, flowers, going outside to the garden, and playing with slime!
My journey began with a few curious questions from my daughter Katie (who, at the time was a three-year-old mischief-maker who was burning with curiosity!), and has led to a lifetime of wonder, an adventure of discovery, and a collaboration with kids in our community, bringing science and fun to kids of all ages!
Why focus on science? Science is fun! Science is about asking questions, it’s getting messy, it’s taking a closer look, and it’s really learning about how the world works, and how we fit into it. With a sense of curiosity and wonder, we can take the tools of science and shape a better world for ourselves and our children.
I believe that kids have an inherent passion for knowing more about their world. By asking questions like “why is the sky blue?” and “where do butterflies come from?”, and “how do we know what’s in the sun?”, we embark on a journey of learning and discovery, as we and our kids pursue our questions, experiment our way to understanding, and develop a sense of our place in the world while learning how it all works. For us, science is a lifelong adventure, and we’re always finding something new to be curious about together!
Some of our Favorite Projects:
The projects you’ll find in this blog are fun, engaging, and can usually be done with materials you likely have in your house! Art supplies, kitchen ingredients, and a microscope… these are the tools with which we explore the world, and it’s been a fabulous and fun way to share our experiences together! Projects are geared toward the youngest little explorers first setting out in the world, all the way up to the seasoned teen scientist!
Our favorite projects and experiments are things that we can really get our hands into. Things like color changing chemistry, where we learn about acids and bases by creating vibrant colors of chemical reactions, right in our kitchen! With something as simple as red cabbage and hot water, you have a color changing wonderland of real science!
Other projects we enjoy, are those that encourage creativity through art, with an understanding of biology! When we made our anatomical model of the human heart, we had begun by simply wondering how our hearts work to pump blood through our bodies. Soon, we were playing made up games about the cardiovascular system, making model pumps, and building our own beautiful anatomical model of the heart! After that, we ordered a dissection kit, and really got up close and personal with everything we had learned about!
We also really love to learn about the tools we use for our science explorations. When we purchased a new microscope, for example, we really wanted to know how it worked, how we could take care of it, and how to clean and store it to get the most use out of our favorite tool of science! Here, there are all kinds of cleaning tips, tips on how to use your microscope, and a variety of projects you can do with it! The most frequently asked questions I get are about microscopes, and this has proven to be a very helpful resource for anyone looking to get into microscopy!
What’s in store for the future?
The projects we’ve been working on have been shared in classrooms, in communities, in STEM workshops, and now on television! Katie and I are regular contributors to our local NBC affiliate’s Arizona Midday, where we bring science experiments to live television! As with most of our endeavors, this is a truly a partnership, where my daughter and I both share the science we love with a growing audience of parents and families.
I’ve also begun taking our science activities to kids in our community through our library system! We’re regular faces at our main branch downtown, at the Burton Barr Library, where we hold workshops at MACH1’s Hacker Haven maker space, summer science camps during the summer, and participate in events throughout the year!
I’ve also just written my first science book for kids! Pop Sizzle Boom! 101 Experiments for The Mad Scientist in Every Kid features science in a way that follows the steps of exploration as our kids step outside and discover their world! This book follows the explorations of our kids as they set out into the world. From when they first step outside, you’ll find solar, weather, garden, animal, and park experiments! Back into the kitchen for a snack? You’ll find plenty of science to explore in your home! Race rockets, engineer your way through earthquakes, experiment with severe weather, and demonstrate the impacts of erosion and climate change! With rock cycles, magnetics, and more, you and your kids will explore chemistry, physics, zoology, biology, engineering, and astronomy, wherever curiosity strikes!
It’s nice to meet you!
I hope you’ll join us in your own science adventures! We have a growing community of parents who share ideas on our facebook page, and I’m always up for a chat on Twitter or Instagram! We can share ideas on Pinterest, and come up with new and fascinating ways to explore the world with our kids! Science is a lifelong adventure, and we hope we can share in our curiosity together and with you, for years to come!