Kat and I LOVE the Arizona Science Center. We’ve been members for over three years, and for much of that time, we’ve been making weekly trips to what we affectionately call our second home. Their planetarium shows are wonderful, the exhibits are spectacular (check out their physics room and Forces of Nature!) and the staff is friendly, fun, and exceptional at bringing the excitement of science to kids of all ages! What makes the science center extra special for us, is that they offer incredible science classes and labs for homeschooling families here in the Phoenix area!Read More →

Ever since she was old enough to chase them, Kat has loved birds. Her fondness for them began when she was a toddler, running on unsteady legs toward a flock of pigeons in a grassy courtyard. She would break into a fit of giggles as they took off in startled flight all around her. We spent a lot of time outside, looking for birds nests and egg shells. When we caught sight of the birds rummaging around in the courtyard, we were charmed as they looked for food and territory within the hierarchy of their little bird societies.Read More →

Sometimes the spark of a single question can send you on the greatest adventures… Spring is in the air here in the Sonoran desert. Flowers are just beginning to bloom, nurseries are filling their yards with gardeners delights and we have just about reached the perfect temperature of 70 degrees. For us, the coming signs of spring arrive with the bees who, by the hundreds, come out to gather nectar from our newly blooming rosemary. As we noticed that in our immediate vicinity  only our rosemary was attracting such a large amount of bees, Kat came up with her spark of a question…Read More →

With the annual home school science fair just around the corner, I’ve been finding myself reminiscing over last year, when Kat participated in her very first science fair! We regularly take science classes at the Arizona Science Center and each year they hold a non-competitive home school science fair. We had recently been watching the TED talk given by the 2011 Google Science fair winners and Kat, inspired by the story of grand prize winner Shree Bose, immediately knew what her question would be: Does the color of foods affect whether or not we like them? Kat’s hypothesis was that no, the color of foodsRead More →

Last week I was reading “Surely, You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!“, a wonderful autobiography of the curious and hilarious Nobel winning physicist Richard Feynman. I was struck by one of his curiosity kicks: he wanted to see how well the human nose could smell. Were our smelling powers stunted in comparison to those of other animals? Could we take a book off the bookshelf and be able to tell if someone has read it simply by smelling it? Could we tell if someone has merely held it in their hands? He found the answer to be YES! I however, was not so sure. Feynman, after all,Read More →

This post contains the epic saga of the battle between a flu virus and the human immune system. It is highly recommended that people get the flu vaccine to help in the fight against the flu. To find a local vaccination supplier near you, follow this link to flu.gov (US). This year’s cold and flu season is in full swing around the country and unsurprisingly, many people are finding themselves sick with viral infections. I myself ended up bedridden for about a week with some sort of throat/chest/head infection. Once everything cleared up and I was watching my daughter for signs of infection, I beganRead More →

Raising kids with a “can do!” attitude… Ever since Kat could walk, we’ve been getting our hands dirty. We build, we dig, we collect, and we examine. We try to see problems as challenges and questions tend to invite ideas and quests to find answers. Of course, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, but we’re always seeking to build our skills and improve our outlooks. I’ve wanted Kat to grow up feeling empowered, capable, and confident. So far, she has had little trouble powering through and looking for the next fun thing.Read More →

Warning: This post contains graphic images of a bat dissection. Last month, Kat and I spent quite a bit of time learning about bats and their diets and habitats. One of the highlights of our research was when we compared bat skeletons to the skeletons of other creatures. The most interesting comparisons came when we looked at bats, birds, and humans. The first similarity that comes to mind when comparing bats with birds is their shared ability to fly. Both skeletons are light enough to facilitate that, and some of their bones are fused together in similar ways in order to decrease the amount ofRead More →

Halloween is the month for all things creepy and it’s a great time for playing with science! There are a lot of great science projects that can carry a Halloween theme, ranging from glow in the dark potions (that you can drink!) to dancing gummy worms. Halloween is a great time to bring out the fun in chemistry, and teach some really interesting concepts at the same time! I wanted to kick off our month of Halloween chemistry with a spooky take on an old idea. The experiment we conducted involved the science of decomposition and preventing the biological processes that cause it. We followed the simpleRead More →

October is the month for all things related to Halloween and Kat and I have begun decorating our house in full festive fashion! While we were cutting out bat silhouettes to line our spooky hallway, we began talking about the animals themselves. We knew the basics: they are mammals, they fly, and they use sonar to find their food. Beyond that, we didn’t really know much about them. So, for the next two weeks, we learned a lot about bats, played batty games, and even went to a local bat colony! Bats are really quite fascinating. We’ve all heard the phrase “blind as a bat”,Read More →