Hilltown Families

Archives

Fall in Western Mass is when nature literally takes center stage; a destination visitors outside the area flock to because of the gorgeous dynamism of the season. The trees and their changing foliage are great connectors for kids (in a sense they connect to themselves!) to the outdoors and their sense of place. In this change lies a wonderful community-based educational opportunities tied to art and science. Read on to see how you can get your kid hooked on fall by collecting, creating and learning in their own backyards!

Being accessible to everyone, everywhere, at all times, the sky is the ultimate community-based educational resource! And astronomical events can be a catalyst for learning, like the upcoming transit of Mercury. This is an astronomical phenomenon in which Mercury comes between Earth and the Sun, and can be seen as a tiny black dot moving across the sun. Learn more about this phenomenon at community events this month!

In the spirit of the creepy, gruesome, and vaguely terrifying elements of the Halloween season, why not engage in some similarly creepy, gruesome, and relatively terror-free hands-on science experiments! From candy chromatography and glowing drinkables to flying ghosts and gooey eyeballs, click here for 8 Halloween science ideas which connect to numerous science concepts and promote hands-on learning.

The University of Washington’s Sing About Science and Math Project offers an online database of over 7,000 songs that cover an immense variety of topics in technology, biology, environmental science, physics, chemistry, math, engineering, and medicine…

What have you missed over on our Facebook page? Check out some of our top posts from this past week!

Join us on Facebook, and be sure to subscribe to our weekly eNewsletter too: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=exwricdab&p=oi&m=1102808931044&sit=8w7zndteb&f=0383bd7b-6431-490b-85cd-f5c4412d7cf2

This Valentine’s Day spread friendship and kindness throughout your community by making handmade Valentine cards with your family to swap with friends and neighbors! Making Valentine cards together is a family project which allows the opportunity to be creative together, an activity that can not only support to creative-free play and non-commercialization, but can also offer hands-on learning in fields like physics, chemistry, geometry, and cultural studies!

With chilly temperatures and icicles, we have the perfect winter for some great snow studies this year! The white coating that covers our landscape here in New England not only offers opportunities for winter sports, but it is also a great creative medium that can support science studies too! The chemistry behind snowflakes and frost are just waiting to be discovered…

Science & Education Episode with Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants LISTEN TO PODCAST:   Danny Weinkauf guest DJs this week, demonstrating though song examples and commentary his love of science and education, and how it has influenced his favorite songs and personal writing style. − www.dannyweinkauf.com Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am September 23rd & 24th, 2017 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA Featured video:   “I am a… Read More

Engaging for scientists of all ages and specialties, SciShow’s videos spotlight everything from outer space to the mysteriously fantastic smell of old books. Families can use SciShow’s videos to spark curiosity, support studies of specific topics, or to solidify preexisting knowledge – without contributing to excessive screen time.

Some of the best science learning happens when experiments turn into a big mess – and summer is the best time to do such activities, since they can be done outside. Our list of messy outdoor science covers everything from physics to compost, explosions to egg frying, and natural dye to water filters.

Why does popcorn pop? Corn contains water, which turns to steam, creating pressure inside the hard outer shell and eventually exploding. This is an example of a commonplace chemical reaction. Another common chemical reaction is oxidation. Tarnished silver, rust on a bicycle, and discoloration in spoiled meats are all results of oxidation. Taking a closer and more analytical look at everyday chemical reactions can be interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the more elaborate and engaging demonstrations!

This Valentine’s Day spread friendship and kindness throughout your community by making handmade Valentine cards with your family to swap with friends and neighbors! Making Valentine cards together is a family project which allows the opportunity to be creative together, an activity that can not only support to creative-free play and non-commercialization, but can also offer hands-on learning in fields like physics, chemistry, geometry, and cultural studies! Read more in our post, Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!

Crisp fall days are a great time for outdoor hands-on science! Using fall-harvested crops and the natural phenomena of autumn as inspiration, families can explore everything from weather prediction to animal tracks. These engaging outdoor science projects can be enjoyed by scientists of all ages, and require few materials – the learning inspired by each project will come naturally thanks to participants’ curiosity and ability to observe! Learn what color leaves different trees produce in the autumn and learn to read your landscape.

3D printing, a type of industrial robot which can synthesize three dimensional objects for a variety of purposes, is one of the most exciting technological, scientific, and creative innovations of recent years. Local libraries and other learning centers have begun to support an interest in engineering, technology, and creativity by housing 3D printers and providing demonstrations of the technology. There are several upcoming opportunities for families to learn about and utilize this new technology their your own projects.

Intergenerational collaborations can provide young students with hands-on lessons in the basic science of physics and principles of design at the 5th Great Holyoke Brick Race happening on Saturday, June 4th!

Danny Weinkauf from They Might Be Giants is our guest DJ, demonstrating though song examples and commentary his love of science and education, and how it has influenced his favorite songs and personal writing style.

Being accessible to everyone, everywhere, at all times, the sky is the ultimate community-based educational resource! And astronomical events can be a catalyst for learning, like the upcoming transit of Mercury. This is an astronomical phenomenon in which Mercury comes between Earth and the Sun, and can be seen as a tiny black dot moving across the sun. Learn more about this phenomenon at community events this month!

By exploring number systems, families can help children to solidify their own understanding of the numerals and place value of our own familiar base ten number system. From binary code and Roman numerals to a lost 13th century cipher and a zero-less system from 300 BC, number systems from around the world can lead to fascinating explorations of numerical representations and place value.

From monster eggs and flying ghosts to osmosis and convection, Halloween themes can inspire some fantastic (and icky) seasonally themed hands-on science activities. Using easy-to-find materials, families can explore scientific concepts in the spirit of the season!

Milham Planetarium at Williams College is an incredible high-tech resource for Western Mass. Astronomy students in the area always seem to want to open up the planets for the rest of us. All through the Fall they will host free shows for the general public. There is something scientifically hypnotic about a planet show, and it can be a great “hook” for kids who are interested in the stars. Read on & reserve your spot in what will be a very popular show series.

Western MA has had a fairly substantial helping of thunder this summer. They are intimidating and magnificently unpredictable, carrying with them all manner of science and folktales.

They inspire great curiosity in children and by reading on you’ll discover a great way to meet this curiosity in your kids through different types of science learning portals.

The wizardry of the yo-yo is a sight to behold as the laws of physics get stretched to their limits. The Yo-Yo school in Northampton, MA, is fun and educational, as attaining jaw-dropping skills in the craft runs parallel with deconstructing the principals of physics!

Exploring is the greatest learning asset. A new well-thought out online program called Maker Camp offers a uniquely accessible learning opportunity for kids- all for the grand fee of zero dollars! In addition to spending time outdoors this summer in a traditional camp setting, kids who are hands-on in their learning approach will find Maker Camp a stimulating experience. Themes include art and design, music, STEM skills, and fantasy, and virtual worldwide field trips.

It’s brilliantly innovative technology brought to you by Make magazine and Google. There is a self-paced element to this 6 week program in that kids do not have to complete all activities in a given day. Read on for more details and for an introductory video…

Combining science with writing and visual creativity is such a refreshing way to approach a complex topic. American Chemical Society is now seizing the day and holding an innovative poetry competition for kids that will drive them to explore different avenues in science.

This March, Holyoke Codes will be offering free STEM based workshops for youth. Holyoke Codes encourages and supports diversity in the field of technology, offering free workshops for youth to be involved in coding, robotics, and technology. Workshops are open to youth ages 7 and older and focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self-directed learning. Space is limited, so be sure to pre-register!

Science Quest is an exciting opportunity for high school students to visit the UMass Amherst campus and engage in hands-on science activities, demonstrations, and guided lab tours. All presentations are organized by UMass faculty members and designed for high school-aged students. Science Quest is a one-day free event happening in April. It fills up quickly, so Hilltown Families readers should sign up soon!

Computer code is what makes things work on our screens. Controlling everything from e-mail to video games, computer code has become incredibly important in our tech-filled world. Families can learn the basics of code (and its creative potential!) during Holyoke Codes, and upcoming week filled with code-centric educational opportunities! — Remember to mark your calendars and get ready to support Hilltown Families on Valley Gives Day: December 10th!

Public art is designed to make us think. Whether it’s about local history, traffic safety, or our cultural heritage, public artwork sends a message. Children have the opportunity to create public artwork to send a message about climate change by participating in UMass Lowell’s Cool Science contest! Young artists can learn about climate science and art with a purpose by creating entries, and winners might get to see their art made public.

Have you ever thought to measure your family’s consumption of things not in pounds, gallons, or grams, but in terms of children, cats, or pebbles? Exploring statistics becomes more interesting when children learn how to be creative with not only the units used, but the topics that they research, as well. Drawing inspiration from the book “The Next Three Seconds”, families can practice math in context with creativity!

How about that “thinking outside the box” concept. It can be an irritating buzzing fly of a term when you are not in an environment to truly stimulate invention, innovation and creativity. Enter: Spark!Lab that drives kids to jump right out of that box and mine the “ideas” part of their creativity, in an environment that demands innovative application. It’s a hands-on learning opportunity that’s fun and innovating! There are only three in the country so far- and one is coming to the Berkshire Museum in Pittfield. Lucky us!

%d bloggers like this: