Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cool Optical Illusions

Here are some interesting optical illusions:
These really show us that is it our brain, as well as our eyes, that is needed to see!

Ball Launcher Challenge

This year, students, working in pairs, will participate in the Science Buddies Ball Launcher Challenge.

Here is a link to the introductory video:

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Arithmeic Practice

To hep practice for the Caribou Math Contest (and for math class in general), here is an arithmetic practice game that is simple, configurable (and at the time of this posting, ad-free):

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Starting with Spheros

Spheros are small, remotely programmable robots that about the size and shape of a tennis ball.

When you first want to program a Sphero using the SpheroEdu app, a good place to start is:
During the above activity you will be asked to program your Sphero to go in a square.

Tangram Resource

Here's a great collection of tangram puzzles!
Dedicated followers of this blog may remember Aunt Annie's page from our hexaflexagon fun.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Hour of Code 2017 Activities

Here are some interesting activities to try during Computer Science Education Week or Hour of Code activities!

Video - "Anything worth doing doesn't come easy"
Sequencing Activities - headphones required for videos
Animation - headphones required
Games - headphones required
Art with Java - Intro - headphones required
Solar System (images are broken)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Viscosity; Newtonian and Non-Newtonian Liquids

Viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow. It describes the internal friction of a moving fluid. A fluid with large viscosity resists motion because its molecular makeup gives it a lot of internal friction. A fluid with low viscosity flows easily because its molecular makeup results in very little friction when it is in motion.

Consider how these liquids look when you pour them:
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oil
  • Egg yolk
  • Honey

Newtonian Liquid: only temperature affects its viscosity

Non-newtonian liquid: other forces/factors affect its viscosity

Examples of Non-Newtonian Liquid: 

Corn starch and water
When a force is applied to the polymer chains, they straighten out and entangled with each other, raising the viscosity 

There is a product that is used in some safety equipment (knee pads, maybe helmets) that is like cornstarch and water and works to absorb the force and protect you called D3O. See for more details.

Neat Videos:

This next video demonstrating D3O is not something you can try yourself. Watch this only after asking permission from your parents when you are at home.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Paper Airplanes

Why do airplanes fly? It's harder to explain that some people might think. Check out this website for an approachable, yet comprehensive overview of the myths and reality of what makes airplanes fly:

It is Newton's three laws of motion that are the key to the explanation (not Bernoulli's Principle, which partially correct but overly simplistic.)

Newton's Three Laws of Motion

Newton's Three Laws of Motion in Plain English 
Ultimately, what best explains what gives wings lift is that the wing must push a lot of air down.

What a better way to explore flight than by making paper airplanes. Here are some straight forward instructions:

Very Easy:


The Tail Spin

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Caribou Math Contest: Calcrostic Questions

Calcrostic style questions are very common on Caribou Math Contests. Here are video solutions to several questions of this type:

  • April 2013, grade 3/4 question 11
  • April 2014, grade 3/4 question 12
  • October 2015, grade 3/4 question 11
  • November 2012, grade 5/6 question 18

  • There are also a lot more tips and suggestions available here:
    After watching a couple of solutions, try out the interactive calcrostic puzzle here:

    Thursday, 6 April 2017

    Scratch Program Ideas

    Ask Gobo Game

    Use the Gobo sprite, or any other character, for this game.


    Use the ball sprite, or another small sprite for this project.