Light has been an essential element in artwork for centuries. Light painters create electrifying images that blend photographs of the real world with layers of color and kinetic light. In the premiere episode of PBS Arts: Off Book, artists Aurora Crowley and Patrick Rochon demonstrate their light paint methodology, show off their electric works and describe the process that anyone can do at home.
The tradition of using shadow puppets to tell stories dates back thousands of years, making it one of the oldest forms of motion-picture storytelling. Shadow puppet theater originated in India and China, where the tradition lives on today. Shadow puppets are often used to convey culturally important stories, such as myths, legends, folklore, and religious stories. This activity provides step-by-step instructions for creating a shadow puppet.
Maybe you’ve never really considered yourself musical. That’s okay. Music is in all of us, and even just by listening to music, you’re tapping into its power. Step Re-Mix is a fun way to explore rhythm. This and other Exploratorium exhibits let you explore music in ways you probably haven’t before.
Crystal Sparkle Paint
Crystal Sparkle Paint is a hands-on science exploration for young children and their teachers, parents or caregivers. In this video, watch as children make a sparkly crystal paint by mixing a few common ingredients together. Create a sparkly paint using common ingredients and discover what happens after the paint dries. Examine the crystaline structures of the solids.
Explore sports equipment engineering in this SciGirls activity challenging students to design a super bouncy ball out of a balloon.
Workin' It Out
Compare different fitness activities with this SciGirls activity to help students discover exciting ways to continue improving their health. Staying active is an important part of your overall health. The key is to find activities that both raise your heart rate and that you enjoy doing. It is best to find a balance of aerobic activities for a healthy heart, strength training for strong muscles and bones, and activities that improve your flexibility to reduce injury.
How the Body Responds to Exercise
In this video segment adapted from NOVA, follow novice runners as they train for a marathon, and discover how quickly the body responds to regular aerobic exercise.
Blowin' in the Wind
Windmills have been used for thousands of years to grind grain, pump water, and even generate electricity. They lost popularity as new sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, arose. But the idea of using wind for energy has made a comeback in recent decades, and careers in wind energy are growing rapidly as the demand for clean energy increases. Students will built a windmill that lifts weight in this activity.
High Tech Fashion
What do you get when you combine fashion and electronics? Fun and functional clothing and accessories! Soft circuits are electronic circuits that use conductive threat instead of wire. With these circuits, you can make wearable designs that light up the runway.
Sink or Swim?
Investigate the properties of plastics with this SciGirls activity challenging students to identify the different plastics in a mystery bag. Plastics are everywhere: from car parts to drinking bottles to sports equipment. Each plastic is chemically unique and has distinct properties that make it suitable for certain products. Plastics are classified #1 through #7. To find out what type of plastic a product is made from, check the bottom of the object and locate the number inside the recycle symbol. Even though some recycling centers only accept certain numbers, all plastics with this symbol are recyclable. Markets just don't exist for all recycled products.
How do you get a glove and a ball up to your tree house? One answer is to use a pulley. A pulley is a simple machine. In this original KET interactive, children learn about the basic workings of three simple machines. Machines make life easier—and sometimes more fun. A simple machine has few moving parts.
What Is a Robot?
In this activity, students are introduced to robots, including ones that exist in their everyday lives. They learn about the kinds of things that robots do, the excitement that goes with designing and testing, and what inspires ideas for different robots.
During the process of evolution, the survival of plant and animal species depends upon their ability to successfully adapt to different challenges in life. Is it far-fetched, then, to look for lessons in nature that might be applied to some of the challenges we face in technology? In this video segment adapted from NOVA, engineers are studying insect flight and hoping to gain insights into ways of designing and developing miniature flying vehicles that we may one day use for a variety of purposes.
Robot Body Language
These days social robots designed to interact with people are sold in stores as pets, house cleaners, and even healthcare assistants! To make these robots seem more humanlike, designers give them personalities using sounds, digital displays, and gestures. Explore the psychology of expressions using this SciGirls activity challenging students to convey an emotion while their faces are hidden.
Programming a Robot
In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad has shrunk Matt and sent him inside Hacker to insert a memory chip that will change Hacker from evil to good. When a force field causes problems, the CyberSquad must program a robot to rescue Matt. And in order to get the robot to do what they want, they must break a task into a sequence of simple steps that the robot can follow.
The Night Sky: Past and Present
In this video from QUEST North Carolina produced by UNC-TV, learn about the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute's work to digitally catalogue the first 120 years of night sky record keeping and enable time-domain astronomy studies.
The Formation of Stars
Learn about the formation of stars and planets, and how the James Webb Space Telescope will help us better understand solar system formation, in this video from NASA. Images from the Hubble Space Telescope show star-forming regions within the Eagle nebula: visible light images show vast clouds of gas and dust, and infrared images provide a glimpse inside the clouds. The James Webb Space Telescope will be optimized for infrared observations and give astronomers an unprecedented view of stellar birth. Computer models show how a giant cloud of gas and dust collapses to form stars and planets; reddish colors indicate thicker dust.
The Star In You
In this article and slideshow from NOVA scienceNOW, learn how the Big Bang and the life cycles of stars created every single atom in your body. The lightest chemical elements (such as hydrogen and helium) originated with the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago. All other elements(including carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen) were made by stars. The text describes how stars are born, how thermonuclear reactions inside stars produce elements up to iron, how red giants and supernovas produce elements heavier than iron, and how the elements are dispersed from stars into space and incorporated into you.
Our Super Star
Our star, the Sun, is an ordinary star. It is not particularly special compared to other stars in the universe; however, it is crucially important to us. As the massive energy source at the center of our solar system, the Sun is responsible for Earth's climate, weather, and life. In this lesson, students use observations, activities, and videos to learn basic facts about the Sun. Students also model the mechanics of day and night and use solar energy to make a tasty treat.