Space Exploration Day


space exploreOn July 20, look up at the sky and think back on all the advances humankind has made in exploring and understanding space because it is Space Exploration Day.

The annual holiday commemorates the anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Americans astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on the surface of the Moon.

In 1984, the day was proclaimed a holiday by United States President Ronald Reagan. The fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program, Apollo 11 was launched from Florida on June 16. It returned to Earth with the 3 astronauts – Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins on June 24.

Moon Day

The holiday, which is also sometimes called Moon Day, encourages people to learn more about space exploration. It attempts to inspire young adults to consider space sciences and space exploration as careers.

How to Celebrate?

  • Visit your local space and science museums and spend the day there learning about space and our astronomical neighbors.
  • Join an astronomy club and participate in their Space Exploration Day activities.
  • If you have young children in your life, get them interested in space and related fields by reading them books about space and space technology.

Did You Know…

…that 12 people, including Armstrong and Aldrin, have walked on the surface of the Moon?

Light Fountain

Light Fountain Cover

What you need:light_fountain_post
• A clear water bottle
• Duct Tape or aluminum foil and tape
• Thumb tack or push pin
• Pencil
• Flashlight
• Sink or basin

What you do:
• Remove the label from the water bottle.
• Cover half (vertically – from opening to bottom of bottle) of the water bottle using duct tape or taping on aluminum foil.
• Use the thumb tack to poke a hole through the duct tape on the bottle, about two inches from the bottom of the bottle.
• Use a pencil or similar object to enlarge the hole.
• Fill the bottle with water, keeping your thumb over the hole so the water stays in.
• In a very dark room, hold the water bottle over the sink or basin.
• Shine a flashlight through the uncovered side of the bottle toward the hole where the water is coming out.
• Watch as the stream of water forms an arc that the light follows down into the sink.
• Try making the water stream a different color by putting colored cellophane in front of the flashlight lens

N.B.: The light beam travels through the stream of water, even when the stream bends, as it does in this experiment. The light beam bounces off the walls of the water stream and follows it to the end. This is called internal reflection. The light ray inside the stream of water behaves as it would inside an optical fiber. Optical fiber works like this: you send a light beam into one end of the fiber and it comes out the other end, even when it bends, just as light travels through the stream of water in your experiment.

Mother’s Day Spa

Mother's Day Spa

bath salt12Mother’s Day is May 10! Give Mom a relaxing spa day at home with these spa science gifts you can make yourself using mostly household items. Bath salts add luxury to an ordinary tub while teaching about hard and soft water. Fizzy bath bombs delight the senses through a skin-safe chemical reaction. Homemade sugar scrub introduces exfoliants and humectants and their effects on the skin.

What you need:
• Plastic mixing bowl
• Plastic mixing spoon
• 1 cup Epsom salt
• 1 cup sea salt
• 1/2 teaspoon glycerin
• Fragrance or essential oils (craft or health store)
• Colorant (craft store)
• Liquid soap
• Jar with lid, baby soda bottles* or other airtight container

What you do:
• Mix together the Epsom salt and sea salt in the mixing bowl.
• Add glycerin to the salt mixture and mix through. (The glycerin is not necessary, but it helps the colorant and oil get dispersed evenly through the salt.)
• Add a few drops of fragrance or essential oils.
• Add a few drops of colorant. We recommend getting oil-based skin-safe colorant from a craft store or else leaving out the colorant.
• Wet your hands with tap water, add a drop of soap to your hands, then rub together to form a lather.
• Observe how much lather forms, then rinse off your hands.
• Fill a sink with water and add about 1/8 cup of salt mixture to it.
• Use your hands to stir the water to help the salt dissolve.
• With your hands still wet from the salt water, add a drop of soap to your hands and rub them together to form a lather.
• Store the remaining salts in a jar, keeping the lid on tightly to keep moisture out. Use about 1/4 cup of the salts in your bath.

What Happened: Most likely you found it easier to form lather (and more of it!) when using the water with salt rather than the water with no salt. This is because of the difference between hard water and soft water. Most households in America have hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content, usually with calcium and magnesium, whereas soft water contains less of these minerals. Calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water react with the soap, forming insoluble gray flakes called soap scum rather than a lather. This means you need more soap to get clean and the bathtub gets a grimy ring around it from the leftover soap scum. One way to soften hard bath water is to add bath salts. The calcium and magnesium ions in the water are replaced with sodium and potassium ions from the salt, allowing the soap to lather much more easily. (If your home has soft water, you may not notice too much of a difference in how well the soap lathers in the water with your bath salts and the water without the bath salts. However, the salt and essential oils will still have a beneficial effect on your skin.)
Another benefit of adding bath salts to your bath has to do with osmosis. Osmosis is the movement of water through a membrane (such as your skin) to achieve equilibrium. Your body contains water and salt, whereas an ordinary bath contains mainly water and very little salt. Therefore, water passes through your skin in an effort to balance the concentration of water and salt in you and in your bath. This excess water causes “pruning” (your fingers and toes wrinkle). Adding bath salts to the water causes a more equal balance of salt and water in both you and in the bath, so less water enters your skin and less wrinkling occurs. Salt is also thought to draw impurities and toxins out of your skin and soothes sore muscles!

DIY Soap
DIY Honey Scrub
DIY Fizzy Bath Bombs
DIY Lip Balm

Fizzy Bath Bomb

Fizzy Bath Bomb

Some bath products fizz and make bubbles when added to water. Ever wonder why? Try this experiment to find out.Fizzy Bath Bomb2

What you need:
• 1/2 cup baking soda
•1/4 cup citric acid in powder form
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 2-1/5 tablespoons Epsom salts
•1-1/4 tablespoons olive or almond oil
• 1-3/4 teaspoons water
• 1/4 teaspoon fragrance oils
• 1/8 teaspoon borax
•Plastic mixing bowl
• Gloves
• Jar with lid or other airtight container
• Molds* or ice cube trays

What you do:
• Put the gloves on and combine the baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, and Epsom salts together in a bowl.
• Mix well and set aside.
• Combine the oils, water, and borax in a jar.
• Cover it with the lid and shake vigorously to mix the ingredients well.
• Slowly add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture, a few drops at at time, stirring continuously and quickly to minimize fizzing. When fully mixed, the mixture will be very dry and crumbly.
• Pack the mixture into molds or ice cube trays and let rest for two days.
• After two days, carefully remove the mixture from the molds.

N.B.: A bath bomb is really showing how acids and bases react when mixed together. In this experiment, the baking soda is the base and the citric acid is, well, the acid. But the reaction of this acid-base combination can be controlled by the other ingredients in the bath bomb.

The cornstarch and Epsom salts both act as liquid absorbers to help keep the baking soda and citric acid from reacting with each other when liquids are added. They are also helpful if you live in a place with high humidity. The borax acts as both a preservative and an emulsifier, stabilizing the acid and the base and keeping them from reacting with each other before entering the water.

Water is the catalyst for the reaction to occur because it dissolves the solids and allows the ions in the acid and the base to move and collide with each other, causing a chemical reaction to occur. A catalyst is something added to a chemical mixture that speeds up the chemical reaction time. This reaction forms carbon dioxide, a gas, which rises to the surface of the bathwater in the form of bubbles. The oils and the fragrances are useful as a liquid to help form the bath bombs as well as leave the skin smooth and scented.

For further study, try these other fun spa science projects:

DIY Soap
DIY Honey Scrub
DIY Bath Salts
DIY Lip Balm

DIY Soap

DIY Soap cover

Over 2,000 pounds of left over soap  is thrown away every year in the USA. It is $4 billion dollars in 6 years.oatmeal soap2

Here is the way to save the planet, be creative and have fun.

What you need:
• soap left overs
• heavy cream, water, green tea
• paper plate
• butter knife
• mold
• oats ( optional)
• essential oils (optional)
• vitamin E (optional)

What you do:
• Collect all of your little pieces of soap. These are usually the ones that have become small.
• Gather all of the mutant soaps and put them on a paper plate. Get your knife  and cut all of the soap into tiny pieces. The smaller the better usually.
• In a double boiler, heat the liquid you chose (milk, water, tea, etc.) to 170ºF-180ºF (76ºC-82ºC). The water must be warm, not boiling.
• Add the chopped soap while stirring slowly and constantly.
• Reduce the heat so that the liquid/grated soap come to a simmer.
• Stir slowly (but not constantly), until the grated soap turns into liquid.
• Add additives if you want. This is not required but might be something you’d like to do to improve the final soap. Additives would include such items as exfoliating items (for example, oat flakes, lavender flowers, etc.), essential oils, food coloring and so forth. If adding, stir them in well.
• Immediately pour the mixture into the mold(s) and let it cool.

Soap Making Tips.

Foldable Egg

Foldable Egg Cover

What you need:Foldable Egg
•raw egg (at room temperature)
• thumbtack
• skewer
• drinking straw
• bowl
• white vinegar
• a glass
• tongs
• baby powder (or cornstarch)

What you do:
• Hold the egg over a bowl and use a thumbtack to pierce a small hole in the pointed end and a larger hole in the other end of the egg.
• Hold the egg very gently to make sure you don’t crack it!
• Use a skewer or unfolded paperclip to carefully break up the yolk inside of the egg.
• Hold a drinking straw over the smaller hole and blow through the opposite end of the straw.
• Run a little water inside the egg and shake it out.
• Use the straw again to blow out any remaining water.
• Place the egg shell in a glass and add enough vinegar to cover the egg.
• Using your fingers or a pair of tongs, gently hold the egg under the liquid until the air escapes and most of the egg shell stays below the surface (this may take several minutes).
• Leave the egg in the vinegar for several hours until the shell begins to break down.
• When the shell has started to break away, you will see a flexible egg shaped layer inside—this is the egg membrane.
• Once the egg shell has completely dissolved, remove the membrane from the glass of vinegar.
• Rinse the membrane in water and gently squeeze it to remove the water from inside.
• Pat it dry with a paper towel.
• Continue tossing until the whole thing has inflated like a balloon.
• Once it has inflated, sprinkle a little baby powder all over the outside.
• Try to get some powder inside as well as it will prevent the sides from sticking together and help the egg inflate more easily next time.
• Set the powder-coated inflated egg on the palm of your hand and press the air out with your fingers.
• Fold the egg in half several times and pinch it slightly so it stays folded, then toss it between your hands again and watch it reinflate! This process of folding and tossing can be repeated several times until the egg membrane dries out and won’t inflate.

Fizzing Easter Eggs

Fizzing Easter Eggs cover

What you need:Fizzing Easter Eggs
• Hard-boiled eggs
• Food coloring
• Baking soda
• Vinegar
• Bowls
• Paintbrushes
• Tongs
• Newspaper or paper towels

What you do:
• Make a paste of baking soda and water and add a few drops of food coloring. Repeat in separate bowls with as many colors as you’d like.
• Using a paintbrush, apply the baking soda mixture to a hard-boiled egg (if the mixture is too thick and goopy, add more water, several drops at a time until it has thinned to the right consistency to spread easily).
• Once your egg is decorated the way you want it, set it in an empty bowl.
• Pour about ½ cup of vinegar directly over each egg and enjoy the colorful, fizzy reaction!
• Once the fizz has died down, use tongs to carefully fish your egg out of the liquid and set it on newspapers or a stack of paper towels to dry.
• Repeat with as many eggs as you like—you’ll find that the baking soda paint makes it easy to make more intricate designs on your egg than ordinary egg dye would!

What Happened:
A basic chemical reaction between the baking soda (which is a base) and the vinegar (an acid) is what caused all the fizzing and bubbling! The baking soda made a type of paint when you mixed it with water and food coloring. After the chemical reaction, the baking soda and vinegar were mostly used up, leaving the dye behind on the eggs.

Looking for more egg science? Click here.

Easter Grass

Easter Grass Cover

About two weeks after planting, the seeds will grow into long blades of thick grass, perfect for hiding colorful Easter eggs.easter wheat

You can order packets of wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) from online suppliers or find seeds at health food stores. With seeds in hand, here’s how to get started:

What you need:
• Wheatgrass seeds
• Container
• Potting soil

What you do:
• Soak seeds overnight before planting to speed germination.
• Fill a container with potting soil. If the container doesn’t have a drainage hole, cover the bottom with rocks to keep water away from roots.
• Drain seeds; sprinkle seeds on top of soil so seeds are fairly close together, but not on top of each other.
• Cover seeds with a thin (1/8”) layer of soil.
• Water seeds and keep soil moist.
• Once seeds begin to sprout (in about 1 week), move the container to a sunny window sill.
• Water daily or as needed to keep soil moist.

Leprechaun Trap

Leprechaun Trap cover

What you need:Leprechaun Trap
• glass
• toothpick
• double sided tape
• scissors
• green and yellow construction paper
• pencil
• lego pieces
• coins

What you do:
• Cut strips of green and yellow paper.
• Tape the strips around the glass, layering them as you go up the glass.
• Cut a circle of paper slightly smaller than the opening of the top of the glass.
• Tape the paper circle to the toothpick to create a secret swinging trap door.
• Build a ladder for the leprechaun out of lego pieces
• To tempt the leprechaun into your trap balance a few coins on the center of the trap door.
• On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, most children will find that the tricky leprechaun has managed to escape in a glittery trail of green dust — but not before leaving them a few gold coins in the bottom of the trap.

St. Patrick’s Crafts

St. Patrick's Crafts

Lucky Rainbow CoverLucky Rainbow




Snake for KidsSnake for kids




Spring FlowersSpring Flowers




Lucky Banner

Lucky banner cover




Macaroni kid shamrock craftMacaroni Shamrock




Shamrock Pin CoverShamrock Pin





Lucky RainbowLucky Rainbow Cover




Little TreeLittle tree






Leprechaun TrapLeprechaun Trap cover

DIY Reed Diffuser

DIY Reed Diffuser

What you need:reed-diffuser-instructions
• Glass bottle or vase with a small neck opening
• Diffuser reeds (or bamboo skewers)
• 60 ml alcohol
• 60 ml water
• 50-100 drops essential oil (orange is the best)

What you do:
• Make sure your reeds or skewers stick out several inches from the top of the container for maximum scent.
• Mix together alcohol, water, and essential oil in the container.
• Stick the reeds or bamboo skewers inside.
• After about an hour, flip the reeds over to saturate the top part of the reeds that stick out above the oil level. (This helps to speed up the process of the oil soaking up from the bottom diffusing through the entire reed.)
• Rotate the ends of the reeds or skewers once a week to refresh and prolong the fragrance.

Tip: You can substitute alcohol and water with 120 ml vodka.

Watercolor Mug

Watercolor Mug cover

What you need:Watercolor mug
• Ceramic white coffee mug
• Old or Disposable Bowl/Container
• Hot water
• Nail Polish
• Gloves

What you do:
• Fill the bowl with warm water.
• Add a drop of nail polish to the water and let it spread out.
• Dip your mug in the water. (You can use nail polish remover to remove any excess nail polish on the bottom and inside of the mug or sections that got messed up.)
• Carefully pat mug dry with paper towel.
• You can repeat with additional colors if you want.
• Once you’ve achieved the look you want, let it sit for at least two hours.

Tip: Do it outside. Hand wash the mug.