Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Marshmallow Cardiogram

The ultimate teacher trick

Heart Rate Monitoring With Marshmallows

 Give SWEEEEEEETS to the kids!

First of all you'll become their favorite teacher in one second, plus you can make some really cool experiments with them!

Today's topic is in connection with Life ScienceYou can pretty easily create a marshmallow cardiogram with which you can visualize pulse. All you need is toothpicks, marshmallows, small stickers and LabCamera (register and download it at

Check out this video to see how easy it is!

You can build it into your lesson for example when you introduce the heart and its vital importance or in connection with blood and blood pressure.

For the detailed lesson plan check out

Monday, September 26, 2016

Teaching with frozen flowers - Demonstrating a nonreversible change caused by cooling

Teaching with frozen flowers
Demonstrating a non reversible change caused by cooling
Freezing flowers may be a cool thing to do in itself but when you consider it as an actual teaching method, it becomes even cooler. 

Children like to see actually happening what they learn about and when it comes to reversible and non reversible changes, there are certain tricks you can show them. For sure they will be more open to theory as well if they can have a little fun besides it.

All kids know that water freezes if it’s cold enough and that ice starts to melt when the temperature exceeds 0 °C. This is a good topic to start with, then you can bring up some more exciting questions and come to the conclusion that not every change caused by cooling or heating can be reversed.

Frozen flowers thawing is a spectacular and fun way to let children experience the phenomena. The experiment is something that you can easily do in the classroom, too. Although the freezing part can take some time, the experiment itself is about 15 minutes. It’s worth making a time-lapse video of it, so that children can better observe and analyze what really happened to the flower.

Check out the lesson plan at to learn more about how to build it into your lesson and watch this super quick video I made to get some motivation!

Let me know what you think! If you have additional thoughts, I’d be happy to build them in. :)

Useful links:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ice Age - A beautiful demonstration of an endothermic process

Ice Age

A beautiful demonstration of an endothermic process 

     It's always a big question how to bring theory closer to reality for students. Obviously making experiments is a good choice for that, but I know it's not easy to build them into a lesson. This one I'm about to show you is although very easy-to-do, spectacular and it shows perfectly the endothermic nature of the process of melting.
     It's sort of a well-known trick, but you can spice it up by visualizing the decay of temperature.
    On the one hand it raises attention and on the other it helps children better understand this physical phenomena.

    The experiment is the following: from classroom temperature it's easy to go down at least to 0 °C, you just have to put the probe of your temperature measuring device into a glass filled with ice. To get the ice melting, you have to add some salt, which lowers the freezing point of water, so the ice will start to melt, which absorbs heat energy, resulting an extreme decay in outer temperature.

     Tools you need: glass, ice, salt, temperature measuring device

     I tried out the experiment and made a quick video, from 27 °C it went down to -16 °C within 3 minutes, which is kind of impressive! To track the cooling process I used LabCamera's Universal Logger tool, with which I could visualize it and perfectly see the two steps of temperature decrease.

     Please check out my video, get inspired, try it out or use it directly at your lesson!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Mountain climbing on Pluto

Mountain climbing on Pluto

How to measure the height of a mountain on Pluto?
This topic is something with which you can definitely make learning Math more fun!

Not so long ago the spacecraft New Horizons sent extreme close photos of Pluto like never before. The pictures exceeded our expectations, they show a very complex surface with hills and mountains.
Looking at these images, I feel like taking a tour there, of course there is like -230 degrees and gravity issues and no oxygen and the huge distance, too. But if we forget these for a minute and imagine to be there, wanting to climb one of these beautiful mountains, it would be good to know how high they are, so the task is to measure the height of a mountain on Pluto.

What you can use for making measurements is LabCamera’s Microscope tool, but right in the beginning you bump into the problem: How do I get a reference value? And the answer is yeah, you have to make some calculations. Which is just the perfect challenge for kids to practice a little bit of geometry.
After you got some reference value you can calibrate and start measuring, but be careful what you measure, it will only give an accurate estimation for mountains and hills on the arc, so on the horizon, not for the ones in the middle because of perspective.

This is how I calculated and measured a mountain on Pluto:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Don't miss the shooting stars!

Don't miss the shooting stars!

Perseid meteor shower peak on August 12

Earth passes through the dust and debris the Comet Swift-Tutle leaves behind every year, creating the annual Perseid meteor shower. The debris zone is so wide that Earth spends weeks inside it, although meteor rates are highest in August when Earth passes through the heart of the debris zone.
This year Earth passes through the pass of the comet from 17 July to Aug 24 with the shower peak occurring on August 12.

Perseid meteor shower is set to be the largest outburst of meteors since 2009.

“This year instead of seeing about 80 Perseids per hour, the rate could top 150 and even approach 200 per hour.”
- Bill Cooke, NASA meteor expert.

Meteors from Comet Swift-Tutle are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus. This arrangement of stars represents an ancient hero from Greek mythology. As Perseus rises and night deepens meteor rates will increase. The best time to look starts around midnight. Meteors will be seen until dawn brightens the sky on Saturday morning, 13th August, when Perseus is near its highest point in the sky.

Comet Swift-Tutle is the largest object known to repeatedly pass by Earth, its nucleus is about 26 km wide. It last passed nearby Earth on its orbit around the Sun in 1992, and the next time will be in 2126.

Thanks to the gravitational boost from Jupiter, the meteor rate this year might be noticeably higher. Under a clear, dark sky, far from the city lights you can expect meteor rates as high as 150-200 per hour on peak night.

See more information at: and

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Speak out to restore the curb and continue measuring!

Speak out to restore the curb and continue measuring!

Hayward fault measuring spot

Not so long ago media was full of articles such as Repair of earthquake curb shakes many in Hayward, California Town Accidentally Fixes Curb That Was Part of Ongoing Geology Study, The 'Holy Grail' for earthquake scientists has been accidentally destroyed.
The shifted sidewalk has been a living laboratory for seismologists for nearly half a century until workers fixed it by accident.
Those Hayward city workers had no idea that the offside curb was an iconic illustration of earthquake science. Now destroyed.

However it's tragic what happened, but there are many pictures from 1971 till 2016 which document the movement of the curb. This gave me the idea to try to explore the trend of the creep.
Using LabCamera's Microscope module I could measure the shift in each year when there was a photo taken and represent the data on a diagram. It shows a linear change. Assuming that it was linear in the past too, the pavement must have been built somewhere around 1924. And as for the future, it predicts 30.52 cm shift by 2050.
Amazing how much information those pictures were hiding!

I made a video on how I did all this with a spectacular simulation at the end, in memory of the destroyed measuring spot.
Check it out and leave a comment, what do you think of restoring it?