HTHT WNC Visits Claxton Elementary School in Asheville, NC!

HTHT WNC Engages Students at Claxton Elementary School on March 27, 2015!

The students in Ms. Sophia’s First grade class at Claxton Elementary in Asheville, North Carolina had the pleasure of doing hands – on science experiments with High Touch High Tech of Western North Carolina’s scientist, Asteroid Amber. Amber spent the morning in the classroom with this first grade class teaching them all about what plants need to survive. She helped them to explore the world’s ecosystems, the five laws of nature, different types of seeds and how they all play a part to nature’s delicate balance. The students got hands-on in this program as they extracted real chlorophyll!! They even got to build their very own greenhouses to keep! 

Look at all those Smarty Plants!!

Asteroid Amber WOWs the students as the balloon doesnt pop when she sticks a needle through it!


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Think About it Thursday: What Does A “Black Box” Do?


Any commercial airplane or corporate jet is required to be equipped with a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder. It is these two items of separate equipment which we commonly refer to as a ‘Black Box’ (The current boxes are painted bright orange or yellow to aid investigators who might be looking for the box during a crash, they used to be painted black before 1965). While they do nothing to help the plane when it is in the air, both these pieces of equipment are vitally important should the plane crash, as they help crash investigators find out what happened just before the crash.

According to National Geographic, “The Black Box was first invented by a young Australian scientist named Dr. David Warren. While Warren was working at the Aeronautical Research Laboratory in Melbourne in the mid-1950s he was involved in the accident investigation surrounding the mysterious crash of the world’s first jet-powered commercial aircraft, the Comet. Realising that it would have been useful for investigators if there had been a recording of what had happened on the plane just before the crash, he got to work on a basic flight data recorder. The first demonstration unit was produced in 1957, but it was not until 1960, after an unexplained plane crash in Queensland, that Australia became the first country in the world to make the Black Box mandatory for all commercial aircraft.”

Watch this video from The below to see how a Black Box works!

Science in the News: No more fillings at the dentist?!

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Recently, there was news that came out about a new treatment at the dentist’s office. It will begin its human trials soon and hopefully be the newest dental care available to us very soon!

The treatment is currently known as Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralisation or EAER. The tooth-rebuilding technique developed at King’s College London does away with fillings and instead encourages teeth to repair themselves. The EAER treatment accelerates the natural movement of calcium and phosphate minerals into the damaged tooth and naturally heals the cavities without having to drill and fill them with amalgam (the process dentists currently use to fill cavities).

Professor Nigel Pitts, from King’s College London’s Dental Institute, said: “The way we treat teeth today is not ideal. When we repair a tooth by putting in a filling, that tooth enters a cycle of drilling and refilling as, ultimately, each ‘repair’ fails. Nigel Pitts also says that “Not only is our device kinder to the patient and better for their teeth, but it’s expected to be at least as cost-effective as current dental treatments. Along with fighting tooth decay, our device can also be used to whiten teeth.”

If these treatments becomes widely available to our population, it will change the field of dentistry forever! Thanks to scientists who have been working to develop this new treatment!

Read more about the EAER treatment in this article written by The Guardian:

Think About It Thursday: How Do Potholes Form?

Potholes are holes in the roadway that vary in size and shape. They are caused by the expansion and contraction of ground water after the water has entered into the ground under the pavement. . If it has a chance to freeze, it will take up more space under the pavement, and the pavement will expand, bend, and crack, which weakens the pavement. Then when ice melts, the pavement contracts and leaves gaps in the surface under the pavement, where water can get in and be trapped. If the water freezes and thaws over and over, the pavement will weaken and continue cracking.

As the weight of cars and trucks pass over the weak spot in the road, pieces of the roadway material weaken, which will cause the material to be displaced or broken down from the weight, creating the pothole.

Why are potholes such a nuisance? A pothole can do a number of bad things to the wheels and tires on your car! This can be costly to fix or replace! So beware during the Spring time months for forming potholes along your drives!




On the Map Monday: Cape Cod National Seashore


On The Map Monday!

Cape Cod National Seashore

 The CCNS includes nearly 40 miles (64 km) of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. It is administered by the National Park Service. The seashore is comprised of pristine sandy beaches, marshes, ponds, and uplands that support diverse species. It is also home to many lighthouses, cultural landscapes, and wild cranberry bogs that offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past and continuing ways of life. Swimming beaches, and walking and biking trails beckon today’s visitors.


One of the most noble sites along the Cape Cod National Seashore is Marconi Station, the site of the first two-way transatlantic radio transmission. The station on CCNS is named after the Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi. He championed wireless communication at the turn of the twentieth century—and demonstrated it on January 19, 1903, when he sent and received the first transatlantic wireless messages. Wireless communication was quickly adopted by shipping companies. “The importance of wireless messages was underscored less than a decade after Marconi’s demonstration. When the Titanic was sinking in 1912, its wireless distress calls reached the Carpathia, which steamed to the scene and rescued more than 700 people.” [1]


Source: [1]


Think About it Thursday: Are Yawns Really Contagious?

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Most of our lives we have thought that a yawn was a sign that we are either tired or bored. However, just recently there has been new studydone on the topic and researchers have found that sleepiness and boredom are not the cause of our yawns!

Yawning—a stretching of the jaw, gaping of the mouth and long deep inhalation, followed by a shallow exhalation—may serve as a thermoregulatory mechanism, says Andrew Gallup, a psychology professor at SUNY College at Oneonta. In a 2007 study, Gallup found that holding hot or cold packs to the forehead influenced how often people yawned when they saw videos of others doing it. When participants held a warm pack to their forehead, they yawned 41 percent of the time. When they held a cold pack, the incidence of yawning dropped to 9 percent.

“Before we fall asleep, our brain and body temperatures are at their highest point during the course of our circadian rhythm,” Gallup says. As we fall asleep, these temperatures steadily decline, aided in part by yawning. But, he added, “Once we wake up, our brain and body temperatures are rising more rapidly than at any other point during the day.”

So now we know WHY we yawn, but why are yawns so contagious?! Well we know that much of yawning is due to suggestibility — it’s infectious. Contagious yawning gets at the subconscious roots of empathy and social bonding according to new studies done in the field of psychology. You don’t need to actually see a person yawn to involuntarily yawn yourself; hearing someone yawn or even reading about yawning can cause the same reaction. Chances are you’ll most likely yawn at least once while reading this Think About It Thursday post!

 If you’d like to test your susceptibility to contagious yawning, watch this “Yawn-O-Meter” video. How long did you last before yawning?

Sources: [1]




Asheville City Schools Foundation

High Touch High Tech of Western North Carolina received this wonderful note from Asheville City School’s, Development Director, Erica Bell.

The note reads:

“When we give cheerfull and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” -Maya Angelou

Dear Dan,

Thank you for your generous sponsorship of Celebration. You have shown incredible commitment to ACS students. This quote reminded me of you and how much you’ve given cheerfully.

Thank You,

Erica B.

Here We Grow Again…HTHT Welcomes Morocco into it’s International Franchise Family!

High Touch High Tech is happy to announce a new addition to our ever-growing, global science family. The new HTHT franchise location will soon be opening its doors in Morocco. Franchise training took place at the HTHT Global Headquarters in Asheville, NC at the end of February into early March 2015. As you can see in the pictures below, Terri-dactyl Terri & Dinosaur Dan had a blast teaching the new franchise owners that FUN science is a universal language! 

New franchise owner, Yasmine, pokes the needle through the balloon without it popping!

Yasmine, erupts her first volcano during franchise training

We are thrilled to be expanding into Morocco & are looking forward to bringing our signature hands-on science experiences to children in this new part of the world.  From the corners of Western North Carolina to the coasts of Africa, the new HTHT of Morocco joins our outstanding family of existing franchises serving 29 locations across the globe!

Terri-Dactyl, Yasmine, & Dinosaur Dan

Think About It Thursday: Are Firenado’s Real?


A ‘firenado’ or fire whirl is a whirlwind induced by a fire. Fire whirls may occur when intense rising heat and turbulent wind conditions combine to form whirling eddies of air. These eddies can contract into a tornado-like structure that sucks in burning debris and combustible gases. Combustible, carbon-rich gases released by burning vegetation on the ground are fuel for most fire whirls.

Real-world fire whirls usually move fairly slowly. They can set objects in their paths ablaze and can hurl burning debris out into their surroundings. The winds generated by a fire whirl can also be dangerous. Large fire whirls can create wind speeds of more than 100 mph- strong enough to knock down trees. They can also last for an up to an hour or more, and they cannot be extinguished directly.

Check out this video of a “firenado” in Australia shot by Chris Tangey  in 2012


March 2015 E-News: Smart Pets Celebrate World Water Day!

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During the month of March, High Touch High Tech is celebrating National Pig Day (March 1st) as well as World Water Day (March 22)! Let’s celebrate by taking a closer look at one of the smartest pets on the planet and why they love to play in the water so much!

Pigs are the fourth most intelligent creature on earth next to dolphins, chimpanzees and humans. They can be curious, mischievous and even sometimes manipulative. Pigs are sensitive creatures that can be playful, and almost humorous. They have a love for playing in the water as well as in the mud!

Contrary to a popular belief pigs are clean animals. They prefer bathing in fresh water rather than mud. However, they do wallow in mud because it helps to keep them cool longer than taking a dip in water. The water will evaporate off their skin faster than mud will! Mud also helps to block their skin from being burnt by the sun. Pigs don’t “sweat like pigs”; they are actually unable to sweat, and they like to bathe in water or mud to keep cool. Another reason why pigs wallow in the mud, is to keep pesky parasites and other insects from biting their sensitive skin.

There is an actual colony of pigs located on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas that can be seen sunbathing on white sandy beaches and swimming in the crystal blue Caribbean waters. The pigs frolic in the water and have impressive paddling skills. You can drive your boat up to the shore and pigs will swim right up to you, in search of a tasty treat. Want to hop out of the boat and swim with the pigs? Go right ahead! So what are these pigs doing in the Bahamas? Legend has it that sailors left the pigs on this tiny, uninhabited island planning to return and use them for food, but they never came back and now the pigs rule. Other theories include that they were part of a business scheme to attract tourists to the Bahamas.

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Pigs can make exceptional household pets with the right training and proper positive reinforcement from their owners. Pigs can easily learn tricks, such as sitting, turning circles, shaking hands, rolling a ball, retrieving an object, and even blowing a horn. It is not necessary to teach your pig tricks for the sake of tricks, but it is necessary to teach your pig good manners. Teaching your pig simple things like ‘sit’, ‘be gentle’, etc., you will develop a system of communicating with your pig. Pigs love to learn and are capable of learning many behaviors and words, even full sentences. A training session with your pig shows him that you are interested in him and that you care. And don’t forget to pay your pig! Pigs are highly food-motivated and will do just about anything for a treat. When it comes to training a piggy; a small piece of a treat works as well as a handful. Once your pig has learned a few behaviors, reward him only after he’s followed a series of directions. Reward him with a small treat and with lots of praise and enthusiasm, too! Keep the training fun and short, starting with 3 minute sessions and working up.

Pigs love to be scratched, rubbed and massaged. They can be affectionate in their own ways. Most pigs don’t like to be picked up, but will gladly lie with you and enjoy a long cuddle. Pigs appreciate and seek out human company.

A pig may be one of the smartest pets you can own, but before you go out and purchase a piggy, please make sure you do all the homework and research first! These pets have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, that’s a really big time commitment!