Thank You, Teachers!

It’s no secret we love teachers here at High Touch High Tech. Ask anyone and they will share a story about a teacher who made a difference in their life. Whether it was motivating to rise above, helping to understand a difficult concept or just offering hugs and support at the right time, teachers make a lifelong impact.

Teachers come in all shapes and sizes. They engage young minds, serve as mentors and provide endless learning opportunities. Teacher Appreciation Week is May 5 – 9, 2014. It’s the time we give back to those who give so much. 


Teachers are one of the most important and memorable people in a child’s life. You never forget your 3rd grade teacher. Or your kindergarten teacher…or your 6th grade teacher…you get the point.

Teachers are there day after day to encourage learning and discovery as well as self confidence, discipline and an endless list of character building skills.

We loved this video from Google & just had to share! This week we say Thank you to the millions of passionate teachers who inspire curiosity in their classrooms…lesson after lesson, unit after unit, year after year.

We’re fortunate to have had worked with many of you and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring because of the work you’re doing today! 

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! 

Earth provides everything we need to survive – shelter, food, water, air and so much more! April 22nd is an annual holiday that serves as a reminder of how we personally impact the Earth. It presents an opportunity to educate children on how to make responsible decisions when it comes to protecting the Earth’s resources.  Some may not realize that making small changes in our daily routine can minimize our carbon footprint.

Some people may feel  that Earth Day is no laughing matter, but here at High Touch High Tech, we believe science can be FUN – especially on days like today.  To that end, here are some of our favorite funny Earth Day pictures, videos & moments that promote green living & will make you laugh at the same time.

Looking for FUN Earth Day activities or ways to celebrate? Check out these great resources:

NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.

HTHT E-news Archives: November 2012 – I Didn’t Know I Could Recycle That! 

Celebrate Earth Week with FUN Science at home & in the classroom.  

As the global organizer behind Earth Day, Earth Day Network creates tools and resources for you to get involved with Earth Day in your community. 

To learn more about our hands-on programming or franchising opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at or

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative, hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 29 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam & Turkey.

It’s Finally Here…Happy Earth Week, Everyone!

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Happy Earth Week! 

That’s right folks, tomorrow is Earth Day which means today marks the start to a full week of celebrating the planet we call home. Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal as birds sing, flowers bloom, the sun shines and people across the world join together to celebrate our planet.  Earth Day was established to raise environmental concerns to the forefront of our national conscience.

Earth provides everything we need to survive – shelter, food, water, air and so much more! This annual holiday serves as a reminder of how we personally impact the Earth. It presents an opportunity to educate children on how to make responsible decisions when it comes to protecting the Earth’s resources.  Some may not realize that making small changes in our daily routine can minimize our carbon footprint.

Get involved with Earth Day!

Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day. From San Francisco to San Juan, Beijing to Brussels, Moscow to Marrakesh, people plant trees, clean up their communities, contact their elected officials, and more—all on behalf of the environment.

Like Earth Days of the past, Earth Day 2014 will focus on the unique environmental challenges of our time. As the world’s population migrates to cities, and as the bleak reality of climate change becomes increasingly clear, the need to create sustainable communities is more important than ever. Earth Day 2014 will seek to do just that through its global theme: Green Cities. With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy, and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future. Nothing is more powerful than the collective action of a billion people.

Did you know?

If everyone in the United States recycled their newspaper, the lives of 41,000 trees would be spared each day. That adds up to about 15,000,000 trees per year! One single tree can detoxify the air of up to 60 pounds of pollutants. Unfortunately only 27% of all American newspapers are recycled. Recycling can also help save energy for households across the nation. Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to watch three hours of TV or the equivalent of one half gallon of gasoline. 

Whether you are an Earth Day celebration veteran or just getting started, there are plenty of opportunities and ways that you can make a contribution throughout this week & every week.

Think Globally, Act Locally!

Here are 5 simple and fun ways to make a positive impact this week in your home, school or community:

    • Support your local farmer’s markets
    • Unplug your charger(s) and other electronics that you are not using
    • Reduce your shower to 5 minutes
    • Bring your own recyclable bag to the grocery store
    • Stop printing out your ATM receipts 

April is a time of new beginnings so spring into action by introducing new habits that will help in conserving water, renewing energy, reducing waste, and improving air quality. This is your chance to make our planet a safer, healthier place to live, work, and play for all living things!  

Comment below & let us know how you plan to celebrate this week! 

Looking for more ideas on how to celebrate? Check out these great resources:

NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.

HTHT E-news Archives: November 2012 – I Didn’t Know I Could Recycle That! 

Celebrate Earth Week with FUN Science at home & in the classroom.  

As the global organizer behind Earth Day, Earth Day Network creates tools and resources for you to get involved with Earth Day in your community. Check out this video on the official 2014 Earth Day theme: Green Cities. 

5 Amazing Life Lessons from the One & Only, Albert Einstein!!


Albert Einstein has long been considered a genius by the masses. He was a theoretical physicist, philosopher, author, and is perhaps the most influential scientists to ever live. In honor of this science icon and to say ‘Happy Birthday Einstein,” we thought we’d share one of our favorite archived e-news articles from March 2013! 

Einstein has made great contributions to the scientific world, including the theory of relativity, the founding of relativistic cosmology, the prediction of the deflection of light by gravity, the quantum theory of atomic motion in solids, the zero-point energy concept, and the quantum theory of a monatomic gas which predicted Bose–Einstein condensation, to name a few of his scientific contributions.

Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” He’s published more than 300 scientific works and over 150 non-scientific works. Einstein is considered the father of modern physics and is probably the most successful scientist there ever was.

But, you don’t have to be a physicist or an elite research scientist to take away from what Einstein had to offer. We don’t tap often enough into the words of wisdom Einstein shared with the world. From the simply stated to the profoundly put, there’s a lot we can take away from Einstein’s words.

Everyday brings a new opportunity to put his teachings to good use in our personal lives. In celebration of Albert Einstein’s birthday, we bring you 5 Amazing Lessons You Can Learn from Albert Einstein! 

These quotes are just a few of our favorites that show how Einstein reached people all throughout  walks of life – Do you have a favorite lesson from Albert Einstein? We want to know which of them resonates with you in your life!

Leave us your thoughts below – We always look forward to hearing what our readers have to say!

Thanksgivukkah: This Meeting of Holidays Won’t Happen Again for 70,000 Years!

This Thursday is not only Thanksgiving, but for our friends who are Jewish, it’s also the first full day and the second evening of Hanukkah. The meeting of these two holidays is being called Thanksgivukkah. How rare is it for these two holidays to meet this way? Well, it’s not going to happen for another 76-80,000 years or so.

The last time Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah shared the same date was 125 years ago and as I said, scientists say that it’s not going to happen again for another 79,043 years!  

How does this happen? Well, Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday every November and doesn’t change from year to year. But then there’s the Jewish calendar that’s a little more complicated and by complicated, I mean that things change every year- a month here, a month there.

The Jewish calendar moves forward very slowly- about four days every thousand years so that’s why it’ll take 70 to 80 thousand years before Thanksgiving and Hanukkah meet again.

Click here to learn more about the science behind this rare holiday mash-up of Thanksgiving & Hanukkah on!

Impress your family this holiday with the FUN science behind your favorite holiday foods!

Looking for even more FUN ways to celebrate?

Buzzfeed’s got a mouth-watering Thanksgivukkah menu, for starters, and this Thanksgivukkah Pinterest board can keep you occupied for hours. offers some fun Hanukkah crafts and recipes for the whole family, and a wealth of activities, crafts, and recipes for Thanksgiving. And don’t miss these Thanksgiving Printables

Holy Moley! 5 FUN Facts About Mole Day

Today, October 23 (or 10/23, as it’s written the American way), from 6:02 am to 6:02 pm, is Mole Day. No, it’s not a day for freckles, spies, Mexican sauce, or cute little burrowing mammals. Rather it’s the day to celebrate the chemical unit the “mole.”

What is a mole, you ask, having forgotten high school chemistry. A mole of something is 6.02 x 10^23 of it (kind of like a dozen of eggs is 12 eggs, a mole of eggs is 602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 eggs*.)

*okay, technically, it’s 602,214,129,270,000,000,000,000 eggs (give or take a few quintillion – scientists can’t agree on the exact number).

So, with that out of the way, here are 5 fun facts about the mole and Mole Day:

1. The mole is attributed to 18th century Italian scientist Amedeo Avogadro, whose full name is Lorenzo Romano Amedeo Carlo Avogadro di Queregna e di Cerreto. Man, that’s a long name, but it somehow fits the long number that now bears his name (6.02 x 10^23 is called Avogadro’s Constant). His parents called him Amedeo Carlo Avogadro.

We won’t get into the technical aspects, but in 1811 Avogadro proposed a law (now known as Avogadro’s Law) stating that equal volume of all gasses, at the same temperature and pressure, have the same number of molecules.

As with many scientific accomplishments of that age, Avogadro’s findings were promptly ignored. It took about a hundred years for the scientific community to get around to appreciating what he’s done. In 1909, French chemist and Nobel laureate Jean Baptiste Perrin proposed that quantity of molecules be called “Avogadro’s Constant.”

2. Mole Day was proposed in an article in The Science Teacher in early 1980s. Inspired by the article, Maurice Oehler, a chemistry teacher (now retired) in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, created the National Mole Day Foundation in 1991.

3. Did you know that the Mole Day has annual themes? Here they are:

1991 The Mole The Merrier
1992 Go For The Mole
1993 Mole Out The Barrel
1994 An Ace in The Mole
1995 Moledi Gras
1996 Molemorial Day
1997 We Dig Chemistry
1998 Ride the Molercoaster
1999 It’s A MOLE World
2000 Celebrate the Molennium
2001 Molar Odyssey
2002 Molar Reflections
2003 Rock ‘n Mole
2004 Pi a la MOLE
2005 Moles-Go-Round
2006 Mole Madness
2007 Secret Agent Double Mole Seven in Moles are Forever
2008 Remember the Alamole
2009 Molar Express
2010 Moles of the Round Table
2011 Molar Eclipse
2012 Animole Kingdom

4. To help you celebrate, here’s the Molemorial Day song by Michael Offutt (that’s the theme of the Mole Day in 1996, when Offutt recorded the song). Actually Offutt created a whole album, titled “Molennium,” filled with songs about the mole.

5. As you can probably guess, a mole (6.02 x 10^23) is a VERY large number. But, what does a mole of moles look like? What if we release a mole of moles onto our planet? xkcd explains:

An eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus) weighs about 75 grams, which means a mole of moles weighs (6.022×10^23)×75g≈4.52×10^22kg.

That’s a little over half the mass of our moon.

Mammals are largely water. A kilogram of water takes up a liter of volume, so if the moles weigh 4.52×10^22 kilograms, they take up about 4.52×10^22 liters of volume. You might notice that we’re ignoring the pockets of space between the moles. In a moment, you’ll see why.

The cube root of 4.52×10^22 liters is 3,562 kilometers, which means we’re talking about a sphere with a radius of 2,210 kilometers, or a cube 2,213 miles on each edge. (That’s a neat coincidence I’ve never noticed before—a cubic mile happens to be almost exactly 4/3pi cubic kilometers, so a sphere with a radius of X kilometers has the same volume as a cube that’s X miles on each side.)

If these moles were released onto the Earth’s surface, they’d fill it up to 80 kilometers deep—just about to the (former) edge of space:

October 2013 E-News: Rockin’ Through the Ages: Celebrate National Fossil Day!

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Have you ever wondered how scientists can know so much about things that happened thousands of years ago? For example, how do they know what certain dinosaurs looked like? After all, those dinosaurs have been extinct for thousands of years, right?

Fossils are the actual remains or impressions left by plants or animals that were once alive hundreds or thousands of years ago. Over time, the organic (living) material left behind is replaced with minerals, leaving a fossil that is like a stone but looks like the original plant or animal. When scientists find these imprints — like an ancient x-ray — they can learn a lot about the animals or plants that left their mark.

Not all plant and animal remains become fossilized over time. Certain conditions have to exist for fossilization to take place. For example, many fossils form when plant and animal remains are buried — and thereby preserved — by mud, sand or soil. Fossilization also takes a lot of time. How long? How about 10,000 years or more. So if you go and bury a plant leaf under a pile of mud in the backyard, don’t expect a fossil to form in your lifetime!

Despite the requirements of time and preservation, fossils can be found just about anywhere. From the tops of mountains to the depths of the seas, fossils can be found all over Earth. Some sit on top of sandy beaches while others stay hidden deep underground. Fossils are often unearthed during construction or new mining projects. As the ground is dug up and moved about, fossils once hidden deep underground suddenly come to light. In a similar way, you can often find fossils in shallow stream beds, as the constantly flowing water cuts through the old earth to reveal what’s hidden below.

School of Hard Rocks: Fossil Collecting for Beginners
You may ask, why do people collect fossils? Think of fossil collecting as ancient antique hunting, a way to connect with the past. There’s something mysterious and powerful about holding a 400-million-year-old creature in the palm of your hand.

People have countless reasons for fossil collecting:

  • A love of modern nature and a desire to know and understand how it came to be.
  • A love of history.
  • A love of the Earth and the mystery of its creation.
  • A desire to inspire a child to learn and to share your passion for geology and earth science.
  • Even wanting a hobby, one that will keep you in good physical shape while exercising your mind, is a great reason for becoming a fossil collector.

Plus, FOSSILS ARE COOL! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!  

It’s easy to get started with a fossil collection: just keep your eyes open the next time you walk along a dry creek bed or along a washed out ravine. Depending on your location, you might spot the remains of an ancient creature.

Don’t want to leave your fossil finding to “Lady Luck?” Pick up a rock-hounding book for your locale. The authors of rock-hounding books let you in on lots of tips for success. They also let you know where you can hunt, how to ask permission of landowners and places to avoid.

Parks are a great place to kick off a fossil hunt, many are home to impressive collections, while others are untapped treasure chests, waiting to be pried open. The type of fossil you may find at a park will of course be dictated by the area’s geographic features, meaning that chances of finding fossilized sea life in the mountains are less common than if the park is nestled beside a major body of water. Don’t forget to take your camera! Nothing beats the thrill of the find! You’ll want to have at least a few pictures in the field to document the location and the moment.

Paleontologists—professional fossil finders—break fossils down into two main groups: trace fossils and body fossils. Trace fossils are records of an animal’s life, they can include footprints, trackways, and coprolites (fossilized poop!), and tell a story about how the creature lived, and give a relatively accurate idea of their size. Body fossils, the most sought after type of fossil, are fossilized remains of a plant or animal, and can be as tiny as an insect or as large as a mammoth, obviously the latter finding is rare and less likely to be found in a US park, but finding small fossilized wildlife and plants is still an amazing discovery.

Here are a few tips to get you on your way to a stellar fossil collection of your own!

#1:  When searching for fossils, know they only form in sedimentary rocks.

Sedimentary rock is a type of rock formed by the deposition of minerals and other materials at the Earth’s surface or within bodies of water. Sedimentary rocks are formed over a long period of time in the accumulation of debris or sediments. Such materials you’ll likely find fossils in include clay, limestone, shale, and sandstone.

#2: Do a search for fossil websites and fossil documents for your state, region, locality.

With a little research, you can find pictures of local fossils in your area & perhaps even a map of where to find them. Check out this site that breaks up fossils found in the United States by region: Teacher Friendly Guide to Geology: Fossils by US Region,

Familiarize yourself with what you are likely to find, and remember that the fossils will probably be in matrix (rock) and you will only find a small portion peeking out. Local museums are a great way to find out what fossils are native to your locale & are available for public viewing. This will also teach you what kind of fossil hunting you will be doing – beach combing, sifting for sharks teeth, breaking shale, or walking road cuts and dry washes.

#3: Do a search for local rock, mineral and fossil clubs in your area. 

Mentoring from experienced members is invaluable! And they may even have group field trips and digs that you can attend! While you are at it, see if there are any fossil parks near you.

#4: Your first outing – what do you need? 

Something to carry your fossils in, such as a bag, pail or backpack with a handle is good for carrying your finds. Other tools you’ll want to bring along include: a field guide to record your findings, pencil, compass, trowel or small shovel, paintbrush to sweep away the debris, a sieve if looking for sharks’ teeth, etc. in creeks and a hammer to knock away excess rock if desired. You can also include some graphing paper & a measuring tape to take note of your dig site if you’re planning to return.

#5: Identifying your Fossils:

Bring home anything that looks like it may be a fossil, you just never know.  What you may initially believe to be a strange looking rock could be a real fossil! Fossils come in many shapes and sizes. Paleontologists classify and identify fossils based on their shapes and appearance.

Thousands of different fossils can be found in the United States. Identifying all of the types requires experts; however, many of the most common types can be easily identified.  If you think you know the kind of fossil (eg., trilobite, brachiopod) do a quick Google search to find out what types of fossils can be found in your locale or area the fossil was found. Use the resources you find and compare the information with what you have.  If you don’t know what kind of fossil you have, check out this site that can try and point you in the right direction: Identifying Unknown Fossils (by shape).

Differences between some fossils are subtle and are easily missed by the amateur collector. Also, some fossils are poorly preserved, broken, or partially covered in the matrix of the surrounding rock so that their true size and shape is hidden. But the most commonly found fossils can usually be classified to their group with just a few observations.

The following chart may help you to identify fossils you have found. There are many shapes and fossils not shown on this diagram, but all of the common shapes are shown.  Once you’ve identified your shape, click here to learn more about what kind of fossil you have! 


The fun doesn’t stop here! Once you’ve started your fossil collection – check out these other ways you can Celebrate National Fossil Day by exploring these incredible resources:

All That Remains: Fossil Finds: Check out this awesome slide show of the most recent discoveries in Paleontology, as recent as September 2013! Which is your favorite? Let us know on our Facebook Page!

 The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, California: Did you realize you can take a trip back in time to the Ice Age in the heart of one of America’s largest modern cities? It’s true! The urban heart of Los Angeles is the site of a fascinating scientific treasure. Since the early 1900’s, scientists have unearthed the fossilized remains of several different species including  saber-toothed cats, mammoths, wolves, bears, ground sloths, bison and horses.

FOSSILGUY.COM: A fantastic resource for future paleontologists & fossil collectors in and around the mid-Atlantic region. This site includes virtual tours of fossil sites, and fossil identification.

10 Weird & Unusual Archeological Finds: Just in time for Halloween – from a saber-toothed squirrel to an ant of prehistoric proportions, check out these weird & spooky finds recently discovered from across the globe!

10 Famous Fossils that Changed Dinosaur History: Not all dinosaur fossils are equally famous, or have had the same profound effect on paleontology. Here are 10 famous fossils that changed, sharpened, or completely altered the views of working scientists (and the general public) about dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles.

National Geographic Education: Fossils: This collection contains a selection of content from NG Education about fossils. Users have the option to use the site search tool to find out more on a variety of fossil & archeology topics. 

October 2013 E-News: It’s International Dinosaur Month and the Award Goes to…

Way back in 1841, Richard Owen first classified a group of related fossils as “Dinosauria,” which translates to “terrible lizard” in ancient Greek. But dinosaurs aren’t terrible, they’re wonderful! And since 1841, these planet-ruling, long-extinct creatures have been exciting our imaginations, changing what we know about Earth’s history, and giving pop culture its most popular and beloved monsters.

And so, in celebration of the 252 millionth anniversary of the first dinosaur taking its inaugural step, give or take a few million years, we give you best of the best in the prehistoric popularity contest. Lucky for you, it’s just in time for International Dinosaur Month

The Heaviest Dinosaur 

The heaviest dinosaur ever discovered is the Brachiosaurus weighing in at a whopping 80 tons. It was the equivalent to 17 African Elephants. Brachiosaurus was the equivalent to 17 African Elephants measuring 16m tall and 26m long. The excavation of Brachiosaurus in Tanzania, Africa, during the early part of the century involved hundreds of local workers who carried the enormous bones by hand for many miles to the seaport. They were then shipped to Germany and mounted inside of the Humboldt Museum in East Berlin. This museum was custom designed to fit the skeleton of Brachiosaurus. That skeleton is still on display, and it is still the most impressive dinosaur mounted in the world. It is as staggering to visitors today as when it was unveiled many decades ago.

The Smallest Dinosaur

The smallest fully-grown fossil dinosaur is the little bird-hipped plant-eater lesothosaurus, which was only the size of a chicken. Smaller fossilized examples have been found but these are of baby dinosaurs.

The Smallest Dinosaur Egg

Current evidence suggests all dinosaurs laid eggs of a wide variety of shapes and sizes—from 1 inch (3 centimeters) to 21 inches (53 centimeters), round or elliptical. Dinosaur eggs were perforated with tiny holes, which allowed life-giving oxygen to enter. The smallest dinosaur egg so far found is only a little over 1 inch long (3 centimeters.) Scientists have yet to solve the mystery of which species of dinosaur laid the tiny egg. Once the egg has been fossilized it will become hard like rock, but it will retain a structure of its own.

The Most Brainy Dinosaur

One of the most intelligent dinosaurs was Troodon. It was a hunting dinosaur, about 2 meters long, and had a brain size similar to that of a mammal or bird of today, stereoscopic vision, and grasping hands.

The First Dinosaur to be Discovered in North America

The first discovery of dinosaur remains in North America was made in 1854 by Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden during his exploration of the upper Missouri River. He discovered a small collection of teeth which were later described by Joseph Leidy in 1856 as belonging to Trachodon, Troodon, and Deinodon.

A short two years later, Leidy had the honor of describing the first reasonably complete dinosaur skeleton the world would know, Hadrosaurus foulkii. Named after its discoverer William Parker Foulke, this specimen was recovered during quarrying of a sand pit in Haddonfield, New Jersey. This specimen, is now on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

The Tallest Dinosaur

The tallest dinosaurs were the Brachiosaurid group of sauropods. Their front legs were longer than the rear legs giving them a giraffe-like stance. This combined with their extremely long necks, which were held vertically, meaning they could leaf through even the tallest trees. Brachiosaurus – the most well known of the group – was 13 meters tall. Sauroposeidon was massive and probably grew to 18.5 meters tall making it the tallest dinosaur.

The Fastest Running Dinosaur

The speediest dinosaurs were the ostrich mimic ornithomimids, such as Dromiceiomimus, which could probably run at speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour.

The Oldest Dinosaur

In January 2013, Science Today published the discovery of a new dinosaur species that lived around the same time as Eoraptor in the late Triassic, some 230 million years ago. Dubbed Eodromaeus, it was discovered in the Ischigualasto Formation, a geological basin in northwestern Argentina that is riddled with some of the oldest dinosaur remains known.

The Eodromaeus has been a hot debate among Paleontologists & has taken the top spot in the oldest Dino category previously held by the Eoraptor, meaning “dawn thief,” whom had held the title at 228 million years.

The Longest Dinosaur Name

The dinosaur with the longest name was Micropachycephalosaurus meaning “tiny thick-headed lizard”. Its fossils have been found in China, and it was named in 1978 by the Chinese paleontologist Dong.

Even eons later, the world is still just as into dinosaurs as it was 251,000,000 years ago. In fact, there are countless ways to get the kids (and/or yourself) even more in touch with these beloved prehistoric pals, this side of the Stone Age.

All month long, we invite you to celebrate your love of dinosaurs with us. Make this month’s celebration one of prehistoric proportions with a HTHT fan-favorite Paleontology Party that is sure to WOW all of your fellow Dino-lovers.

Looking for even more ways to celebrate? Check out these other great ideas & resources:

  1. Archeologists in training can hone their skills by digging for Dino bones online.
  2. If this dinosaur expert doesn’t have all the kids’ questions (“Why are dinosaurs so big?”) answered, this video from National Geographic surely will.
  3. If a natural history museum is within reach, pack a lunch, and make a family day of it!  Larger-than-life skeletons will put the ancient beasts’ grandeur in full perspective. While you’re there, take the time to get to know the species of dinosaurs & study their bones. You can show off your new Dino-knowledge with all your friends at your Dino party!
  4. Dress as a dinosaur for Halloween. Million-year-old reptiles always get more candy!
  5. Have a Dinosaur Movie Marathon. You know what we’re thinking… JURASSIC PARK!!!! But for the younger audience, there are plenty of other incredible dinosaur movies out there. Check out the ‘Dinosaur’ category on Netflix & find a movie that will entertain your friends of all ages. Prepare some dinosaur snacks, like sandwiches cut into to Dino shapes and Dino shaped cookies too. Try icing cakes to look scaly or even check out this Dino egg cake recipe. Now all you need is some friends, Dino movies and of course POPCORN!

And don’t forget to join the Mesozoic Madness conversation on Twitter @HTHTWNC & Share your favorite highlights with us on Facebook! 

September E-News: Elephantastic Science!

Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth! These friendly beasts can be found in both Africa and Asia and are vital to maintaining the rich biodiversity of the ecosystems that they share with other species. Only 35,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants survive in the world, and of those, 15,000 are in human care.

You can find an elephant at almost any zoo & most likely you’ve assumed that all elephants are basically the same. But, Asian elephants are actually more closely related to mammoths than their modern-day African brethren. However, their genealogy is just the tip of the iceberg for the many differences found among Asian & African Elephants.

Just in time to prepare you for the upcoming Elephant Appreciation Day on August 22nd, here are our top 10 things that you probably didn’t know about these incredible giants of the wild!  

  1. The elephant’s closest living relative is the Rock Hyrax, a small furry mammal that lives in rocky landscapes across sub-Saharan Africa and along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
  2. African elephants are the largest land mammals on the planet, and the females of this species undergo the longest pregnancy—22 months.
  3. Despite their size, elephants can be turned off by the smallest of critters. One study found that they avoid eating a type of acacia tree that is home to ants. Underfoot, ants can be crushed, but an elephant wants to avoid getting the ants inside its trunk, which is full of sensitive nerve endings. 
  4. Elephants don’t like peanuts. They don’t eat them in the wild, and zoos don’t feed them to their captive elephants. Peanut-loving elephants are a myth. Elephants, Asian or otherwise, don’t eat peanuts in the wild, nor are peanuts a typical diet for captive elephants. In fact, most elephants don’t even appear to like them very much.
  5. The height of an Asian or African elephant at the shoulder is roughly equivalent to the circumference of their front foot multiplied by two.
  6. An African elephant can detect seismic signals to sensory cells in its feet and also “hear” these deep-pitched sounds when ground vibrations travel from the animal’s front feet, up its leg and shoulder bones, and into its middle ear. By comparing the timing of signals received by each of its front feet, the elephant can determine the sound’s direction.
  7. Elephants are one of only nine species that can recognize themselves in a mirror. Others include bottlenose dolphins, magpies, gorillas, chimpanzees and, of course, humans, but not until they’re a few months old.
  8. Elephants can get sunburned, so they take care to protect themselves. Elephants will throw sand on their backs and on their head to prevent them from getting sunburned & to keep the bugs off. To protect their young, adult elephants will douse them in sand and stand over the little ones as they sleep.
  9. Elephants have evolved a sixth toe, which starts off as cartilage attached to the animal’s big toe but is converted to bone as the elephant ages.
  10. Elephants are either left-tusked or right-tusked! The dominant tusk is generally smaller because of wear and tear from frequent use. Elephant tusks are ivory teeth that continually grow throughout the animals’ lives.

Want to learn more? The fun doesn’t stop here! Check out the links below to get a load of the world’s largest land mammal & discover more fun science behind what makes these mammoth mammals tick!  

Elephant Conservation:

Elephants have long played an important role in the cultural, artistic, and religious heritage of many cultures across the world  – especially in Asia.  For centuries, they have been revered in Thailand, India, China, and Cambodia.  Elephant Conservation works to increase appreciation, amazement, and wonder for these great animals and to familiarize the public with the challenges elephants face in the wild, including their shrinking natural habitat. You can learn more about how to help save the Elephants by visiting the links below!


September E-News: Squishy Science – Celebrate National Play-Doh Day!

Do you love Play-Doh®? Who doesn’t, right? We can still remember the first thing we ever made with Play-Doh®. Can you guess what it was? If you guessed a snake, you’re correct!

Play-Doh® comes in a variety of bright and bold colors. There are also a series of related products and toys that make use of Play-Doh®. Since its “invention,” over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh® have been sold around the world! Most people have a childhood memory linked to this colorful putty which could be why, in 2003, it was added to the International Toy Industry Association’s “Century of Toys” List. A ‘Who’s Who’ of toys, the list contains the 100 most memorable & creative toys of the past century. 

But, have you ever wondered the origins behind this squishy childhood sidekick? In one form or another (pun intended!) Play-Doh® has helped teach us about science, architecture & inspired free play for millions of children including ourselves. So, this month we invite you to join us for some squishy & surprising science as we celebrate National Play-Doh® Day!

The invention of Play-Doh® was actually a fortunate accident. Way back in the 1930s, Noah McVicker created a substance that looked like putty out of flour, water, salt, boric acid and mineral oil. His family’s soap company — Kutol Products — in Cincinnati,Ohio, marketed his creation as wallpaper cleaner! McVicker’s special putty-like substance was an excellent wallpaper cleaner, because it didn’t contain any toxic chemicals, could be reused and would not stain the wallpaper. Eventually, teachers learned that the wallpaper cleaner could be used as a modeling compound to make art and craft projects at school.

It wasn’t until after World War II that Noah McVicker’s nephew, Joseph McVicker, joined the company and learned that their wallpaper cleaner was being used for arts and crafts in schools. Joseph thought it would be a good idea to give the product a new name — Play-Doh®and market it to schools, teachers and department stores.

The new product was an immediate success. In 1956, the McVickers started the Rainbow Crafts Company to make and sell Play-Doh®. Macy’s in New York and Marshall Field’s in Chicago began selling the product. The new company also began to advertise the product on popular children’s television shows, such as Captain Kangaroo. Within one year, its sales had already reached almost $3 million! Over time, the exact ingredients in Play-Doh® have changed. As technology has improved, so has PlayDoh®. Although the exact recipe is a secret, Play-Doh® remains a popular modeling compound for art and craft projects, because it is still nontoxic, easy to use and simple to clean up. 

Today, Play-Doh® is owned by a company named Hasbro that continues to make and sell the product through its Playskool line. In 2003, the Toy Industry Association added Play-Doh® to its “Century of Toys List,” which contains the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the last 100 years. Play-Doh® comes in a variety of bright and bold colors. There are also a series of related products and toys that make use of Play-Doh®. Since its “invention,” over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh® have been sold around the world!

Try it out!

Did you know you can make your own Play-Doh®?  It’s true! There are different recipes and lots of fun ways you can make a batch of Play-Doh® at home! Check out the Play-Doh® recipes below and pick one to try. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, you may need to head to the store first. Have fun!

Think About it Some More!

Visit the National Science Teachers Association for a guide to Play-Doh® science experiments! 

Do you have Play-Doh® memories as a child or with your students? Share your favorite Play-Doh® memories in the comments section below!

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at