Native Communication

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

If a time machine dropped you into the Americas in 1491, what would you find? A vast, empty continent roamed by small bands of people, fighting to survive? No way!  Both North and South America before the arrival of Columbus played host to very large urban civilizations, powerful militaries, huge agricultural economies, and an impressive diversity of religions, languages and art styles.  Amazing feats of engineering were the norm in this world as people from Tierra Del Fuego to Baffin Bay carved out their lifestyles in wildly different ecological regions.  You might have seen evidence of this ingenuity in things like the Igloo, or the Tipi, but have you ever heard of the Inka Roads, or the floating city of Tenochtitlan?  Whether they were living in a huge empire or a small tribal nation, Native American people had to be creative in the ways they stored, spread, and communicated the information that each group needed to survive.  Let’s examine some Native American communication techniques that go WAY beyond the stereotypical “smoke signals!”

Inca Road
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Despite 770,000 square miles of terrain that encompassed the
highest, snowy Andes, the Amazon rainforest, Pacific Ocean beaches and several
fierce deserts, the massive 12 million strong Inca Empire innovated one of the
most rapid and efficient messaging systems in the premodern world! It relied on
a specially trained team of expert marathon runners to relay the messages that
were vital to the management of the huge empire.  Chaskis were elite endurance athletes
trained from childhood to run fast on some of the toughest high-altitude
terrain on earth.  Chaskis passed
messages anywhere along 25,000 miles of 
specially designed Inca Roads. 
They ran several miles at a sprint until they reached the next Chaski
station.  There they would pass the
message and the next runner would be off like the wind.  Chaskis took their job very seriously and
knew that if they were found to pass an incorrect message, they would be thrown
off a cliff.  Running their non-stop,
high speed relay race, they could pass a message from Ecuador to Chile in one
week, an amazingly fast result for the world before electronic
communication! 

Learn more about the Chaskis – Inka Teachers Guide
Learn more about the Chaski Runners

The Winter Count
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Large-scale empires like the Inca needed to know exactly
what was happening in every corner of their massive territory and had the
resources to train and support thousands of Chaskis for all their communication
needs.  But what about smaller scale
societies, especially nomadic ones that moved around a lot?  Sometimes there is a stereotype that small
scale groups like the Natives of the North American Plains were in such a
struggle for survival that they did not have time for things like technology,
history, and philosophy, but this is not true. 
The Sioux had a system of recording and communicating their history that
suited their needs perfectly: The Winter Count. 

In the Sioux world, years were not counted from Dec.-Jan.
but measured from first snowfall to the next year’s first snowfall.  At the end of the year, elders met to decide
what was the most important event of the year past; that event would forever
name and define the year.  A special
member of the group would design a pictograph representing the event and add it
to a special hide that showed each year’s pictographs in succession.  Some of these Winter Count hides ran over 100
years and could be constantly renewed by painting on fresh hide when the old
one decayed.  The keeper of the Winter
Count also served as the group’s historian, using the winter count to tell
stories of what happened each year, keeping the group connected to their past
and able to learn more about themselves for the future.  The Winter Count hide itself was easily
portable and made of simple materials, making it a perfect technological fit
for the highly mobile the Plains Natives. 

Get up close to a Winter Count Calendar

Horse Cavalry
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Because of their speed, agility, strategy and the general ability to rain down death from any angle while on the back of a speeding horse, North American Plains Natives are considered some of the finest horse cavalry fighters in world history, second only to the Mongols.  We may be familiar with Plains Natives’ incredible fighting style from movies, but movies do not capture the deep and respectful relationship with horses that marks Plains Native life to this day.  You may have seen Native horses in movies covered in paint and symbols, but did you know these symbols function like a language, communicating messages about both horse and rider at the speed of a gallop?  Different Plains Native groups have different interpretations, but to the Lakota Sioux, things like horseshoe shapes or a drawing of a buffalo indicated the riders’ success in previous battles, horse raids, and hunts, and things like a patch of color with dots or a handprint indicated the horse itself was experienced in battles, raids and hunts, all at a glance for friends and enemies alike to see.  In a world where mobility in the grass sea was key to survival, and horses were as dear as human relatives, the visual language of horse paint was an important expression of identity and status. Plains Native Tribes are frequently misunderstood as primitive, when in fact their way of life was often a finely calibrated and highly considered relationship with nature and each other that had evolved to fit the challenging ecological niche they occupied.

Lakota paint symbols used in “Dances With Wolves” explanation

Buffalo hunting scene from Dances with Wolves

People of the Horse, Native American Horse Culture Today

Bang in a Bag

Image credit: little bins for little hands

A chemical reaction is a process in which one or more chemicals
(or things) combine to make something new. The ‘things’ or chemicals that we
started with are called Reactants and the new ‘thing’ that is made are called
Products. It is called a chemical reaction since:

  1. It is accompanied by a rearrangement of the
    atoms in the reactants to form different chemical matter. The product formed is
    a new entity and is chemically different from the starting reactants.
  2. It is usually irreversible: this means that in
    most cases, I cannot get back what I started with.
  3. A chemical reaction is usually accompanied by
    a color change, smell, heat or light or release of a gas.

An example
of chemical reactions is the burning of wood in the presence of oxygen to
produce ash, water vapor and carbon dioxide.

A Chemical reaction or change is different from a physical change.

A physical change usually involves only a change of state: from
solid to liquid, liquid to gas or gas to water. A physical change does not
involve a change in the chemical entity of the reactant. The products will have
different physical properties than the reactants (such as state of matter,
texture, shape), but the chemical structure remains exactly the same as the
reactants. Therefore, a physical change is usually reversible.

Image source: Pixabay.com

An example
of a physical change is the change of states of water. Liquid water freezes to
become ice, and when heated turns to water vapor or steam. But in all three
states, it is still chemically identical: H2O, which is made of two
atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen. So, change of states of matter is not
a chemical, but a physical change.

In the Bang
in a Bag chemical reaction you just observed, acidic vinegar (chemically acetic
acid) reacts with basic baking soda (chemically sodium bicarbonate) to form an
entirely new substance called sodium acetate, carbon dioxide (the gas produced)
and water. Once the reaction is complete, you cannot get back the vinegar and
baking soda. The release of carbon dioxide caused the sound and the bubbling
you observed during the chemical reaction.

Join our HTHT @ Home Science Experiment and make your own Bang in a Bag:
https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/Bang%20in%20a%20Bag_EOTD_May%2012th.pdf

Bag Stab & Polymerization

A plastic bag is made of polymers, long chains of individual molecules called monomers. When a sharp pencil pierces the bag the polymer chains separate without breaking. The chains of molecules then squeeze tightly around the pencil creating a seal that prevents it from leaking.

Polymers
find use in our everyday life, from water bottles and Tupperware to tires for
automobiles. The word polymer
is derived from the Greek root poly-, meaning many, and mer, meaning part or
segment. Many of the same units (or mers) are connected together to form a long
chain or polymer.

Polymers
are of two types: Polymers such as starch, proteins and DNA occur in Nature,
and are called Natural polymers. Synthetic polymers are derived from petroleum
oil and made by scientists and engineers. Examples of synthetic polymers
include nylon and plastic.

Long
repeating chains can be linked together to form a cross-linked polymer, which
may become branched and become a Branched chain polymer. As the degree of cross
linking in the polymer increases, the polymer usually increases in rigidity and
toughness. This is why we see plastics that have different degrees of hardness
from a plastic bag to a hard-plastic baseball bat.

Join our
HTHT @ Home Science Experiment and learn about polymers:

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/Bag%20Stab_EOTD_May%2011th.pdf

MEDIEVAL ENGINEERS: THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE CATAPULT

Image source: Pixabay.com

A
catapult is a lever, a stick or beam, propped up by a fulcrum, the pivot point.
The catapult magnifies your force to throw an object. So, you do not need as big
of a force to propel a large object, but the larger the force, the farther it
goes. In ancient times, catapults were used to throw heavy rocks.

Levers
and fulcrums can be used to pick up heavy things like rocks and building
materials. Have you ever used a see-saw? That’s a lever and fulcrum! See if you
can point out which part of your catapult is the lever, and which is the
fulcrum? The craft stick with the spoon is the lever and the stack of other
craft sticks is the fulcrum. The spoon beam pivots around the stack to generate
the force to launch the load. When you press down on the spoon, it pulls up on
the rubber band on the opposite end—this is its potential energy. When the
spoon is released, it pulls back up on the rubber band and the pom pom goes flying!
The potential energy is converted into energy of motion- kinetic energy.
Gravity also does its part as it pulls the object back down to the ground.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Take
it Further:

Try
launching a bouncy ball with your catapult. Compare it with the pom pom. How far
or high did it travel? Did it go as high or far as the catapult?

The
catapult also demonstrates Newton’s 3 Laws of motion:

An object at rest stays at rest until a force is applied, and an object will stay in motion until something creates an imbalance in the motion. (First Law) The acceleration produced when a force is applied depends on the mass of the object. (F = Ma; Second Law) Every action causes an equal and opposite reaction. (Third Law)

The
pom pom will remain at rest until a force acts on it (the release of the spoon
and/or gravity) – First Law

The
bouncy ball will not travel as high or far as the pom pom as the bouncy ball
has more mass than the pom pom and will require a larger force to travel the
same distance and speed as the pom pom – Second Law (Force = Mass X
Acceleration)

When
the spoon is pushed down, the load (pom pom or bouncy ball) travels upward- in
the opposite direction equal to the force applied on it. (Third Law of
Action-Reaction)

A catapult is a simple machine that has been around for ages. Have your kids dig up a little history and research when the first catapults were invented and used! Hint; check out the 17th century!

Join our HTHT @ Home Science Experiment to make your own Catapult: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/Catapult_EOTD_May%206th.pdf

Image source: Pixabay.com

Birds Beaks & Adaptations

Discover the many ways that Birds use their Beaks!

Birds are a class of vertebrates with more than 18000 different species. Of the various features that are common to all birds, perhaps the most characteristic is their beak. All birds have one beak. But it has evolved differently in each species to improve its functions in response to its environment. These functions include feeding themselves and their young, defending themselves, grooming their feathers, mating, regulating their body temperature or building nests.

But what exactly is a beak?

In biological terms, it is a type of mouth in which the jaws have no teeth and are covered by a horny layer of a protein called keratin (like the nails or horn of a rhinoceros).

What are the different types of beaks?

Generally, bird beaks are categorized according to their shape and function. There are several different kind of bird beaks:
1. Hooked beaks: Owls, eagles, hawks, and other birds of prey that use their beaks to rip open flesh. They are usually meat eaters.

2. Cone shaped beaks: Goldfinches, sparrows and canaries are all good examples. They have a short, robust beak that ends in a conical shape, allowing them to break open seeds.

3. Short, curved beaks: Parrots and macaws have short curved beaks for splitting open hard fruits and nuts.


4. Straight, thin beaks: Bee eaters and Robins specialize in catching and eating insects with their straight and thin beaks. Woodpeckers also have strong thin beaks to peck through wood to find bugs.

5. Long, thin, needle-like beaks: Nectar feeders such as Hummingbirds swoop their beaks into flowers to find their food.

6. Wide, flat beaks: Filter feeders such as Flamingoes, swans and ducks have a filtering system in their beaks to pick out the dirt from the ponds and riverbeds.

7. Spatulate beaks: Wading birds such as spoonbills have large long beaks that help them pick up mollusks and small animals from the bottoms of ponds and marshes.

8. Large, long, and strong beaks: Fish eating birds such as pelicans, albatrosses and seagulls have long, curved beaks to catch fish and then prevent them from escaping. The pouch on a pelican’s beak helps it take huge gulps of water to store the fish in it. Herons and Cranes have long, strong beaks to catch fish.

9. Crossbill beaks: The Red Crossbill’s crossed bill tips may look odd, but it is in fact a clever adaptation to getting seeds out of closed pine cones.

10. Multifunctional beaks: A Toco Toucan’s beak is not just for show, this multi-purpose appendage can be used to collect and skin fruit, frighten predators, attract mates, and defend territory. Recent research has also shown that it also helps to keep the bird cool in the heat of the tropical day.

Learn more about birds and their beaks by participating in our HTHT @ Home Science Experiment:
https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/Bird%20Beak%20Activity_EOTD_April%2029th.pdf

Also check out this interesting resource, provided by Mystery Science, on nests and why birds lay eggs in the spring!
https://mysteryscience.com/mini-lessons/birds-spring?loc=mini-lesson-button#slide-id-8400

25 Years of Hands-On Scientist Training

“I hear and I forgot. I see and I remember. I do and I
understand.”

High Touch High Tech believes in hands-on education. We
believe that is the only way to learn science. Afterall, High Touch is in our
name!

At High Touch High Tech, we take our hands-on education
approach to training our scientists. Teachers and parents can schedule our
programs and feel confident knowing our scientists know the material, have
in-the-classroom experience, and want your students to take inspiration away
from our lessons!

We look for scientists with a passion for education, working
with children, and with science backgrounds! Our scientists really are
scientists!

While training our to-be-scientists in classrooms, they’re
allowed to develop the critical thinking skills and real-world knowledge to
adapt to your classroom. If there are disciplinary issues, innovative student
questions, or any other wavering factors, you can be sure that our scientists
will handle the situation with grace and experience!

High Touch High Tech has brought STEM education to students
for over 25 years, reaching more than 16 million students each year! Our
hands-on approach to your students education is what we practice across the
board, because it’s the only way to learn!

Feature Teacher of the Month

 Feature Teacher: An Interview with Teacher of the Month Chad Johnson

 

Q: Why did you become a teacher?

A: I became a teacher because I had a family member that knew I had experience with kids throughout the years. [This family member] she encouraged me, a long time ago, to pursue education. So, I went back to school and got my certification to be an elementary school teacher.

Q: Do you feel that students get enough science education?

A: Looking across the spectrum I would say probably not. I think [the amount of science education] is school specific. When I first started using High Touch High Tech, I was not in a position that I was teaching science every day.  And to have High Touch High Tech opened me up to the opportunity to get extra work and time with students in the area of science, and I knew that they were teaching the objectives for my state.

Q: Why is science education so important for your students?

A: Science education is important because it’s the way the world is trending. Everything is technology, everything is integrated. Everything that we teachers do, at some level, is technology integrated. Anytime we can get kids into anything science or math related that they can use technology as a part of their education is a win.

Q: When did you schedule your first program with High Touch High Tech?

A: I was doing some research on different field trips I could incorporate with my students with science, I came across High Touch High Tech in the spring of 2014. I made reservations for the fall of that year, and I have been scheduling High Touch High Tech ever since then.

Q: How do you feel your students benefit for High Touch High Tech coming to your class?

A: Everything that High Touch High Tech brings completely matches my objectives for our state, so it was a clear-cut option to bring you to my students.

Q: Why would you recommend High Touch High Tech to other schools?

A: The number one reason why I would recommend High Touch High Tech is because it gives my students a break from the norm. As a teacher in the classroom, they hear me giving them information that they need [on a regular basis]. Having someone new come in, with new materials and fun experiences to addition what we do in the class provides them with a unique opportunity.

 

ScienceMadeFunRDU.net

800.444.4968

A Word From the Principal of the Year- Lauren Evans

 

Lauren Evans from Asheville Primary School was named Principal of the Year. Read what she had to say about High Touch High Tech of WNC.

 

 

 

 

10/8/2019

 

To Whom It May Concern:

Asheville Primary School is a public Montessori that services students PreK-3rd grade. Our educational model promotes student centered practices and hands-on experiences. High Touch and High Tech (HTHT) is an excellent accompaniment to our curriculum. Montessori encourages students to research non-fiction topics that are of interest to them. HTHT supports student interests in science and aligns with NC standards. All of our classrooms have had at least 3 “going-outs” with HTHT. A “going-out” is the Montessori equivalent of a field trip. The scientists have been absolutely amazing. Teachers and students have given very positive feedback regarding their experiences with HTHT. The HTHT scientists demonstrate the ability to be flexible and to meet the needs of each classroom. We have chosen to partner with HTHT again as a result of the consistent positive experiences they have provided our children. HTHT encourages student exploration and problem solving. This is the heart of our program. We are grateful to have a community organization that supports the curiosity of children! I highly recommend HTHT to schools that seek to support rigorous and joyful student-centered experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Touch High Tech

ScienceMadeFunWNC.net

828.984.3192

Thank You!

 

 

We all know that teachers lead hectic lives. Grading papers at every opportunity, developing lesson plans, investing their hearts into their students’ success. Here at High Touch High Tech, we have the opportunity of coming into your classroom to teach your students about science and understand this is no small accomplishment.  We get to inspire, explore, and engage with your students while you get to sit back and watch. That is a small way that we can thank you for all that you do for our children, and next generation.

Every day you are patient, understanding, thoughtful and energetic, even on the toughest days. Thank you!

You buy school supplies with your own money, decorate classrooms with your own supplies and volunteer your time even when there’s no time to spare! Thank you!

You don’t always get to eat lunch. At times you have recess duty, or car rider duty when it’s unpleasant outside. All after a long day, when all you want to do is finally go home. Thank you!

You stay up late grading papers, preparing for tomorrows assignments when just want to go to sleep. Thank you!

Teaching is a commitment to help with the development of your students’ curiosity and interest in learning. High Touch High Tech is also committed in keeping student’s curiosity and interest in learning. Combining those two commitments together is success for a child!

“Without teacher appreciation there can’t be any student progress.” Quote by Theresa Grim.

Thank you for being that Teacher!

Difference Makers

 

Difference Makers

 

At this moment, somewhere around the world there is a High Touch High Tech instructor teaching a group of excited children! They are delivering “hands-on” science programs that encourage fun learning in an innovative way. Providing these types of services brings joy to students, instructors, and faculty. This joy and excitement are why High Tough High Tech so successful today. All educators play a very important role in a developing child’s social and academic life. They are providing knowledge, applicable skills, and guidance to their student’s day in and day out. There is a sense of fulfillment that is associated with making a difference for the better in your students’ lives. We at High Touch High Tech, and all educators, are difference makers.

From kindergarten to medical school, instructors hold a vital role in a student’s academic journey. A teacher is a person who aids in acquiring knowledge, competence, or virtue. They educate on basic academics in various topics and studies around the world, working with students individually or in larger groups. Teachers are often willing to “go the extra” mile to ensure a student’s success.

Teachers serve as important role models, teaching students to be social and productive members of society. They encourage positively and creativity, making it their goal to motivate and inspire students to be interested and invested in their education. Educators help develop valuable skills within a student and actively engage in their academic strengths and weaknesses.

High Touch High Tech is honored and privileged to be an education provider for the last 25 years! We have been able to share this practice and message all around the world. We have been able to assist many learning intuitions, families and students by providing them the opportunity to participate in what we value the most; making a difference in a student’s life by valuing, engaging, and nurturing their academic milestones. Our role in the lives of our students is our greatest contribution to the world.

 

High Touch High Tech

800.444.4968

info@ScienceMadeFun.net

 

 

 

Source: www.pearsonedu.com
Source: pixabay.com