Zoo Lover’s Day!

Join High Touch High Tech in celebrating
Zoo Lover’s Day
April 8th

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Blank Park Zoo – Des Moines, Iowa

The Kitchens of Zoos – otherwise known as Commissaries – are some of the busiest kitchens in the world and serve a VERY demanding clientele!

Ever had to cook a dinner for a large number of guests? And if some are vegetarian?  Maybe some need low sodium?  Some are on a raw food diet?  Only paleo for others?  Lovingly catering to hundreds of different species’ exact needs is second nature at the major zoos of the world.  Feeding the amazing animals in zoo collections is truly a 24/7 job!  Animals take no holidays and preparing food for hundreds of species at a time usually requires preparation day and night, not to mention enormous freezer and storage capacity.  Plus, ALL the food is 100% restaurant grade, the same as you get at your favorite dining spot!

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Zoo de Barcelona – Aviary’s Kitchen

A Zoo Commissary is run with precision, receiving shipments by night and preparing enormous quantities of fresh food by day.  One single elephant in the Cleveland Zoo, for example, eats 100 to 400 pounds of food each day.  Because animals are precious and many are endangered, they are fed with constant attention to their nutritional needs and their overall health.  Food in zoo commissaries is restaurant grade, but it is also prepped with the same attention to hygiene and cleanliness as any restaurant.  Cutting corners on any animal’s food, whether it is a Lowland Gorilla or a Desert Jerboa, could have huge consequences for the animal, and therefore cutting corners or stretching the food budget in any way is just not done.  The Cleveland Zoo splashes out one million dollars every year to feed their treasured residents!

Keepers at the San Diego Zoo (and every major zoo) are fiercely dedicated to their charges, and so every day in San Diego, meals are carefully prepped for 800 different species, 3,000 animals in total.  Food, whether it be fruit, insect, hay, or a whole carcass, is often left in the enclosure for the animal to forage as they please.  On a very special day, like a birthday or holiday, sometimes the beloved animals are directed to special treats made just for them.  From a watermelon “cake” for a tortoise to frozen “shrimpsicles” for big cats, watching healthy, happy animals devour their treats is surely something that makes every zookeeper’s day!  Why not treat yourself this Zoo Day, and watch some happy noshing animals for yourself? 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Zola the pygmy hippo calf turned 1 and enjoyed her birthday “cake” at the Lowry Park Zoo. (Photo Credit: Lowry Park Zoo)

If you’re a fan of zoo animals like we are, check out some
of our zoo animal related at-home experiments! Communicate like a whale with
echolocation, rattle like a snake, or even hibernate like a bear! See links
below for lesson plans and more!

Echolocation: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/EOTD_Echolocation_Lesson.pdf

Snake Rattle: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/EOTD_Snake_Rattle_Lesson.pdf

Hibernation Den: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/Edible_Hibernation_Den.pdf

Article Sources:

A 50 year old Tortoise birthday party:

Big Cats cooling off:

Christmas Treats at the Zoo:

Halloween Pumpkins:

And of course, Valentine’s Day:

How the Zoo Commissary works in Cincinnati:

Zoo Commissary in San Diego:

Find a Rainbow

Join High Touch High Tech in celebrating
Find a Rainbow Day
April 3rd

Image Source: Pixabay.com

A rainbow is
caused by the collision of sunlight and certain atmospheric conditions. Light
enters a water droplet, slowing down and bending as it goes from air to denser
water. The light reflects off the inside of the droplet, separating into its
component wavelengths–or colors. When light exits the droplet, it makes
a rainbow.

Now that you know the science behind rainbows, now we need to figure out a way to remember all those colors! Allow me to introduce you to my friend, Roy G. Biv. He is not a real person, but his name is the acronym that helps us remember the colors of the rainbow, or in more precise science terms, the colors that make up the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum! The colors are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.

Have you seen this fun video by They Might Be Giants? It teaches you about ROY G BIV & the electromagnetic spectrum!

ROY G BIV – They Might Be Giants

Rainbows have held incredibly special meaning to people, forever. In fact, the rainbow flag was created and became known as the gay or LGBTQ symbol for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) pride and LGBTQ social movements. Rainbow flags have also served as a symbol of peace.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

But there are many myths and
folklores surrounding rainbows. Here are some of
the more common tales and beliefs about rainbows:

  • Biblical accounts establish
    the rainbow as a covenant, or promise, between God and every living
    creature, that the earth will never again be destroyed by flood.
  • In Greek
    mythology rainbows were thought to be a path between Earth
    and Heaven. The rainbow was called the “Bridge” in Norse mythology,
    connecting Asgard, the home of the gods with Midgard, the home of humans.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Bifrost “Rainbow Bridge” from Asgard to Midgard
  • A pot of gold at the end of every rainbow that is guarded by a tricky leprechaun. The legend goes like this… Once upon a time, the Vikings lived in Ireland, looting, and plundering as they pleased, then burying their ill-gotten treasures all over the countryside. When they eventually departed from the Emerald Isle, they inadvertently left behind some of their booty, which the leprechauns found. Now, the leprechauns knew the Vikings had gotten their treasures through stealing, which was wrong. This bad behavior made the leprechauns mistrust all people, Viking or not. To ensure no humans could take what they now considered their gold, the leprechauns reburied it in pots deep underground all over the island. When rainbows appear, they always end at a spot where a leprechaun’s pot of gold is buried.
Image Source: Pixabay.com

you ever wondered if there are different kinds of rainbows? There are 12
different types of rainbows. When you see the typical rainbow that forms after
a storm, you may think that is all there is to it. But in truth, there are all
sorts of rainbows—some rarer than others. Each type of rainbow is created under
different circumstances and falls either into primary or secondary types.

Have you ever heard of a Fogbow? A
fogbow is a type of rainbow that occurs when fog or a small cloud experience sunlight
passing through them. The droplets of moisture from the fog work to diffract
that light. This type of rainbow is usually found in places where the fog in
the air is thin. It can also form above any body of water. Typically, this
rainbow consists of blue, white, and red. Much of a fogbow rainbow is white,
with blue appearing on the inside and red appearing at both ends.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever heard of a moonbow? A lunar rainbow (aka “moonbow”) is an unusual sight. This event occurs on the moon during a lunar month. The moon must be almost fully lit up for this type of rainbow to form. When it does, it appears as a white arc. Lunar rainbows line the moon’s outer rim. They are dull in appearance because the light on the moon is not as bright as the light on earth.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Can we have more than one rainbow at a time? Yes, they are called multiple rainbows. One of the rarest forms is multiple, or double, rainbows. They occur when several rainbows form in the same place at the same time. It takes at least one primary rainbow to generate this sight, as well as several other secondary rainbows. There is always space in between each one.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Double Rainbow

This space is referred to as
Alexander’s Band. In around 200 AD, Alexander of Aphrodisius observed that,
during rain, the area between primary and secondary rainbows appears
considerably darker than the surrounding sky. The phenomenon occurs because the
refractive index of light means that light from raindrops in the region of the
sky between the two rainbows cannot reach the observer. When sunlight is
reflected in raindrops, a double reflection occurs. White light reflects off
the colors of the primary rainbow, creating secondary ones.

There are even twin rainbows! A
twinned rainbow is also a rare sight to see. Though they have one base in
common, two rainbows are formed, with one being primary and one being
secondary. The colors of both rainbows are seen in the same sequence. When two
rain showers occur, the size of the raindrops can lead to the formation of a
twinned rainbow. With different shaped and sized raindrops from each storm, one
rainbow becomes two. In an even rarer sight, a twinned rainbow can include the
formation of as many as three.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Can the shape of rainbows change, or are they always an arc? Rainbows can change shapes, some can even be a full circle. In most cases, rainbows are semicircular arcs. Yet on rare occasions, it is possible to spot a full circle rainbow. This type of rainbow typically occurs in high altitude areas. At lower altitudes, the position of the sun prevents a full circle from being formed. Anything obstructing the sun also makes it impossible for this type of rainbow to form. When it does, it may include both primary and secondary rainbows.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Full Circle Rainbow

Check out this video of a full circle rainbow here:

have long been a source of mystery and wonder. Next time you see a rainbow,
what will you wonder about?

you love rainbows as much as we do, you could see one anytime you like with our
At-Home Bubble Atmosphere experiment. Click links below for the lesson plan and
tutorial video!

Plan: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/bubble_atmosphere.pdf

Video: https://youtu.be/ajhu3MO7RIA

Thr Virtual Laboratory Aims to Revolutionize Science Education

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Michael Bodekaer of Labster, a groundbreaking platform that  students can learn life sciences through 3D virtual worlds and laboratories. “With the ability to significantly enhance student’s motivation, these new and ever-evolving teaching tools are bringing a revolution to world ­class learning,” says Bodekaer.

Bodekaer’s intentions with the laboratory simulations is not to replace the wet lab experience. Instead, the simulations with the virtual labs can complement a students experience with a wet labs, and better prepare for when they do finally set foot in the physical laboratory.

To learn more about Bodekaer’s virtual state of the art laboratories and how they will change science education, please watch his TEDTalk at this link: https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_bodekaer_this_virtual_lab_will_revolutionize_science_class#t-668574

Science for Christmas!

Science is fun for the whole family. It can span the ages and intrigue the whole family. It will surprise you how well science gifts can be received, even grandfather’s and mothers in-law will like a science gift if you try giving science gifts this holiday season. With so many divisions of science, you ought to be able to find something that suits each person on your list–and sometimes, that hard-to-buy-for person can be the easiest one to buy a science gift for.




Science is fun for the whole family.  It can span the ages and intrigue the whole family.  It will surprise you how well science gifts can be received, even grandfather’s and mothers in-law will like a science gift if you try giving science gifts this holiday season.  With so many divisions of science, you ought to be able to find something that suits each person on your list–and sometimes, that hard-to-buy-for person can be the easiest one to buy a science gift for.


Why Science?

Science is SO important, and too many people feel intimidated by it. I’ve made it a personal mission to promote sciences to homeschoolers, to encourage them to observe and question the natural world around them, to tell them that science is nothing to fear.

So why is science so important? Simple. Because it is all around us in the natural world we live in, and our technology, too, is becoming more and more complex, and in order for us, as adults, to make informed decisions, we need a solid understanding of science in order to interpret the scientific messages we received day-in and day-out..

Many of us have known for a very long time that our children, here in America, are being left behind by the other children of the world, due to an education deficit all across the board, but no subjects so significant as math and science. Thank goodness we’re waking up to the call for reform. President Obama announced recently the need for increased attention to math and science education, national organizations like STEM, have been promoting science education, as well as some celebrities like Adam Savage of the popular show, Mythbusters. Including science in your holiday gift-giving will help to get the ball rolling, but science is for every-day, and should be incorporated as a natural part of yours and your child’s lives.

Learn the many sub-divisions of Science & get great gift ideas for the science lover in your family in this great article Science For Christmas!  

High Touch High Tech of WNC Sponsors Asheville City Schools Foundation “2011 Celebration of Champions”


High Touch High Tech is a generous sponsor to the Celebration of Champions for Asheville City Schools on November 6. Dan Shaw, founder and CEO, recognizes the value and importance of the teacher’s role and creating the next generation of scientists. High Touch High Tech is sposoring to provide all of the ACS Science teachers to attend the event! Celebration of Champions is on Sunday, November 6, from 6 -9:30PM. Teachers will dine and be entertained by an awards ceremony and super fabulous raffles will be available.

AshevilleCitySchoolteachers can RSVP by Monday, October 24 to hold their seat by contacting Pam Clarkson (pam@acsf.org) Unused seats will be forwarded to other science superstars. You can invite a spouse or friend to join by purchasing an additional ticket @ $40.

Please take a few moments to learn about HTHT and what it can bring to your classrooms. If you haven’t hosted these “in-class” field trips, you are missing out! HTHT professional teachers roll in with exciting demonstrations, presentations, and hands-on activities complete with student assessments at the end.

High Touch High Tech of WNC is offering their Energy Series which features programs that can be paid for with Progress Energy Education grants & align with the grant requirements. here are many ways HTHT can contribute to your classroom. Find out how you or teachers in your area can benefit from exciting offers like this & get full program details!

Visit our Locations page to find a HTHT location near you!