The significance of Independence Day, also known as The 4th of July, in the United States, is commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared the the 13 American colonies were now free and independent states.
On July 2, 1776 was the date that the Independence was approved by Congress, but it was not signed until July 4th and that is why we celebrate Independence day on July 4th instead of July 2nd.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were the only signers of the Declaration of Independence who became Presidents of the United States and both died on the same day; July 4th.
Families spend this national holiday by having a barbecue with family and friends, going to parades and then ending the night by going to see fireworks.
We hope that everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July!
Turtles are reptiles and cold blooded. They come in all shapes and sizes and live in many different environments. They have existed for around 215 million years and they live on average for 50-100 years. The largest turtle is the leatherback sea turtle, it can weigh over 900 kg! (2000 lb). The smallest Turtle in the World is the Speckled Padloper Tortoise.
Tortoises are land animals that dig big burrows with their round stumpy feet. Tortoises are solitary roamers. Some mother tortoises are protective of their nests, but they don’t care for their young after they hatch. Tortoises have an exoskeleton AND an endoskeleton.
Freshwater turtles that live in ponds and lakes, but they do climb out of the water to get sun and warm up. They can hold their breath for five hours underwater. They slow their heart rate to up to nine minutes in between heart beats in order to conserve oxygen.
Sea turtles usually spend most of their lives in water. They have webbed flippers and a streamlined body. The only time sea turtles leave the water is to lay eggs in the sand. Some species of turtle the temperature determines if the egg will develop into a male or female, lower temperatures lead to a male while higher temperatures lead to a female. Some turtles lay eggs in the sand and leave them to hatch on their own. The young turtles make their way to the top of the sand and scramble to the water while trying to avoid predators. They also think that jellyfish are delicious!
Check out High Touch High Tech-Science Made Fun experiment page for awesome hands-on FUN science experiments!
The Limelight School of the Week is…. Vandora Springs Elementary School in Garner, NC.
TEACHER: Ms. Allaman
GRADE: 2nd grade
PROGRAM: Cycle Babble
SCIENTIST: Meteor Martin
Good Day to all the wonderful and extremely talented Scientists out there. With Summer just around the corner, I assume those of you in traditional schools, are counting down the days until vacation and all the fun you will have traveling, going to the pool, summer cookouts, and hopefully seeing me in Summer Camps around the area! For those of you in year-round schools, I’m sorry, but you will still be able to have loads of fun, and just think, at least you will be cool sitting in the classroom with all of your friends.
This week I want to give a huge shout out to Mrs. Allamon and the rest of the 2nd Grade teachers and students at Vandora Springs Elementary. I had the opportunity to work with these bright and enthusiastic students not once, but twice, in one week. We had such a great time leaning about the Life Cycles of organisms as well as different aspects of Weather.
I quite often mention to children during classes that little did they know, that they were going to be participating in not only a science class but also an art class at the same time. This lesson plan on life cycles is no joke as we build all four stages of metamorphosis of an insect from egg to adult. I enjoy how most students will line their desks in correct order as we complete each stage.
One of my favorite subjects is Meteorology and I love being able to transfer my enthusiasm about weather to the children. We covered information about our atmosphere, random collisions of particles as well as talking about low- and high-pressure systems. The most exciting part of the lesson was when the kids are able to see how it is possible to blow up an eight-foot wind bag with only one breath. I wish you could hear all the oohs and aahs from the children as the experiment works. The bewilderment on their faces is truly something to witness.
I would like to thank Mrs. Allamon and the rest of the very helpful 2nd Grade staff for having High Touch High Tech be part of the curriculum at Vandora Springs Elementary. I can’t wait to see you all again next year. I hope your summer is safe, restful and full of fun adventures.
Until net year, this is “Meteor” Martin blasting off!!!
TEACHER: Ms. Mason
PROGRAM: It Doesn’t Phase Me
SCIENTIST: Meteor Martin
Limelight School of the Week: Cape Fear Christian Academy
Hello Scientists, I hope everyone is having a wonderful and exciting Spring. Playing sports, riding bikes, and enjoying this weather in anticipation of being able to go to the pool and cooking on the grill. Our season has been jammed pack full of classes and meeting new students and teachers. One of those new groups was the Fourth Graders at Cape Fear Christian Academy in Erwin, NC.
I believe I have stated before, one of my favorite things is to go into a classroom for the first time and see how the children begin the class so quiet and shy because they have no idea what to expect or how exciting things are about to get and within 10 minutes everyone is raising their hands, asking questions, telling me stories, so much so that I often have to tell the kids that I wish I could keep calling on them but if we don’t continue the lesson, we will never complete all the great activities.
We had so much fun with our lesson “It Doesn’t Phase Me,” learning about the moon and where it came from, learning and making craters as well as covering the different phases of the moon.
After class, while I was cleaning up, the children began asking me questions. Some were science related and then others were off the wall such as do I know the WOAH. I said, “the what.” Then they proceeded to show me some new dance called the WOAH. After I did it, the entire class began clapping and cheering. IT WAS AWESOME!!!
Well, I would like to thank Mrs. Mason and the Fourth Graders at Cape Fear Christian Academy for having High Touch High Tech be part of your lesson and I can’t wait to see you again next year.
This is “Meteor” Martin blasting off.
Today we honor Lucy Wills, the woman who created prenatal vitamins.
Lucy Wills, born in Birmingham, England in 1888, she studied botany and geology and received a certificate in 1911. In 1915 she enrolled in The London School of Medicine for Women and legally became a medical practitioner in 1920, earning her bachelor degrees in medicine and science.
In 1928, she did research about pregnant women and anemia and realized that the Bombay women had a correlation between their dietary habits and likelihood of their becoming anemic during pregnancy. Ultimately, her studies suggested that a vitamin deficiency was to blame.
Her discovery was the first step toward creation of folic acid. For many years it was the Wills Factor until folic acid was named in 1941 when it was isolated from spinach.
Now the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that women take 400 micrograms of folic acid are taken every day.
May 10, 1888 – April 16, 1964
Happy Birthday Lucy Wills and Thank You for all that you did for women and their babies!
Pic Source: https://www.google.com/
TEACHER: Ms. Fox
PROGRAM: Shoot For The Stars
SCIENTIST: Meteor Martin
This week’s LIMELIGHT SCHOOL OF THE WEEK IS……Duke Memorial Weekday School, Durham, NC
Hello Scientists. I hope everyone has had a wonderful and Scientifically great week. The last few months have been soooo busy with all the new schools and lessons that have been going on here at High Touch High Tech of RDU and surrounding areas. I have met tons of new friends and some truly incredible teachers. One of these just so happens to be Duke Memorial Weekday School in Durham, NC.
While at Duke Memorial, I had the pleasure of working with some amazing Preschools who had the opportunity to learn about and explore outer space while we “Shoot for the Stars.” These children blew me away with their knowledge of what you can find in outer space and even that “Shooting stars are really Meteors” WOW! That was great.
These kids were fantastic little astronauts as we learned about stars, constellations and shooting starts. They took tuns, waited patiently as I distributed the materials and shared as well as any other class that I have worked with. Hats off to Mrs. Fox and the rest of the teachers. I can’t wait to have the chance to work with you all again
As a side note, one of the little boys was walking out of the room with who I found out to be his brother. I asked if they were twins and the little boy said, “Yes, but we don’t have the same birthday.” So, I leave you with that little tiny brain teaser and until next time, this is “Meteor” Martin Blasting off!!! 😊
Have you ever wondered why we have thumbs? Do you think only humans have thumbs? What if all animals had thumbs? Our thumbs are an example of an adaptation. Our hands evolved over time (much like our eyes and other distinct features) to serve a purpose critical to our survival as a species.
Our thumb is what makes our hands so useful and distinct. It is an opposable thumb, which means it can flex towards our other fingers, allowing us to hold and grasp objects. You can tell it is opposable because you can touch the tip of your thumb to each of your fingertips. Your cat may have five toes on each paw, but their “thumb” is not in opposition to the other toes meaning your cat can’t grab things like you can. Some cats, called polydactyl cats, have more than 5 toes on their paws!
We evolved to have this type of thumb so that we could pick up and hold tools. Tools were essential to our survival during our evolution because they helped us hunt, build, protect our families, etc. Our closest animal relative, the chimpanzee, also has opposable thumbs as well as most ape species. They are able to use rudimentary tools, peel bananas, efficiently climb, and build shelters all thanks to their thumbs!
It isn’t just monkey’s and apes that have opposable thumbs. Koalas, giant pandas, opossum, and frogs in the Phyllomedusa family are some more examples of animals with opposable thumbs. All these creatures have one thing in common: they all climb! Climbing was so important to their survival that the evolution of an opposable thumb was essential. Having thumbs helps them in a lot of ways. Imagine a panda grasping some bamboo, their main food, and you can see how the thumb benefits them. Opossums actually have thumbs only on their back feet specifically to help them climb super-fast. This is helpful for avoiding predators.
Can you imagine what your pets could do if they had thumbs? Instead of fetch, you could play catch with your dog because he would be able to catch and throw! I bet he could turn the doorknob and let himself out in the yard by himself too! Take a few minutes and imagine what life would be like if all our pets had thumbs! What about the opposite? Is there anything you would no longer be able to do without a thumb?
Molecule Mike – “Sounds Like Fun”
You can’t predict those purpose-affirming moments that often happen in classrooms. All it takes is one comment or thought-provoking question from a precocious student to remind you that making science fun and increasing science literacy is critical and impactful work.
During a recent in-school field trip for 2nd graders at Evergreen Charter School, a clever and brave student had a fantastic contribution to the program, “Sounds Like Fun”, that made my day and enhanced everyone’s experience. The parking lot was adjacent to the schools’ tree-level ropes course and every adult I spoke to let me know where fresh coffee could be found so I knew this would be a good day!
While breaking down sound as vibrations and how our ears translate vibrations into something our brains understand, I use a tuning fork as a visual/audible aid. A student raised his hand to share an experience he had using a tuning fork. It is always a gamble asking for a student to contribute a related anecdote; relevance is subjective. This young man told our whole group about how doctors had used a tuning fork touched to his forehead to help study his hearing and provide the best hearing device which he received the previous week. How cool! I told him, what a great example of vibrations and the tiny bones that help us hear.
Sometimes being different in school can be tough. I think the experience shared by this student took at least a bit of courage, yet he offered it to help explain an abstract concept to peers and ended up being the star of the day. I appreciated his story so much, I shared it with the next class and anyone else who asked how my day went.
High Touch High Tech programs are great for engaging students’ imaginations with hands-on activities but nothing I prepared could have provided the emotional connection to the material this student shared. Students trust what kids their ages say which makes this a story I’ll use every time I teach “Sounds Like Fun”. Something a 2nd grader taught me. How cool!
GRADE: 5th Grade
TEACHER: Ms. Greggory
PROGRAM: Meteorology Madness
SCIENTIST: Meteor Martin
This week’s LIMELIGHT SCHOOL OF THE WEEK IS……LaFayette Elementary School, Fuquay-Varina, NC
Hello Scientists, I hope that everyone has had a scientifically wonderful week. Our Limelight school is none other that the legendary, Lafayette Elementary. I would like to begin by thanking the administration, teachers and students for making High Touch High Tech such a huge part of your school’s yearly calendar and for allowing me the opportunity to get to know so many of you. It is such a great feeling to walk down the halls and receive so many high fives from the kids and just as many good mornings from the staff. The pleasure is all mine.
This week, the fifth graders and I were able to discuss and explore several different meteorological events including: clouds, lightning, thunder, pressure systems and more. I must give high praises to the teachers because it seemed as if the children knew as much about Meteorology as I do. Way to go guys!
I love to pay attention as the children perform each experiment and listen as they talk to one another. It is the best way to get a true impression as to how much they are enjoying the programs. At one point I heard one of them say, “This is amazing” and another asked me after our lesson was over if I “could go to lunch with them.” Maybe next time guys.
I want to thank Mrs. Gregory and the rest of the fifth-grade staff for everything that you do to make High Touch High Tech so important in your teaching. I will see you all next week, when I return to work with the 4th graders and we learn all about the Moon. 😊
Until next time, this is “Meteor” Martin blasting off!
Black History Month
As we celebrate Black History Month, remember the important contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation’s history!
Elijah McCoy was born in Canada to parents who were slaves and had escaped slavery by way of the Underground Railroad. His parents really wanted him to get a good education. But they could not send him to the United States. So they saved up enough money to send Elijah to Scotland where he studied engineering. When he completed his studies he went to the United States, eager to work. But he was really disappointed. He tried very hard to get a job as an engineer, but nobody would hire him because he was black. Since he needed money he got a job with the railroad. His job was to shovel coal into the train engine, then stop the machine and oil it by hand. He started thinking to himself. Wouldn’t it be great if we could oil this machine without stopping it? He needed to oil the machine because when 2 moving objects rub up against each other they produce heat. Scientists call this “friction.”
Frederick Jones was born in Ohio in 1892 and fought in World War I. He had over 60 patents, but refrigeration was his specialty! He recognized a problem. Farmers would load their vegetables on a truck so that the truck could haul the vegetables to a market. Sometimes, it was a long haul and the food would spoil. So he invented a refrigeration system for the truck.
Katherine Johnson, born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. By thirteen, she was attending the high school on the campus of historically black West Virginia State College. She was a space scientist. She studied how to steer and direct satellites.
One of HTHT experiments is called, The Real McCoy© So come join us on a fun filled adventure as we discover several very famous African American scientists and learn about their incredible contributions to science! All of these scientists all had incredible imaginations. They all had major struggles. Some of the scientists that we are going to learn about today lived a long time ago. Some are still alive today. But they all have several things in common. They are all African Americans who have overcome obstacles to make significant contributions to the field of science.
Check out our other AWESOME experiments here!
High Touch High Tech, Science Made Fun
Pic Source: google.com