Monday, March 19, 2012

PhysicsQuest 2011 – Spectra Heats Up!

This past November a fellow homeschooler alerted me to the annual PhysicsQuest.  What’s PhysicsQuest, you ask?  From the PhysicsCentral website:

PhysicsQuest is a story-based activity that exposes middle school students to the fun and relevance of science. APS provides a free PhysicsQuest kit to registered 6-9th grade physical science classes, home school groups, science clubs, and after-school programs. The kit includes a user's manual and materials for four physics experiments.

We love (love!) science, so I quickly requested a free kit for the girls.  The kits ship in the spring, so I temporarily put all thoughts of it aside.

Four months pass.

This week I received a shipping notification from Educational Innovations, informing me that my PhysicsQuest order was on its way.  Yippee!

The box arrived a few days later.  As soon as I told the girls it was science-related, we had to investigate.  We were thrilled to see the contents!

The Spectra Heats Up! booklet contains the story and the four experiments.  You can view a PDF of the booklet HERE.  (Note that I don’t care for the story line, so I won’t allow the girls to read it on their own – we’ll read it together and discuss the scenes/characters.)

And yes, those are drinking birds and Hershey kisses you see included in the contents!  The drinking birds will be used to study evaporation, the chocolate candy to study heat conduction.  Two other experiments will focus on rust (using the steel wool) and the effect of heat rising (using the candles and the muffin tin to make a  pinwheel).

Find out more about PhysicsQuest HERE.  Sponsored by PhysicsCentral, the website  contains a wealth of information on physics, including podcasts and vodcasts (videos) – be sure to check out the fish orchestra vodcast.  There’s  lots to explore at this site but, of course, it is secular,  so be prepared to discuss what you read.  All in al, there are numerous links to follow and explore.

Despite my dislike of the story line of the booklet, this kit appears as if it will be great  fun, and will provide four unique learning experiences for the girls with fun materials.  All 2011 kits have been spoken for, but watch for the 2012 kit to be launched this year, most likely in November. 

1 comment:

  1. I am SO upset that I totally spaced signing up for this! I did in 2010...

    I'll do it again this year. I will. I will.