Penguins, pandas, and lots of science

We are still officially having school this month, however we are making  time for crafting, experiments, watching documentaries, and prepping for FLL.   It doesn’t always make for the neatest house but we are having a great time.


The boys had an afternoon zoo class this week.  They were anxiously awaiting December class because I promised we would go early to feed the penguins.  Turns out the day we went was nice and warm. Between the warmth and being more interested in mating, the penguins weren’t interested in our food.


We did however see the red panda being more active than we’ve ever seen.  He has a really cute face.

We’ve been reading about the polar regions and the animals that live there.  Antarctic Ice by Jim Mastro and Norbert Wu has some really great photography as does DKs Arctic and Antarctic.


It seems like the month of December always sparks our creativity.  We are looming, making homemade lotion and lip balm, and making candy.  C made some cute Christmas perler bead creations.

As part of our relaxed schedule we’ve been watching lots of documentaries.  The boys learn and retain tremendous amounts of information through video.  E found the Smithsonian Channel on the Apple TV.  This week we’ve learned about flying cars, the state of Maine, WWII and Amazing Plants.  We got quite a kick out of seeing an experiment that uses moisture sensors to trigger a phone call from your plant if it needs water.  “This is plant #9.  I’m feeling very dry.”

We also spent a little extra time checking out Scientific American and PBS:It’s Okay to Be Smart.  This video of scary kittens was a hit.

Oh and so you don’t miss it,  my friend Alicia was kind enough to remind me next week is Computer Science Week.  Celebrate by participating in “Hour of Code”.  Find more information at Computer Science Education Week.

Speaking of computer science.  If you are considering a Lego Mindstorm EV3 I recommend ordering from Lego Education instead of Lego Retail.  The main difference is that the Education model comes with a rechargable battery, slightly different firmware that is capable of data logging, and some additional sensors.  You can download the retail software for free regardless which unit you purchase (you might have to do an update for a couple of the sensors to work).


One last photo.  E’s Lego League team came over during Thanksgiving break to conduct some experiments.  They were testing a Debris Protection System they are working on.  Several of them were wearing goggles and hats.  What a great time!


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6 thoughts on “Penguins, pandas, and lots of science

    • This is the first time we’ve ever seen him moving around. He is usually curled up in a ball asleep. Thanks for stopping in!

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