Topic - Featured
By Blog Editor Susan Wells
Rescuers are still digging through the rubble and debris after a monster tornado roared through Moore, Oklahoma yesterday. Spectacular video is surfacing of the tornado that leveled neighborhoods, schools and more.
How Does a Tornado Form?
Tornadoes need two things to form – a thunderstorm and wind shear. Wind shear is created from winds blowing in different directions and increasing with height. The winds are at two different altitudes and blow at two different speeds. For example, a wind at 1,000 feet above the surface blows at 10 mph and one at 5,000 feet blows at 25 mph. This creates an invisible column of horizontal air that is rotating. The rotating air will be drawn into the thunderstorm cloud by the updraft which tilts the air. If the column gets caught in the supercell updraft, the spin
On Sunday, May 26th, a very special sunset will take place. Three planets – Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will form a triangle in the night sky. They will all be visible to the naked eye or seen together in a binocular field.
This is a fairly rare celestial event. The last time it happened was in May 2011 and the next time the planets will form a geometric shape will be in October 2015.
The three planets are the brightest in the sky. Venus is #1, followed by Jupiter #2 and Mercury #3. Their triangle will be visible even in urban areas with lots of lights.
To find the trio, look about 30 to 60 minutes after sunset at the western horizon. Venus will be the brightest and lowest with Mercury to the right
Parents – does your teacher have their fill of mugs, candles and smelly lotion? What are you giving your favorite teachers this year?
Teachers – what gifts do you appreciate the most? Gift cards, items for next year’s classroom, books, or hand-written notes and gifts?
We love and appreciate all teachers at Steve Spangler Science and want to help share ideas and favorites to help parents give their teachers the best this May. Our Teacher Appreciation Pinterest board has a ton of gift ideas for all kinds of budgets, teachers and craft levels.
What are your favorite gifts to give to your amazing teacher?
And teachers – what are your most memorable and favorite gifts to receive? Here is your chance to share with parents what teachers really appreciate and what gets re-gifted or forgotten. My daughter’s second grade teacher shared a clock that a student gave her a few years back. She still displays it proudly in her classroom.
Here’s how to Pin It to Win a $100 Gift Certificate to SteveSpanglerScience.com.
1. Visit Steve
Have you ever wondered how clouds form? We all learn the water cycle in school – water falls from the clouds in the form of rain or snow and collects on the ground. The water on the ground heats up and turns to vapor and the vapor travels up into the atmosphere and creates clouds.
But how do those clouds form? Here’s an experiment that demonstrates how the water molecules join together and form a cloud.
Before you start on your own cloud, let’s learn a little more about clouds.
A cloud is a lot of droplets of water and or ice crystals, depending on the temperature. The droplets float in the air molecules.
Even though we don’t see them, water molecules are in the air all around us. These airborne water molecules are called water vapor. When the molecules are bouncing around in the atmosphere, they don’t normally stick together.
Clouds on Earth form when warm air rises and its pressure is reduced. The air expands and cools, and clouds form as the temperature drops below the dew point. In other words, cold air cannot hold as much water vapor as warm air. Invisible particles in the air in the form of pollution, smoke,
DNA is the building block of all living creatures, plants and animals. It is found in the cells of animals and determines the genetics or make up of every individual organism. DNA is also present in the whole foods we eat.
Thanks to the special characteristics of strawberries, it is possible to extract, isolate and observe the DNA. You don’t have to be a geneticist. You don’t even need a microscope. All that is needed are some household materials.
The long thick fibers pulled out of the extraction solution are strands of strawberry DNA. DNA is present in every cell of all plants and animals and determines the genetics of the individual organisms.