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Butterfly Dance

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Look at this beautiful butterfly that was just dancing outside my office window. The creature was so large, I thought it was a bird at first. Isn't nature spectacular?

I wanted to identify the type of butterfly. With the help of the Web site Gardens with Wings, I have surmised that this is a giant swallowtail. Do you think I'm right?

Back to School Science Activities

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sea ice and glaciers, back to school science activities, students and teachers

Whether it is the first day of school or the 20th, teachers are always looking for back to school science and math activities for their kids. That's where PlanetSEED comes in. Check out these free STEM activities for you to do in the classroom. 

  • Need a science ice breaker to get your kids mingling and talking together? Try Sea Ice and Glaciers. Your students can discover how melting sea ice and glaciers affect the level of the ocean (And how fun is it that this ice breaker actually involves ice?).

Bamboo: Shades of Color

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San Diego Botanic Gardens, Bamboo, Color, PlanetSEED, SEEDMy family and I visited the San Diego Botanic Gardens this past weekend. The gardens are large and have an expansive collection of bamboo. Even though I have been there many times in the past, I never took note of the many varieties of bamboo they have. Each one has a unique color, girth, and stature. Some of them are even striped.  Here are some pictures the show the beautiful diversity of this incredible plant.

Become A Kitchen Scientist!

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Chemistry, lab, kitchen, fun, science

There are many popular children's stories these days about witches and wizards, all of whom mix magical potions in their magical worlds. My son was inspired by these books and decided to try his own hand at potion making this weekend. He and a friend mixed everything they could get their hands on into a few bottles -- water, chocolate syrup, an entire jar of Cholula hot sauce, mayonaise, multi-colored sugar, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice -- and then froze their concoctions in the freezer. Here's a picture of the result. Looks yummy, doesn't it? 

Your Safety is in Your Hands

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mechanical bull, wikimedia commons

My company is big on safety. All employees take lessons and are tested on things like road safety, fire safety, office safety, and more. It keeps us safe on and off the job.

One of the safety videos I remember from many years back was on personal health and safety. I.e., keeping our own selves safe in common places, like the office. The video was graphic. It showed how a simple personal artifact (a wedding ring) could do a lot of damage to a person's finger and hand if it gets caught in a drawer. Necklaces, watches, earrings, and any type of jewelry can be hazardous in certain environments, like in a construction zone or oil rig. The video didn't say you should never wear any type of jewelry. But it did remind us to be aware of ourselves and our situations, and that in certain environments jewelry should not be worn.

Child's Play

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Legos, Fun, Play, Learning, SEED, PlanetSEEDEvery Wednesday is Lego day in our house. After school, homework, and naps are done, my kids and I walk to our local library to take part in Lego Club. It's a simple concept: kids + Legos = fun.  There's nothing more to it than that.

June Gloom

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Gloom, June, San DiegoI am a native San Diegan, and I have lived here for all but 12 years of my life. Given that this city is considered to have the best weather on the planet, I have become spoiled for warm sunny days almost all year long.

Except in June.

Summertime Science Fun: 5 Learning Activities

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Is it liquid or solid? non-neutonian liquid, science activities for kids, free, seed, planetseedIt's been a while since my days in school, but I still remember the feelings that emerged when summer vacation approached. Waiting for that final bell to ring on the last day of school produced so much excitement and fervor that I could hardly sit still.  Finally, school was out and summer was here. It was the greatest time of my life... for two whole days! And then I was bored. 
 
Now I am a mom and I can see the same excitement and ancitipation in my kindergartener son's eyes as he awaits his first summer vacation ever. Once the excitement and novetly of the break wears off, what are we going to do? We will do:

SCIENCE!

What can we do on World Malaria Day?

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CDC, MosquitoA few years ago I visited India, a country where malaria is regularly found. This disease sickens more than 200 million people each year, 80% of them children. It was the first time I had thought seriously about my health and considered the risk I was taking by potentially coming into contact with malaria. Given the preventative drug options given to me by my doctor, I felt comfortable taking my trip.

 

Listen to your body!

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Last weekend I came down with a nasty stomach virus.  It started with a headache that came and went several times for two days. Then I felt my body get weaker and weaker. Soon my head was spinning, my stomach ached, and I couldn't even stand up.  Instead of fighting through it to accomplish my neverending list of tasks, I decided to lie down on the couch. Within an hour I was much worse and was forced to abandon any social plans and get into bed.