’Twas the Night Before Christmas: Chemistry Style

santa‘Twas the night before Christmas,
The lab was quite still;
Not a Bunsen was burning
(Nor had they the will).
The test tubes were placed
In their racks with great care,
In hopes Father Chemistry
Soon would be there.

The students were sleeping
So sound in their dorms,
All dreaming of fluids
And Crystalline forms.
Lab-Aids in their aprons
And I in my smock.

When outside the lab
There arose such a roar
I leaped from my stool
And fell flat on the floor.
Out to the fire escape
All of us flew.
What was the commotion?
Not one of us knew.

The flood-lights shone out
O’re the campus so bright
It looked like old Stockholm
On Nobel Prize Night.
My fume-blinded eyes
Then viewed (dare I say?)
Eight anions pulling
A water-trough sleigh.

And holding the bonds
Tied to each one of them
Was a figure I knew
As our own Papa Chem.
With speeds in excess
Of most X-rays they came.
As they Dopplered along
He called each one by name.

“Now Nitrite, now Phosphate,
Now Borate, now Chloride
On Citrate, on Bromate,
On Sulfite and Oxide.

Forget what you know
Of that randomness stuff,
Let’s go straight to that roof,
If you’ve quanta enough.”

As fluids Bernoullian
Behave in a pinch,
Those ions said “Alchemist
This is a cinch.”
So up to the lab-roof
Those “chargers” they sped
With Pop Chemistry safe
In his water-trough sled.

Just a microsec later
Electroscopes showed
Charged particles coming
To our lab abode
We raced back inside,
And what d’ya think?
Down the fume-hood Pop Chem fell,
Right into the sink.

He was dressed in a lab-coat,
Quite ragged and old,
With removable buttons
(The style, we’re told)
A tray-full of beakers
He clutched to his heart —
And under his arm
Was an orbital chart.

His eyes through his goggles
I just couldn’t see
His hands were all yellow
From H-N-O-3.
His head was quite bald
With a fringe all around
Like a ring test for iron,
That same shade of brown.

He puffed a cigar
With a smell not at all
Unlike the organic lab
Right down the hall.
The smoke billowed forth
From his angular face
And with Brownian Movement
Enveloped the place.

He was thin as a match
And not terribly tall.
He wasn’t the type
I’d expected at all
But a look at his clothes,
In the lab’s harsh white light,
With their acid-burn holes —
He’s a chemist all right!

He didn’t say much
(He had no time to kill)
And filled all the test tubes
With nary a spill.
Then placing them back
On the benches with care
He dashed to the fume-hood
And rose through the air.

He called to his team
And his ions took off
And kinetics took care
Of Pop Chem and his trough,
But I heard him cry out
As he flew down the street
“Merry Holidays to all!
May your stockrooms stay neat!”

Chemistry tools

Source: Various web sources; original source unknown.

Musical Straw – Steve Spangler

So, you’re waiting for your dinner to arrive and you’re bored out of your mind. There’s nothing to read… the conversation is slim to none… and you’ve already counted all of the sugar packets. Hmmm? There’s a straw… and straws are interesting. Is there anything you can do with a straw to “be amazing?” Keep reading – in a matter of minutes you’ll have the entire restaurant upset by your science antics.

Click here to the full experiment at Steve’s website

How One Little Girl Changed the Publisher’s Mind About Bug Books

She was excited to start reading her Giant Monster Book, until she read this one sentence.

Little Parker is officially my newest and youngest feminist hero, and all because of a book about bugs. Check out the video below to see why she wouldn’t let this publisher off the hook.

Not only is Parker one impressive little girl, but she’s on to something! Who says girls can’t like bugs, pirates, monsters, or trucks? And on that same note, it’s totally OK if a little boy doesn’t want to read about “boy” things. Children’s books shouldn’t be exclusively for boys or exclusively for girls — they should be for everyone! Let’s agree that kids should be who they are without their books and toys dictating what they should and shouldn’t enjoy.

Build a wild space for monarchs with your classroom!

Butterfly

Canadian Wildlife Federation

Here at the Canadian Wildlife Federation, we aim to inspire kids to connect with wildlife and habitat. This is why we are excited to share our new WILD Spaces program with you! This curriculum linked education program is designed to engage and inspire kids (mainly grades four through eight) to create or maintain important wildlife habitat with their classroom or group, and share the process.Our debut theme for the program is monarch butterflies. Their plunging populations need our help and fast. Your students will do just that as you gently guide them through our WILD Spaces for Monarchs program.Through this program, your class or group will use the latest online learning tools to work through our units about the lives of monarch butterflies, then apply their new knowledge to accompanying quizzes and activities.

After they complete the first few units, they’ll be ready to move outside and get their hands dirty creating a beautiful monarch garden (with your help). We will ask students to share pictures and stories about their wild space — to inspire others, contribute to citizen science and show the world they care.

Your students will learn how simple and fun it is to make a difference for wildlife and habitat in Canada. And they will have the chance to win some neat prizes for outstanding participation!

We hope you will consider taking part in the WILD Spaces for Monarchs program with your students.

Please forward this to any educators or youth leaders who might like to participate.

Click here to learn more and sign-up.

http://cwf-fcf.org/en/explore-our-work/education/

Van Gogh, the Scientist

The starry night

I’m not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were “Van Gogh was a mad genius,” I would not be sharing this with you.

But I found this and I thought, “Oh, what a vaguely interesting thing.” And then I got to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, and, let me tell you: Mind. Blown.

Van Gogh was a pretty cool artist (duh), but as it turns out…

HE WAS ALSO A SCIENTIST!

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