This is one of my favorite sites. They have everything from technology to cooking, and I’d like to show you a few of the possibilities they offer. This is their home page: https://www.instructables.com/
Look at the top left of the black bar. You’ll find buttons for Circuits, Workshop, Craft, Cooking, Living, Outside, and Teachers. I have an account with Instructables so they’re always sending me newsletters that are full of ideas, and that’s where I found this recipe, from an old email.
Part 1 – French Toast Skewers You can search for this recipe on the home page. It’s from ElisesEats and the cooking section. It must have been part of an Instructable contest. It didn’t win, but it was a runner up. Elise put together directions and a video to show you how to make it.
Here’s her link: https://www.instructables.com/id/French-Toast-Skewers/
You can make it Elise’s way, or take your own shortcuts if you know how to make French Toast. Elise used really thick bread, but you could use whatever you have. Pick your favorite fruits. Elise used strawberries, kiwi, bananas, and blueberries, but I love making it my way.
I’d cut the fruit first. Then I’d make the French toast. Elise sliced it before cooking, but you could do it later. Then let your family and friends have fun putting together their own personal skewers. Give them a little syrup, and you’re ready to eat! YUM!
Part 2 – Artist’s Popsicle Stick Puzzle I searched through my Instructable emails for a craft project and found this one from littlebadwren. It looks easy, and you probably have most of the materials at home already.
You’ll need popsicle sticks, painters’ tape (green or blue), scissors, ruler, pencil, paint brushes, and any brand/color of acrylic paint.
Here’s her link: https://www.instructables.com/id/Artists-Popsicle-Stick-Puzzle/
Littlebadwren has 6 designs, or you can make your own. If you want something simple, try the cat. Then add in a bunch of leaves. That’s what Little did. I also like the girl (below) and the butterfly (from her page). You can copy her backgrounds, or try your own.
1. Tape the edges to hold your puzzle together. Allow ¼ inch edges.
2. Trace or sketch your design. Then paint.
3. When the paint’s dry, gently bend each stick. Your puzzle will crack apart. Then pull off the tape.
PS – For extra fun, paint a 2nd puzzle on the back before you pull it apart.
Part 3 – The Science of Color
I have two experiments for you tonight. Both of them are simple. You only need a couple of supplies. My kind of science!
The first is called M&M SCIENCE – CRAZY SCIENCE (RAINBOW). You can find it in the LIVING section of Instructables under LIFE HACKS. Its author is MORENA DIY.
I bet you can guess what you need for this experiment – a glass of water, a bag of M&M’s, and a plate.
The directions – lay the M&M’s around the plate in a circle. You can use any pattern you’d like. Tell your child you’ll be pouring water over them. Then ask him/her what will happen. Even if they’re wrong, predictions are a powerful part of science.
Now – pour that water over those M&M’s and watch what happens. When you’re done, talk about your prediction and the results. If you want to have fun, and I always did with my 2nd graders, ask them what will happen if you run a stick through the colors. Then, do it! Check your prediction against the results. I think this is where scientists are born!
PS – if you want to extend the experiment, ask another question – what would happen if you changed your pattern? Then let them try it. There are an infinite number of ways to arrange the M&M’s, but be careful! You don’t want to get them all wet. Save some to eat!
Morena’s link - https://www.instructables.com/id/MMs-Science-Crazy-Science-Rainbow
This is the 2nd experiment. It’s called AMAZING SCIENCE, and you’ll find it in the Instructables LIVING section under life hacks. Its author is rexbairy1.
This photo is actually the end result. This is the only image I could find. Rex has a video for the experiment. I’d watch it before working with kids. I love how easy peasy it is, yet fascinating.
The Supplies – 3 clear cups, 2 pieces of paper towel, and food coloring.
The cups are in a row like the photo. Fold a paper towel and put it between the 1st and 2nd cup. Put another paper towel between the 2nd and 3rd.
Then add water and food coloring to the 1st and 3rd cups. Any color will do. In this image, they used red and yellow. The 2nd cup will remain empty, at least at the beginning.
What I found fascinating with the results is that the water rose to the same level in all 3 cups. I wasn’t surprised by combining colors. When you put red and yellow together, you will always get orange. If you want to keep the experiment going, try other colors to see what happens when you combine them.
PS – if you can explain why the cups are always at the same level, I’d love to read it. I’m fascinated with the magic of science! If no one emails, I’ll ask Rex. You can too, somewhere on his page.
Rex’s link: https://www.instructables.com/id/Amazing-Science/
Part I – The Beginning of a Story - The Problem
I found this story when I was watching local news, channel 6 WAITE in Knoxville. The story – how Coca-Cola is fighting Covid-19. Coke! I was hooked!
All stories start with a problem, and this one was global – a shortage of test tubes for Covid-19 testing. How could test tubes ever be a world-wide problem?
These tubes are special. They start life as plastic preforms, small plastic tubes that are heated and blown into shape. But there’s more . . . They can’t leak. They have to be large enough to hold any size swab, and millions must be made every week. It’s a BIG problem!
Part 2 – The Middle – Step 1
This could be a set of Covid-19 tests. Do you see the swab and the vial? Back in May there were not enough test kits around, and something had to be done.
The US Department of Health and Human Services reached out to the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL), which is near Knoxville, Tennessee. They talked to Lonnie Love, the lead coronavirus scientist, about options.
Step 2 Lonnie knew the people at Coke, and talked to them about what they needed. They decided the preform from Coke looked like a perfect match for the testing kit.
Step 3 Lonnie and ORNL asked Coke for preform samples, like that first tube. They worked together to decide if the preform test tubes could be used in the kits.
Look above at the kits again. Those packages include the swab, saline solution, and the test tube. The tubes have to be big enough for the swabs to fit inside, and the cap has to seal on top. Coke’s do!
Coke preforms have a screw-top lid that’s tamper-proof, and it seals so there won’t be any leaks.
Step 4 Lonnie’s team checked out the preforms first. Then they picked Longhorn Vaccines-Diagnostics in San Antonio, Texas to do more testing.
Lonnie wanted Longhorn to double check to make sure the preform met all their requirements. They’re one of the five companies that make covid-19 tests.
Step 5 Within 24 hours, Lonnie got a call from Longhorn. They said, “Coke is it!”
Step 6 Lonnie’s team did another set of tests to make sure the preforms were leak proof. They also made sure bacteria couldn’t grow inside. How? They either heated them to a high temperature, or cleaned them in an ethanol solution. Ethanol is a grain alcohol.
Step 7 Lonnie also reached out to Sandia National Laboratories to work on sterilizing the preforms. It has to be done before they can be used in testing kits.
Sandia uses Gamma Irradiation for sterilization. It’s the best way to safely and economically sterilize huge amounts of medical equipment. Randy Schunk led the Sandia engineering team. Their job – to figure out the right amount of gamma rays. Enough to sterilize the tubes, but not so much that it damaged the preforms, their caps, and their contents. Then they’d be useless.
Look at the Y line. It shows how gamma radiation works. The waves can travel through paper and aluminum, but only a third of them can make it through lead or concrete.
STEP 8 Sandia’s job is to figure out the right amount of gamma radiation to clean the preforms but not damage them. They’ll share their results with the other companies around the country who sterilize the coke preforms.
Part 3 – The End – Step 9
On June 1, Coca-Cola announced this incredible story. Their Southeastern Container Company (SEC) from North Carolina had already produced 7 million tubes, in one week, for 7 million covid-19 kits.
Step 10 That was 8 weeks ago. Since then they have produced 56 million tubes for covid-19 kits.
Thanks to Coke, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Oak Ridge, Longhorn, and Sandia working together, 56 million people have been able to find out whether they’re positive or negative for covid-19. Each of these companies must feel proud of what they’ve done for their family, friends, communities, and country, and I’m proud of them. I hope you are too!
My Main Source for this Post
Part 1 – This was me at the Mazza Museum on March 1st. It was a lovely day. Crowds enjoyed what this museum had to offer. It was their last open house before the Coronavirus shut everything down.
Mazza isn’t an ordinary museum. It’s extraordinary! It’s a museum just for picture book illustrations. I am not, nor will I ever illustrate them so I was thrilled to be invited to share NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM.
I brought my wind tunnel along. These kids were kind enough to get their pictures taken. I wish I had one when the wind tunnel was in action. Those kids were so excited to see it work. It was that way with every single kid who stopped to see it in action.
Part 2 – This is my wind tunnel on the dining room table. It’s almost as long as the table is. When kids stopped for a demonstration, I had them look at the red shape first, then peek in the window.
Look in the window below, and you’ll see a model airplane. It has a stick running through it. That’s to hold the model in place. It’s anchored in a cup of sand.
The red shape is a digital scale. When kids came over, I turned it on. The scale always started at 10 units, the weight of the sand/model. Then I reset it to 0, and took the kids to the end of the tunnel.
Not the one with the fan. I took them to the opposite end. It’s open. You can look down the tunnel past the model and into those black tubes. They’re really used in golf bags. You stick your club inside to protect them.
I had them look down the tunnel, then we went back to the scale. I told them to watch its numbers as I turned on the fan.
Every single time I turned on the fan, the number dropped below 0. Sometimes it went down to -2, to -5, even to -10. Then I asked the key question – what happened? How could the plane weigh less after I turned on the fan? The weight of the plane and sand never changed.
Part 3 – The answer in one word – LIFT! Did you figure it out? A first-grader did. He said, “The wind lifted the plane.” He saw it and explained it in simple clear words.
Here’s mine. It’s a little more complicated – when the plane lifted up, it shifted its weight up too, so the scale went down. It was an example of Newton’s law of motion in action – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The plane goes up, and the scale goes down. Simple physics!
I think Neil would have loved seeing another wind tunnel in action. I hope I learned enough from researching Neil and wind tunnels to do a good job answering that first grader in March, and to write about it tonight. Wouldn’t it be lovely if that first grader, or a blog reader, wound up working in the space program? What a lovely dream!
Part 4 – The Mazza set up. I came in and got my station ready first. Then I took a walk around the building to see what the museum was going to offer its guests. There was an amazing range of activities,
I couldn’t leave my station, but I saw so many kids and their parents around me having a wonderful day, thanks to the Mazza volunteers.
This activity came from The University of Findlay College of Sciences. They took up half the room beside me with table after table set up like these two. Whenever I peeked over, I saw families engaged in science experiments. My only regret – I didn’t get to ask or try out their activities. I was curious before the kids got there, and I was still curious after they left.
This is a Rainy Day Craft, thanks to the University of Findlay Japanese Student. It’s so simple and cute. I think I could make it at home. I bet you could too!
This was one of the most popular places to visit, Pawsible Angels Therapy Dogs. Who doesn’t love dogs, and these two were so well trained!
Yum! They had snacks too! Rain drops and ice. And books, of course!
Mazza is a Picture Book Illustration Museum.
And best of all, I’m not an illustrator, but Neil and I were welcome too!
It was a thrilling day!
Happy 4th of July...Five days early! In America we like to celebrate, but we like to celebrate on the weekend. At the lake the fireworks went off Saturday night, June 30th. It was glorious! Just look at the pictures!
The Sequoyah Marina does them every year. This is my 3rd year at the lake, but my first fireworks. Finally! Fire on the water! To music! We never found the radio station, but some sound carried across the water to us. It was OK, but the view was incredible!. First high in the sky, then reflected in the water. WOW!!!
It was getting dark when we left for the marina. It looked a lot like the 1st picture. It was 9:30, dusk. I picked the 2nd picture because it shows how the boats tied up together, or put down anchors. Just imagine the lake darker and more crowded.
The fireworks started with Taps, just Taps. I’ve never seen or heard that before, but it felt right. As the last trumpet sounded, 3 lightning bolts shot into the sky and exploded. Time for fireworks, lake-style!
When you look at the pictures above, can you tell which came first? It’s the 1st one, pure fireworks. The 2nd has a cloud of gas building and expanding midair. That happens on land too, but it feels more intense at the lake where the fireworks get hemmed in between the sky and the water. Gorgeous!
Here are 2 more pictures. You can see the bright colors, but you’ll have to imagine the sound. The booms as they went off, the thuds that echoed back. Add in pop music anthems like Born in the USA. My favorite was God Bless the USA. Would you believe people across the lake started singing along? On key!
Sorry, I don’t have a picture of my favorite fireworks. Imagine a series of waterfalls flowing from the sky into the lake. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Ever! It was incredible!
When the fireworks ended, there was the ride home. What an experience! All these boats, with one headlight, all driving slowly. It’s nothing like a car with bright lights to help you look ahead, but least everyone was heading the same direction, at the same speed. And, we arrived home safe and sound. The boat too!
PS- Did you see this picture when I started this post? I always start with pictures, and this was originally the 2nd picture. Two days into writing and editing I discovered it had old information. How? The date was wrong. The fireworks couldn’t be on July 2nd when I was writing on July 2nd. Ouch! That’s when I pulled the picture and added a map instead. I didn’t write a word to you.
The next day I changed my mind. I decided to add this in as a postscript to show you why editing is important. I didn’t catch this error on the first 2 days, but I did on the third. Every time you read your work, you have the chance to catch your own errors. Stopping, resting, and rereading helped me catch my error, but it still took me 3 days to see it. Why am I sharing this with you? Finding your own mistakes is hard. Remember, 3 days! I hope that by showing you my mistake, it will make it easier for you to proofread repeatedly. Editing, proofreading, and repetition are your best writing tools!
When you look at a mountain, do you think volcano? Me, never! But if you lived in Guatemala, you might…The 2nd picture's an ad for a trio of volcanoes that you can hike, if you travel to Guatemala. They're known as The Central Highlands Trilogy. One is Agua (water), another’s Fuego (fire), and the third's Acatenango. Why, I don't know! You can hike all 3 volcanoes, 26 miles in 36 hours. Me, no thanks! That’s too much walking!
When you look at these volcanoes, do you wonder what stage they’re in…active, dormant, or extinct? When I look at them, I want to say dormant or extinct, and 2 of them are…but one’s active. Can you guess which one…Fuego? I’d never, ever, hike anywhere near it!
Below are 2 maps of Guatemala. It’s in Central America. That’s the land that connects North and South America. I picked the 1st map because it shows where Guatemala is, next door to Mexico. Do you see the red triangle? It’s my favorite active volcano, Fuego.
I picked the 2nd map because it shows Guatemala’s major volcanoes. Can you find the 3 we could hike together, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango? I’d be happy to use a map to find them. I might take a walk around them, but not a 36 hour hike. No thanks!
The pictures below are beautiful, but deadly. That’s because the volcano is awake. How can you tell? Steam. Mountains don’t steam...volcanoes do.
An eruption starts with magma flowing deep underground. That flow starts earthquakes that make fissures, cracks in the earth. Then the volcano spews steam, carbon dioxide, sulfur, and other poisonous gases. It’s pretty, but dangerous.
Can you see the fissures on Fuego? Magma’s lighting them up in the first picture. Ash and dust blew out in the second one. How hot is that magma? Ready, 1300-2400 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 1000 degrees hotter than boiling water. Ouch!
Fuego is literally building up steam, but not like a rain cloud. That’s a pyroclastic flow of hot gas and rock. At 450 mph you can’t outrun it, and its temperature is 1830 degrees Fahrenheit. Double ouch!
The second picture was taken at night, but that’s not fire. It’s hot magma, lava. Can you imagine being hit by a bit of lava, ash, or rock? I read about someone was struck by a piece…it burned right through their leg and broke the bone. Triple ouch!
If you are anywhere near an active volcano like Fuego, you’d want some kind of head gear to help you breath good air, not air poisoned by volcanic gases. It’ll kill you first. You’ll also find yourself surrounded by ash, like in the second picture shows. Would you want to walk across it? Me, no thanks! I see red in that picture, and it’s probably red hot lava. YIKES!!!
These 2 pictures are post-eruption. In the first nothing’s left, except a burned-up tree. Can you imagine returning home to find this? Awful! And when you return, you’re going to spend time each day sweeping away ash because you’re still under an ash advisory.
The picture below shows the ash that’s still erupting. It’s from my last source. You can check it anytime to see what’s happening with the volcano
Fuego volcano Volcanic Ash Advisory: RPRTS OF VA EM
Thu, 28 Jun 2018, 16:15
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ...more [read all]
Fuego is not the only active volcano right now. Look at the map to see what’s happening on the big island of Hawaii. It has two volcanes but only Kilauea is active. It erupted Thursday, May 17th, throwing an ash plume 30,000 feet above the island. Wow, that’s 5.68 miles above the earth. Incredible!
Volcanoes are a force of nature. They can make ash go airbourne, or create new land, like in the middle picture. I can’t believe people are actually standing on that lava cliff. I see red, and that means hot lava to me. Ouch! Magma is also beautiful! That’s why I picked the last picture.
Here’s the latest notice on Kilauea:
(BIVN) – The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has issued a new Volcanic Activity Notice that changes the current Aviation Color Code for Kīlauea from RED to ORANGE. The current Volcano Alert Level remains at WARNING.
One of my daughter’s friends, Kayla commented on this post saying, “Such a tragedy for the Guatemalans and Hawaiians. I remember hiking at the Pacaya volcano almost one year before Fuego’s eruption “ I asked if she had any pictures to share, and she sent these, taken before the eruption. I’m glad I can share them with you!
Look at those clouds! I’m glad Kayla had good air for her trip!
Look at the dirt. It looks like volcanic ash to me. And the town, I wonder how much they’ve ash swept away since last year.
1. What is the author’s purpose?
2. What is the worst thing that happened to me? Defend your answer.
3. What is something bad that happened to you, that turned out for the best?
Answers are at the end of this post.
This is what my lake house usually looks like…peaceful…quiet…heaven. But things can change quickly, and they did Saturday, November 18th, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
I was at the lake, watching the OSU/Illinois game. The Buckeyes were ahead 38-0 at halftime. The weather in both places was beautiful. Then 3rd quarter hit, and Columbus weather turned terrible. Driving rain, the kind that soaks you in 2 seconds. YUCK! I was glad to be in warm, sunny Tennessee!
But two hours later, the front and its pouring rain hit Tennessee. It was too dark to watch the storm, and the TV and internet stopped, started, then died for good. I gave up and went to bed, but before I could fall asleep, I heard a noise. I usually don’t go out in the dark, in a rainstorm, but I peeked out the door. The first 2 pictures show what I saw in the dark.
Look at that last picture again. You don’t see the chairs because they were to the left of the grill. When I looked in the dark, the deck caught the chairs and a grey strip. That strip belongs to our patio door. It could have blown anywhere, been miles away, and I would never have found it. Thank goodness for a great catch!
After I found the chairs, I started looking for the grill. It’d blown down the steps and landed by the trees. I decided I couldn’t do anything in the dark. Everything could wait till tomorrow.
Usually things look better in the morning. Not this time! Sunday morning I looked closer and took pictures for my husband. I thought the grill landed upright. Not! It was on its side, gas tank and doors knocked loose, laying off to the side.
That’s also when I looked up the path that runs beside the house. I discovered what happened to my cable and internet, and I knew that it wasn’t coming back anytime soon. Look below…you’ll see what I saw.
A huge log, I thought, was leaning on my roof. Do you see the other one on the ground? Both of them were dead trees. They were standing behind that thicket of bushes. My husband thought he’d gotten rid of all the dead trees. Not! The storm knocked these two loose. One fell harmlessly to the ground. The other hit the roof and knocked out my internet and TV. Boy, did I miss them!
Do you see the Hughes Net dish? It’s bent in two. The Direct TV dish is bent, but not as badly. I know wind is a powerful force, but it’s usually powerful somewhere else. This time it hit in my back yard when I was alone, all by myself. Can you imagine yanking those 2 tree trunks out of the ground and tossing them around like sticks? Or the power to bounce a tree around on the roof? I’m glad I didn’t see it.
This wasn’t a hurricane or tornado, just wind. Amazing! My husband wondered if we had a mini-tornado with the chairs and grill blowing one way, and the tree trunks blowing the other. Tornado, I don’t know. I didn’t hear anything except rain. No wind, no grill hitting the ground, no tree hitting the roof, and I am so glad!
After looking at my pictures, my husband decided to head south and see for himself. We cancelled our Ohio Thanksgiving. No family, no Thanksgiving turkey, no fixings. It sounds like everything went wrong, completely wrong, but it didn’t. It went right, in a completely different, and unexpected way.
Instead we had our first Thanksgiving at the lake. It was simple, grilled chicken and roasted yam slices, and we didn’t over-eat. A very good thing!
We didn’t have a feast to prepare for, or to clean up after. We did the things we love to do. I wrote and enjoyed my lake view. I’m a city girl.
My husband, country boy and project engineer, enjoyed his yard. He’s been reclaiming it from the woods for over 2 years. See the lake view? When we moved in, you couldn’t see it for all the trees. Remember the two tree trunks? He burned them in the picture above, but he was just getting warmed up, LOL
He scrounged around and found more branches and brush to burn, but they didn’t burn fast enough so he made his own blast furnace. It worked! Can you see the difference between the 2 fires? Wayne channeled his inner Bill Nye science guy/Tim Allen. He made his own blast furnace with the leaf blower. Then he pulled me outside to teach the teacher. He demonstrated how the blower,(red handle) fed in oxygen to feed the fire.
So when life goes wrong, look around and find what’s right. We did! We enjoyed Thanksgiving at the lake and time together. It’s lovely when all’s well that ends well!
When What Goes Wrong, Turns Out to be Quite Right
1. What is the author’s purpose?
My author’s purpose was to persuade you that when things go wrong, sometimes it’s for the best. .
2. What is the worst thing that happened to me? Defend your answer.
Example: The worst thing was no TV. I missed the noise of TV and watching my favorite shows.
3. What is something bad that happened to you, that turned out for the best?
Example: When I missed the bus, mom drove me to school and picked up hot chocolate for me. Yum!
1. What are 3 things you’d lose if you lived in the US Virgin Islands?
2. Name 2 groups who are helping families or schools.
3. What could you do to help children in the US Virgin Islands?
Answers are at the end of this post
Sept. 6th Irma hit the US Virgin Islands. Nine days later Maria made landfall on Sept. 22nd. Today is Oct. 20th. It’s 45 days later, and there’s still so much damage left to repair.
Can you imagine surviving Irma, then Maria, and returning home to this? That’s what happened to people who live on St. Thomas, St. Johns, St. Croix, and the minor islands that make up the US Virgin Islands. I can’t imagine living like this for a month-and-a-half with your home open to the elements. Water’s leaking or blowing inside. YUCK!
You’ve also lived with a boil-water advisory for 45 days. If you don’t have bottled water, you boil or add a few drops of bleach every time before you drink or brush your teeth. What a pain! YUCK!
October temperatures average about 86F with high heat and humidity. You’re on an island so you can go to the beach. Except, no swimming. Bacteria in the water could make you sick.
Here’s a tiny bit of good news: the water system is now 90 % restored, and there’s 4-9 days of emergency water.
With high heat and humidity, you miss air conditioning. It doesn’t work without power/electricity, which you lost 45 days ago. That means no AC, lights, running water, or toilets.
If you’re lucky, you have a generator. But it only works with a tankful of gas or diesel fuel. Gas and diesel are in short supply, like everything else. They must be shipped in, then delivered or picked up. Roads are damaged, like everything else in the US Virgin Islands.
Little by little the power’s coming back on. By Christmas 90% of the electricity will be restored. That’s still 64 days away. I hope things go faster than expected.
Worst of all, if you live on the US Virgin Islands, you might feel forgotten. People talk about Puerto Rico, and not you. But it’s not true! There are people who want to help.
Adopt a Family, USVI is one of the groups trying to help. They’re behind these packages that were delivered to the US Virgin Islands. Can you imagine how great you’d feel if one arrived on your doorstep?
Adopt a Family matches a supporter with a family in need. It’s a wonderful way to help families living without power, hospitals, or running water. Life doesn’t feel safe anymore. Sending a book or a t-shirt means the world to parents and children who’ve lived through a hurricane.
This is a picture from their Facebook page. You can also visit their website at: http://www.adoptafamilyusvi.com/. I hope you’ll check them out!
Homes got hit, and so did schools. The first picture is a pair of twins from the Lowcountry of South Carolina. These 4th grade girls spearheaded a drive in early October that brought in about 1,000 books. If my classroom was destroyed, I’d be grateful for their help.
The second picture is from adoptafamilyusvi.com. They came up with the idea to adopt a classroom. The need is still great. I just read a post today that showed a building like the one in my first picture. It read “This is not an old picture.” That post was 4 hours old.
If buildings look like this, so do schools. Some were condemned while other were severely damaged. So, Adopt A Family decided to sponsor Adopt A Classroom, USVI to help classrooms in need. I checked them out and signed up. I should hear early in November who I get to help. I can’t wait!
Here’s the basic supply list. There are so many things that I, as a retired teacher, can buy, and I get to help 1st/2nd graders. I’m so excited! I'm ready to start shopping!
There’s also an adoption form/contract. It says:
1. We’re committing to adopt (1) classroom in the USVI for three consecutive months.
2. By adopting a classroom we are committing to sending enough supplies for a classroom of 15-35 students for three consecutive months.
3. I understand Adopt A Classroom, USVI suggests we send (4) Large Flat Rate USPS priority boxes per month OR the equivalent.
4. A pen pal relationship is highly probable however we ask you to please send a return envelope and stamps.
5. I understand that our preferred adoption grade is NOT guaranteed.
6. I understand our primary resourced for questions/concerns is:
I hope you'll consider adopting either a family or a classroom. For parents, teachers, and schools, this is a great opportunity to help others, and maybe, to find a pen pal from another culture. Just think how many children you can help, when you help one classroom.
1. Adopt A Family USVI
2. Adopt A Classroom USVI
Update: The US Virgin Islands Work to Repair Hurricane Damage
1. What are 3 things you’d lose after the hurricane?
Possible answers: drinking or running water, electricity, air conditioning, toilets, swimming at the beach
2. Name 2 groups who are helping families or schools.
Adopt A Family USVI
Adopt A School USVI
3. What could you do to help children in the US Virgin Islands?
Talk to your parents or teachers. Show them this post. Decide together how you’d like to help.
These pictures are especially important to me. Some were taken by family in Texas facing Harvey . Some were taken by family after Irma hit the US Virgin Islands. I got permission before putting them on here.
Facing Down a Hurricane Questions. Answers either Harvey or Irma.
1. I was the first hurricane time-wise, and alphabetically.
2. I was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Caribbean.
3. I hung around raining for days.
4. Flooding was my worst effect.
5. I did so much damage that for the first time in 300 years, no one can live where I went over.
6. My damage is causing problems because another hurricane is coming.
See bottom for correct answers.
On Friday the 25th Hurricane Harvey made land in Corpus Christi, Texas. On Saturday he should have disappeared, but not Harvey. He was a record-setting hurricane.
The maps above and below show how he did it. Harvey kept his backside spinning over water. It fed him and kept him alive.
But when his front side made land, he slowed down. Harvey circled Houston for 5 days before leaving town Wednesday, August 30th.
Can you imagine 5 straight days of rain? Houston wants to forget. Usually it rains 50 inches a year, but Harvey did it in just 5 days.
These are from my son and daughter-in-law’s house. They don’t live on a river. That’s their street. The rain tried to come in from Saturday night till Sunday morning.
The Texas Beaches stayed up all night watching it, just in case. They put down a tarp, sandbags, and a few rocks. They jammed towels between the two entry doors. It worked! The towels were soaked, but the water stayed outside.
The rain finally stopped on Tuesday and drained away. My Texans had 6 straight days of rain. I forgot that rain arrives before the hurricane. My kids were so lucky! Towels and tarps don’t work when your neighborhood gets hit with 50 inches.
The first picture is from Sept. 1st. That’s when our Texas cousins posted a picture of their parents’ house on gofundme.com. It was just 2 days after Harvey left Houston. This was all these grandparents could see of their home. Now they’re staying with family until repairs can be done. They can’t even get inside to see what survived. Can you imagine?
The 2nd picture is from Sept.9th when they finally go inside their home. But where there are hardships, there are also blessings. Friends, church friends, and family came in and worked. They wore boots, gloves, and masks. It was the only way to work safely. A neighbor saw them and brought in food. Sometimes the worst of times bring out the best in people.
These 2 pictures were taken on the 14th. A lot was done on the inside. It’s laying outside, ready to be pitched. It can’t be saved because of mold and muck. I can’t imagine how difficult this would be. A lifetime of things to say goodbye too. It’s heartbreaking.
Now, finally, it’s time to start again, to rebuild. Thanks to gofundme and 60 generous people, our cousin’s family raised 80% of their goal. 20% to go! If you’d like to help, message me. There are also so many other families in need, in Texas and now in Florida. Charities like The Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, or your local church will ensure your contributions go to the families who need it. It’s a good feeling to know that you helped someone
After Harvey, I didn’t want to see another hurricane, but Irma covered TV like she covered the Caribbean. Her Sept. 6th headline read, ‘the most powerful hurricane in recorded history smashes into tiny Caribbean islands.’ Compare the two maps, and you’ll see why. She hovered over every island east of Puerto Rico and smashed them to bits.
Irma was a Category 5 hurricane with winds of over 185. With wind and water, she was devastating. This headline says it all, ‘for the first time in 300 years, there is no one living on the island of Barbuda.’ Imagine, no one, not a soul living in your hometown. It’s a ghost town. The pictures below show you why. St. Thomas was hit later, but Barbuda took Irma’s 2nd hit. It hurts to imagine anything worse.
These are from my cousin’s daughter. She lives on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Usually it’s paradise, but not any more. In time it will be again.
Can you imagine the power you’d need to throw a boat or a car around? A Cat 5 hurricane does it with a few blasts of wind.
Her pictures are from September 8th, when I decided to write this post. They show a small part of St. Thomas’. The island’s hospital was destroyed, its airport looked like a war zone, 80% of the island was demolished, 40,000 people were homeless, and no power for 6 – 12 months. I can’t imagine. How awful for a place that was heaven, a mere month ago.
Since the 8th, Hurricane Jose, a Cat 4 storm, threatened the island. Large scale evacuation by ferry was impossible with storm debris and sea conditions. Private charter boats pitched in to take half the 4500 residents to safety.
Jose gave the islands a break and passed to the north, but now Maria’s threatening. On Wednesday the 20th, she’s supposed to hit as a Cat 3. My cousin just wrote, “Preparing to lose everything, for the 2nd time in 2 weeks.” I hope not. For her sake and for St. Thomas’, I pray that Maria will follow Jose’s path and head north, out to sea.
Destruction like this doesn’t disappear overnight. It takes time and money to rebuild. I hope this post will give you an opportunity to look around to see how you can help. Maybe it’s a donation. Maybe a prayer. Those who faced the hurricanes will be grateful for your help.
Harvey or Irma?
1. I was the first hurricane time-wise, and alphabetically. Harvey
2. I was the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Caribbean. Irma
3. I hung around raining for days. Harvey
4. Flooding was my worst effect. Harvey
5. I did so much damage that for the first time in 300 years, no one can live where I went over. Irma
6. My damage is causing problems because another hurricane is coming. Irma
You never know who you’re going to meet at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum! This summer I ran into 2 former students. Carson was at the June space camp. He’ll be in 5th grade at Spencerville this year. Sorry, Carson, I forgot to get a picture!
Carmen’s picture is above. She’s going into 6th grade at Elida. Go Dawgs go! I love seeing my ‘old’ students, and most of all I love them remembering me! Carmen was at the museum the day I manned the Zero Gravity trainer.
When you think zero gravity, do you picture a satellite, or an astronaut in outer space? They’re both heavy! Neil’s suit weighed 188 pounds. It’d sink in water but float in outer space. The satellite is even heavier, but it floats too! Imagine that!
Would you like to experience zero gravity? It’s not cheap! Going to the moon will cost $300-600 million per person. If a few friends chip in, you’d only pay $100 million each.
Going into space is a little cheaper. In 2009 Guy Laliberte, owner of Cirque De Soleil, paid $35 million for a 12-day voyage to the international space station. Guy said it was worth every penny. Google said it’s about $10,000 per pound now to get you into space. If you weigh 100 pounds, that’s $100 million. Ouch! Time for a diet!
See the people flying? They’re taking a plane ride with Zero-G for $4,950, plus 5% tax. $5450 gets you 15 parabolic maneuvers (one is shown in the graph above). Each one will last 20-30 seconds. BTW, a parabolic maneuver is like taking a roller coaster ride in and out of the atmosphere, into outer space. If you don’t like coasters, don’t go…its nickname is ‘The Vomit Comet.’ YUCK!!
Speaking of roller coasters, how about this zero gravity ride? You can find at amusement parks like Cedar Point. Best of all, it’s cheap. Really! An all-day pass at Cedar Point is only $49. Let’s ride!
But there’s something less expensive, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum zero gravity trainer. Adults can visit for $8 a day, $4 for kids. 5 and under is free.
This is the zero gravity trainer. It works like a hover board. Carmen loved it! So did the kids from the Delaware summer program who spent the day at the museum. I was their zero gravity guide, but I felt a carnival worker. I kept the line moving so everyone got a turn, and those who loved it got seconds.
If you visit the museum, here are my your zero gravity tips…Put a foot on the outside edge of the black hoses. Get comfortable. Someone from the museum will switch on the motor (it looks and sounds like a vacuum cleaner). Voila! You will be floating on air. Only by a couple inches, but you’ll still be floating! The bars help you push and pull your way around. I wonder how real astronauts move. A swim stroke?
When the ride’s over, stay put. Someone will switch off the motor, then you wait for the board to touch down. Want to go again? Just get in line! Come and enjoy!
During the summer, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum education staff visits libraries across Ohio. They do 3-4 programs a day. In June I tagged along with Sydney to Belle Center. She set the stage by talking about the museum, astronauts, and the international space station. Some kids already knew about the mission to Mars. They were excited!
Then Sydney gave the kids a STEM challenge, to build a strong tower.
Strength would be judged by how many marbles a tower could hold before tipping over. Our 14 kids divided into 4 groups. Part of their challenge was to work together. The other part was to use prior knowledge about forces and materials, to build that tower.
Each group was given the same materials: 7 straws, 7 index cards, a pair of scissors, a roll of masking tape, ruler and 20 minutes. All towers had to be at least 11 inches high. After 15 minutes, Sydney asked if the groups needed more time. She told them even NASA engineers ask for extensions. Would you believe they all wanted more time? After 30 minutes, the groups faced the tippy tower challenge. Here are their results.
The groups watched Sydney test their towers. She added marbles till the towers tipped and the marbles spilled out. Then she asked:
1. What worked on your tower?
2. What would you change?
Sydney’s tippy tower record is 70 marbles. The Belle Center record was 68. So close!!!
If you’d like to try The Tippy Tower Challenge at home, here’s how:
1. First decide look at these designs. Is there one you want to try? How could you improve it? Maybe you can combine features.
2. Then get the materials (7 cards, 7 straws, and masking tape) and test your design.
3. Finally, report your results. You can tell your parents. You can email me. I’d love to see your results. Your parents can help you with the words and pictures.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!