Shaken Butter

In chemistry, the term physical change implies that a substance is changing form, like when water freezes to form ice. The water has not changed its identity, only its appearance from a liquid to a solid. Physical processes like shaking, hitting or even chewing can help things change their form. For example, when we chew our food, chewing (a physical process) helps us to make food easier to swallow by making it into a liquid. In this activity students will use shaking (a physical process) to transform a liquid (heavy whipping cream) into a solid.

In this activity, students will observe how physical processes like shaking can cause things to change.  Materials:

Small glass jar with lid (baby food jars are the best)

Heavy whipping cream

Instructions: 1. Fill each jar about three-quarters of the way full.

2. Tightly seal each jar with its lid.

3. Shake the jar for 10-15 minutes or until the whipping cream has solidified.

 How It Works:  When the jar is shaken the particles are forced close together. A few particles clump together and soon, with all the shaking more and more particles clump together until most of are in a solid.

Discussion Questions to Ask:  What did we add into the jar?

  • What did we do to change the heavy whipping cream?
  • When was the whipping cream a liquid?
  • When was the whipping cream a solid?

Did you know that cooking is a chemical and a physical process? Exploring other food processes like making cheese, baking bread, even making a cake are easy ways to introduce the concept of physical and chemical changes. Chemistry is not just only in the lab or taught during science class. It is important to help young students recognize chemistry concepts inside and outside of the classroom. For more information on how to teach young students about chemical and physical change, visit:

For some of our Fun Learning Science games such as How to Become a Teenage Genius by playing Our Learning Brain, you can visit here:


Teaching Acids: Shine Your Pennies with Lemon!

Ever had a lemon? Or anything sour? Then you have eaten an acid. Acids can be harmful like battery acid, but most acids are safe to eat like lemons, limes, and vinegar. In this activity students will explore how the properties of acids can be used to help clean objects. When acids are mixed with other compounds like salt, they form special molecules called ions. These ions are able to react with other compound nearby and have chemical reactions that can be used to change other substances, or in this case, clean the penny.

In this experiment students will experiment with the properties of an acid. 


Measuring cup (1/2 cup)


Pennies (dirty and old pennies work best)

Lemon Juice and salt

Taco Sauce


  1. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of lemon juice with a tablespoon of salt.
  2. Take a small amount of taco sauce and begin rubbing the pennies with it. (Use your hands, the more you scrub the better!)
  3. Periodically dip the penny in the lemon juice and salt mixture to help clean the penny even more.
  4. Scrub the penny for about 5-10 minutes until the pennies are nice and shiny.

How It Works: The taco sauce has vinegar and salt in it, which when combined form a super cleaning mixture. When salt is dissolved in vinegar it breaks into two ions (or charged particles), sodium and chloride. These ions are able to then mix with the copper oxide (a.k.a. rust) on the penny and dissolve the rust, leaving the penny shiny like new. The lemon juice and salt mixture does the same, with the salt dissolving in the lemon juice to form the cleaning machines, sodium and chloride.

When teaching Chemistry concepts, it is best to do hands-on activities. There are great vocabulary words that can be reinforced during Chemistry-related activities, like liquid, solid, acid, base, even words like chemical change, and physical change. There are lots of Chemistry topics around us everyday from how we cook foods to how our bodies breakdown the food we eat. For more useful teaching techniques related to acids and to everyday chemistry, you can visit:   or

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, we invite you to visit here:

What makes Blue plant Oils Blue?

Answer:  Azulene 

Have a look in your schoolyard and backyards, and see if you can find the Wild Flowers, Stones and/or Marine Life that contain Azulene (the chemical compound that would make them blue). Azulene is an organic compound, an isomer of naphthalene. Even though naphthalene itself has no color, azulene is dark blue, hence the dark color Blue in the essential oils of Yarrow, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, Cypress and Black Spruce.  It is not surprising that the Spanish word for Blue is Azul.  The mushroom Lactarius indigo is blue because of a derivative of azulene.  Azulene is also found in some marine invertebrates, and in Lapis Lazuli stones found in Middle Eastern Persia.

The compound azulene has a long history, dating back to the 15th century as the azure-blue chromophore was first obtained through steam distillation of the German Chamomile flower.  This azure-blue chromophore was later discovered in Wild Yarrow flowers and named in 1863 by Septimus Piesse.  Its structure was first reported by Lavoslav Ruzicka in1937. With anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties, it is often in skincare products.

Even though Wild Yarrow flowers, Achillea millefolium, grow in colors of bright yellow, white, pink, orange, salmon and purple, the oil of the Yarrow flower is azure blue.  Blue Yarrow oil is what is termed as volatile as it has “proazulenes”, making it blue.

Yarrow oil is both a sweet and spicy smell, and is watery in its constitution.  Yarrow is Sacred, Holy, Healing and Spiritually Protective for many First Nations Peoples.  Thank you Mother Earth for these healing flowers, stones and marine life – and for Azulene and the color Blue!

Blue Tansy essential oil also is a vivid deep blue color due to its azulene content.  It is wildccrafted from common wildflowers grown in Morroco and North Africa from thee daisy family.  The Latin name is Tanacetum Annuum.  Health benefits include natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.  Herbalist Peter Holmes says it as also a “qi” or energy regulator for the body.





White Buffalo, a Most Interesting Mammal

White Buffalo are extremely rare, and are actually named American Bison (American buffalo).  Different from brown or water buffalo, The White Buffalo is considered to be a sacred sign for Native Americans, and thus have Great Spiritual importance for Prayer and Sacred Ceremony.  Buffalos are normally brown in color; white buffalo come out of their Mother white due to different scientific possibilities, though for some Native American Peoples, it is not scientific at all, but rather a Sacred Sign from The Creator.

  • Their eyes may be blue, unlike albinos, and have white fur, meaning, they are leucistic;
  • Some rare genetic conditions cause the calf to be born white, though turn brown within a year or two.
  • If they are albino, they will be without pigment color throughout their lives, just like albinp people.
  • Sometimes farmers have crossbred cattle with bison, and the cross-genetics of white cattle is what causes the white fur to result.

The National Bison Association estimates the occurrence of White Buffalo being born is one out of every 10 million births.

This white calf was born in Janesville, Wisconsin on The Heider Farm, and was  named Miracle, the first one born since 1933.  She lived to be 10 years old and during her life, had several calves.

The Sacred Lakota People have within their family who is known as The White Buffalo Calf Woman or Pte Ska Win.  She is a Sacred Woman from Pure Spirit origin, who equals The Female Messiah / Shekinah.  In Lakota Spirituality, it is She who brought forth their Peoples’ Seven Sacred Rites.

This link is a photo of a Most Gorgeous Sculpture depicting The White Buffalo Calf Woman with Her Calf.  Sculpted by Artists Lee Leuning & Sherri Treeby, this piece was the winning sculpting in 2009 for the Avero organization:

Other Buffalo Facts:

Female African Buffalo, in particular, are notable for their apparent altruism. Female buffalo express a sort of shuffling behavior –  in which during resting time, the females stand up, shuffle around, and sit back down again. They then sit in the direction they think that they should move, and after an hour of further shuffling, the females move to travel in the direction they finally decide on. This decision is communal and not based on hierarchy or dominance.  If hunted by a predator, The Buffalo Herd huddle close together to build their strategy, as like other species, they are stronger when joined together.  Calves remain protected in the middle of the adult members. If a buffalo is under duress, the others move to rescue the other.  If the call is from a calf member, then not only the Mother comes, but the entire herd. In one recorded instance, known as the Battle at Kruger, a calf successfully survived an attack by both lions and a crocodile, after the herd intervened.

Similar to domesticated cattle, Buffalo sing a 2–4 second low pitch call that is repeated at 3-6 second intervals.  This signals the herd to move. When it is time to change direction, herd leaders sing a sound like a creaking gate. When signaling others of a place to drink water, they have an extended maaa’ call, and the call is made by usually one to a few individuals, and is made up to 20 times a minute before and during the movement to the oasis.

Females begin having kids after about 5 years old, and their pregnancies last about 11.5 months. Newborns hide in greenery for the first few weeks, while the Mom nurses now and again, before the Calf joins the main herd. The Maternal bond between Mother and Calf lasts longer than in other species, though if a new Calf is born, the bonding with the first calf ends, and the Mother keeps all other offspring out of the way to protect the newborn – The White Buffalo, a Most Interesting Mammal.

For Our Fun Learning Game about other Mammals, you can visit here!




Creating a Platylope

How about a “platy-lope” – an animal that is half platypus and half antelope?

This week, have your students create a new species, and write about and draw a picture of their animal. Have them examine the qualities of different species, and combine them into what they think would be the most adaptable survivable animal.  It could be a “dolphi-gator” – an animal that is half dolphin and half alligator. It could be a “spid-eagle” – a half spider and half eagle. Continue reading “Creating a Platylope”

Kepler 10b: Exoplanet Discovery in Search for Earth-like Worlds

Astronomers have discovered the smallest planet outside our Solar System, and the first that is definitely rocky like Earth. In September 2010, the 4th planet of the Red Dwarf star Gliese 581, appeared to be the best known example of a possible terrestrial exoplanet orbiting near its home star.

An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet outside the Solar System.  Extrasolar planets became an object of scientific inquiry in the nineteenth century. Many astronomers supposed that they existed, but there was no way of knowing how common they were or how similar they might be to the Continue reading “Kepler 10b: Exoplanet Discovery in Search for Earth-like Worlds”

Create a Weather Chart for Your Elementary Classroom

Your grade school / elementary age children have a natural curiosity about the weather, so why not spend some time teaching them about it?  It’s especially helpful if you create an activity that is heavy in visual excitement.  One idea that fits the description:  Having the kids create their own weather chart.

To do this, you’ll collect materials that are found in the classroom or around most homes. For the background, use a regular sized piece of paper.  Although construction paper is usable, as is also something with a border, even plain white printer paper will be fine.  What will truly create the visual excitement will be the elements that you’ll put on it:  things such as small suns, snowflakes or raindrops, clouds, etc.  On each of the following steps, have the kids add the creative items.

To create the sun, on a separate piece of paper, draw a sun.  You should either use yellow construction paper for this, or if you only have the white, then make sure you color in your sun brightly with yellow marker or crayon.  Adding a smiley face inside is a cute extra touch.  Beneath the picture, write “sunny.”

Continue reading “Create a Weather Chart for Your Elementary Classroom”

Teaching Your Class About Mammals

Want a fun way to teach your elementary kids about mammals?  Here’s a plan of teaching tips that your class will find entertaining and you will know is educational.  To do this, you’ll need:

1)    several pictures of mammals

2)    index cards

3)    books or websites about mammals, and

4)    some mammal take-home sheets

Once you have the materials, start by showing your students pictures of five mammals that are quite different from each other.  For instance, a dog, rabbit, whale, kangaroo and monkey.  Inform the children that each picture is a picture Continue reading “Teaching Your Class About Mammals”

Creating an Ocean Theme in Your Elementary Classroom

When it’s time to teach your elementary kids about oceans and sea life, it’s a great idea to decorate your classroom in an ocean theme.  There are lots of ways of doing this.

Here are a few favorite ones:

Give the children a preview of the types of sea creatures that they’ll be learning about starting next week. Ask them if they have favorites. If so, write on the board each of their name and their Continue reading “Creating an Ocean Theme in Your Elementary Classroom”

Teaching Through Natural Inspiration

For learners to become lifelong learners and well-rounded happy people in society, it is important for us to work with them.  Finding innovative ways of teaching that will produce effective results is a challenge that every teacher faces in the classroom.  Integrating learning with games simply makes teaching and learning fun.  In some cases where needed, it can provide an impetus for re-stimulating a child’s natural desire to learn.This is especially important if, during anywhere in the child’s schooling, there was an overemphasis on making the grade – where making the grade became a subconsciously anxiety-driven displaced goal for recognition and appreciation. Continue reading “Teaching Through Natural Inspiration”