Summer is the perfect time to do science. Some people do it more traditionally, in an educational or work setting, while others take a more casual approach to it, packing science books to read on vacation, turning their kitchen into a laboratory, or spending time exploring the world around them. Science NetLinks invites all of you to share your #SummerScience with us and others.
We know some of you are doing science formally this summer. Are you doing experiments in your kitchen or backyard? Studying microbes in a lab? Enrolled in a science-themed camp? Completing an internship? Reading science-themed books? Working on a degree? Testing materials to use in the classroom once school's back in session? We'd love to hear about how you're incorporating science into these summer months.
Some of you, though, are probably thinking, "I'm not doing science this summer! I haven't looked at a textbook or performed an experiment since school ended!" But Science NetLinks bets science has snuck into your life in other ways, and you're having so much fun you haven't even noticed! Are you growing plants in a garden? That's science! Cataloguing seashells you picked up on a walk at the beach? That's science, too! Competing in robot combat competitions? Stargazing? Building an app? Working out how to get more air in your skateboarding jumps or gymnastics tumbles? Studying the fireflies you catch in a jar to figure out why they glow and then returning them to the wild? All definitely science! Summer is a great time to incorporate informal science into your life and to make it fun for those who might not be as enthusiastic about classroom science learning.
We'd love to see how you or your kids are incorporating science into your summer plans. Share videos or photos or just post a status update on social media telling us what you're doing. Include the hashtag #SummerScience and tag Science NetLinks (by adding our username) on Facebook or Twitter to let us know what your science projects are this summer.
We've reached the mid-point of many summer breaks, when you've recovered from the end of one school year and before you have to ramp back up for the next one. However, it's also the time when kids are most at risk for "brain drain," when they start forgetting what they learned the previous year. It's not too late to remedy that problem: Kids' brains, just like their bodies, need regular exercise to stay in shape. In honor of Summer Learning Day on June 14 and through the summer days ahead, we hope you'll add some science into the mix to help #keepkidslearning.
If you're still coming up empty on summer science, we've got recommendations for you! Here on the blog we've already offered suggestions for sky watching and getting involved with the maker movement this summer.
Do you like to read or do your kids have to complete a certain number of books or minutes during summer break? Our Spotlight on Science Writers series gives you some insight into some recent science books, including Pascal Lee's Mission: Mars, Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore's Parrots over Puerto Rico, Kevin Fong's Extreme Medicine, and Melissa Caughey's A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens. Are you traveling this summer? SB&F offered suggestions for books to read in conjunction with a trip to the seashore or national parks this summer.
Do you want your kids to be outdoors looking at plants or animals? The Project Noah, Project Budburst, and iNaturalist apps are like mobile field guides and will let users submit their own photos of unknown plants or animals to the community for help with identification. Leafsnap will help you identify types of trees based on their leaves, flowers, buds, or fruit. Using AAAS's app, Active Explorer, you can design and/or complete quests that involve the processes of data collection, research, and presenting findings. You can then take all the data you've collected using the app and design slide presentations, science posters, comic strips, and ebooks. You could even run a BioBlitz in your backyard or a local park.
Do you want to do fun experiments at home? Scroll to the bottom of this page to find hands-on activities that involve soap bubbles, magnets, eggs, and other materials you might find around the house. We also have resources for building your own geyser, making mobiles, and more. VideoScience App, Wonderville, The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science, and Ology all offer additional suggestions.
If you do any of these things, we hope you'll share your #summerscience fun with us!