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Halloween is a favorite holiday of many science teachers. I would like to create a memorable Halloween Science Day at my school. I would love to hear Halloween ideas from all of you Mad Scientist out there. What are your favorite activities to make Halloween spooktacular?
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anything with dry ice that you can get from an ice cream store --be careful with it since it can burn - always handle it with tongs
A large chunk in a small insulated chest survives for the day.
Great questions about change of state/ latet heat/ temperature change/ etc.
Let's check for some dry ice demos on the web and in the LC
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I got this with my first hit via Google
Awesome Dry Ice Experiments
Oozing, bubbling, fog making, eye-catching science for Halloween.
the same site had some additional 'goulish' things
Click on the links below for more Halloween Science fun!
See the Exploding Pumpkin Halloween Science Video
Make a Halloween Science Dry Ice Crystal Bubble
AirZooka Ghost Blaster
The key words 'inquiry for Halloween' returned these two gems from the Learning Center...attached below --one is a chapter from a book and the other a journal article...sounds like fun
also how about mixing various candies together --find the mass of the Halloween element -- have a small baggie of Halloween corn and a small baggie of 'Halloween pumpkins (all candy of course) -- students may mass each bag and determine the average mass for each unit and then predict the molar mass of the mixed bag of corn and pumpkins (of course the elements are radioactive and have to be disposed of properly :}
Science Shorts: Gourd-ous Decomposition (Journal Article)
Halloween Science (Book Chapter)
I think Halloween is a great chance to spark kid’s interest in Science. It is another great opportunity to get kids excited to come to school and look forward to a variety of educational theme activities. I found this one website that includes a variety of fun activities. Take for example, turning water into blood which can inform kids of ph indicators.
Tried and True: The Halloween Lab (Journal Article)
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We were always in the Chemistry unit during the month of October, so my colleague and I would combine our two classes on Halloween and have a Halloween Chemi"ghoul" Class. We did several demonstrations to engage our students in observation. They had their science journals and pencils on hand and made observations and tried to provide explanations along the way. Some of our favorites were the Flinn "Whoosh" bottle, the Fire-breathing pumpkin, and the "Genie in the Bottle". We would decorate our room the night before and have eerie music playing in the background.
A word of caution: I mentioned this in the Science Safety First discussion thread, but since dry ice has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread - teachers need to read (and heed) the MSDS sheets for all chemicals they plan to use in a classroom. A teacher used dry ice in an Illinois high school classroom last month and one of the students is now blind in one eye! The dry ice had been placed in a plastic bottle with a little water then capped. It exploded from the pressure build up and blinded the student.
Wishing you a fun and safe Halloween!
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Check out the Halloween Science sharings in the Elementary forum, too. It is always great to take ideas and adapt them for all grades and content levels and really excites teaching science across the curriculum. The creativity in each of us emerges as we share and compare strategies for different levels.
Well, I created a Ghosts of Scientist Past project. The students had to pick a scientist to research, create a headstone, and include information from the rubric. I will attach it to this post. The rubric is built into the project. We put up black paper in the hallway with dead trees, and hung up the headstones. The students have been trying to out do each other, and I have received many wonderful projects.
Headstone_project.pdf (0.08 Mb)
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I probably should have mentioned that I teach 6th grade science.
Hi Stacy and other readers of this thread.
When I work with my pre service teachers during the fall the end of Oct beginning of Nov I will post a greeting [b]Happy Beginning of Winter
This leads to some puzzlement about why I might consider end of Oct the beginning of winter. If you follow Celtic calendars you will find that our seasons were actually celebrated during mid points or cross quarter days
Ground Hogs Day - Feb 2nd Beginning of spring
May Day May 1st -Beginning of summer
Lammas Day August 2nd - Beginning of fall
Halloween ( Old Souls Day) Oct 31st - Early Nov - Beginning of winter
This really follow the sensing of when there are changes in the seasons. These are the midpoints between the equinox and soltices.
For me I really think of Nov and Dec as the deep, dark times of the year culminating around or about Dec 21st when the longest night happens and then we start to have an increase of hours of daylight as we head to , well , the first day of spring Feb 2nd : )
Look what Phil Pratt says about our seasons
http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/badseasons.html'' target="_blank">http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/badseasons.html' target="_blank">http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/badseasons.html
Here are some traditions from the Farmer's Almanac
http://www.almanac.com/content/quarter-days-and-cross-quarter-days'' target="_blank">http://www.almanac.com/content/quarter-days-and-cross-quarter-days' target="_blank">http://www.almanac.com/content/quarter-days-and-cross-quarter-days
Okay, you all know A Midsummer Night's Dream play written by William Shakespeare? It takes place in mid June..........
Anyone else think teaching about cross quarter days is a good idea?
My best, Arlene JL
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
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Stacy, I loved your Headstone project. Thanks for sharing. (I hope the students don't put a "died on" date on the scientists still living! Is that one way you can check to see if they did their research? You should write this up as an article in one of the NSTA journals!
What a fun topic. Steve Spangler always provides me with hours of amusement and my students love it as well. Several years ago Steve actually put out a DVD, Halloween Science Secrets. For some of us, it is impossible to purchase enough supplies or district office rules have made it difficult to have peroxide or dry ice in our room, taking away some of our fun. I have used the DVD to show my middle school students during Halloween week. Granted, it’s not as much fun as hands-on.
On the video Steve models:
Erupting Smoke Bubbles
Dry Ice Mysteries
Dry Ice Halloween
Exploding pumpkins – my definite favorite
If you go onto stevespangler.com, many of the videos are available for you to show from the website. If you go to Youtube.com, http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=steve+spangler+halloween+science+experiments&aq=f you will find quite a few of the Halloween Science videos. I used a keyword search of Steve Spangler Halloween science experiments to find these videos. If you do a keyword search of Steve Spangler Science experiments, you get another set of videos that is useful throughout the year. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=steve+spangler+science+experiments&aq=1&oq=steve+spangler many of the videos are available through this format as well.
My all time favorite is The Incredible Can Crusher, http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/experiment/00000043 . I love to tell a particularly scary story I generally make up as I go that usually ends with the invisible force/ghost/ghoul or goblin mysteriously crushing the can which of course coincides with my turning the can over into the ice water. Always a fan favorite.
I appreciate Carolyn’s reminder about the safety aspect of these particular activities. Sometimes in the moment we forget we are not invincible and accidents happen.
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I love the fall time and especially Halloween to use dry ice! I use Boo Bubbles (Steve Spangler) that has been mentioned above. I know someone mentioned that dry ice is not allowed in some classes, I am wondering if a fog machine could be supplemented for some of the activities. Has that been tried? In the pass I have set up different stations for students to work on scientific method skills (quanitative/qualitative observations, inferences, predictions). You can make fake eyeballs (I have made deviled eggs and used food coloring etc...) and other parts of the body, fake blood, set up a crime scene and also do some bone forensics!
Keep the great ideas coming, I can't wait to discover more
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With Halloween being on a Monday, I figured I would spend the day doing some spooktacular experiments. I will definitely use some of these ideas. Does anyone have any ideas on how to do a candy volcano?
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Will ice cream stores easily sell you the dry ice? Is it expensive?
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Thanks Carolyn! My students have had a great time creating their headstones. Yes, I did check for correct information. We covered the hallways with black paper, made trees, and a moon that welcomes students. The students are so excited we really didn't have an issue with incomplete projects.
I also love your headstones project! Very fun. There was an article in this past month's science scope with a halloween lab. Check out Tried and True: The Halloween Lab.
Another one I stumbled upon is Tried and True: Spooky Suspects.
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A warning on fog machines, they set off fire alarms really quickly. Our PE department used one in Health one day and the smoke just came pouring out of the door, right along with kids hacking and coughing. I guess they forgot to read about the need for adequate ventilation.
Deborah, as for purchasing dry ice, many grocery stores have a freezer with it, you only need to ask. It’s generally not out where the public can get to it and is sold by the pound.
Oh my, Halloween is almost here! Does anyone wear a costume anymore? Our staff loved to dress up on this one day of the year. Sometimes teams would have themes. We would invite the students to wear a particular color to highlight our team's 'spirit' for the day.
Alyce, I saw Steve Spangler demonstrate his 'Crystal Bubble'. Very cool use of the dry ice.
(Remember: Drive Science Home Safely!)
How about fake blood you can eat?
These seem to be lots of fun especially on Halloween.
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Happy Halloween, Everyone! Here are some cutesy Halloween Songs for today.
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