All posts by Jenny Henningsen

Patents, Trademarks, and You!


Are you someone who keeps an eye out for the latest inventions?  Do you enjoy tinkering with objects to see what you can create?  Then knowing about patents and trademarks might be helpful in your future endeavors!  The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) has a website to help kids understand more about the patent and trademarking process.  Check it out here.  Try some of the activities and videos!  Leave a comment with an idea you would love to create a patent for or something interesting you learned about the patent/trademarking process.

Naming a New Spider in Australia


How amazing would it be to have a newly discovered creature named after you?!?  Well, that is exactly what happened to world renowned physicist Brian Greene.  A new type of water spider was discovered hanging out in the streams of Brisbane.  These spiders have an interest in physics just as Professor Greene does.  Click here to read the full article.

In the article, the recent discovery of Einstein’s gravitational waves is presented.  This theory has been in the works for 100 years, started by Einstein, and was just proven true through the spiraling of two black holes into each other (One 36 times the mass of the sun!).  For more information on this discovery, click here.

Ponder this:  You are being honored for your work and will have a creature named in your honor.  If you were able to choose, what creature would be at the top of your list?

Leave a comment with your reactions to the articles or what creature you would choose!


Calling all comic artists!


ART CONTEST Grades 2–6

Jeff Kinney Design-a-Character-Contest

Due Date for Entries: April 30, 2016

Ten (10) Grand-Prize Winners will receive an original illustration by Jeff Kinney and a Wimpy Kid Prize Pack.

Ten (10) Runners-Up will each receive a Wimpy Kid Prize Pack.

Draw your own comic character. Include a speech bubble with some details about your character.

All entries must include student’s name, age, and grade; and teacher’s name, school name, address, and phone number.

Send entries to:
Jeff Kinney Design-a-Character Contest
P.O. Box 714
New York, NY 10013-0714

Stumper of the Week #8


June 28, 1921

On this day in history, bridge builder Joseph Strauss submits his finished plans for the Golden Gate Bridge to city officials in San Francisco.  Some people worry that the bridge will spoil the natural beauty of the landscape.  After spending a dozen years convincing people that the bridge should be built, Strauss noted, “The value of an idea depends not only on the sweat you put into thinking it up, but also on the sweat you put into getting people to accept it.”  The Golden Gate Bridge is famous not only for its beauty but also for its span of 4,200 feet.

Challenge:  With your teacher’s permission, measure the longest hallway in your school and figure out how many times the hallway could be laid end to end on the span of the Golden Gate Bridge.  You could also do this with a hallway at home and compare.  Email Ms. Skaggs with your findings!

Day-By-Day Math  Susan Ohanian  Math Solutions Publications  2000

Science, Math, & Technology at Your Fingertips!


Have you ever wondered how an atom is created?  Or maybe you find yourself wondering how energy forms and changes.  Do building fractions and creating creatures from area formulas excite you?  Then this simulation website is for you!

PhET Simulations is an interactive website full of simulations that introduce you to many different areas of math and science such as force and motion, energy forms and changes, the Greenhouse Effect, Glaciers, and more!  Click here to get started on your own simulation journey!  Leave a comment with your favorite simulations.

*Be sure to hold your iPad horizontally while working with the simulations.*

Eggstraordinary Experiment

For this post we are going back to the beginning…of STEAM that is.  So in honor of the “S,” how about a science experiment post to get your investigative juices flowing…

 The Dissolving Egg Shell & Bouncing Egg Experiment

This experiment is simple, it involves a lot of observation but the results are really interesting to watch.
Reflection 1:
To start with, take time to reflect on what you think will happen when the eggs are put into the vinegar and water.  Make a note of your reflection in a notebook or other recording device that you are able to keep your future reflections and comparisons in.
What You Need:
(we used raw eggs – 2 brown & 2 white)
clear cups
What To Do:
1. Set up 4 clear cups.
2. Put 1 egg into each cup.
3. Add vinegar to 1 of each cup containing a white & brown egg.
4. Add water to the other 2 cups.
*eggs should be covered completely by each liquid.
5. Observe
Start of Experiment/Day 1:
Reflection 2:
What do you notice happening in the 2 cups?
Can you explain why these things are happening? (may require research)
A few hours later…
Reflection 3:
What do you notice about the egg in each cup?
Do you have a hypothesis as to why this is happening? (again, you may have to do a little research)
Write a prediction about what you think will happen to all 4 eggs at the end of 7 days?
Day 2:
Day 3:
Day 5:
Day 7:

End of Experiment – Day 7:

Reflection 4:
What has happened to the eggs?
Test your eggs to get more information by dropping them on a protected surface (adult approved of course).
What observations did you make?
And Now, The Science:
What is the chemical reaction that is taking place in this experiment?
Why does this happen?
How could you change this experiment to learn more about this reaction?
What other egg experiments have you done?
We’d love to have you share some of your reflections by leaving a comment!
Happy Experimenting!
Adapted from

Full STEAM Ahead #15: Learn More About the Elements on The Periodic Table


If the last Full STEAM Ahead post ignited your passion for the periodic table, then this week’s post is for you!  TED Ed joined forces with the people at Periodic Videos to bring us the what-is-what on each element of the periodic table.  Choose an element, watch the video (sometimes they only work in the pop-up boxes), take the quiz and then dig in deeper to find out even more!  Leave a comment with what element was most interesting to you.