For this mini spark, you’ll need a few materials. Feel free to experiment with other materials you have at home as well.
8 identical water glasses
a set of measuring cups
food coloring (optional)
1 plastic spoon
1 sheet of paper
Use a measuring cup to fill each of the glasses with the correct amount of water. Use the image below as a guide.
For fun, you can add a drop of food coloring to your glasses or two drops to make green, orange, or purple.
Label your glasses. Use the image below as a guide.
With a plastic spoon, gently tap each glass and listen for the sound it makes.
Notice which glass makes a lower sound and a higher sound.
Try playing these simple songs or create your own.
For your submission, you can make a video of yourself playing a song with your glasses or you can create a Pic Collage with pictures of your process. You may also choose another creative way to display your learning. Submit your work using the link below.
The SCIENCE behind the MUSIC
The science of sound is all about vibrations. When you hit the glass with the spoon, it vibrates and it’s these vibrations that ultimately make the sound. You probably noticed that tapping an empty glass produced a higher-pitched sound than tapping a glass full of water. Adding water to the glass dampens the vibrations created by striking the glass with a spoon. The less water in the glass, the faster the glass vibrates and the higher the pitch. The more water you add to the glass, the slower the glass vibrates, creating a lower pitch.
Study potential and kinetic energy while building a fun launcher!
Collect your Materials
Short pencil or popsicle stick
Thin rubber bands (2)
Cardboard tube (2 empty toilet paper tubes or empty paper towel tube cut in half)
Packing tape or other strong tape
Single hole punch
Use the video as a guide and start building. Make sure to take pictures of your progress. If you want step by step picture instructions use this link.
Test it out!
In this activity, you used two types of energy to load and launch your cotton ball. As you drew back on the pencil with the cotton ball loaded, you added potential energy to the system. The farther you pulled back on the pencil, the more potential energy was being stored. When you released the pencil, the potential energy became kinetic energy, and the cotton ball should have gone flying through the air!
Make a pic collage with the pictures from your project. Include the energy terms and definitions as well.
When you think of STEM careers, do you think of high-tech, coding positions that involve nothing more than sitting behind a screen all day? The reality is there are many widely diverse options for a variety of interests.
The STEM job market not only offers countless opportunities but also allows your creativity to flourish. As a bonus, the jobs in STEM and STEM-related careers are projected to grow faster than all other occupations over the next decade.
So, what are some of the top STEM careers to consider if you are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math? The writers at SPHERO have compiled a STEM careers list for kids interested in STEM broken down by each discipline. Let’s dive in!
Top STEM Careers
Dentist – Looking for a STEM career that shines brightly? Between 2018 and 2028 The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 7.6% employment growth for dentists which makes this career path not only promising but a sure reason to smile.
Physician Assistant – In this STEM career path physician assistants work under a doctor to care for their patients. With 37,000 projected jobs by 2028, this profession paves the perfect STEM path within the medical field.
Orthodontist – Perfecting your teeth has never been more desirable. In this science-based STEM career, orthodontists work to create million-dollar smiles. With a median salary of $208,000, this career is much more than just awkward teenage braces.
Biomedical engineering – Want to mix your kid’s love of science and engineering? If this is the case, biomedical engineering is the perfect STEM career. In combining these two disciplines you will create crazy cool software, devices, and computer systems that aid in the medical field.
Chemical engineering – Take your love of chemistry to the next level with a career in chemical engineering. This STEM profession has a wide variety of opportunities from working alongside a chemist to creating more sustainable energy solutions. This career can be formulated to mix to any chemist’s strengths!
Atmospheric scientist (Storm Tracker) – Looking for a striking STEM career? Atmospheric scientists might just be your perfect STEM storm. In this career, you will study the scientific aspects of the Earth’s climate and weather patterns. From weather stations to laboratories, this job just like our storm systems is always on the move.
Volcanologist – Yes, this is a real job, and is sure to make a boom! A volcanologist might not have been your first thought into STEM, but how cool would it be to research volcanoes all day? Added plus, most volcanologists travel to locations to study their volcano samples, it doesn’t get much more explosive and exciting than that.
Software developer – If computers and technology are your kid’s cup of tea, maybe it’s time to consider a career as a software developer. This STEM career path puts your coding and debugging skills to the test as you work to design and perfect various applications. Innovation and creativity are key here, but love for STEM is a bonus.
Data management – Now, let’s talk data! Data is so important. It’s so important that other careers, like a software developer, wouldn’t function without it. A career in data management involves problem solving, logic, and being able to oversee a database. Similar to PB&J, a passion for technology and data are the perfect pair.
Robotics Engineer – We may be a little biased, but working with robots might be one of the coolest STEM career paths. As a robotics engineer, you will ideate, design, test, and build bots that serve a wide variety of purposes. Who knows, with hard work and a love for STEM your kid could be the next great Sphero robotics engineer!
Cybersecurity analyst – The cybersecurity industry is constantly changing and always creating new online obstacles. A cybersecurity analyst makes sure that there are no online threats that could potentially breach any business. This STEM job is in high demand and could be an ideal career path.
Aerospace engineer- In this STEM career, the sky’s the limit! Literally. From Earth to Mars aerospace engineers design aircraft, spacecraft, and satellites. If you are searching for a STEM career that is out of this world, this might just be the career path to follow.
Industrial engineer – This type of engineer is responsible for designing and changing how other processes are done to increase safety and productivity. It is one of the fastest-growing types of engineering and is STEMtacular!
Gaming engineer – Level up with a career as a gaming engineer. This career can take your passion for gaming to new heights. Now, think of your kid’s favorite video game. Odds are a gaming engineer who created and developed it. If gaming and STEM are your child’s passion, this job may be a great fit.
Music recording engineer – Hit a high note in your STEM career as a music recording engineer. These engineers set up and operate recording equipment and are also responsible for modifying and producing music.
Statistician – Numbers are the focus of this STEM career path. As a statistician, you will interpret data and draw conclusions. This could be the perfect STEM job solution if you’re great at crunching numbers.
Mathematician – A mathematician is never “average” (math pun). This STEM career is an amazing choice for all math lovers. In this profession, you have the opportunity to extend your math knowledge into many different fields. This job works parallel with STEM and angles toward a bright future.
The list of careers and interesting, fun jobs in STEM goes on and on. These are just a handful, and we know all the future creators and makers have so much to offer when moving into the professional world.
While the word “robot” can conjure up an image of a cyborg human with lights for eyes and super powers, animal-inspired robots are accomplishing tasks in all kinds of medical, military and rescue work. These anibots perform tasks that would be difficult and often dangerous for mere mortals, or even human droids, to accomplish
Learn about these 3 types of animal robots
Pneupard is a robot that is designed to be agile and fast like cheetahs and other cats. Pneupard has artificial muscles made from rubber tubing that are covered in nylon and filled with air. The pneumatic muscles have lifelike abilities that allow the bot to replicate the range of motion and strength of a real cat!
Watch this video about Pneupard and create a visual answering the questions below.
How are these engineers using robots to learn about nature?
Why are cheetah’s ultra complex to recreate?
What did the engineers learn when the were in the park
What animal would you choose to recreate as a robot? What part or parts of this animal would be ultra complex to recreate?
One modern robot flier is called ornithopter. Ornithopter looks and flies much like a real bird. One sweet little ornithopter is used as a nano-spybot, equipped with a tiny camera.
Watch this video about Ornithopter and answer the questions create a visual answering the questions below.
What materials are used to make this robot?
What other material come to mind that might work?
Have you ever seen a servo motor? If not where else might it be used? If you have seen one, what was its purpose?
What is visually interesting to you about this robot? What woud you change?