Thursday, December 27, 2007

After-school Funding Increases

As part of the omnibus spending bill approved by Congress and signed by President Bush on December 26, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program received a significant funding increase. The $100 million increase for 21st CCLC in Fiscal Year 2008 puts the total funding at an all time high of $1.1 billion. This means an additional 100,000 kids will have access to high quality after-school programs. (For those of you doing the math, that is $1000 per child. Not a very high price to pay, considering what many people pay for day care. Of course, building a quality program costs more than this, which is why state, local, and private funds are so necessary.)

To see how this funding increase will affect your state, click here for a PDF of current vs final funding for 21st CCLC.

Thanks to the Afterschool Alliance for this update and for all of their hard work in making this funding increase a reality.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Little Winter-time Science Amusement

Over at LiveScience, George Frederick offers a fun explanation of why your tongue will in fact stick to a flagpole (or other metal object) in the cold. Complete with graphic!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More great science demonstrations

I keep finding good science demonstrations on the web. Here is Robert Krampf, a science educator from Florida who has done touring show for 30 years. The videos are very professional looking and the demonstrations cover a range of interesting topics. The one that I have embedded here is currently making the rounds on popular sites like BoingBoing and Digg. Krampf's website includes these videos and information about booking his shows. The videos are also available at, another interesting site for sharing knowledge through video.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Giving High School Students a Chance to Serve

One of the best ways to engage the current generation of youth is to give them a chance to serve. Service learning programs are engaging and appealing to many types of students. A topic like biology may appeal to future scientists, while working with children may appeal to future teachers. An example of a program that offers both is featured in the Raleigh News and Observer.

There are many programs that combine service-learning and science, such as St. Louis Science Center's Youth Exploring Science and the Elementary Institute of Science's Commission on Science That Matters. Of course, there are many more youth interested than programs available, so I hope you will consider this as an option for kids in your community.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

5min Videos

I just came across a site called, which is like YouTube, but focused on short instructional videos. What makes it unique is its media player, which allows you to watch videos in slow-motion or frame by frame. This is for anyone who ever asks, "How do they do that?" There are a number of science and nature videos. Be wary, though, some are less than scientifically accurate (such as the Philadelphia Experiment video), and many are just clips from old documentaries. But if you look around the site, you should see the potential of web video for instructional purposes. Enjoy this video demonstrating waves with fire:

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

How they built Stonehenge?

For those with an interest in engineering and/or history, here is a video of one man building a full-size replica by himself, using only simple materials (wood, water, rope, etc.) He suggests that these may be the techniques used by those who built the original.

Source: J-Walk Blog | Innovation Station email list