# How Much Is a Billion or a Trillion?

June 8th, 2015

It’s Monday, June 8, 2015, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

The MegaPenny Project

We hear BIG numbers mentioned all of the time – government budgets require trillions of dollars, bailouts require billions of dollars, and NASA’s rover traveled millions of miles to Mars. Talking about these gigantic numbers is one thing – visualizing them can be very difficult.
One financial commentator, K.C. Cole explained:
We automatically ‘read’ a billion as about a third of a trillion. After all, it’s only three zeros off. But of course, a trillion is a thousand times a billion, and a thousand is a lot. Decrease your salary by a factor of a thousand, and it could go from 200,000 dollars to 200. Increase class size by the same amount, and your 15 students would turn into 15,000… Our brains haven’t evolved to directly deal with such staggering numbers, but we can use stories and metaphors to retrain ourselves.
Enter The MegaPenny Project that takes one small U.S. penny and shows you what a billion (or a trillion or more) pennies would look like. You’ll even find out how many pennies it would take to fill the Empire State Building. Not only will you SEE what that many pennies looks like, you’ll discover things such as the value of the pennies, size of the pile, weight, and the area they would cover (if laid flat). Computer images make visualization of these gigantic numbers and facts a snap.

When you get to the site you will see a brief introduction and a menu. For the best effect, ignore the menu and follow the progressive “tour” from start to finish by clicking on the words “Enter The Mega Penny Project.” You and your kids will be amazed to discover what BIG numbers really look like. You will also find out some fascinating information along the way, such as the answer to this question:

Would you rather be paid one million dollars today – or – would you rather be paid one penny today (1¢), twice that tomorrow (2¢), twice that the next (4¢), etc. for 30 days?

Go to today’s site to find the answer. When you finish exploring the MegaPenny Project – don’t miss the MegaMoo project. (Same idea, only using Holstein cows!)

# Out of this World Virtual Field Trip to Saturn’s Moons

February 13th, 2015

It’s Friday, February 13, 2015, and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Cassini Solstice Mission

Age Range: All (children with parental supervision)

This NASA website from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology will take visitors to the far reaches of space and on virtual tours of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and its tiny moon, Enceladus. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn in July 2004 and, along with the European-built Huygens probe, opened a window into a world never seen before.

• Impact Crater
• Huygens Landing Site
• Drainage Channels
• Dunes
• Northern Lakes
• The Smile
• Ice Volcano
• Titan’s Sierras

The images come in a variety of types: radar, visible, composite, and/or infrared. Return to the selection by clicking “back to 3D Map”. Choose the “Quick Facts” option for basic information about Titan or select “Latest Images” for more images of Titan. Click the small “find out more” text link at the bottom of the window for links to other sites relating to the Cassini Solstice Mission.

When you are done with the tour, close the window and return to main page to continue learning about Titan. Choose the Atmosphere, Surface, Science Objectives, or Publications tabs for details about Titan and the Cassini mission. Select the Image Galley tab for a visual interactive tool for more images.

On the sidebar select the Videos & More option for loads of videos, an interactive timeline, printables, and to access another virtual tour for the Enceladus virtual tour. Similarly presented and navigated through as the Titan tour, visitors will explore the following location on Enceladus:

• Plumes
• Tiger Strips
• Transitional Terrain
• Cratered Terrain
• Modified Craters
• Icy Riffs
• Southern Polar Terrain

After finishing your tours and exploring all that this website has to offer, don’t forget to check out the Education section on the sidebar for loads of materials, lessons, and resources for your classroom. If you know someone interested in astronomy, particularly Saturn, this website is a down-to-earth resource for an out-of this world study.

# PlanetQuest (CSAW)

October 28th, 2014

It’s Tuesday, October 28, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

NASA: PlanetQuest Timeline

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers a multi-media historic timeline of the discovery of planets in our solar system and in others. Turn on your speakers to hear the narration as you watch the video slide show.

Then, visit the main PlanetQuest website with a dazzling array of astronomical science, technology, and incredible multi-media space-themed games, simulations, movies and virtual tours!

There’s something for everyone here – a description simply doesn’t do it justice. This one earns a ClickSchooling Award (CSAW) for excellence in blending technology with education.

# Exogeology Rocks!

September 30th, 2014

It’s Tuesday, September 30, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Exogeology Rocks!

Age Range: All (All grades, with parental supervision)

Zoe, a teenager, created this terrific website with information on exogeology that combines the sciences of geology and astronomy in the study of planets, asteroids, moons, etc. She and her family were interviewed about unschooling in 2011 on the “Today Show.” The segment included information about Zoe Bentley’s passion for Exogeology. You can watch the Bentley Family’s segment on the “Today Show” here and see reactions to the piece.
To begin learning about Exogeology, use the menu under the headline “Things To Do” on the right side of the homepage that includes a definition of Exogeology, and other information about the site. You can also learn more about Zoe. You’ll find:

*Exogeology Rocks: Episodes/Meet Real Exogeologists – Watch Zoe’s on-camera interviews with exogeologists who explain what their work entails.

*How To Become An Exogeologist – Get information on what it takes to have a career in exogeology. Kids will find suggested activities and links to further information about:

• NASA
• Rock collecting
• Dig-sites
• Stargazing
• Visiting geologic formations

*Games & Puzzles – Enjoy playing crossword puzzles, word searches, and jigsaw puzzles themed around geology, astronomy, and exogeology.

You’ll also find a photo gallery, a great list of resources to explore, and more! Read about about “Zoe’s Geo Party,” a trivia game she invented that involves weekly video clues that are posted on the site. Scroll down the page to see the archive of past clues and games.

This is an incredible demonstration of where interest-initiated learning and unschooling can lead, and may inspire your homeschooler or unschooler to explore their passions with the same gusto!

# The Sun – Science, Tour, & Song!

September 9th, 2014

It’s Tuesday, September 9, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Various – see below

Age Range: 3-18 (Grades PreK-12, with parental supervision)

These websites offer terrific information on the nearest star to Earth – the Sun! It’s educational and entertaining…
Watch a terrific 6-minute video that provides an interesting overview of the sun – designed for kids!
Don’t miss this! Learn about heliophysics as you listen to the “Chromatics” sing facts about the sun in perfect harmony.
This site provides a multi-media virtual tour of the sun through the use of text, photographs, illustrations, animations, and film clips. The entire tour takes about 20 minutes and includes information about solar wind, sun spots, solar eclipses, solar flares, and more.
New Mexico is the “clean energy state” and offers this website with solar energy science projects for grades 3-12 that include:
* Let’s Study the Sun
* Intro to Light & Matter
* Make a Pizza Box Solar Oven
* Simple Solar Cell Demo
* Intro to Electricity
* Solar Cell Demo
* Explore Passive Solar Design
* Explore Photovoltaics
* Electrolysis: Obtaining hydrogen from water
* Explore Fuel Cells
* Intro to Light & Matter
* Experiment with Passive Solar Design Lab
The information here is presented in a user-friendly way, and all of the lessons and projects can be downloaded and/or printed out for use offline.

# NASA’s SciJinks!

May 20th, 2014

It’s Tuesday, May 20, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

SciJinks

Age Range: 9-18 (Grades 4-12, with parental supervision)

This NASA website provides free information about weather, space, atmosphere and satellites through engaging multi-media animations, images, activities, games and downloadable teacher resources.
When you get to the site you’ll see a featured presentation in the center of the screen. Directly to the left, you’ll see a menu that includes:
• Weather – Learn from topics such as, Ask a Weatherman, Weather Folklore, Write a Weather Adventure, Bad Weather Joke Machine and more.
• Hurricanes and Storms – Find out how a hurricane forms. Watch a “Parade of Floods.”
• Clouds, Water, and Ice – Check out a “Gallery of Glaciers”. Try some of the “Classroom Activities” that can be tweaked for homeschool use.
• Tides and Oceans – Discover what causes tides and why they’re weird sometimes. View a “Gallery of Oceans.”
• Atmosphere – Get the answer to the age-old question, “Why is the sky blue?”
• Seasons – Learn why the Earth has seasons.
• Satellites and Technology – Make a weather satellite, learn all about GOES, and be “Spuzzled!” Lots of great satellite info here.
• Space Weather – Learn how weather on the sun affects us. Check out the weather on other planets. Enjoy a “Gallery of Space Weather.”

You can also click on the horizontal menu near the top of each page that includes:

• Fun & Games – A selection of fun games from the extensive menu described above.
• Now I Get It – A selection of popular topics from the extensive menu including “What is the Scientific Method” along with ideas for a weather science project.

Bookmark this one – you’ll want to return many times to enjoy it all.