I've read about artists, especially botanical artists, that take years to finish a work of art, not because they were just super slow, but because they had to wait. What did they have to wait for? Nature. These artists would focus on a particular plant while it was in bloom or its fruit was ripe, or it was at some other particular stage in its yearly cycle that they wanted to portray. Then, when the blooms faded, the fruit was gone, or the plant had moved on to another stage, that painting and its associated sketches were put away until the [...]
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Folks know what Nature is. Folks know what a journal is. But Nature can't write... no thumbs, among other things. Sooo. . . what is a nature journal? That depends. If you are an adult, a nature journal is a fantastic way to get away from the hustle, bustle, and rush, and practice patience, observational skills, and art. It can be an opportunity to get out and have an outdoor adventure. Keeping a nature journal is a way to become acquainted or reacquainted with the natural world. It can become the place where an artist or future artist takes notes and [...]
On December 20, 2017, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously voted to declare May 20 World Bee Day. Why should we celebrate bees? Why not? The purpose of World Bee Day is to recognize more than just the most well-known of the bees - the European honey bee. Many people don't know that the honey bee isn't native to North America. It colonized the western hemisphere with the European settlers. When the settlers arrived, though, this country already had plenty of bees of its own, some 4,000 different species actually, ranging in size from the world's smallest bee, the [...]
One of my most popular programs is also the least expensive and easiest to set up. All I need are a pile of regular copier paper, a pile of copier paper cut into squares, 2 - 4 large pieces of bulletin board paper with giant targets drawn/painted on them, and the books we'll be using on display in the "engineering and design area," ready to be thumbed through, studied, and used. A roll of masking tape comes in really handy, too. Having a paper recycling receptacle for the fallen, crashed, and stepped upon makes clean up go a lot faster. Just [...]
Have you ever looked through a National Geographic magazine and wondered what it would be like to be a National Geographic explorer? Well now you can have a chance to find out! The National Geographic Society has added 3 new courses to its offerings. The introduction to the series is here. These are the courses: 'Storytelling for Impact: Photography' 'Storytelling for Impact: Audio' 'Storytelling for Impact: Video' These courses are different from all the ones already available in a number of ways. - First of all, they are offered as a series collected under the title 'Storytelling for Impact.' Other National [...]
Today is the first Friday in May. That means it is National Space Day! What better way to celebrate the day is there than by building your own fleet of model space observatories? On the NASA website there are printable models of a number of spacecraft. Links to all of the models can be found on the Universe Spacecraft Paper Models page. There you can download and print: The Great Observatories: Hubble Space Telescope (First of the Great Observatories) Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (Second of the Great Observatories) Chandra X-Ray Telescope (Third of the Great Telescopes) Fermi Gravity Probe B James [...]
We all know the word. We hear it just about every day. We see it all the time. Engineer The E in STEM, STEAM, and STREAM stands for engineering. But do we know what the word actually means? What is engineering? What do engineers do? Of all the letters in STREAM, I think the E has changed more than all the others, growing, evolving, expanding, adding dimensions and details. I decided to spend some time exploring the meaning of the word engineering, the history of engineering, and just how much the work of engineers influences our day to day lives. Let’s [...]
Like so many conferences, festivals, and other events, World Origami Days has gone virtual this year. Beginning on October 24, the birthday of Lillian Oppenheimer (1898-1992), who founded the first origami group in the USA and was one of the founders of OrigamiUSA and the British Origami Society, this event will host workshops and tutorials daily through November 11, which is Origami Day in Japan. Everyone who registers will receive links to the videos of the daily tutorials in November, so don't worry if you miss one or a few. There is a page of templates for folding a flapping bird [...]
Hello everyone! I browsed my way to this course being offered by Cornell University the other day, and contacted the administrators. They have agreed to extend the registration deadline until October 28 so that I could get the word out to. It looks like a great opportunity, so if you can, take advantage. E-STEM Education is designed for teachers and nonformal educators who want to help youth become scientifically literate, environmental citizens. Teachers will learn how to integrate environmental education into STEM classes such as biology and earth science, and non-formal educators will learn how to make science part of [...]
There's been a bit of a chill in the air the last week or so, a frequent thumping on the roof of pecans falling out of the tree in the yard, and a sense of frantic feasting radiating from the hummingbirds who frequent the feeders on my porch. Autumn is here. One of my favorite things to do as the seasons slip away from summer and toward winter is to walk through wooded areas and collect brightly colored leaves. This is something my mother did with me as a very young child on my great grandparents' farm. I still have the [...]