Skittles Color Science


My most requested science fair project is Skittles Science.  There are actually 4 different types of science projects you can do using the candies.  We live just a couple of miles away from the Mars factory where they make Skittles, so the candies are definitely a part of our community life.  I’ve written up my full instructions here:

and included pictures, step by step ideas and videos.  skittles-science-fair-2img_20160108_131128img_20160108_132701

New Science Fair Project: Which Chocolate Melts the Fastest?


ImageWho wouldn’t like a science experiment that lets you eat chocolate?  This was Mollie’s 2rd grade science fair project. I give step by step photo instructions with video information about chocolate and a sample student project with charts and parent help!

Here are the full  instructions:

Science Fair Project Step by Step Photo Instructions


Here are my full instructions for 4 different Skittles Color Science Projects, including the one on this Science Fair board:


I’ve created many step by step science fair instructions to help parents and students make easier, better science fair projects. All of these are original experiments designed by me (a teacher) and my husband (a science professor).

Along with including complete instructions, I give videos which help kids understand the scientific concepts and photos to show you how to do the experiment and put the board together.  I’m adding new experiments all time time so you may want to bookmark and check back.

Parent Help for Science Fair Projects

Here is my overview of doing a science fair experiment and board (with help for parents and teachers):

Here is a beginning experiment which also shows parents how to help their kids do an experiment.  This one is also very good for classroom instruction in science experiments and I tell you how to do it:

Which Boat Can Float?  Foil boats on water in different shapes (teaches water surface tension and buoyancy):

Which Chewing Gum lasts the longest?

Which Chocolate Chip tastes the Best?

Dice Rolling and Probability

Arches and Domes? How many books can eggshells hold? Can you make a sugar cube arch without glue?

For upper elementary, Junior High and High School:

Growing Microbes on Potato Sucrose Gelitan

How does Salt Affect Seed Germination?

My daughter’s prize winning experiment on how radish seeds react to salt water:

Selling Used Legos on Bricklink


Brendan had been bugging me to let him start his own business selling his used Lego sets on Bricklink.  I very reluctantly agreed and helped his set up the account.  To my surprise, his store sold out fast!  I guess there are more Lego fans than I thought.  One set he’d bought at Marshalls for $20 sold for $300!  When I started writing for hubpages, I asked him to write up his tips for how to have a successful business as a 13 year old Lego fan.  We ended up writing two hubs together.   The first one is about how to actually sell used Legos online:

The second one is for parents.  It explains how to help kids start an online business:

Actually, I had a really great time talking with Brendan as we worked together to write these hubs.  Now I need to write a hub about how to collaborate with your kids in writing projects!

In writing the hubs, I also learned a lot about how Brendan prepared for this business, and understood why he had been so insistent that I help him.  I learned that actually he had done a lot of marketing research in pricing his pieces (without ever having taken a course on this!) so that he was selling items that were cheaper than any others available.  After tossing around a lot of ideas, he named his store “Xtreme Brick Bargains” which was both edgy and a clue that he was giving good deals.  After about six months, he had actually sold out almost everything in the store and earned $900!  The last item sold recently to someone in Ireland and Brendan decided to close his store for now because he doesn’t want to sell anything else.  But at least we are ready when he decides to get rid of more of his rather extensive Lego inventory!

Read more by BlessedMomof5 at Hubpages


My latest hobby is writing for HubPages.   I had written a few information articles here on my blog and found I’d gotten a lot of web traffic for them.  So I looked into writing articles online and saw several different sites set up for that.  I chose to write for Hubpages because I liked the articles written by other people and the fact that Hubpages is set up to be an online community.  That means that a lot of people in Hubpages read and comment on each other’s work.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the other “Hubbers.”  Plus, I’ve gotten over 2,000 people reading my posts in just two months.   It took over a year to get that many people reading my blog.  Here is my link to Hubpages

Hey, maybe you would like to write for HubPages too!  Hubpages is designed for writers to be able to easily share information and “how to” articles.  I bet you have something to share that other people would like to know about.  Why don’t you join HubPages and tell us about it?  It’s easy to join and get started.  Just click the following link to join!:

Comfort Foods


Every year at Thanksgiving, we like to invite some international students over for Thanksgiving dinner.  This year, we had three Chinese students, two of whom are graduate students of my husband.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal, although I told them that it was all right if they did not like some things.  I’ll never forget the time one Chinese student said to me, “You make a pie out of squash?  And out of a nut?”  He clearly thought our food was strange.  Cooking for international students has made me think about the traditional Thanksgiving foods.   They are a bit strange.  Lots of them are sweet:  sweet potatoes (Chris likes them with marshmallows), cranberries (Sophie’s favorite), ham (with pineapples, cherries and lots of brown sugar), not to mention the pumpkin and pecan pies.  Except for the ham and turkey (we always have both), many of the foods are also sort of mushy: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole, and, of course stuffing.  I generally like crisp vegetables and simple broiled meats, yet there is something about this meal that reminds me of family and being together–comfort foods.

Top Ten: Advice on Parenting


I spoke today at the reunion of our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.  How wonderful to see so many friends and to realize how many different ways our lives have intersected as the years have passed.  I thought for several weeks about what to talk about.  I was very tempted to just go crazy and sing these funny mother parodies I’ve been writing lately.  But I was too chicken.  Also, I had a feeling that maybe I was supposed to share something more helpful.  So I came up with the top ten pieces of advice I’ve had on parenting:  the advice which actually worked.   When I get up to speak and work only from an outline (like I did this time), I never actually know what is going to come out of my mouth and (worse) never exactly remember later what I said.  Because I have reading glass issues, I’m not even sure I actually read what was on those few notes.  However, a couple of people have asked for my outline, so I’m posting it here for anyone who wants to see it.  I’m adding in the books too.

Virginia’s Top Ten

Advice I’ve gotten on parenting (and where I got that advice)

         1.Enjoy the season you are in—each season has its own challenges and joys—don’t worry about the ones to come or you might miss where you are.  Don’t try to do so much that you miss where you are. (Personal experience and my mom)

        2.Ordinary suffering molds us to be the people God wants us to be.  Don’t seek to help your child avoid all suffering.  Do seek to talk them through their experiences so they can learn from them and learn to emphasize with other people. (BSF lesson—my mom)

     3. Envision for your children who they can be—what God made them to be—seek to know their gifts, strengths, talents and positive personality traits and help them to see how they can be that person (Katie Peebles–mentor and friend before my marriage)

    4.  Envision the good qualities hidden in the negative ones—bad behavioral traits are good ones misused.  Seek to bring out the good ones. (God’s Pattern for Enriched Living,   by Verna  Burke –available on Amazon along with other books by this author)

        5. Spend time doing things which are important to your husband (and each child)—what matters to that person is important.You will feel you accomplished something if you know you did something that they wanted. (Love Life for Every Married Couple:  How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love by Ed Wheat)

     6. Don’t Panic (should be written in large friendly letters on the front of each newborn).  You have more than one try at most parenting situations. (Adaptation from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

7. Don’t discipline the behavior, mold the heart—beware of hidden anger.  Make the good of the child the point of your discipline, not what other people think about you book (Minrith Myer book)

  8.  Family Vacations are important—you can never have a vacation when your kids are the age they are now (lessons learned, time together)

  9.   Let your child learn to entertain themselves and put themselves to sleep (Krista–mom friend of 4 when I just had a newborn)

    10.  Schedule your day so that your child gets enough sleep (Ann Colina–mom friend of 2 when I just had one)

Science Fair Information


As the co-ordinator of Woodway Elementary Science Fair and as a parent who has helped my kids do science fair projects over the past ten years, I’ve learned a lot about how to make a kid’s science fair project an enjoyable process for everyone.  Originally, I just posted the information I’d made for parents at our school here on my blog, but I’ve gotten thousands of hits, so I know that many people found it useful.  I’ve expanded and moved this information to my Hubpages account.  I include links to good resources as well as lots of pictures of how to do projects and how to make them into a poster.  Here is the link:

On a Wing


Our yard in Texas is at the top of the hill and my husband is always trying to attact butterflies.  It worked!  Now each year we have thousands of migrating Monarchs going through our yard.  See more of my photos at VirginiaLynne on hubpages.