Author Archives: blessedmomof5

About blessedmomof5

I've been an elementary school teacher, a writer and a college English lecturer, but my most satisfying job has been as a mom to five kids.

Skittles Color Science

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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:

https://owlcation.com/stem/Skittles-Science-Fair-Project-Instructions

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

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New Science Fair Project: Which Chocolate Melts the Fastest?

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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: http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/_2zi5w2u9kr1op/hub/Science-Fair-Project-Which-Chocolate-Melts-Faster

Science Fair Project Step by Step Photo Instructions

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

https://owlcation.com/stem/Skittles-Science-Fair-Project-Instructions

 

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):

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-do-a-Great-Science-Fair-Project-and-Board

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):

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Elementary-Science-Fair-Projects-Which-Boat-Can-Float

Which Chewing Gum lasts the longest?

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Science-Fair-Project-Which-Gum-Lasts-the-Longest

Which Chocolate Chip tastes the Best?

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Science-Fair-Project-Which-Chocolate-Chip-Tastes-the-Best

Dice Rolling and Probability

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Science-Fair-Rolling-Dice-Experiment

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

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Science-Fair-Project-How-Many-Books-can-Eggshells-Hold

For upper elementary, Junior High and High School:

Growing Microbes on Potato Sucrose Gelitan

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Science-Fair-Project-Growing-Microbes

How does Salt Affect Seed Germination?

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

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Science-Project-How-Does-Salt-Affect-Seed-Germination

Selling Used Legos on Bricklink

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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:

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Selling-Used-Legos-Online

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

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/hub/Help-your-Kids-Start-an-Online-Business-Selling-Used-Legos

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

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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

http://virginialynne.hubpages.com/

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!: 

 

http://hubpages.com/_2zi5w2u9Kr1op/user/new

Comfort Foods

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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.