Science Projects in a Small World

Neon Light Spectrum Through CD
SpectrographI recently blogged about a great source of used books: Better World Books. I used them again to purchase a copy of Design Patterns and was presented with another excellent book replete with a bookmark. That's not really the topic of this entry... but I am getting there ;) I'm writing about serendipity in the small world in which we live.

The bookmark took the the form of Simon Quellan Field's business card (of Kinetic MicroScience) and pointed me to a site full of science experiments you can do with your kids. Simon also maintains a blog. I love little experiments, actually anything that enthuses kids about science, and this site serves it up in spades. There are experiments with magnetism, motors, DIY radio receivers, optics, biology among others. Older kids will no doubt get a buzz out of the film canister cannon (below). The construction of a spectroscope using a CD as the diffraction grating is near to my heart as an astronomer. Spectroscopy is a major part of astronomy because it allows determination of the temperature, composition, and physical size (to some degree) of stars at immense distances.

Film Can
CannonThat a business card left by a science enthusiast in a book in California should make its way via a second hand book dealer to another science enthusiast in Australia drives home how connected the world is these days.