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Archive for January, 2013

New Classroom Chemistry Kits

Recently we have added a few classroom kits to our product line. These kits are meant for middle & high school classes, and cover a wide range of chemistry topics. Let’s start off with the  Food Chemistry Kit:

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Topics covered in this kit are detecting the presence of sugars, fats, starches. Chemical composition of milk. Quintity of Vitamin C, and much more. All materials are included except for the food to be tested (trust us, you didn’t want us shipping milk…)

Next up is the Flame Test and Spectroscopy kit:

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With this kit, one of the important chemical detection methods: spectroscopy is employed. Various test chemicals are provided, along with wire loops and a spectroscope. The only thing lacking is a bunsen burner. The kit has enough material for 50 students.

Veering into the field of Environmental Chemistry we now carry the Atmosphere is Crisis kit

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With this kit, students will create pollutants as well as employ methods to treat and remove them. The effects of pollutants on metals and plants is also covered. Its an excellent way to show how pollution effects our everyday lives. All items are included but an overhead projector will be required for some of the teacher’s transparencies.

Interested in more Classroom Chemistry Products?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Beetling 3D Wall Designs – Solar System & Astronaut Set

UPDATE 6/23/14:  In early 2014 the Beetling company stated they had to move their studios to a new location. After several months they have not returned to operations, have barely answered their email, had no updated to their Facebook page, and now their main webpage would appear to be defunct. With this in mind we are assuming that they are now out of business and no longer producing 3D Wall designs. Note that we have broken the links to the Beetling products due to the endless number of ‘Do you still have these?’ queries. The answer is: No, we do not.

Beetling Wall decorations are individually casted and painted three-dimensional wall mounted works of art, suitable for any child’s space. They are easily installed onto walls and create a great sense of fun for that room. Beetling 3D decoration castings are made of signature Designer Blended Foam,  a non-toxic and child safe material that is extremely light-weight and durable. We paint with Low VOC, child-safe water based paints and finishes.

Beetlings are very easy to install and each piece comes with step-by-step instructions on how to install them to any wall. Your 3D wall art piece can be ready in minutes in most cases as only a few screws are needed to hold it in place. If you need to move, the Beetling pieces uninstall as fast as they install.

Beetling has several series, including Dinosaurs and Safari, but in this post we shall be looking at the Beetling 3D Solar System. Complete with planets, astronaut, and our Moon!

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The kit includes a 3D Astronaut:

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The Astronaut really does justify the term 3D in this case, as can be seen from another angle:

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There are 9 planets….ok, 8 planets and Pluto – give them a break they designed this thing before Pluto got downgraded. There is also the Moon. The planets, Moon and Astronaut can be arranged any way that fits you wall.

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or for example:

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The planets have excellent detail. Here is the Earth, for example:

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or Jupiter:

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They did an excellent job on the striping. Showing their attention to detail Uranus has a ring, as it does:

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A bit generous of a ring, but it gives it a ring of detail and authenticity.

In addition to the Planets, Pluto, Moon and Astronaut there is also a detailed instruction sheet on how to paint the wall in that “Outer Space” scheme with comets, whisps of Nebulea, and other celestial objects. It give a real flair to the atmosphere of the set. Paint is not included but is not hard to obtain.

Oh, and of course we have a video:

Want to buy Beetling 3D Solar System Wall Decorations?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

 

 

Thursday Video Time – Cats in Zero-G

Don’t feel like posting anything profound or involved, so here are some videos of cats in Zero-Gravity (or at least simulated on a ‘Vomit Comet’)

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Beetling 3D Wall Designs – Dinosaur Series

UPDATE 6/23/14:  In early 2014 the Beetling company stated they had to move their studios to a new location. After several months they have not returned to operations, have barely answered their email, had no updated to their Facebook page, and now their main webpage would appear to be defunct. With this in mind we are assuming that they are now out of business and no longer producing 3D Wall designs. Links to products have been broken to prevent confusion.

Beetling Wall decorations are individually casted and painted three-dimensional wall mounted works of art, suitable for any child’s space. They are easily installed onto walls and create a great sense of fun for that room. Beetling 3D decoration castings are made of signature Designer Blended Foam,  a non-toxic and child safe material that is extremely light-weight and durable. We paint with Low VOC, child-safe water based paints and finishes.

Beetlings are very easy to install and each piece comes with step-by-step instructions on how to install them to any wall. Your 3D wall art piece can be ready in minutes in most cases as only a few screws are needed to hold it in place. If you need to move, the Beetling pieces uninstall as fast as they install

Beetling has several series of products, including Space and Safari. But for this blog post we will be covering the popular Dinosaur 3d Wall art, which consists of two different pieces: the Brachiosaurus and the Stegosaurus. Let’s start with the Brachiosaurus:

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‘Max’ the Brachiosaurus stands over 79″ (6 feet 7 inches) and is 57″ wide (4′ 9″). His entire body is three dimensional and texture, but his long neck and head stick out from the wall:

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The other member of the pair is the Stegosaurus, who stands 44.5″ tall and 47″ wide.

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Like the all other Beetling decorations, the Stegosaurus is 3D and textured:

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Together with the Brachiosaurus  they make a really impressive display!

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(planets are another Beetling product – more on them later)

We even have a nice video to show the real dimensions of the Dinosaurs

Want to buy the Beetling 3D Brachiosaurus?

Want to buy the Beetling 3D Stegosaurus?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

This is the story of a little toy frog…

This is the story of a little toy frog.

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The little frog toy was part of another toy. A special toy that had mirrors! Curved mirrors! The little toy frog would sit in the middle of one of the mirrors:

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The toy was called a Mirascope. The when the top mirror was on, something amazing would happen! The little toy frog would appear right on top of the Mirascope!

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It was an illusion! The store owner wanted to show the Mirascope and how it worked. So he put it out on the table with all the other toys.

But the store owner didn’t think the frog would stick around.

“Some little kid will doubtless walk out with it in his pocket, his parents won’t even know he took it!” he said “So many kids pick up the Mirascope, and many of them pull out the frog, not knowing they aren’t supposed to!”.

“And then I will have to replace the little toy frog. Maybe with a coin, or a die, or some other small object. I’ll have to do it sooner or later”

That was four years ago.

The store keeper was wrong.

The little toy frog did not leave the store. But he did have a lot of adventures! Because while luckily no small child walked out with the little toy frog, they did take him out of his home in the Mirascope!

And the little toy frog ended up in some strange places!

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And met some strange friends!

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And so it happened again and again. Many times when the little toy frog went on these adventure the shop keeper thought the little toy frog was gone for good. The little toy frog would be gone for days and the shop keeper thought that the little toy frog had left for good.

But then the little toy frog would turn up in the strangest places!

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And then he would go back into his home on the Mirascope and stay until his next adventure!

Do you want a Mirascope? It comes with its own little toy frog!

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Walter Economy Water Baths

We’ve carried Laboratory Baths, both Dry and Water for quote some time now. Laboratory Baths are used to bring samples up to a certain temperature by immersing them in a controlled temperature bath of water. Baths are either ‘Water’ where the samples are immersed directly into the water (in test tubes or other containers, mind you) or ‘dry’ where the samples are in heated blocks.  Laboratory Baths are much more controlled than using other methods such as boiling water or a hot plate. The temperature is much more controlled and allows for proper reactions or growth of the samples.

Laboratory Baths can be a bit costly, however. A 4L model can run over $700. For this you do get an excellent instrument with precision temperature controls & accuracy (0.1 C), timer and in-lab calibration. So don’t misunderstand us – that is an excellent instrument. However, this still might be a bit to pricey for some labs or schools that do not require such precision instruments. For them we have the affordable Water Water Baths

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Walter Water baths come in 2 Liter, 4 Liter and 8 Liter (shown) sizes.

These Water Baths feature intelligent temperature controller with PID program, digital tube display, over-temperature protection, stainless steel inner container and roof and anti-corrosion exterior , and +/- 1 C sensitivity.

WaterBath Lid

These Baths are excellent for educational facilities, or for start-up labs on a budget.

Want to buy Laboratory Baths?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

fischertechnik Mechanics & Statics Engineering Kit

fischertechnik (yes, with the lower case ‘f’) makes high quality school education physics & robotics construction kits  that can both entertain and teach students. The kits use a construction toy style (like LEGO or K’NEX)to build the projects. They produce many different kits, and we will be adding them to our product line. But for this post we thought we would concentrate on one particular bit of engineering education: The fischertechnik Mechanic & Static Engineering kit

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This kit has over 500 components for building 30 different models. Included with the kit is a 134 page, full-color construction booklet to help you build the models. Since this is an engineering kit you start with simple designs like Bars & turntables, but soon you will be constructing things like a planetary gear:

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Of course, this being an engineering kit about statics and mechanics you have to have a bridge model:

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Or other concepts in mechanics such as a balance scale:

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But soon you’ll be producing such exciting models that are based on practical, real-life concepts such as this mechanical mixer – not unlike the model you would see in a kitchen:

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There are plenty of other models and the kit has lessons on Dynamics, Electric moors, worm gears, crank gears, madnril screws, and much more!

The Mechanic & Static Engineering kit is powered by a 9V battery (not included) and includes the motor, switch & battery tray.  This is an excellent kit for the classroom or for kids who love to build aged 9+!

Want to buy the fischertechnik Mechanics & Statics Kit?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Wanna Play Cards? Nature themed playing cards!

We’ve had great success with science themed playing cards, such as the Night Sky Playing Cards or the Rocks & Minerals Playing Cards. But we have now added four regional playing card sets, each with a nature theme!

These decks are made by Adventure Publications, who take the time to craft a quality product. Each card in the deck shows a different specimen or species from the theme of the deck. Even the jokers get specimens!

First up is the Mammals of the Northeast playing cards

4314This deck shows 54 different species of mammals that live in the Northeastern portion of the USA.

Next up is the Wildflowers of the Northeast playing cards

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Each card in this playing deck has a brilliant image of an attractive wildflower native to the Northeast USA.

Going from flowers to trees we have the Trees of the Northeast playing cards

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This deck has leaf images of tree types of the Northeast USA.

In addition, we also have Bird of the Northeast playing cards, which will be available online as soon as the artwork is ready.

All of these decks are standard decks of playing cards with four suits, Ace thru King, and two jokers. Each card has a different specimen or species with image and name.

Want more Nature and Life Science Toys?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

 

 

 

 

BenchMark BeadBlaster 24 Microtube Homogenizer

When it comes to homoginization (which is another word used in science for ‘smash things into liquid’) there haven’t actually been a whole lot of options out there.  Two models have from BioMed and Bertin were  available, but beyond that there wasn’t much else. That was until last year when BenchMark released their BeadBug Homoginizer last year. Let’s take a moment to see the BeadBug in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPT9H1fyH5s

Now of course the BeadBug is awesome, and great for small labs, but there is one limitation you might have noticed: Only 3 microtubes at a time can be worked. For larger laboratories or even small labs that have large samples they need to work on. Hence the reason for BenchMark’s new product: the BeadBlaster 24 Homoginizer!

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As the name implies, the BeadBlaster 24 can handle as many as 24 microtubes at a time.  Like the BeadBug it can handle soft tissue or material as hard as bone. Once again, there is a nice variety or pre-filled tubes with glass beads, zirconium beads, and stainless beads available.

Let’s take a close up of the workings of the BeadBlaster:

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All the tubes are sealed to prevent cross contamination.  The BeadBlaster can range from 4.0 to 7.0 m/s it runs up to 90 seconds on a cycle, and up to 10 cycles can be programmed (with a delay between cycles).  Since re-entering your favorite homgenizing cycles can be time-consuming, it can hold up to 50 programs in its memory.

The BeadBlaster has a 2 year limited warranty and is available in a European electrical version in addition to the standard USA current.

Shop for the BeadBlaster24 Microtube Homogenizer

www.spectrum-scientifics.com

Red vs. Green vs. Violet Laser Pointers

Once upon a time laser pointers were pretty much a high-cost luxury item. Back in the very late 80’s they could cost around $75-100 dollars for a simple red pointer that was nothing special. It was handy for those who had to do a lot of pointing work, but other than that it was a bit too much for most people to spend on a toy.

In the 90’s the prices on red laser pointers dropped a whole lot.  Now you could get simple keychain models for under $5 and entertain your cat for less than a stuffed mouse. More fancy models still existed, but even they had come down in price.  All of these laser pointers had one thing in common: they used a low cost red LED diode that projected a beam at 630nm. This was ok, but not a very visible pointer. Today a decent pen-length model can go from $10 to $30

Then came green laser pointers. At first they were very expensive: A basic model cost around $500 in 1999.  But like the red models they soon came down in price, although they never quote reached the $5 level of the red models, they certain became more affordable. Now a green laser goes from $30-$150 depending on who is selling it.

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Green laser pointers project a beam at a 532nm wavelength and generally have no greater output than the red laser pointers. Yet they are still very popular. Why? Because the human eye perceives the wavelength region around 532nm much better than the region around 630nm (red laser pointers).  This video we made years ago illustrates this effect quite nicely:

Green lasers are bright enough that their beams can be visible under night conditions, so they are even used in astronomy to point towards objects in the night sky.

These days a third color of laser pointer has entered the fray (ignoring the very expensive ‘True Blue’ models, mind you). This is the 405nm wavelength Violet/Blue laser pointer.

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405nm is not as visible as the 532nm Green Laser pointers, but 405nm does have other advantages. It is a wavelength that has industrial uses, and since it is a wavelength that is verrry close to the upper end of the human eye’s spectrum it actually is almost in the Ultraviolet spectrum. This has many uses, but one of the most interesting effects with how the human perceives the beam point. If it sits on a bright, white surface the point appears to be one color, but aim it at a not so bright, white surface and it appears a different color. This is an effect similar to what happens when you point an ultraviolet light at piece of bleached white clothing.

More fun, however, is what happens when you point the Violet/Blue laser pointer at popular Glow-In-The-Dark toys. We illustrate what happens in this video:

Would you like to buy some laser pointers?

www.spectrum-scientifics.com