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Archive for the ‘Earth Science’ Category

SmoothFoam Mega Volcano

Erupting volcanos are a staple of many science fairs and school demonstrations. Plus they can be fun to do at home as well. But making the volcano canbe a bit frustrating. Either your make your own volcano with lots of Plaster-of-Paris and the mess caused by it, or a you buy a kit where you make a volcano with Plaster-of-Paris around a framework, or you have a pre-mold that ‘erupts’ using a squeeze bulb rather than a more interesting chemical reaction of vinegar & baking soda.

To help resolve this, the folks ar the Plasteel Corporation developed the Smoothfoam Mega Volcano:



MOVA Globe Cubes

For a few years we have been happily selling the MOVA Globes in their various sizes and planetary representations. Now we have added their recent entry to their product line: The Mova Cube Globes, in Antique Finish:


Or the Blue Relief Map Finish:



Just Some Cool Videos Of Awesome Classroom Science Stuff

Yeah, we could be called lazy today, but these are some great videos of some classroom products that we carry. Have a look:

The Orbiter. Either non-illuminated, or illuminated the Earth-Sun Orbiter models demonstrate how the Earth orbits our Sun, and how the tilt of the Earth’s axis causes the seasons:

The Economy Stream table is used in Earth Science classes to demonstrate how streams erode the land around them, causing them to make new paths and changing the landscape:

A big step up from the Economy Stream Table is the Hydro-Geology Stream Table. Much more versatile and able to demonstrate more erosion concepts.

The Teaching Tornado Model is an excellent way to demonstrate how these destructive weather forces form. Here it is in action:

The Celestial Star Globe is an excellent visual aid for showing how the Earth sits in space. The transparent globe shows the position of the Moon and the stars in space.

The always popular Orrery is a mechanical demonstration of how the planets orbit in out solar system. Students can get a real feel for how the outer planets ‘take their time’ in circling the Sun.

Oh hey, another Orrery video!

Teaching anything about human anatomy? You probably should get a Torso Model.

Are you interested in great science products for your classroom? We’ve got a wide variety!




MOVA Solar Powered Spinning Globes

We’ve been waiting for these to come in, and now they are here. We are talking about the MOVA Solar Powered Spinning Globes!


These globes sit on their base and with just a little bit of light will spin. If you pick up the globe it will still spin! Put it on the table and it continues to spin! There is no cord, no batteries, and really odd is no obvious solar cells.

The secret is that the the globe is actually immersed in a liquid that in turn is inside a clear acrylic globe. There are solar panels located behind the printed image of the globe. Since the globe only needs a little bit of light to runt he drive mechanism this works out fine. Let;s take a look at a video of the globe in action:

The MOVA globes are a great desktop toy. and don’t just come as a globe. We also have ones that are the surface of the Moon


And also one that is the Planet Jupiter



There are more of these MOVA globes available and we will be adding more very soon. Keep an eye out on this blog for more Solar Spinning Globes.

Want to buy a solar spinning Earth? Moon? Jupiter?


What’s in the Soil? A classroom soil-testing kit.

We have been adding more classroom items of late, and one of interest is the ‘What’s in the Soil’ kit from American Educational. The kit is large enough for 30 students to run tests.

Using ordinary soil, students perform test such as soil nutrient & mineral analysis (testing for over 10 nutrients & minerals) to determine the effectiveness of plant growth. Students also will determine water content, organic matter content & pH levels. Several soil samples are included in case local soil does not have enough variation.

The kit includes a 9 page teacher’s guide and covers 12 different activities. The kit is designed for students from grades 6-12 9age 11-18).


The Orrery and other Solar System Simulators

An Orrery is a mechanical simulation model of the motion of the planets in our solar system. An Orrery demonstrates how the planets move in orbit around the sun in relative motion to the other planets. So in  a properly designed Orrery if the Earth model goes around the sun 30 times then Saturn will have circle the Sun just once. More advanced Orreries will even have the various planets rotate with an appropriate period, and very advanced models may have moons which in turn orbit the planets with the proper period.

Orreries were the ultimate in mechanical devices in Astronomy. Universities would spend fortunes to build them in varying sizes and features. They could be as small as a desktop model, to as large as a closet. Today there are some Orreries in museums that take up entire rooms! Many older models are still around, albeit not operational and they show how our knowledge of the Solar System has changed – older models may not have all or even most of Jupiter’s moons, Mar’s two moons are often depicted as perfect spheres, and so on. The most amusing are the older models built before the discovery of Pluto – they were naturally built without that dwarf planet, and this absence was noted for many decades – until Pluto was demoted from planetary status and the old Orreries became accurate once more!

Orreries are almost never perfectly to scale – they are meant to show orbital periods, not accurate distances from the sun. The planets are often oversized as well, but that is necessary for the visual presentation.

These days, few large Orreries are built outside of museum entrance halls. Computer simulations on screens cover most of the mathematical needs, but very often students of Astronomy may need a decent physical demonstration of plnaetary rotation. Fortunately, there are some Orreries still being manufactured! Not just Orreries, but several kinds of solar system simulations!

First up we have a classic powered Orrery. This is a simple model showing just the Major planets – no moons, no dwarf planets, but it does use a classic gear driven system to work out the proper planetary periods! The model moves quietly  and includes a Teacher’s guide with 10 lesson plans! This model is perfect for classroom or home schooling for ages 8-14 (grades 3-9).

For a more economical model, we also have the Solar System Simulator. This model does not operate on gears, instead the planets are adjusted using the dates printed on the base. The planets are moved to show their position around the sun.

No Astronomy class plan would be complete without demonstrations to show how the Earth and Moon move around the Sun. For that we have the Earth-Moon Orbiter Simulator

This simulator is manually gear driven and can be used to show the various aspects of the Moon revolving around the Earth and the Earth in turn revolving around the sun!  Daylight, night, seasons and phases of the moon are all demonstrated with this model. But perhaps you want to show a bit more? For that we also have an Illuminated Earth-Moon Orbiter Simulator

With this simulator you cover the same topics as the non-illuminated model, but with a much more effective visual aid as with an actual illuminating ‘sun’ give the effect of what light from the sun actualy does!

These models are excellent for the classroom or for pooled equipment among home-schoolers.


New Information Intensive Poster – Understanding Earth Science

We’ve added a new entry to our popular information intensive poster series: Understanding Earth Science


This gloriously colorful poster shows the Earth  in several ways, from a view from the International Space Station, to an imaging on global vegitation, or a the sea level. This poster has lots of great imagery and detailed explanations of each image.This poster is a great and informative wall hanger!

The poster measures 24″ Wide x 36″ Tall and is laminated for survival in the toughest classrooms. Printed in the USA.