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Archive for the ‘Environment’ 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:



New STEM Wind and Solar Generating Kits from Picoturbine

For a couple of years we have been offering various wind gnereating kits such as the Savonius Wind Turbine. These kits do quite well but schools may find they need more to teach energy generation as part of a STEM program. So now Picoturbine offers multiple kits for Wind and Solar energy generation.  There are several designs that depend on the size & design of the windmill (Mini, Standard, and Limitless) as well as the systems ability to generate AC, DC or both.



Dino Pet – a living bioluminescent pet

We finally have them in stock, the Dino Pet! The glowing, living dino-shaped pet!



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!




PicoTurbine Wind Turbine Classroom Kits

Alternative energy is rapidly becoming one of the major topics of study in the classroom and Spectrum has supplied kits that produce energy via solar, hydrogen and wind. In that latter production category we have recently added a series of Savonius Wind Turbines and Windmill generators by PicoTurbine:

4907a (more…)

Boogie Board LCD Writing Tablets

We recently added the Boogie Board, a LCD pad for drawing and writing.


The Boogie Board is an update of the classic ‘Magic Slate’ toy from the 50’s. Here you can use the stylus or even your own finger to draw on the screen. You can make lists, do math, draw pictures, and when you are done just push the button at the top of the Boogie Board and in a flash it wipes the screen clean! The Boogie Board can be wiped clean over 50,000 times on its included battery.


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).


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.



This article is a re-write of an old Spectrum Scientifics blog article.

Ecospheres are popular living gifts! They are completely contained biospheres with animal and plant light. They come in a variety of sizes shapes, such as small sphere, small pod, medium sphere, large pod, large sphere and extra-large (9″) sphere.

Inside the Ecosphere, life is thriving. Little brine shrimp scamper around the provided branches and rocks:

These shrimp scamper around, eat the algae in the ecosphere, and produce waste products (poop!) that in turn fertilizes the algae. The whole system gets energy from external light that, along with the shrimp waste, makes the algae grow. Ecospheres require only indirect light, as direct sunlight will cause the algae to grow out of control (and kill the shrimp) and no light will mean the algae dies (and the shrimp would starve).

Ecospheres are a great demonstration of the life cycle, and they typically last 3-4 years before they need a ‘recharge’. Some have been known to last even longer, going as long as 9-10 years. That seems a bit uncommon, however.

Ecospheres are delivered straight to your home from the manufacturer. They are shipped overnight and someone must be present to sign for them. When buying an Ecosphere as a gift (or for yourself), consider sending it to the recipient’s  place of work so that someone will be there to sign for it. Ecospheres should not be kept in their packaging for very long as they need light.

Order Ecospheres with plenty of time to arrange for delivery!  They are an incredible, thoughtful, lasting gift!


Hydrogen & Renewable Energy Kits Part 1

Spectrum Scientifics has recently added a bunch of new Renewable Energy Kits & cars to our product lineup. We’ll be covering the kits today and the cars on Thursday. These kits are produced by Horizon and cover a wide range of renewable energy sources. The primary theme in these kits is to use the energy generation to produce hydrogen gas, which is a fuel.

First up is the main kit: The Renewable Energy Education Kit

The Renewable Energy Education Kit

Renewable Energy Education Kit

This kits covers all the ground for renewable energy: wind, solar, bio and so on. Various methods are used to generate power to convert ordinary water into hydrogen gas, which is then stored.  A sample set of pages from the included education guide can be downloaded for review.

The rest of the kits are actually just parts of the main Renewable Energy Education Kit, allowing teachers to concentrate on specific aspects of energy generation without the cost for parts they do not want.

The Hydro-Wind Kit, as may be implied, concentrates on using the wind to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen gas.

The Hydro Wind Kit

The Wind-Pitch Kit is related to the Hydro-Wind kit but does not generate Hydrogen gas. Instead students are given multiple windmill blades to work with to generate the greatest amount of power to run lights and music (LED lights and music make included!)

The Wind Pitch Kit

The Wind Pitch Kit

The Bio-Energy Discovery Kit works by converting ethanol (alcohol) into electricity without any combustion. the entire reaction is part of a next-generation bio-fuel technology.

The Bio-Energy Discovery Kit

Bio-Energy Discover Kit

Each of these kits makes a wonderful introduction to the world of renewable energy. They are excellent for personal use or for the classroom. Each kit comes with a Renewable Energy Education Cirriculum CD which has the following:

  • Renewable Energy Education Manual
  • Horizon Experiment Manual
  • Flash Animations
  • New Science Kit Assembly Guides
  • Technical Support Section with Videos

Add some of these fine ideas to your curriculum today!