Bayer Wants European Commission to Lift Neonics Bee Killer Ban

Neonicotinoids or neonics are nasty insecticides that are killing bees in droves. This isn’t just spot treatment. It’s wiping out entire populations. 37 million dead bees were found on just one Canadian farm. Seeds are soaked in neonics so the chemical spreads through the plant. That raises concerns for humans too.  But chemical giant Bayer wants the ban lifted. It's costing them money. Bayer Wants Neonics Bee Killer Ban Lifted

Viniculture, Wine-making Science Applictions

Viniflorist and vintner practices make excellent science and chemistry lessons. This might sound a little unorthodox for school, given kids are underage (I wouldn't do tastings, but it's tempting!) Exploring the impact of terroir on grape and resulting wine makes lessons practical and hands-on.

I drink dry, red wine. It was just brought home to me, how key a factor is annual terroir--weather, soil, climate--on wine. Petit syrah is my go-to. Shiraz is standby. Malbec depending on year and rarely pinot noir. Originally, Malbec was my favorite, specifically 2011. But 2012 bombed. Now I find 2013 Malbec is as bombastic and bodacious as 2011. The shifting terrior really does affect the grape and the wine. I recommend the movie "Bottle Shock" to provide background (omitting the one sex scene).

Bottle Shock--Malbec 2013 Almost as Good as 2011

Latex in Common Foods and Products, Science Experiments to Track Down Allergens

I have a latex allergy. Or maybe I should say latex sensitivity. I react by breaking out in eczema-like lesions that ooze a clear, sticky substance. They itch, crack and hurt. I noticed that carving pumpkins aggravates my skin problems. I get itchy and break out after handling the membrane.

I wondered if pumpkins contain latex. Sounds weird? It's not. Latex is a rubber plant derivative. Lots of tropical fruits are in the same family. They can cause breakouts allergy conditions. Even eating them can cause internal problems for allergics. So I checked a friend and allergy advocate's OneSpot Allergy blog to see. Sure enough, pumpkins are in the rubber plant family.

And I got to thinking, this might be interesting research for science and chemistry classes--tracking down allergens in common food and household products. Many kids suffer with allergies. Some don't even know what they're reacting to. You shouldn't subject potentially allergic kids to allergens, rather have them explore chemical makeup of foods and note experiences they have when in contact with them. Students could use this in text-to-life connections. Pumpkin Carving Aggravates Eczema, Latex Allergies

Apple Math and Science Recipes

As a teacher, I'm all about hands-on and real-life lessons. I have special ed, preschool and Montessori experience. I also homeschooled. Making lessons hands-on is the only way most kids are able to comprehend them. Living in Michigan, apples are a big deal. They also make a great basis for lessons. Here are interactive preschool math and science activities using apples--perfect for fall. Apple Math and Science for Preschoolers

Apple Themed Lesson Plans, Plant Science

I'm certified in special needs education and I have preschool and Montessori experience. I also homeschooled. Making lessons hands-on is my main objective. Living in Michigan, apples are abundant and they're a good subject for fall science lessons. Here are interactive preschool math and science activities using apples. Start by going to an apple orchard and let students pick apples. Or visit a grocery store and explore different apple varieties. Read on
Apple Math and Science for Preschoolers

Free Printable Human Anatomy Activities

The human body is an important topic in science lessons. Coloring and labeling diagrams is one of the best activities to help children learn how things work. When my students and children in home school explored the human body, we colored and labeled diagrams of body parts. Here are printable human body color and label diagrams. Explore how body systems work. Use printable coloring pages of respiratory, circulatory, digestive, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine and reproductive system. These are the eight major systems of the body.   Free Printable Human Body and Anatomy Color and Label Activities

How to Remove Wallpaper: Easy, Cheap, Green

In 2000, my husband and I bought a 100+ year-old home. In its long, colorful history, interior walls sported a plethora of coverings--paint, spackle, and wallpaper. Remodeling, we found four themes, the earliest dating back to the 20s. We have become adept at removing wallpaper and treating walls. Here are tricks to remove wallpaper and treat walls, from 13 years of DIY home fix-ups. Use these easy recipes for crafts, home improvement, even science lessons!How to Remove Wallpaper: Easy, Cheap, Green

Science Crafts, Free Printable Habitat Dioramas

Dioramas are the perfect interactive activity for exploring concepts. Dioramas, or 3-dimensional scenes, help students gain perspective on the relationship of items
in the diorama. Diorama activities work very well for habitat and life science concepts. As students assemble a habitat diorama, they begin to understand how creatures interact with their environment. With the advent of free printable activities from the internet, making dioramas with students has become easy and user-friendly. Here are five different free printable nature habitat diorama activities. Students color, cut and paste and assemble dioramas. Printable dioramas give the added benefit of a high success rate. Special needs and easily frustrated students can create great looking projects and feel proud of their work. For free printables, visit  Coloring, Cut and Paste Activities: Free Printable Habitat Dioramas

Cheap, Homemade, Safe Food Coloring, Edible Art, Recycled Decorations

Waited till the last minute to buy Easter egg dyeing kits for the kids? Now you have to pull a rabbit out of a hat (pun intended) and come up with your own egg decorations. Take it from this mom of four--been there, done that. Never fear--super DIY mom is here! Here are homemade Easter egg decorations using recycled and on-hand materials. And best of all--they're cheaper and safer than store-bought egg coloring kits! Cheap, Homemade, Safe Easter Egg Dyeing, Recycled Decorations

Free Printable Earth Day Coloring Science Experiments, Crafts

April 22 celebrates Earth Day, formerly called Arbor Day. Need free printable Earth Day lessons and activities for your science classroom, homeschool, 4H club or scout troop? Here are links for free printable environmental science activities.
has free printable lesson plans for Earth Day. This link takes you to a free printable cartoon style graphic novel entitled 'On the Trail of the Missing Ozone'. Students learn about atmosphere, the importance of the ozone layer and what we can do to protect it. Students can color the cartoons in this free printable 8 page booklet. Makes a great classroom and homeschool resource.  Free Printable Earth Day Coloring Activities 

Green Spring Cleaning Products for Safe Science Fun

Science experiments don't just have to make messes. They can clean too. That's how most cleaning products were invented--in the kitchen as chemistry experiments. Here are recipes for natural green spring cleaners. Because  too often cleaners drain environmental resources instead of helping it. Toxic chemicals and cleansers pollute air, water and earth. These recipes use safe, green, eco-friendly household ingredients that heal mother nature. Note: even though these are natural substances, some, like hot sauce, will burn or irritate skin. Protect hands with gloves and keep out of eyesNatural Green Spring Cleaning Products Supply Kit


Free Printable Social Studies and Science World Poverty Lesson Plans: Water and Sanitation offers many free printable lesson plans to study world poverty and hunger due to disease, famine, natural disaster, weather and political unrest. Here are free printable science and social studies lessons on Water and Sanitation. UNICEF coordinates relief efforts around the world. UNICEF, the United Nations International Childrens' Emergency Fund was started in 1946 to help children in post-WWII war torn countries.  Free Printable Social Studies, Science Worksheets on World Poverty, Water and Sanitation 

Free Science Lessons: Caves, Paleontology, Bats, Fossils, Deserts

Caves are one of nature's most alluring geological landforms. Caves are a separate biome. They've been used as dwelling places by animals and people. Mystics have sought divine enlightenment living as hermits in caves. Caves walls, like those at Lascaux in France were used by ancient peoples to record information through images. Teachers and homeschool families, if you're planning a unit on caves here are free printable lessons plans, Activities cover cave-related subjects: paleontology, bats, fossils, stalagmites, stalactities, geology, spelunking and earth science.  Free Printable Caves Lessons, Paleontology, Bats, Fossils, Deserts

Free Online Scientific Calculator, Reference Toolbar Download

Mad scientists, every good chemist knows that science experiments should be one percent explosion to 99 precent research. What that means is that before you start concocting potentially lethal mixtures--DO YOUR HOMEWORK! A good scientist spends most of her time planning, reading, observing, organizing and taking notes. And for that you need good scientific reference materials. Here's all-in-one online reference software for research. This free toolbar download includes: to-do list, calendar, world clock, scientific calculator, dictionary, weather, translator, stopwatch, calorie counter, spellchecker and encyclopedia. Free Scientific Calculator, Reference Tools

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