At home STEM activities for your students

Science Heads wants to help during the national health emergency. Since most local schools are closed – we will be regularly posting STEM activities that students can do at home.

These activities are both educational and entertaining. It’s also a great opportunity to reinforce what your students have been learning in school.

Here are some of our favorite sources for at-home science activities :

Science Snacks from the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

NASASTEM@home from NASA

Stuck at Home Science from the California Science Center

LiveScience has published a list of links to virtual museums, educational videos, online lessons, and more.

NEW – Chat with a NASA Solar System Ambassador

Looking for fun science related activities for your kids? Schedule an online video chat during which they can learn about space and engineering from an actual scientist. These personalized 30 minute sessions are sponsored by NASA and Science Heads and are absolutely free. Click to schedule a session.

Experiment with a Home Made Spectroscope

Here is an activity that will keep your students engaged for hours. Have them build a cardboard spectroscope using the template below and learn about light. All that is needed is cardboard, glue, scissors and an old CD. Your students can then observe the spectrum of different light sources inside and outside your home (incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lamps, street lights, …). Have them take pictures using their cell phone and consider the following questions:

Why do different light sources produce different spectra? What can the spectrum tell us? How is spectroscopy used by astronomers and chemists?

Below are some links that may provide answers for your at home experimenters:

https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-spectroscope.htm

https://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/science/toolbox/spectra1.html

https://sciencing.com/prisms-work-4965588.html

Stay healthy and safe!

Richard Stember, Exec. Dir. Science Heads

NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador

Postponed- Call for High Altitude Student Experiments

Because of COVID-19 pandemic the April 18th launch of HAB5 has been postponed to November.

Science Heads will be launching another of it’s High Altitude Balloons (HAB5) in support of STEM education in local middle and high schools. Students in grades 7 – 12 are invited to submit proposals for experiments to be carried in the HAB5 payload.

The guidelines for submitting proposals are documented below:

The deadline for proposal submission is: TBD

The HAB5 launch is scheduled for Saturday, TBD.

HAB/STEM launches are open to the public and are free to attend. Your students, their family, friends and school mates are all invited to attend. Join us for an exciting and fun day of science activities.

Science Heads Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on a mission to support STEM education and raise science literacy.

Science Heads’ High Altitude Balloon STEM Program

The Science Heads HAB / STEM program inspires students to apply what they have learned in school and design scientific experiments to be carried to the “edge of space.”

On November 9th and 25th, Science Heads successfully launched it’s fourth and fifth High Altitude Balloons. The payloads carried experiments designed by local Middle School and High School students to altitudes of 15 and 20 miles respectively. Both payloads were successfully recovered and the experiments were returned to the students for data analysis.

Our next launch, HAB5, is scheduled to take place on April 18th, 2020. Again students will be invited to submit proposals for experiments.

Learn more about how Science Heads Inc. supports STEM education in the local schools with its exciting HAB / STEM program:

3 min short video
Full flight 360 VR video (2 hrs). Drag with your mouse in all directions to change perspective.

HAB3 Successfully Launched and Recovered

HAB1 soars into the sky on April 21st, 2018

On Saturday, April 6th, Science Heads successfully launched its third High Altitude Balloon (HAB3). In the payload were experiments designed by students from La Paz Intermediate (Mission Viejo) and Woodbridge High School (Irvine). The balloon reached an altitude of 110,000 feet (20.8 miles) and traveled approximately 70 miles. The main experiment payload was recovered from the side of Palomar Mountain in San Diego county.

This launch would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and volunteers. Thank you! We will be posting pictures and video of the launch very soon.

Read the OC Register article


HAB3 Student Experiments Announced

Science Heads is pleased to announce that the following experiments have been accepted for the HAB3 payload.  Congratulations to all the students who submitted proposals.  The HAB3 launch is tentatively scheduled to occur at 11:00 am on April 6th,  2019 from the City of Lake Forest Sports Park.

Science Heads’ HAB launches are free and open to the public.  The launches are exciting family and STEM oriented events appropriate for children of all ages and adults.  You are welcome to join us on this fun day focused on science and supporting these students!

Testing the Effect of Ultraviolet Radiation and Extreme Atmospheric Conditions on the Efficiency of Wireless Power Transfer, Sarah Chen & Anshul Paul, Woodbridge High School (teacher: Ms. Jennifer Blackie)

Liquid Atmospheric and Temperature Experiment, La Paz Intermediate School (teacher: Dr. Boni Beck)

APRS Digipeater Design Experiment, Robert MacHale, SH CubeSat Committee.

HAB2 Successfully Launched and Recovered

Science Heads successfully launched its second High Altitude Balloon (HAB2) on Saturday, November 10th, 2018.  It carried six (6) student designed experiments.

The balloon and its payload reached an altitude of approximately 15 miles (80,000 feet).  We successfully recovered the payload from a wilderness area near Aguanga California.  The experiments were returned to the students and they analyzed their data.  The students’ papers summarizing their results are listed below.:

Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this possible.  Our RCOM, WCOM, LOPS and FOPS teams put in many hours and we greatly appreciate their efforts.

A special thank you to our sponsors: Praxair, SOARA, the City of Lake Forest and OC Drone Photography – who produced the short video above.

And thank you for supporting Science Heads and STEM education.

Student Papers:

Science Showtime at Golden West College

Science Heads appeared for the second time at Science Showtime, held at Golden West College in Huntington Beach. The event was on September 28th, and drew a big crowd as it had the previous year.

This time, Science Heads brought the Mobile Observatory to the middle of the campus. The event ran from 5pm to 8pm, which didn’t give an opportunity for viewing either the sun or night sky, but we had a great time talking about the solar system, and answering a lot of really good questions about space!

Our next public event will take us to Spooktacular at the Great Park in Irvine, October 13th and 14th. We hope to see you there!

Inspiring Young Minds from the Edge of Space

On Saturday, April 21st, Science Heads launched it’s first High Altitude Balloon. In the payload were 5 student experiments from local schools. The balloon and payload reached the edge of space (approximately 109,000 feet or 20.6 miles in altitude) and landed in the inland empire.

Below are  videos produced using footage from the on-board camera.

We are planning to launch two more HABs during the next school year. Stay tuned for details.

Since Science Heads is entirely funded through donations – it’s support from people like you that make it possible for us to inspire students and adults with projects like our HAB program.

Thank you for supporting Science Heads,

Richard Stember
Executive Director
Science Heads Inc.

HAB Launch – Part 1

HAB Launch – Part 2

HAB Brochure (PDF):  

Astronomy Night at the Lake Forest Sports Park

The City of Lake Forest held an Astronomy Night at the Sports Park, and Science Heads was there!

We brought a bunch of new astronomy-related science stations, including Eclipse on the Wall (see how eclipses happen), Twinkle Stars (why do stars twinkle?), Sunset in a Glass Dish (why does the sky turn red at sunset?), Pie Plate Solar System (can you make the Earth orbit the Sun?), and a revised Constellation Identification station (how many do you know?). Plus there were several favorites, like Glow in the House (everyday materials that glow under “black”light) and Relative Sun Size (Sun and planet sizes to scale).

Of course, we also had the mobile observatory and plenty of telescopes. None of the more familiar planets were up for the night (Saturn had set just after the Sun), but Richard was able to treat participants to view of Uranus as a ghostly blue dot in space. Our other telescopes were pointed at individual stars like Capella and Sirius, or star clusters like the Pleiades. Meanwhile, Brad showed off our outdoor display setup with Eyes on the Solar System.

We had a great turnout, and a lot of fun. We hope that the City of Lake Forest will continue these events.

Science Heads Are Spooky at Montevideo Elementary

Our Spooky Science program continues, this time at Montevideo Elementary School.

A great crowd turned out to see this event, our first time at Montevideo. The sky was cloudy, so we concentrated on the Mobile Observatory software, and all of our new spooky science stations.

The glowing stations outside were a big hit as always, and inside, the screaming cups and screaming balloons, spider sense webs, optical illusions, take-home experiments, and solar system size display were very popular. In the front of the school, our big, hands-on lever station got a lot of use, with students able to lift 70 pounds with one hand.

Thank you to our great volunteers for making this an amazing night out!