Fun Science Events for Schools & Parties

[ Updated: 01/02/14 Found new copies of Last Day, When Dinosaurs Roamed, White Tips Journey, Pink Extinct and fixed Dinosaurs & Dry Ice]
[ Updated: 12/05/13 Added Fly Me To The Moon, Space Race, Dino Revolution! ]
[ Updated: 04/12/13 Added more younger-oriented videos! ]

'Science' and 'Fun' in the same sentence?! Not when YOU went to school, huh? Not for MOST of us! But for SOME of us, we had those teachers that went all-out to show us that science was not only cool, but a blast!

They had gadgets, they had toys, they had things you could grab and DO things with, unlike the poor math and english teachers. What teachers but the science teachers would scrounge at your mother's garage sales for your old Tonkas

Apollo 11: On the Moon
, GI Joes and construction sets? [you know who you are Mrs. Baker! ;-) ] 'Conservation of momentum' with the teacher's assistant rolling across the benchtop in your old Tonka and tossed a bag of sand...

Disney's Fantasia Dinosaurs
yes he slowed down, but not before he fell off the end of the benchtop to his doom on the floor! In college, we called it 'the Magic Show', where that bowling ball hanging from the high ceiling swung away from the prof, only to stop juuuust short of whacking his head when it came swingin' back!

Missing Pieces won't go THAT far, but I will come into your class, library or party and show the kids a good time with hands on subjects like Dinosaurs, the Space Race and Dry Ice Fun! My Fun Science Events combine talking about the subject, bringing lots of references for all the students to look at, to stimulate them during setup and lots of hands on activities to demonstrate the science and wonder of the subjects. And sometimes they even get to take some of it home with them! And they all take home the learning and fun of it. If you have an idea for an event that I don't currently do, tell me, I'll see what I can do! 'Macgyver' is my patron saint!

I was on WBZ radio recently, with Al Whittaker of Space Camp fame. Had a great talk with him about getting kids into hands-on science like the classes I do. They were even having a teachers conference down in Huntsville Alabama, where Space Camp is based, specifically on getting teachers to get kids hooked on science with the hands-on approach. He even wanted me to come down and talk in front of the teachers, to relate my experiences! (he even said he MIGHT be able to send me a 'real' Saturn V rocket model to replace the hand-made one I've been using! :-) Unfortunately, the conference was the VERY next day, so there was no time to arrange a corporate sponsorship to ship me down there. (should have just FedEx-ed myself down there in a box! ;-)

Science is Real

Schoolhouse Rock: Interplanet Janet

I Am a Paleontologist

Dinosaur Bone Beds
COST: $150 per event, + $25 per 4 kids (1 Dino Bone Bed for 4 kids) and 3 hours of intense interaction!

What kid doesn't like dinosaurs? ESPECIALLY when they get to DIG for them! With the Dino Bone Bed Event, kids all get to dig for dinosaur bones, dinosaur figures, rocks, shells and even REAL fossil shark's teeth! (always the kid's favorite) See a slideshow of a typical Dino Bone Bed Dig!

Each Dino Bone Bed serves 4 kids, one on each side. Its the size of a 4-six-pack soda case (those 3" tall trays you see in the grocery store?) Unlike commercial kits, which typically are hard rock or a composite material that can take DAYS to chip out with a hammer, Dino Bone Beds are made of plaster of paris that has been specially 'bubbled up' to allow the kids to quickly and easily dig through the strata, in the time available in a classroom environment, but still very much like a real paleontologist would!

Using a variety of small tools, each 4 kids will work

Disney's Dinosaur
as a Dino Dig Team to dig through their bone beds, carefully (yeah, right, they dive in like ravenous dogs, who am I kidding? ;-) removing all the artifacts they find for later study. After they've determined they've found everything, they then move to troughs of water, using several types of brushes to scrub their artifacts clean of 'dirt', just as a real paleontologist would!

The Dino Bone Beds are each equally spread with enough bones, figures, rocks, teeth and such, to ensure that each child will get at least one of everything, except for the dinosaur bones within the Bed. (boy, the bartering afterwards for who wants teeth, more than dinos, more than rocks is facinating to watch! Although I have to watch out for the occasional con man in the bunch
 What happens at this event? 
Pterry the robo Pterodactyl greets
Dino books for everyone to read
Q&A & Instructions
Dig those Dino Bone Beds!
Clean the artifacts
Assemble the skeletons
Divide up the rest of the spoils!
Final Q&A
Dino Videos (during cleanup)
too! lol)

The dinosaur bones however, are put together by the kids as a team, to see what dinosaur was buried beneath their Dino Bone Bed. Sometimes they even have to work with another team, if the skeleton was so big that half the skeleton was put in each of two Bone Beds! Really shows how they can work together as a unit, with a common goal.

Before the digging begins, the kids are greeted by Pterry the robotic Pteradactyl! If the kids were out at lunch when I set up (this usally works best for an afternoon event) I will send Pterry out the door of the class to greet the kids, just as they come back! Next, they get to go through dozens of excellent dinosaur books to stimulate LOTS of questions. There will also be a large selection of dinosaur figures, both large and small for the kids to handle, along with a real museum-quality T-Rex tooth and claw! Depending on how much time was alotted for the Event, the kids will also get to see computer generated videos and animation about dinosaurs. These ALWAYS stimulate a LOT of discussion and speculation, from the resident dinosaur experts! (the kids! ;-)

Afterwards, cleanup is a snap. Whether indoors or out, large thin dropcloths are used beneath the entire enterprise, that roll right up afterwards. Many a custodian has breathed a sigh of relief after the principal dropped in on us during our dig and was agast at our pleasure! :-) All it requires is everyone in the class moving their desks around to make room in the middle of the class for us. And then back again. Everyone has a blast they'll remember! I've had students who've seen me in their pre-school classes, come up to me as 5th graders, regaling their own previous experience from years ago!

Dino Bone Beds give kids a great chance to get real hands on, down and dirty with their science! To see that its not just dry books and tests that make science worth studying. Teachers have told me that their students were far more active, alert and creative with their science after the Dino Bone Bed Event! (and its a lot of fun too! :-)

Man on the Moon: The Space Race!
COST: $150 per event, for up to 3 hours of fun science!

10...9...8... Remember the Apollo program, Man on the Moon, One Small Step for Mankind and all that? MOST KIDS DON'T! In fact, an awful lot of them don't know anything happened before the Space Shuttle! And some of
Apollo 11
Gemini 11
Mercury 7

others are even convinced that none of the rest really happened, that it was all movie stuff and faked and made up. Oy!

I do a talk and demonstration of what really went on in the Space Program during the '60s. A little bit of the Mercury Program, a dash of the Gemini effort and a WHOLE lot of the Apollo Moon Program!

First, I start off with dozens of books on rockets and space for the kids to look at. This gets them going and stirs the pot for lots of questions later. Its always amazing what they will come up with, with a little bit of stimulus from the right books!

Depending on the amount of time for the talk, I also have computer videos and animations of space shots from the NASA archives and even stuff that Walt Disney did with the space pioneer, Werner von Braun, in the 1950's, to prove to the government AND the people that we COULD go into space! If you have a large monitor or TV in the classroom, I can probably connect to it for an even better show from my laptop. There will also be quite a few models and space items to touch and examine.
  What happens at this event?  
Space & Rocket books for everyone
Q&A & Instructions
Let's go to the Moon!
Everyone gets to ride in a rocket!
Space and Rocket videos
Final Q&A
My dad worked on the Lunar Module back in the '60s, so I have a wonderfully detailed dual model of the Command and Lunar Modules for the kids to see. The 'star' of the collection is a huge, custom-built Saturn V rocket that comes apart to describe the process of getting men off the earth and into space!

Next, we race to the Moon! I'll take advantage of that earth globe that is in virtually every classroom. Turns out, if you put this in one corner of a standard classroom and my globe of the moon in the other corner, diagonally across, the distance between the two, shows the kids how far the Moon REALLY is from the Earth, pretty closely! We then will stage our OWN launch, moon mission and landing, using the Saturn V model and its components to simulate all

The Flight of Apollo 11
the major parts of the mission, in the places they occur!

Lastly, do you think anyone would like to try being an astronaut? ;-) We can't do the zero G stuff, (I'm working on it!) but I do have a full scale mockup of the Main Control Panel from the Apollo Command Module! By putting 3 chairs next to each other on the floor facing up and supporting the Control Panel across 2 desks, facing down, over the chairs, we can create our OWN Apollo Command Module. 3 kids at a time can have a chance to see what it feels like to be an astronaut, while the others manning their desks as Mission Control Specialists> With a little help and some shaking, we can even simulate the jarring effects of blastoff!

Original B&W version Blueprint version
This talk gives the kids a lot to think about, especially with the government's recent backing of a permanent return to the Moon and then on to Mars. The pre-conceived notions, along with the demos and hands on interaction, make a for really lively discussion! We may even add 'Astronaut' back into the list of 'What I wanna be when I grow up' again!

Dry Ice Fun
COST: $100 per event, for up to 2 hours of smokey fun!

Ever wonder how the smoke for a stage concert was made or how they made the Addams Family's drinks spew smoke right from the glass? (not to mention the punch bowl!) The best, most fun and cheapest way is with Dry Ice!

My talk about Dry Ice is a fun one, 

Dry Ice Demo
(especially at Halloween, but ANY time is cool) showing how Dry Ice (frozen carbon dioxide) works and its many fun uses. From 'spiking' your drink, to a Witches caldron, to volcanos and popping the tops of milk bottles WAY across the room, Dry Ice is instuctional and fun.

I go through the do's and don'ts of respecting this useful compound, with all the right equipment and give a great show. Its especially useful at Halloween and parties, covering whole tables and floors with a ghostly
What happens at this event?
Witch's Caldron of Evil Brew
Do's and Don'ts of Dry Ice
Volcano Mists
Milk Bottle Top Launches!
Bubble Magic
Cup of Mist on every table
haze, with only the Dry Ice and some hot water. It even 'walks' down stairs, great for entering guests!

I even put clear cups of water with a chunk of Dry Ice on each table or set of desks, so the kids can look close up at the CO2 bubbling directly off the ice into gas, right through the water!

Speaking of corporate sponsors, if you know of a company (or just a concerned person or PTA!) that would like to encourage science in the classes, please let them know about the classes I do with kids! I work with many small and large businesses all the time, in the computer side of my business, and they have been very receptive to this unique oppurtunity to help generate more interest in the Sciences in the schools. It helps get them the highly trained students they'll need in the future! :-)

In these troubled economic times, many schools don't have the funds or organizational ability to be able to bring me in, on a funded basis, for one of my great events, even at the low prices I charge. (I really do them 'at cost', because I just love doing it) But they can arrange for me to come in as a 'sponsored event'! I used to do that when I first started these events in my daughter's classes. A bunch of other parents I knew in my daughter's classes and I would band together, pool our money and I'd put on the event for the kids. Worked great! I'll give you full credit for your help/sponsorship in any event! Call/write for more info!


Jurassic Park

Got Caveman?
Disney's 1940 Fantasia - Rite of Spring

(Evolution of the Earth, life & extinction of the Dinosaurs)
T-Rex Sue

Sea Monster Sizes

We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story
'Fly' Me To The Moon
Land Before Time (clips)

Permian Mass Extinction

(Before the Dinosaurs)
The Mystery of the Jurassic

(The beginnings of the Dinosaurs)
When Dinosaurs Roamed America

(The entire reign of the Dinosaurs)

Dinosaur Revolution
BBC: Space Race
Disney's Dinosaur

Denizens of the Mesozoic
Dinosaur: Eggs & Babies
Dinosaurs 101

Dinosaur Planet: White Tips Journey
Clash of the Dinosaurs
Last Day of the Dinosaurs

Gumby: Hidden Valley

(not full screen)
Calvin & Hobbes: Back in Time

(not full screen)
Pink Panther: Extinct Pink

(not full screen)

Disney's 1955: Man in Space
Disney's 1956: Man and the Moon
Disney's 1957: Mars and Beyond

A lot of the videos
on this page can
now be found in this
great collection:
Disney's 1959: Eyes in Outer Space
Classic '50s/'60s Sci-Fi Movie Trailers