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jrose's favorite SMILE activities


Created by jrose, last updated 2015-11-13

Here is a running list of my favorites activities in SMILE, and a note about why I like each one.


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Sound Sandwich

I've always liked simple music-making toy instruments (such as the slide whistle and the nose whistle). Then I found the Sound Sandwich, and I fell in love. It's like a blade of grass whistle that lets you vary the notes and play songs! Two popsicle sticks, three rubber bands, and a straw, and it's done in 5 minutes -- love it.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Constellations

This is a really cool idea -- use chocolate chips to make a kind of star map cookie. I might use the idea for also presenting other STEM images like simple graphs or circuit symbols.

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Kimchee Fermentation Chamber

Such a nice combination of ideas -- chemistry, food, and 2-liter bottles! I like food chemistry, but I also like fun equipment, and the whole Bottle Biology approach fits that bill nicely.

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The Three Basic States (Phases) of Matter

This activity is a nice variation on an old demo. It is a model for the particle nature of matter, but because it's done with marbles, it can be FELT instead of just seen. See the comments for my suggested improvements.

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Make a Salt Volcano (Lava Lite)

A very cool experiment that can be related to both oil spills in salt water and 60s lava lamps. My favorite part is its origin (and suggested demo location): "Exploratorium Teacher-in-Residence Eric Muller created this activity while playing with his food in a Chinese restaurant."

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Virtual Knee Surgery

This interactive reminds me of an old computer game called "Life

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Build a Straw Oboe

It's WAY better than I expected! Not quite the range of the Sound Sandwich, but you can do it in a restaurant if you've got a pair of scissors or knife on you.

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