Week of October 3, 2010

Cool Spots
Back Issues
Visit the featured websites to find the answers.

How can you prevent kitchen fires?
Keep a box of baking soda near the stove
Make sure a fire extinguisher is in the kitchen
Have a grown up stay in the kitchen while food is cooking

Which volcano erupted in Iceland, disrupting air traffic in Europe?


Where is the Paper Discovery Center?
Appleton, Wis.
Arlington, Va.
Amarillo, Texas

The Hot Seat

SparkySee how much you know about fire safety at Scholastic's National Fire Prevention Week site, http://scholastic.com/firesafety. Make a comic strip with Sparky and the Space Dogs by choosing a layout and fire-safety message. Then help Sparky create a fire-escape plan to implement with your family members so that everyone stays safe. The Hunt for Home Hazards game will help you check your abode with a critical eye as you decide what is safe and what is dangerous. Remember that knowledge is the best safety measure there is!

Nominate a cool website at:

As the World Turns

EinsteinFigure out how your world works at Physics Central, www.physicscentral.com. Look for the Discover menu where different science topics, such as chaos, matter and sound, are covered. Each area profiles scientists who have made major contributions and notes new discoveries in that particular field. Browse through the offerings in I Am a Physicist to see what careers await those with serious science aptitude. With fun physics factoids and blogs from experts, this site will have you swimming in new knowledge.

A Blank Canvas

paper fibers under a microscopeThe Paper Project, http://paper
, is committed to exploring one of the world’s most basic and yet amazing forms of art: papermaking. Paper is much more than just notebook filler! This site walks you through the papermaking process and also offers a 3-D tour that allows you to put yourself in the middle of the process. Click on Web Gallery to see microscopic pictures of fibers coming together. If you want to try to make your own paper, visit The Technology, where instructions await those who want to get their hands dirty. Dig in!

Speak Out

Do you have a fire safety
plan in your home?

Speak Out Here!

Seasonal Science

Have you ever wondered why trees change so dramatically in the fall? Trees that lose their leaves are called deciduous trees. When the season begins to change, these trees cut off the production of chlorophyll, and their leaves begin to change color. Normally, the green color of chlorophyll dominates, but once it's gone, other colors present in the leaves begin to show through. Different chemicals create the brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. Anthocyanins make the reds, carotenoids produce orange, and xanthophylls appear yellow. Eventually, these chemicals break down and the only color left is brown from tannins in the leaf. To learn more, visit www.usna.usda.gov/

Another interesting question is why leaves fall off of trees. It’s not because of the wind or the cold temperatures. The real answer is pretty surprising. Visit www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114288700 to get the scoop. Who knew science could be so beautiful?


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