Week of January 26, 2014
Nominate a cool
website at:


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

What was the world’s first postage stamp called?
Statue of Liberty
The Penny Black
George Washington

What is soil made of?
Minerals, clay and air
Soot, rocks and clay
Sand, silt and clay

In Cup Chair, what do you fill the Styrofoam cups with?

Investigate the Mail

Owney the DogThe National Postal Museum presents the history of the U.S. Postal Service through unique artifacts in Arago: People, Postage & the Post, arago.si.edu. In Philately, you’ll read about the origins of stamp collecting, including a woman who collected more than 16,000 stamps to wallpaper a room. Take a look at the 15-cent Lincoln, the first commemorative stamp. Visit Exhibits and check out Just for Fun to find 15 Cool Things to See in the museum. Read about Owney the Dog and how he became well known through his travels on the railway.

Play Orbit Integers
Orbit Integers

Mysterious Plants

CarrotAre you ready to solve a mystery? Help Detective LePlant conduct experiments and find answers as you join The Great Plant Escape, urbanext.illinois.edu/gpe/
. In Case 1, you’ll gather facts about plants, then take a test to find out how much you know. Next, it’s time for a snack break, where you’ll learn which parts of a plant are edible. Match your list to Sprout’s to see if you’ve tried as many snacks as he has. In Case 5, you will unravel the meaning of a mysterious note. Visit Activities to find out how easy it is to grow a vine from a sweet potato.

Be a Toy Maker

pecking birdsToys from Trash, arvindguptatoys.com/
, is a fun site for a snowy day. Projects use common items you have at home, such as scrap paper, glue and scissors. Create a Catapult Parachute or try Air Surfing in Flying Toys. Build a musical instrument such as a Balloon Bugle or a Crown Cap Whistle in Simple Sounds. Have you ever built a rocket? Find out how in Amazing Astronomy, then make a Spinning Spaceship. If you like art, you’ll enjoy Magic Miscellany, with colorful projects such as Pecking Birds or Penguin Pair. See how ordinary items can have amazing strength in Strong Structures.

Speak Out

What is your
favorite toy? Why?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: I would like to learn to play a new sport this spring, but how do I decide which one? — Mason S., San Diego, Calif.

Dear Mason: There are many sports to choose from, depending on what you like to do for fun. For instance, if you want to make new friends, you might want to choose a team sport such as soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, volleyball or baseball. These sports can be played either competitively or recreationally, depending on what type of time commitment you are able to make.

If you prefer individual sports, you might consider track and field, swimming, cross country, mountain biking or karate. Even if the activity you are interested in is in its off-season, many times there are skills classes you can take if you just want to learn. You’ll find some great tips for getting started at KidsHealth, kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/fit/no_sports.html.

Something else to keep in mind is Eating for Sports, kidsHealth.org/kid/nutrition/food/sports.html. Eating a good balance of nutritious food is really important, especially when playing sports, because your body burns calories faster when you are active.



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