Top 10 Stress Relievers During Quarantine

Many of us are extremely stressed as we adjust to a new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety and fear surrounding the disease, economic impact, and a restricted social life is at an all-time high. Stress hormones have a negative long-term impact on physical health, so try these 10 stress relieving tips today!

1. Get Active!

Physical activity acts as a stress reliever, regardless of physical shape! Pump your feel-good endorphins by taking a walk around your neighborhood or doing yoga!

2. Laugh!

While laughter may not cure the coronavirus, it helps make you feel better! Watch a funny movie or comedy special with your family to get a dose of the best medicine! Laughter is shown to cool down your stress response, even a fake laugh helps.

3. Connect with friends (from a safe distance)!

Zoom, Facetime, and Skype have been huge resources in the age of social distancing. Chat with your friends as you flatten the curve from home!

4. Get some rest!

As we’re confined to our homes, we might as well nap! Sleeping is a great way for your mind and body to recharge and refresh!

5. Get creative!

Allow your creative juices to flow! Spend your quarantine painting, drawing, playing music, gardening, sewing, or picking up an expressive hobby!

6. Take a break from the news!

COVID-19 is dominating the news cycle, so take a break! Social media and the news are blasting us with pandemic information constantly. Tune out and tune into another one of the stress relivers on this list!

7. Light a candle!

Seems simple but is especially soothing! Burn a calming scent like lavender or chamomile to let your nose take you to an aromatherapy spa!

8. Reduce your caffeine intake!

Over caffeination is proven to increase anxiety, so skip the second cup! You get to skip the commute to work so more caffeine isn’t as necessary!

9. Enjoy this quality time with your family!

Support from family and friends can help you get through stressful times. Play a boardgame with your family and enjoy the one-on-one time you don’t always have time for!

10. Make a Stress Ball!

Sometimes stress makes you want to squeeze something! Make a stress ball to release that stress in a healthy way today! Find instructions here: https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/stress_ball.pdf

Chemical Reactions

Chemicals are all around us! Water, soap, salt, baking soda, vinegar and bleach are all chemicals you probably have at home now. What are chemical reactions? Most of us hear chemical reactions and we think of a crazy haired scientist in a laboratory, but in reality, chemical reactions are happening all around us all the time! Batteries producing electricity, your food breaking down into energy, wood burning, and metal rusting are common chemical reactions.

A chemical reaction is defined as a process where substances undergo a chemical change to form a new substance. Chemical reactions can be signaled in a color change, production of odor, change of temperature, evolution of gas or bubbling, or creation of a precipitate meaning a solid is formed.  Reactants and reagents are the substances used to create a chemical reaction, and a product is the result of the chemical reaction.

Chemical reactions occur at various rates. While pouring bleach onto a black shirt changes the color almost immediately, it may take days to years for metal to rust! The speed at which a chemical reaction occurs is called the reaction rate. This rate can be sped up by exposing the reaction to heat, stirring, concentrating the reactants, or use of a catalyst. A catalyst is a substance that is specific to each chemical reaction and is intended to speed the reaction rate!

Want to begin a chemical reaction of your own? Build a chemical reaction lava lamp and see how chemicals interact!

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/lava_baking_soda.pdf

Chemistry Cat Fight

If you’ve ever seen oil and water interact, you know some things simply don’t mix! Like cats and dogs, oil and water refuse to get along and work together! Oil and water didn’t get into a fight, but instead they have differences at the very smallest unit… molecules!

All things are composed of matter, from your body to your chair. Chemistry, the study of matter, works to understand how all matter works and interacts. All matter is composed of molecules, the tiniest particle that matter is composed of. To understand how matter will behave, chemists must understand how these molecules work. Atoms are the basic unit of an element, such as oxygen or aluminum, and these atoms form together to create larger molecules.

Let’s take a look at the molecules of oxygen and oil to understand why they do not mix! Water molecules are polar, meaning one side of the molecule has a positive charge while the opposite side has a negative charge. Water’s polar charge helps the molecules to bond together; other substances with polar molecules such as sugar, salt and ammonia will easily bond with water! Unlike water and some of water’s closest friends, oil is non-polar, meaning that the molecule has a uniform charge.

Due to opposing polarity of water and oil, the molecules can’t bond together! Water molecules will attract other water molecules while oil molecules attract other oil molecules. As these two substances stick together, they form a visual rivalry and separate themselves. Oil will float to the top of water; this is because water is denser than oil. Density means there are more molecules of a substance within a given volume, making one substance heavier than another.

If you take a bottle of oil and water and shake it, you can get the two to mix temporarily before they separate back into themselves. This is called emulsion, or the mixing of two liquids. To get water and oil to mix for a longer period of time, you can use an emulsifier. An emulsifier is a substance that has a molecule with one polar end and one non-polar end, and it is able to attract both water (polar) and oil (non-polar). Soap is an excellent example of an emulsifier and can be used to break down oil into water!

See water and oil molecules in action! Witness their molecular battle by building your very own density tube today!

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/bottle2.pdf

Calling the Coral Reef Home!

Around 71% (and rising) of Earth’s surface is covered in water, providing a home to an estimated 50-80% of the life on our planet.  Our oceans are our most diverse habitat and are vital to Earth’s ecology. Among the underwater habitat is the coral reef, the most diverse ecosystem that 25% of marine life calls home! Coral reefs are often called the rainforests of the sea!

Coral reefs are huge underwater structures composed of calcium carbonate; a chemical secreted by animals called coral to create a hard, durable exoskeleton protecting their mushy, sac-like body. Coral is a hard, stone-like material that is commonly found in clear, tropical water, but can be also found in the coldest, darkest depths in the ocean. An individual coral is called a coral polyp, these polyps live on the calcium carbonate exoskeletons of their coral ancestors. Each coral polyp builds upon the existing coral structure by adding their own exoskeleton; the coral reef growing massively over centuries from one little exoskeleton at a time.  When you look at a modern coral reef, you’re looking at 5,000 to 10,000 years of coral history! 

Fish, octopus, lobster, crabs and even some sharks depend on the coral reefs for food, shelter, and a place to raise their families! The Northwest Hawaiian Island coral reefs supports more than 7,000 species of fish, invertebrates, plants, birds, sea turtles and marine mammals! Coral reefs provide a perfect example of a symbiotic relationship, this is an interaction between two or more organisms living closely together. The coral reef lift algae and phytoplankton high enough to reach sunlight to photosynthesize, in turn these plants provide food for the coral! Coral reefs are a community of plants and animals working together!

Photo taken by NASA of the Great Barrier Reef

Coral reefs are beautiful, vibrant colors and can stretch thousands of miles long! The largest reef in the world is the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia; this reef is 1,200 miles long, you can see it from space! That’s longer than the distance between Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California! While coral reefs have been established over 10 million years, humans have severely threatened these vibrant ecosystems. Pollution, sedimentation, unsustainable fishing practices, and climate change warming ocean temperatures are contributing to ocean acidification. These stressors are causing the beautifully colored corals to bleach and can even kill the corals, bleaching hundreds of miles of coral reef each year.  

It is our duty to protect the life on our planet, and our coral reefs need to be protected. Without this ecosystem, we would be destroying the habitat of ¼ of the ocean’s species. Celebrate World Ocean’s Day on June 8th to celebrate ocean life and protect our planet’s largest habitat.

Build your own coral reef today! See the experiment here:

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/coral-reef.pdf

Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

Which hand do you use to write? 90% of the population is right-handed, while a mere 10% are lefties. Scientists are unsure why the vast majority of prefer use of their right hand, but there is evidence to contribute hand dominance to genetics, health, or even your environment.

Hand dominance reflects the asymmetry (lack of equality) of our brain structure. The functional differences of the left and right hemispheres are believed to have an underlying effect on handedness. The left hemisphere of our brains controls the right side of our body, while the right hemisphere controls the left side of our body; the brain is cross wired. The right hemisphere specializes in creativity and intuition, explaining the common idea that left-handed people are more artistic and talented. Famous lefties include Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Aristotle, Babe Ruth, and Alexander the Great!

While identical twin siblings have the exact game DNA, they often favor different hands! In fact, left handedness is almost twice as likely to occur in twins! This evidence supports that hand dominance is much more than genetic and may have more to do with environmental factors such as position in the womb, handedness relearning by cultural influences, having a low birthweight or even the season you’re born during!

Ancient cultures were extremely biased towards right handedness. Ancient Egyptians often depicted their enemies as left-handed, while ancient Greeks and Romans told mythology of the gods handing down curses and injury with a swift left hand. These ancient cultures reserved the right hand for the tasks of eating, religious ceremonies, and handshake greetings, while the left hand was exclusively used for the task of cleaning yourself after using the bathroom. The right hand is still customary for a handshake! The word “sinister” in Latin originally meant “left,” but took on the mean of evil or unlucky as we still use it today!

Left-handed individuals have an advantage in sports! Due to most of the population being right-handed, lefties can use their opposing dominance in face-to-face interactions to take their competition by surprise! Boxing, tennis, and fencing show a higher percentage of left-handed athletes! Left-handed baseball pitchers take their opponents by surprise!

While you may have a hand-dominance, you may favor your opposite eye, ear, or hand in other situations! Test your dominance today!

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/right_vs_left_sided.pdf

Have a Heart!

What does your heart do? Your heart is the center and key organ of the cardiovascular system, working along with your blood, veins, and arteries. Our body’s cardiovascular system serves to circulate blood throughout our body, delivering fresh oxygen to our cells! Blood also helps to remove unwanted waste, control your body temperature, and fight infection! Without blood, we couldn’t survive!

The heart controls the cardiovascular system by continuously pumping blood throughout the rest of the body. This hollow organ is a muscle, contracting and pushing the blood in your body a little further. The heart beats 60-100 times each minute, the rate of your heartbeat is called a pulse. The more you move, the more quickly your heart beats to supply your body with fresh blood. Your heart beats 100,000 times each day, 35 million times a year, and 2.5 billion times over your lifetime! The heart works very hard to keep you alive!

There are 4 chambers in the heart, two chambers receive blood from the body, while the other two release fresh blood into the body! Arteries and veins are like tiny straws spread throughout your body helping your heart carry blood. The arteries carry blood away from the heart, while veins bring blood back to the heart. Blood vessels work similarly to arties and veins but are much smaller and cover more ground. When you fall and get a bruise, you’re seeing broken blood vessels!

Your heart works very hard to keep you alive, so you should work hard to keep your heart healthy! Keep your heard healthy by eating lots of healthy food, exercising regularly, and keeping away from smoking!

Test the power of your pulse today!

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/power_of_pulse.pdf

Finding Fossils!

Our planet is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old, or 4,540 million years old! Imagine a birthday cake with 4,540,000,000,000 candles on it! Modern humans have only been around for the past 200,000 years, but scientists can date prehistoric life from 3.5 billion years ago! Fossils are physical evidence of early organisms that lived more than 3 billion years ago!

Paleontologists are scientists that study fossils of plants and animals. Paleontologists have found fossils of bones, footprints, internal organs, feathers, and eggs. By studying these preserved records of life, we can understand the environment, diet, and daily lives of these animals. Dinosaur fossils have been found on all seven continents, allowing scientists to name more than 1,000 species of dinosaurs!

Fossils begin to form in many ways, but fossils most commonly form when an animal or plant dies in a watery environment and becomes compacted in sediment. Over time, this sediment becomes compacted into sedimentary rock, perfectly preserving the organism inside of it! Animals can also be preserved inside tree sap, leaving an organism perfectly maintained in amber resin. Due to fossils having such specific criteria to be preserved, there are much fewer terrestrial (land) animals who have been fossilized compared to animals who already inhabit the sedimentary ocean floors!

Paleontology, the science of fossils of animals and plants, is so important to understanding the history of our planet!

Make your own fossil today? While it won’t take 3 billion years to preserve, it will be a marvel to look at!

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/make_a_fossil.pdf

Make Forensics Fun!

Forensic science solves crimes by applying disciplines of science such as physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and engineering to analyze evidence! Bad guys may not think they have left incriminating evidence behind, but forensic science helps to make sure that justice is served!

Biometric technology is a sector of the forensic sciences and is used to identify a person based on some aspect of their individual biology. Facial recognition software, D.N.A. profiling, iris scanning, and fingerprinting are all examples of biometric technology! Fingerprint analysis is one of the original biometric technologies and is used around the world in criminal investigations!

Fingerprint analysis has been used to identify suspects and solve crimes for more than 100 years, making it a valuable tool for law enforcement. Each time we open a door, drink out of a glass, or type on a keyboard, we are leaving our unique fingerprints! While identical twins share the same D.N.A, but they have unique fingerprints! Each person’s fingerprints are completely unique to them, and no one has the same fingerprints as you do!

Forensic scientists can find your unique fingerprint on almost any solid surface you may touch, including the human body. Fingerprints are formed when your body’s natural oils and sweat are deposited onto another surface, but they can also be left when fingers coated in paint or ink touch another surface. Fingerprints may be collected by taking a photograph, dusting with a fingerprint powder, or even using special laser or LED lights to detect the latent print!

Fingerprints have a general flow in which the ridges of the fingerprint form, following into 3 pattern types: a whorl, loop, or arch. While you may inherit the general pattern from your parents, as well as a similar size, shape, and spacing of the ridges, your fingerprints are completely unique to you!

Want to become a forensic scientist? Fingerprint yourself today! Access the fingerprint experiment at:

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/fingerprinting.pdf

Thumbs up for Thumbs!

Take a look at your hands, what do you see? You have 5 fingers, one of them being a thumb. The thumb looks, moves, and preforms different actions than your other fingers. Without our thumbs, there’s a huge variety of tasks that we couldn’t preform! Let’s explore the importance of our thumbs!

Our thumbs are opposable, meaning you can touch your thumb to your other fingertips. Try and connect the fingertips of your pointer finger and middle finger, could you get them to rest flat on each other? No, you couldn’t! Our thumb is our only opposable finger. The opposable motion is needed for a large variety of tasks, including forming a fist, wrapping our hands around objects like tools or balls, or even eat with one hand! Human thumbs began to evolve around 2 million years ago!

This primate has opposable thumbs, allowing him to grab this magnifying glass!

There are many animals in our world that don’t have thumbs! Horses, cats and dogs, or any other animals with hooves or paws do not have opposable thumbs. These animals can’t grab or pick things up. Primates, our closest animal relatives, have thumbs that are very similar to humans! Animals use their thumbs similarly to how we use them by climbing trees, gathering and eating food, grooming themselves, and using tools!  Opossum, pandas, koala bears, and even some species of frogs have opposable thumbs. Though many other animals have thumbs, humans can move their thumb further across their hand than any other animal!

 Without our thumbs, we would be unable to use our cell phones, grip a steering wheel, and brush our hair! Our thumbs are amazing adaptations, making us and the other animals with thumbs very special!

Test life without thumbs! Tape down your thumbs and see how helpless you’d be without our special adaptation! Take the All Thumbs Challenge, see the rules at:  

https://sciencemadefun.net/downloads/If_Animals_Had_Thumbs.pdf

High Touch High Tech recognized by Franchise Business Review as Top Franchise for Women & Top Low-Cost Franchise!

Since High Touch High Tech began franchising in 1994, our mission of hands-on, engaging STEM education has expanded to 11 counties. Whether you are considering an international or domestic franchise, High Touch High Tech is the opportunity for you!

We are celebrating being recognized as a top franchise for women and a top low-cost franchise by Franchise Business Review, in addition to being a Top 200 Franchise! Franchise Business Review collects feedback from over 27,500 franchisees to determine these ratings; no franchise brand can pay for exposure on these lists! 

More than 50% of High Touch High Tech franchises are owned or co-owned by women! By representing women in our franchise ownership, we are actively working to correct the gap of women occupying STEM careers. Our female franchisees are positive role models to the 16 million students we educate annually! Female entrepreneurs are excellent collaborators, culture creators and leaders!

Entrepreneurship should be affordable! By offering a low-cost franchise opportunity, High Tough High Tech puts you in the driver seat of your own business! Our franchisees have an entrepreneurial spirit, enjoy working with children, and recognize the ever-growing need for quality science education. We make our franchise opportunities affordable so franchisees can make a valuable contribution to their communities!

Have a passion for children, science education, and making an impact? Build your financial future and contact us today to learn about franchising opportunities in your area!

Learn more about these awards here:
Top Franchise for Women: https://franchisebusinessreview.com/page/top-franchises-for-women/
Top Low-Cost Franchise: https://franchisebusinessreview.com/page/top-franchises-for-women/