Hurricane season 2019 hasn’t even begun yet and we’ve already had our first official named storm: Andrea. Sure, she came and went pretty quickly, but it was a reminder that these storms are unpredictable and they appear and disappear according to their own timetable. And yet, we must continue to try and predict when the next weather event is going to affect us. We need to know when, where and how bad is it going to be. Technological advances in meteorology have made it possible for us to look into the future and predict with more precise accuracy than our ancestors could have imagined. But for all of our fancy tech, we haven’t forgotten the importance of our past. In the blog post, KIDS’ BLOG: Rain, Rain Go Away: Ancient Weather, Modern, we explore how scientists continue to use information about our ancient weather past to learn about and better predict the storms of the future. And, because it’s a Kids’ Blog, we’ve got an awesome activity built right in to the post!
Category Archives: Kids: Science and Tech
UPDATE! This post was originally published on September 3rd, 2013. Right now an ancient volcano in Hawaii is causing a lot of trouble for residents. The Kilauea Volcano, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, is actually its youngest volcano, but that doesn’t mean it’s a baby by any stretch of the imagination. It is over 300,000 years old and has been constantly active since prehistoric times. It is one of the world’s most active volcanos and features prominently in many Polynesian legends, including the story of Pele, a volcanic goddess who is said to live in the Kilauea crater. There is even archaeological evidence of the eruptions that have taken place since antiquity. Footprints frozen in time leave reminders of those who have lost their lives to this powerful force of nature. Continue reading
Did you know that kites were invented 2,300 years ago? A Chinese philosopher, Mo Di, who lived from 468-376 BCE, designed the very first kite in the shape of an eagle. It was not made out of paper, because paper had not been invented yet. Instead, he used wood. Imagine how hard it must have been to fly a wooden kite! Amazingly, he did manage to keep it in the air for a whole day. His student, Gongshu Ban, later nicknamed Lu Ban, learned how to build kites from Mo Di. He even improved upon his mentor’s design, making a bamboo kite in the shape of a magpie, which is a bird common on the Eurasia continent. Lu Ban was able to keep his kite in the air for up to three days. Continue reading
Update! This post was originally published on June 25, 2013. Hurricane season 2014 has been pretty quiet so far, but you never know when a tiny little storm system can gain momentum and become a full-fledged hurricane. Ancient civilizations had to face threats from weather just like we do today, but they didn’t have the amazing technology we have that can track and predict storms. Read our post and learn more about ancient weather and take advantage of our all new activities after the post! Continue reading
Invisible ink, such a simple and yet crafty way to keep secrets. You may know that it was used in wars such as the American Civil War, the American Revolutionary War and both World Wars, but did you know it was being used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations? In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History, an early encyclopedia, about how the milk of the tithymallus plant could be adapted as an invisible ink. Ovid spoke about secret ink in his Art of Love. Ahmed Qalqashandi, a medieval Egyptian writer and mathematician, described several types of invisible ink. And recently an article published in LiveScience explored a startling new discovery at Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple regarding invisible ink. Ancient invisible ink didn’t always start out as invisible and in this case the ancient artists probably had no idea that their stunning works would one day be hidden to the naked eye. Continue reading
What do you do when the rains keep coming and floods sweep across your country? As the waters rise and cover your fields and towns, what do you use to save your home? Do you write a fancy new computer program, download the newest anti-flooding app on your phone or design complicated modern robots to deal with it? Well, people in the United Kingdom are facing this very problem and you might be surprised to learn they aren’t turning to modern technology. Instead, they’re looking back to one of antiquity’s greatest scientists and inventors, Archimedes, and to his giant water screws.
“Thinking outside the box” is a creative way to imagine other possibilities. It involves coming at the problem from a different perspective—one that hasn’t been tried yet. The “box” is a fun way of picturing the ordinary ways of solving a problem. It contains all the things that have been tried before. When you think outside the “box,” you stretch your imagination and explore how else the problem could be solved. Scientists, philosophers and inventers have all discovered that this method is one of the best ways to figure out the answer to a stubborn problem. Continue reading
Have you ever planted a seed and watched it grow into a plant? It’s an incredible feeling to see a tiny little seed turn into a fruit or a vegetable. Did you know that some of the seeds we use to grow our food today come from seeds harvested by cultures that existed thousands of years ago? These ancient seeds are called heirloom seeds and they’ve been passed down from generation to generation. They produce some of the most delicious fresh fruits and vegetables of all varieties. Continue reading
When we think about the invention of the wheel, the picture that jumps into our minds is the wheel from a car or maybe an ancient Roman chariot. The earliest wheels, however, were much different than 21st century wheels or even those used in first century battles.
The wheel was invented by the ancient Sumerians. They lived in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East. Much, much later this land became part of the country we call Iraq. The Sumerians were the first people to develop a written language. Extensive studies of their writings have led archaeologists and historians to also credit them with the invention of the wheel. Continue reading
Fireworks are used by many cultures to celebrate holidays and important events. Their spectacle unites people and commemorates cultural milestones. Kaleidoscopic bursts against the night sky, spirals of colored fire, glimmering waterfalls—all the effects that give pounding delight to children and adults alike. Continue reading