Newton Network Newsletter: July 2011

Newton Network News:
Greetings from the Newton Network!

Welcome to July! It’s hard to believe that another month has come and gone already. This summer, you can connect science with the Fourth of July. Then discover how cooking uses both math and science. This month we are highlighting two great free resources you can use in the classroom and we have plenty of professional development opportunities for you and summer activities for your students.

Once again, please pass your newsletter on to your colleagues and let them know that they can sign up for their own newsletter as easily as going to the Newton website.

In This Issue:

American Flag

The Fourth of July is a great time to have some fun with your family and friends. Make that fun educational by doing one of Steve Spangler’s Fourth of July science experiments. You can make a red, white, and blue soda geyser or change the color of UV beads. Visit Steve Spangler Science for the complete list of experiments.

If you are looking for math activities for the Fourth of July, check out Kidzone. There are math worksheets for grades 1-5 with USA themes.

You can also have fun with Independence Day themed crafts. Create pinwheels, ball catchers, and other crafts for the upcoming holiday. For the complete list of crafts, visit Kaboose.

Alton Brown

Food is more than just something to eat. It can be used in many types of experiments and can even help kids practice math.

You can alter recipes to practice math, specifically fractions. Annenberg Learner has a lesson plan for utilizing math in everyday life. View the “Cooking by Numbers” section.

If you are looking for other ways to blend math and food, check out Illuminations. For instance, algebra and exponential growth can be used to find a way to feed an entire village. This lesson plan uses exponential growth and is for grades 6-8. For more ideas regarding math and food lesson plans, visit Illuminations NCTM.

Chemistry is also present in cooking. For a way to make invisible ink appear, visit Kidzworld.

Learn about performing more experiments in your kitchen.

Penn State has several experiments appropriate for kids of all ages. Experiments include “Plastic Bag Ice Cream” and “Finding the Speed of Light with Marshmallows”.

iTunes U– iTunes U is a part of the iTunes music library. It offers free lectures, lessons, videos, and more from universities, museums, and public television stations. Content can be downloaded onto a computer or viewed directly on the iPhone or iPod Touch. To access iTunes U from a computer, you need to have iTunes installed. iTunes is free and can be downloaded. Learn more about iTunes U.

Some of the videos available on iTunes U include “Teaching Science” from Stanford University School of Education, “Fundamentals of Physics” from Yale, and “Human Spaceflight” from NASA.

Web 2.0– Visual Understanding Environment is an open source concept and content mapping program based at Tufts University. Users can create their own maps or utilize one of the many tools for creating presentations, conducting searches, and publishing maps. While Visual Understanding Environment is free, users are required to register and download the program.

Professional DevelopmentSky Rangers Outdoor Astronomy Interpretation Workshop will be taking place at Acadia National Park from September 25-29, 2011. The workshop will give participants hands-on experience with using telescopes and developing astronomy lessons. Materials, lodging, and some meals are provided for all participants. The application deadline is July 10, 2011.

Sierra Nevada Journeys Life Conference 2011 will be held in Portola, California at the Grizzly Creek Ranch Campus August 1-5, 2011, and teachers can receive two professional development or graduate credits. For more information, visit Sierra Nevada Journeys.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has archived many of its free webinars. Webinar topics include “Effects of Climate Change”, “Experiments in Reduced Gravity”, and “Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears: Physical Science from the Poles”. View the complete archive of webinars.

Upcoming Events– Girls Math and Technology Camp will be held at the University of Nevada, Reno this July for one week. The summer camp helps girls entering the 7th or 8th grade develop a better understanding of and appreciation for math. Scholarships are available to those with financial need. For more information, contact (775) 782-7849 or

Summer of Discovery is hosted by the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno. Students in grades 8-10 spend one week learning about science and conducting science experiments. For more information, contact Cory Martin at (775) 738-3828.

Complete list of summer camps taking place at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Liftoff with Math is a space-oriented math and computer science camp that takes place annually at UNLV. This year the camp may not happen due to lack of funds, but if you are interested please contact Dr. Dieudonne Phanord at or (702) 895-0361.

Omni Science Camp will be taking place at Camp Lee Canyon in Clark County, Nevada. Students, ages 8-12 years, will learn about geology, geography, meteorology, and more. The camp runs from July 24-29.

For more information about the UNLV Summer Youth Program, visit Clark County School District Curriculum and Professional Development Division or UNLV Summer Youth.

Newton Network

We need your submissions! Do you have a classroom activity that really excited your students? How about a really great web resource that you have found? We will help you share your resources with other teachers across the state. Send your activities, lesson plans or online resources to us and we will feature you in our newsletter and add your resource to our website. Please contact Robert Newbury at rnewbury@unr.eduxx