Sunday, May 17, 2009

Air Rocket Fun

I came across a wonderful website last week named Science Toymaker . I have been doing elementary school presentations on space topics such as rockets for many years now. My son asked me when I would be coming to his school. Since he is in first grade, I had to think of some great demonstrations. I saw homemade water rockets but the launching mechanisms looked complicated or it was something I had to send away for. Then I came across Science Toymaker. This website has two great rocket projects, with each costing no more than $5 and uses recycled soda bottles. I was able to make the air rocket project in a few hours. The air rocket you see here goes up about 100' and is made out of a rolled up magazine page, fins and plastic wrap balled up on top. No kidding! It is great. On Friday, I used at my son's first grade glass and about 42 students tried it out. It really worked out great and the water rocket is even better. The water rocket 2 liter bottle can go 100' but it can send a water balloon shooting up 300' or more when held in a payload cup on top. Check out the instructions and other projects Science Toymaker .

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Don't Plant In A Garbage Pit

As you may have already guessed, planting in a garbage pit is not a good idea. The pile got hot, as a compost pile is supposed to, and killed off my Highland Star Seed Selke cherry tomato plant that I raised from seed. I was really disappointed! I have no backup plan. I did learn though that I needed to trust my better judgement. I knew that planting in uncomposted material is incorrect, but I still did it anyway believing the directions on the 2,000 tomato producing plant package. I still have seeds, but will have to try again next year, 3/7/2010. I will use the same pile, but it will be well composted by then.

We probably won't be wanting for tomatoes this year. I have 4 plants in the ground already of different varieties. I am going to plant another 4 plants today. I will post more on this later this summer with reviews on the taste of different varieties.

Don't plant in uncomposted food scraps, hay and manure. Duh!