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Night Sky All Seasons: Polaris The North Star

What shines bright? Appears to never move? and is 433 light years away? That would be Polaris, the North Star. 

Because Polaris lies nearly in a direct line with the Earth's rotational axis "above" the North Pole—the north celestial pole—Polaris stands almost motionless in the sky, and all the stars of the northern sky appear to rotate around it. The brightest star of the constellation Ursa Minor or otherwise known as the Little Dipper or Little Bear. The latter names are derived from the image the 7 stars of the constellation and in North American tales. The long stretch of 3 stars actually was known to be Bear's long tail. Bear lost his tail as we know today that bears do not have long tails. 

Lastly the North Star Polaris is not only one star but three! Polaris is a triple star system, composed of the primary star, Polaris Aa (a yellow supergiant), in orbit with a smaller companion Polaris Ab; the pair in orbit with Polaris B

Take the time to find some good visual books. Glow-in-the-Dark Constellations by C. E. Thompson is great because during the daytime reading the images have raised bumps on the stars to feel and each one-page informational text focusing on only one constellation. 

I solely focused this study on Polaris and the two constellations, Big and Little Dipper, to guide instruction. These activities can be mimicked for each star or constellation study you are able to complete. 

Now enough with the Sciencey stuff, how did I make it fun?

In 3 Ways.

First, let's make a North Star Locator. I took a star shaped paper punch and punched it in the upper left corner of a 5 x 5 inch black craft paper. Next I had silver star stickers. You'll want 6 reflective stickers. Why reflective? Well, Polaris in the night sky can be easily found - it is the brightest of the 7 stars, but for the remaining 6 stars can be unseen with the naked eye from Earth. To find this bright star you must first find the Big Dipper, Ursa Major or the Big Bear. The two stars, Merak (β Ursae Majoris) and Dubhe (α Ursae Majoris) are known as the "pointer stars" because they are helpful for finding Polaris. As your child holds the paper to have Polaris peek through the star-punched hole the stickers will beam with light from the reflection of street lights. Drawing a line from each sticker on the paper is optional you will only need a white crayon or white colored pencil to do this. 

Next we made constellations with marshmellows! Reference the 7 stars positioning where it looks like a ladle. With 7 marshmellows and toothpicks make an arrangement of Ursa Minor or any constellation. 

Finally, we made a Star grow! What you will need is 5 toothpicks partially snapped in half. The two halves must still be connected. Put all the broken ends together and drop a few drops of water into the center. You'll see it start to move right before your eyes! Slowly each stick will absorb the water and the fibers will straighten. This will make the toothpicks reveal a growing star!

These activities were part of a new community event, partnering two local businesses, Mulberry Kids, located in Palm Harbor, FL and Philanthrolab Science Shop Pop-Up Shop for the Science Kids Crafting #sciencesaturdays kick-off. We plan to bring you this event, with a new Science Craft each month through April and then again in the Fall. Didn't get to join us, feel free to do the above activities at home.

As I talked with families at this event I was able to address each part of my business. There was one family that made a purchase and contributed to their school fundraiser for this month! How cool is that! 

Philanthrolab Science Shop is 3 businesses in one!

First, Shop from me 365 days out of the year. For Birthday Gifts to Educational Supply, I provide over 40 Science Toys that are $10 or less. Use code FIRST15 to receive 15% off your online order.

There are monthly subscription options with the Satchel of Science. Get current month's offering from the 21st to the 20th of each month. Order in 3 month increments for 10% Off and get a delivery the first week of each month (see the next 3 offerings below). Just need 1 month? $25 with shipping. Use SATCHEL at checkout to remove automated shipping. 

Jan - Resolution - Get a Prism, Balancing Bird, Gyroscope

Feb - Fall in Love with Science - Binoculars, Bug Jar, Bug Tongs

March - Mystery Bag - TBA

The new DIYSci Kits teach young scientists how to change 1 variable in an experiment. Each at-home Kit comes with a Book, Experiment, and Craft that supports early STEAM Learning. The Sun Kit is available now $20. Use DIYSCI at checkout to remove automated shipping.

Second, I donate 20% of my Sales to Schools (and clubs) when they book a sale with me. It can be a POP-UP or Pre-Order Online Sale. It's so easy order online with a School Code and I deliver it within a few weeks! Families that purchase $30 or more get a FREE GlowLAB Celebration, a 30-minute Science Sensory Experience at the School. Don't have a Fundraiser happening? Use code DONATEDAYS and I will provide 20% of your sale to a current or following School total!  

Third, I Teach Science Classes both privately (co-ops, on-campus field trips, & parties) and publicly (community centers & indoor playgrounds) to Young Children. There are 18 classes available.

Take a Science Experience Class 
Science Experience Classes begin January 2nd and continue through the end of May at these following locations: 
Mid Pinellas Learn and Play (must register in Nature School)
Largo Learning Academy (must register in Homeschool Co-op)

DROP-INS are Welcome:
Sylvia's Clubhouse ($5/class or 8 for $30-offer ends 1/31)

Tribe Seminole Heights ($5/class goes directly to community center)
Little Explorers ($5/class or 7 for $30-offer ends 1/31)

On 1/27/20 at Sylvia's Clubhouse it will be BOGO. Use this offer 1 of 3 ways:

1. 2 for 1 kids (siblings or friends)

2. 2 for 1 class (1 child gets 2 classes)

3. 1 Class + a Goodie Bag ($5 Value)

To Shop, book a Science Toy Fundraiser, or a Science Experience Class  in the Tampa Bay market, please visit www.philanthrolabscienceshop.com or contact Stacey Diaz at philanthrolab@gmail.com.