Friday, June 10, 2016

Animal Physics Live Class with NatureGlo

Animal Physics are two short middle/high school summer live eWorkshops studying animal movement, sound and bioluminescence with basic physics concepts. Younger students interested in the content are welcome to join as well. Alternatively, if students can't join us live or teachers/parents just want the content, you can purchase the Animal Physics June & July 6-week HYBRID course found here or here when in season. Our first session begins on Wednesday, June 15 at 11 - 12 pm Central. The next two live sessions occur consecutively, same day and time. The Animal Physics July 3-week session picks right up after the first June live 3-week session ends. Students can attend either or both sessions. There is no obligation to attend both. 

The Animal Physics June & July 6-week HYBRID course is kicked off on Wednesday, June 15 also at 11 - 12 pm central WITH the regularly scheduled June live class students and the HYBRID students can rejoin us with the July session live students for the last lesson on Wednesday, July 20 at 11 - 12 pm Central. HYBRID students can OPTIONALLY attend the first and last lessons live with me and complete the rest of the 4 lessons independently or with parental assistance. If students want to complete the course at their own pace, or if teachers/parents just want the content only to teach later in the school year, simply download all the files upon purchase and save for a later time! 

If students from both the live eWorkshop or HYBRID course can't join us live, no problem, as all live classes are recorded and posted up on the CurrClick Live course content page on the same day each class is taught. Students can view the recording at their convenience, but preferably before the next live class if they plan to attend the rest of the live classes. 

Also, here's the first lesson, a digital download of the Animal Physics - Extreme Flying & Gliding Animals PowerPoint with Activity Guide from the June session, if you can't/don't want to join any of the classes, but are still curious about the topic. 

What are the topics covered in the Animal Physics eWorkshops?

June Session:
eWorkshop #1 - Flying & Gliding Animals II 
eWorkshop #2 - Bird Flight
eWorkshop #3 - Gliding Mammals

July Session:
eWorkshop #1 - Zoomusicology - The study of the music of animals 
eWorkshop #2 - Song of Whales & Dolphins
eWorkshop #3 - Animal Bioluminescence

AND, did I mention that each live session is ONLY $5 and $15 for a 3-week session?! Please come join us live or if you want the content or your student wants to go through the course at their own pace, the Animal Physics HYBRID course is a great option! We'd love to have you join us for any of the summer eWorkshops or HYBRID courses, and you can have a look at the rest of the summer 2016 course line up straight from my CurrClick Live home page complete with freebies, course syllabi, my classes schedule and more! Just click on the largest sunflower labeled summer classes and have a look! As always, if any of my literature doesn't answer your question(s), please feel free to email me anytime at Thank you for reading this far!! He he!

Friday, June 3, 2016

NatureGlo's eScience Summer Live Online Classes

NatureGlo's eScience (NeS) has been holding live online summer classes, adorably called "eWorkshops" going on now for six years. NatureGlo. Yes, that's me. I'm NatureGlo and thank you for reading my blog today!

The summer of 2016 marks our 6th year of summer eWorkshops. The summer eWorkshops are a short and great way to introduce my classes both for homeschoolers and schoolers. Classes begin the second week of June. We hold 3-week live sessions in both June and July and the more self-paced courses called HYBRID spanning 6 weeks in June and July and begin and end with the live classes. These classes are written for middle/high school level students, but are flexible for younger students interested in the subjects. Subjects include MathArt, Marine Biology, Animal Physics (available only during the summer), Herps (study of reptiles  & amphibians), Rocks & Minerals and Mammals (now only available during the summer). I've only given you the links to the live class subject category from my CurrClick home page, since the summer live classes will soon be starting and the enrollment links will close. I offer both live & HYBRID classes. HYBRID courses only have two live classes with me, one to begin and one to end the course with no obligation to attend live. Students can always watch the recordings. This is the same for my live classes as well. The rest of the HYBRID course content is to be completed by the student either independently and or with parental guidance. All of my latest live classes and curriculum can be found under the live class link on my CurrClick home page here.

What in the World is MathArt?

MathArt is a unique course I have been developing since 2003. In MathArt, we look at nature's most common patterns with connections to geometry and basic math. We also look at mathematics history and other connections between math, science, art and architecture. I believe it's a course that should/could be foundational for all mathematics education.

Here's the story as to how I've come to offer this course. Scroll down to the heading, My MathArt Journey.

This is me holding a red cabbage cross-section I made,
which reveals both fractals and spirals,
topics I teach in my MathArt online classes.

What are NatureGlo's live classes like?

Natureglo's eScience live online classes begin with a reading from the latest student blog entries. 1 - 2 scheduled 10 minute student presentation(s)  can follow. Next, I read a PowerPoint presentation of the class topic, followed by student/teacher discussion, and educational videos supporting the class topic.

Students are given resources from the subject's website or "virtual library" with self-guided studies. Without tests, grades, or compulsory homework, students have time to study topics of their interest within the subject. Having said that, I do offer study guides per lesson with PowerPoint review questions and activities referring to the day's topic. With student curiosity sparked, along with a banquet of resources, students come up with dynamic research projects, activities and experiences to share with their virtual classmates from around the world. Be sure to look out for NeS student projects throughout the virtual libraries using this page to guide you to the subject of interest.

2011 NatureGlo eScience student Ursa's bean MathArtwork.
This is an example of the types of projects students can do
during NatureGlo's eScience live & HYBRID courses.

You can view Natureglo's publications, live classes, summer eWorkshops and videos and freebies by visiting Naturglo's eScience home page on I also have curriculum only stores with Teachers Pay Teachers, Educents, and my two newest stores are with TeS and Teacher's Notebook, both yet to be stocked at the posting of this blog. Have any questions my literature doesn't answer about my classes and curriculum? Don't hesitate to email me directly at

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Curious Deep Sea Communities with Guest Blogger, NeS Marine Biology Student, Sophie C.

Giant tube worms. Photo courtesy: NOAA

Today's post is going to amuse, amaze and cause a stir within, I hope, to study our greatly unexplored oceanic abyss. At least during the length of this post. Without further blogging on my part, let's have a look at this post from this spring's 2016 NatureGlo's eScience (NeS) Marine Biology, talented, 14 year old student writer, Sophie C.!

A Day at the Lake by Sophie C. 
Written March 31, 2016 during the Marine Biology 
Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures 8-week Live online course

Spring is the perfect time for a trip to the lake but it's still a bit chilly up here in the North so let's head down south on a class field trip. I know just the spot. It's in the Gulf of Mexico. We will need a submarine. We're heading to just over 2,000 feet down so we had better pack some lights; it's dark and cold. We will head south a bit, over this ridge and...there it is: a lake under the ocean. Welcome to a brine pool. 

The water is 4 to 5 times saltier than the ocean so the two bodies of water don't mix. The brine pool sits on the bottom of the ocean floor with its own shore and waves, just like a normal lake. Well, maybe not quite normal. With such super levels of salinity it's rather toxic. There are only a few single-celled extremophiles living in the water. When crabs fall in...well, they get fried, and not in a good way. Swimming is out anyway because we would float. We couldn't get below the surface with the buoyancy of this water. I know: we will head to the beach. Oops! it seems that someone got there before us. Extended in a thick, deep bed going out 5 meters from the edge of the lake are beds of mussels. I'm talking 2250 mussels per square meter. There's no place for us to spread out our towel...and well, we're under water so it would float away anyway.
A brine pool. Image credit: NOAA

The mussels (Bathymodiolus childressi) occupy exactly the same role as the cold seep tube worms I wrote about last week. In fact, scientists consider brine pools to be cold seeps...with a lot of extra salt. So, briefly, bacteria lives in the gills of the mussels. This bacteria is able to turn methane gas, which is seeping out of the brine pool at a pretty good rate, into food through a chemosynthetic process. No sunshine is needed down here, thank you very much. The mussels provide a safe home for the bacteria and the bacteria shares its food with the mussels. And then the mussels provide food for other animals and an entire very productive ecosystem is established.
Deep Sea brine pool mussels.

All this salt is making me hungry for french fries so let's head to the surface and plan next week's field trip. 

Sophie C.

Check out the course below of which our guest blogger joined and shared her golden pearls (yes, they exist in nature too) of youthful creative wisdom with us!

Click it!

Don't want to purchase the entire course just yet? Have a look at NatureGlo's mini lesson on today's post topic, Deep Sea Communities below.
Click it!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures - Latest science, Marine Biology Live Class Guest Student Blogger & Curriculum Sale!

Periphylla periphylla found in oceans worldwide at depths of 1000 - 7000 feet. Image credit: Erling Svensen.

Deep sea creatures are some of the most bazaar, ferocious looking and fascinating animals on the planet! Yet, we've only explored a very small percentage of the abyss, so think of how many more crazy, beautiful, frightening and, yes, even some adorable looking creatures yet to be discovered! However, the last few decades, with our technological advancements and a huge thanks to leading organizations such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute), the depths are being plumbed and new creatures are being discovered like never before! In centuries past, deep sea exploration was accomplished by primitive ways such as dredging and whatever new creature happened to wash ashore dead and at least relatively intact, would be the next specimen studied.

Today, the key tool for exploring the depths, is the ROV (Remote Operating Vehicle), which is unocccupied and tethered to a host ship and operated by a crew. 

A science ROV being retrieved by an oceanographic research vessel.

An ROV suction device about to capture a deep sea octopus.

This past March and May, my live homeschool students completed my Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures 8-lesson course. The course was a huge hit with 19 homeschool families joining the live class experience. We had some 5-star blogging students share some amazing posts about topics taught. Please take the time to read 5-star blogger, my spring Marine Biology Dramatic Deep Sea Creatures live class student Sophie C.'s post below!

South Pole Sauna by Sophie C. age 14

In the deep, dark and frigid waters off Antarctica, at depths of 8,000 feet, lies the most startling spa on Earth. Bubbling up from magma under the earth, the water is super heated to 721 degrees Fahrenheit. This balmy steam bath provides an irresistible draw to a host of unusual sea creatures intent on escaping the freezing waters. The vents, called black smokers, are homes to creatures never seen before: an aggressive seven arm sea star, a ghost octopus and the Antarctic Yeti crab (Kiwa tyleri). This last creature is both fascinating and plentiful in this home. It grows bacteria on its hairy chest, bacteria which uses chemosynthesis to change the toxic iron sulfide in the water into usable food. Unable to survive in the freezing water, the crabs crowd on to the vents--- 600 per square meter! This is one popular spa!
Yeti crabs crowding around a deep sea hydrothermal vent

My first paragraph provides the essential facts but let me add a few more background details here. Hydrothermal vents are created when sea water seeps into cracks called fissures in the sea floor. It encounters magma, that extremely hot molten lava that we are familiar with in volcanoes. The water becomes heated at the same time it is dissolving chemicals in the undersea floor. Ultimately, it spews upward where it encounters the icy sea water. The chemicals solidify creating vents which are warm and full of toxic chemicals. Black Smokers create the hottest water, the most sulfide and are dark because of the iron in the mix. White smokers are cooler and made up of barium, calcium and silicon. Both kinds provide an abnormal and, to some creatures, welcoming environment which results in a unique ecosystem. Chemosynthetic bacteria use the toxic chemicals as a food source, converting them to sugars that other animals can use. They are the first food source in a pyramid which includes other larger animals preying on the bacteria and then upon each other.

Deep sea black smokers

The vents in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica are unique. There are no tubeworms, mussels or shrimp which are typical in tropical vents. Instead, they are home to unusual barnacles, anemones, a very interesting snail with a one-of-a-kind shell, and ghost octopi. These vents were only discovered in 1999, first explored in 2009 and then more fully studied in 2010. There is still much research to do at this setting which one scientist described as more unusual than anything you would find on the moon.

A Ghost Octopus
Thank you, Sophie, for sharing your superb blog with us! 

Even if you can't join us for the class live in the future, now students can grab the self-paced version of the course on sale at either my store (50% off) or Educents (58% off). You can check out NatureGlo's latest Marine Biology live classes from her CurrClick home page here. The course is composed of 8 PowerPoints or Slideshow lessons with accompanying study guides per lesson. A course manual is included along with a grading rubric for student projects. Some families may not have PowerPoint, so simply playing the pdf files as a Slideshow is an easy hack. Students are encouraged to follow their learning curiosity and complete an original project about their favorite deep sea creature. Have a look at the full course curriculum with previews at my Educents store below!

Sincerely, NatureGlo

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rocks & Minerals Cross-curricular Connections, Live Classes & Curriculum with a FREE Lesson!

How many of you out there both young and old love rocks and minerals? There is just so much about rocks and minerals to enjoy! There are many amazing cross-curricular connections that can be made while studying rocks and minerals.  My Fascinating Minerals A - Z live class is held in the fall, or you can purchase the Fascinating Minerals 8-lesson/unit study from any of NatureGlo's eScience clickable store links below. 

Here is a list of some of the great cross-curricular connections made with NatureGlo's eScience rocks and minerals live classes and curriculum.
  1. Arts & crafts - resource links for making beaded jewelry
  2. Art - drawing, painting minerals video tutorials from You Tube
  3. History - creating a timeline showing how humans have used a particular mineral
  4. Technology - researching how a mineral is used in the latest technology such as cell phones, computers, automobiles
  5. Geography - Find the best localities in the world where a mineral is mined; finding the closest mines of an interested mineral near a student's local area. is a GREAT online resource to research this. Just type in any mineral in the search bar at the top of the web page. When the mineral's page comes up, scroll to the bottom for a world map and click on any of the pink crystals for mines with that mineral around the world!
  6. Chemistry - experiments for growing your own crystals
  7. Mathematics - finding out how much a rock or mineral weighs, it's specific gravity, it's Moh's scale hardness; looking up a minerals crystal system, which is a geometric study
  8. Spelling - learning to spell rock and mineral names
  9. Rockhounding - looking for rocks in the student's own backyard and local neighborhood parks, and or local quarries or mines is a simple and great way to get started looking for and collecting rocks

Can't join the live classes? You can look for the Fascinating Minerals A-Z mini course curriculum unit studies at my Teachers Pay Teachers store under the Earth Science tab, my Rocks & Minerals Curriculum page and here at my Educents store!

You can check out any of my rocks and minerals live classes and HYBRID courses I have open for enrollment now here.
Click here to download your
FREE Minerals A - D unit study.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NatureGlo's eScience In-depth Rocks & Minerals Studies with Historic & Geographic Connections

Almandine in its host rock photographed by Eurico Zimbres from Brazil. A reminder of a beautiful, yet tiny garnet I once found also in its host rock in Dover Plains, NY in 1988.

I have such fond childhood memories of personal rock and mineral studies, especially after my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Skeel did a short rock and mineral unit. After school, I can still remember going to my local neighborhood library in Tivoli, New York, and unprompted, checking out rock and mineral ID books just to get to know the minerals even better. The classroom short unit studies just weren’t enough information to satisfy my insatiable curiosity and desire to know all about them.

Broadway, Tivoli, New York where I found my first sandstone bivalve fossil.
The library I went to check out rock and mineral books as a girl was just up the street another block or two and on the right. I can see the beloved, old candy store, second building on the right. Hee, hee!

My personal studies led me into informal rockhounding that same year Mr. Skeel introduced me to the realm of rocks and minerals. On occasion, throughout my life, I have found some really great specimens while rockhounding. At 11 years old, while living in the village of Tivoli, New York, I made a spectacular find. After prowling around looking for rocks in our neighborhood kids favorite kickball rock-filled parking lot, I found a very nice palm-sized sandstone with several small seashell fossils embedded along the edge of the stone. I shall never forget my awe and amazement at having found such a treasure and kept it for many decades. While exploring a small rocky cliff along a highway, in Dover Plains NY, at age 13, I found a deep purple colored garnet in its host stone. Sadly, I have since lost both specimens, but they are locked away in the treasury called memory. Below are images that are not of my specimens when I found as a kid, but, likenesses of my original specimens.

This lovely sandstone with extinct bivalves gives scope for the imagination since it looks somewhat similar to my original piece found in Tivoli, NY in the 80's.

My greatest treasure hunt of all, thus far, was when I returned to my hometown, Ellenville, New York, at age 23 for the first time in my adulthood, to a place I call "Quartz Mountain". When I was 8 years old, my uncle Paul had brought me to this same place to look for little shimmering pieces of quartz crystals that were EVERYWHERE your eyes could fall. I can remember how amazed I felt at the ease of finding the little crystals all over that mountain as a girl. 

This is a large quartz crystal cluster from Ellenville, New York,
my hometown, photographed by Rob Lavinsky My uncle Paul found a large piece like this, which he gave me.

Upon returning to Quartz Mountain at 23, I filled a decent sized leather satchel with hundreds of quartz crystals and a few nice pieces of mica and pyrite. With this loot, along with several magnifying glasses, and other rock collections, I was able to dazzle and keep many of my students entertained with hands-on rocks and mineral learning stations for many hours and years! Before I hit the road as a full time RVer in May of 2013, I had to squeeze my entire life’s possessions into a campervan. I relinquished those rock and minerals collections, including my hundreds of quartz crystals to a teenage boy in West Virginia who also had an affinity for them.

Today, I write and “collect” digital curriculum along with creating websites per subject with a web page per topic I teach. Here's the Rocks and Minerals website. The web pages include all I can find of the "best of the web" on the topic along with interesting projects and activities and videos. I've been working with adding interesting projects and activities to my Rocks & Minerals Pinterest board as well. This year we spent 1-hour per mineral learning about, diamonds, rubies, amber, pearlsa mineraloid, not technically a mineral, but one which I include in our gems study.  

When time allowed me this summer to go even deeper with each mineral, I found out some amazing historical connections, which of course, led to their geographic connections. And there is always the practical everyday uses of minerals and their importance in technology to learn about. Rock and mineral connections with other subjects can just go on and on including wonderful relationships with arts and crafts. This summer, I also began the first of a series of curriculum that now includes lapbook/notebook templates. Lately, the minerals I included lapbook/notebook templates with are silver, labradorite, and malachite. Here is a link to my rocks and mineral curriculum series (more coming soon) as well as my rocks and mineral live classes for middle/high schoolers. Younger siblings are welcome to join in the live classes as well and content is multi-age flexible.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Image by I. DeSouza.

Now Google has come up with yet another innovative idea! Google has partnered with Khan Academy, National Geographic (my heart throbs for NG) and the National Park Service to put on some fun summer camps for kids beginning......TODAY! Themes include oceans, space, nature and the physics of sound with music. It's called Camp Google. 

Today, July 13th at 12 p.m. PT,  Camp Google launched the camp with National Geographic diver Erika Bergman "taking kids" on a live dive in the Atlantic Ocean. I hope they recorded it as I don't see any recordings for least not yet.  Maybe it will be posted on the above National Geographic link soon! 

This stuff is geared for kids but the content is appropriate for any age. I brushed up and even learned some cool new things about dolphins and echolocation as a science teacher. I love the simple use of recyclables too!

I'm especially impressed with Google Maps new ocean street map additions with the ability to walk the ocean floor thanks to the work of Jenifer Austin Foulkes, a manager with Google's Ocean Program, whom we see in the first Camp Google oceans experiment video, "Why Do Some Things Float?" 

Until next time, I hope you enjoy Camp Google as much as I am!