Monthly Archives: February 2010

February 27 is National Polar Bear Day

Photo by Ansgar Walk

Did you know that February 27th is National Polar Bear Day? I didn’t. I wish I had known earlier, as I would have liked to celebrate the day a bit more. I think it is nice to break up our homeschooling routine once in a while  by spending a day or week or so doing a unit study on a current subject. So I didn’t get to do as good a job as I would have liked preparing for the day, but I did find some resources that I thought I’d share with you.

Labels: Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Writing Contests and Publishers of Kids and Teens Writing

Well, here is the list of writing/essay contests and publishers of kids’ writing that I promised. This took a lot longer to compose than I expected, hence the seeming lack of blogging on my part. They are categorized by grade. Each contest/publisher is listed for each relevant grade (i.e. if the contest is open to juniors and seniors, it is listed under grade 11 AND grade 12). For contests that use age restrictions instead of grades, I listed the contest in the grades that seemed appropriate and gave the age is parenthesis.

Do you know of any contests that I missed? Please let me know. The criteria I am trying to use is that it 1) have no entry fee, 2) not seem to be mostly a means of advertising a school or product, 3) be open to all U.S.  students, regardless of race, gender, religion, or creed.

Maureen

Labels: Language Arts, Literature, Montessori, This and That
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Fun and Free Computer Game Teaches Students About Molecular Biology

I just read about a neat game today – Immune Attack was created by the Federation of American Scientists. The goal of Immune Attack is:

You must navigate a nanobot through a 3D environment of blood vessels and connective tissue in an attempt to save an ailing patient by retraining her non-functional immune cells. Along the way, you will learn about the biological processes that enable macrophages and neutrophils – white blood cells – to detect and fight infections.

Immune Attack is free. When you go to the download page, they ask you to donate and register, but you do not need to do either. Scroll to the bottom of the page to download without registering.


Maureen

Labels: Curriculum, Freebies, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

First 5 in My Life Video Contest

I just learned about this contest today.

The Bill of Rights Institute invites students in grades 7 through 12 to create a 2-minute video on the First Amendment. From Friday, January 15, 2010, through Monday, March 15, 2010 (the “Contest Period”), the Bill of Rights Institute will conduct a student video contest. Entries will be evaluated based upon the following criteria: adherence to the Video Guidelines, originality, organization, style, and depth of analysis. Click here to learn more about this contest.

The Bill of Rights Institute guarantees a minimum of 10 prizes will be awarded and the total prize money awarded will be $10,000. The exact number of prizes and the amount of each prize will be determined by The Institute. In the case of group entries, prize monies will be distributed by the Bill of Rights Institute equally amongst the submitting students.

Maureen

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Academic Competitions Open to Homeschoolers

Academic competitions can be a fun way of enriching your child’s homeschooling experience. They facilitate learning, offer a social outlet, often award scholarships or other prizes, look good on college applications, build self-esteem, teach many non-academic skills such as public speaking, presentation, organization, etc., and are fun. Though homeschooling’s flexibility makes it easier to participate in such competitions, we also face special challenges. Some competitions flat out refuse to allow homeschoolers to participate. Other competitions allow homeschoolers, but have a structure that makes it hard for homeschoolers to participate in (for example, they may require large teams of same age students).

The criteria that I tried to use in this post was that to be considered a competition (as opposed to a scholarship program), the student needs to actually do something more than turn in an application. I will address essay and writing competitions in a separate post. In addition, I am only listing competitions that are national or international and open to all students, regardless of race, gender, or religion. Though I am trying to make this list comprehensive, I’m sure that there are many competitions that I am missing. If you know of any competitions that I missed, please mention it in the comments or e-mail me. Also, if you know of any of the competitions that I have listed as not being open to homeschoolers, please let me know. I will edit this list as needed.

Maureen

Labels: High School
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff