Sand Layers {InstaScience}

Have you ever noticed the different layers of sand when you dig a hole on the beach? Sand is composed of tiny grains of minerals, but did you know that some of these grains are heavier than others. Lightly-colored sand, which is composed mainly of quartz is lighter than darkly-colored sand, which has other minerals, like iron, in each grain. The sand you see on the beach is constantly changing … [Read more...]

Sunset {InstaScience}

The beauty of a sunset can take your breath away. The reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows can be stunning, but why don’t we see this every night? Sunset is the time of day when the sun dips below the horizon. As this happens, the light from the sun travels a farther distance. During this journey, the different wavelengths or light are scattered by water and dust in the atmosphere. The shorter … [Read more...]

Streams {InstaScience}

Whether you stumble upon a babbling brook or a swift-moving stream as you hike through the woods, both will invariable cause you to pause and stare for a moment. Streams are beautiful to look at, but they are also an important part of the forest habitat. Streams provide a water source and a home for the animals found in the region. But these swift-moving threads of water also serve to move … [Read more...]

Sand Dunes {InstaScience}

If you have been to the beach, you have most likely seen sand dunes. They are those bumps you have to traverse before you get to the real prize - the beach! But did you know that those dunes serve a purpose? Today, we are going to dig into the dunes and learn about this amazing ecosystem. There are interior sands dunes, like the ones you find at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, … [Read more...]

Sand {InstaScience}

As a mom, I hate the way it sticks to just about everything. And don’t get me started about how sand changes that quick snack you had planned to eat on the beach! But as a scientist, sand fascinates me. So, today as a part of our month of beach science - I, the scientist-side of me, am going to share with you all about sand. If you Google “sand images” you will come up with a huge variety of … [Read more...]

Gneiss {InstaScience}

[Photo Credit - Siim Sepp, used with permission under Creative Commons] As I write this, I have just finished another set of outlines for volume 5 in the Sassafras Science series. This one is all about geology, in other words, volcanoes, earthquakes, and rocks. One of the rocks that really caught my eye this time around was gneiss and I thought that I would share about it with you all this … [Read more...]