Nice quote

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." Neil Gaimon

Science Related Links, Books, Sites, Field Trip Ideas, etc

Check out this monthly Subscription to "My Creation Crate"

The best compilation of science sites I've ever seen!

Science Demonstrations:  This might be worth checking out for demonstrations, experiment ideas and free science videos.  If you like the site and want more than what is available for free, you can become a member for an annual fee of $29.95.   During certain times of the year, the Homeschool Buyer's Co-op offers it for a (significant) discounted price. 

Microscope (on sale now through Homeschool Buyer's Coop) recommended by Robert Krampf, the Happy Scientist (per his newsletter):
Discount on Brock Magiscope If you are in the market for a microscope, I have worked out a 25% discount on the Brock Magiscope, the field microscope I use in the microscope videos. The Brock is my favorite microscope, sturdy enough to carry into the field, but with optics that are on par with much more expensive microscopes. This is the microscope that you see in many science centers and nature museums. They like it because it is very simple to use and stands up to a lot of wear and tear. You will find the deal here:

Gross Science (youtube channel made for PBS)

Science Experiments and Activities: 
Another free science experiment site (plus check out their books!!! - yes!  The Maine library system has some!  Maybe through the Maine Cat though.): 

Science toys by Arvind Gupta!  Didn't know about this until now (2015): and a TED TALK "Turning Trash Into Toys For Learning" Wow!

Interesting site for all ages on a variety of things! (Thank you Emilee Carlson!)

Bizarre Labs (linked here in 2015):

***This looks REALLY COOL!!  Science experiments via comics!  Howtoons: ****

Whales by Gail Gibbons (you can get a cd and book together)

Square, plastic box with magnifier in the lid - great for looking at insects up close:

American Science & Surplus is an online magazine with cool activities in it.  If you are stumped about what to do, this magazine has some neat ideas!  Their website states "There is no advertising in these magazines – just really great quality projects for creative curious kids who love to do stuff!"  Some issues have a theme like "Seeds and Beads" or "Sew and Tea" or "Sticks and Stones" or "Elements: Water."  

Zoe Bentley's site: Want to find out what exogeology is?  Check it out!  

Newtons Apple (videos about various science catagories):

"See How It's Made" (Thank you Christina Johnson for this title!)

Some physics books - with links to the Maine Library Lending system (minerva)
"How Things Work"

"The New How Things Work"

"How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life" 

"Backyard Rockets" edited by Mike Warren

"Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, And More Dynamite Devices" by William Gurstelle

"The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom In The Universe"

The Ferry Beach Field Guide - An Ecological Tour of Maine's coastal Ecosystems
- great book with lots of different scientific information - Chapters include forests, freshwater, salt marsh, dunes, sand beach, rocky shore, and sky.  

Sara Bonnett Stein books:
(links to minerva, the Maine Library Lending system, follow each title)

And another Sara Stein book (but not available through minerva)

Sara Bonnett Stein also wrote the famous "Noah's Garden" books. Amazon has this book description: "Published to rave reviews in 1993, Noah's Garden shows us how our landscape style of neat yards and gardens has devastated suburban ecology, wiping out entire communities of plants and animals by stripping bare their habitats and destroying their food supplies. When Stein realized what her intensive efforts at making a traditional garden had done, she set out to "ungarden." Her book interweaves an account of her efforts with an explanation of the ecology of gardens. Noah's Garden has become the bible of the new environmental gardening movement...."

Dig Magazine related Archaeology Site: This link goes to Maine.  For another state, click this link:
(Note: This is intentionally pasted here and down below by rocks and fossils.)

New Hampshire Public Radio - link to broadcast about dinosaurs

Book - My-Beloved-Brontosaurus by Brian Switek

Human Body Anatomy Puzzle (like a 3d stand up torso and head):  Oh! Wait!! It is on sale for only 21.99 at ToysRUs online until July 6th, 2013:

Human Body Anatomy Floor Puzzle: 

Online - Label the Skeletal System/Assemble the Skeleton:

Build your own body - a little more with instructions at the back of each magazine:
(There is a twenty minute video showing the assembly of the model if you want to see what it would be like.)

***Portland Science Center (scheduled to open in August 2015 or shortly thereafter) will have an exhibit about the human body.  
You can click the following exhibit to view a video about the Body Worlds Exhibit by Guther von Hagens  

Anatomy in Clay - 

Pinterest Board on the Human Body:

Songs about the human body and its functions:

And there are clothes showing the muscles too....:

Various games about human body:

Visual Dictionary (diagrams of various body parts/labeled anatomy and more): 

Okay...this is a little different...yet intriguing...
A Canadian University offered a course about the human body called, "The Science of Batman,"
For those who loved (and still love) Batman, this might peek your interest! 
Here's the site from the university really is a course: 
I wonder if they will ever offer the course online??

Kiwi Crate: 
(Your child receives a box with everything in it that they need to do a project either related to science, art or engineering, etc. This looks amazing! Thank you to Michele Henson for telling me about it!)

Tinker, Make, Innovate:

Make Zine:

"If I Built A Car" by Chris Van Dusen - This book might inspire kids to design their own inventions or find out more about how things work  

Birds of Maine by Stan Tekiela (field guide):

"What's That Bird?" by Joseph Choiniere and Claire Mowbraw Golding

Website called "Birds of Maine":

"Everything You Never Learned About Birds: Lore and Legends, Science and Nature, Hands-on-Projects" by Rebecca Rupp

"What Bird Did That?" -

"The Lives of Birds - Birds of the World and Their Behavior" by Lester L. Short
(Book from the American Museum of Natural History)

"The Lives of Whales and Dolphins" by Richard C. Connor, Ph.D. and Dawn Micklethwaite Peterson
(Book from the American Museum of Natural History)

Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee (She is the same author who wrote the book: "Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up" it by title if you look for it through Minerva as it didn't come up under the author's name for some reason.  The Maine library system does have it.)  Here is the link to Bugged:

"Along Came Galileo" by Jeanne Bendick

"The Kids' Summer Handbook"  - lots of ideas and activities for all kinds of summer days.

Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock (I think this is a great reference book.)  

The Kids Nature Book (365 indoor/outdoor activities and experiences) by Susan Milord - We've had this book for years and when I am wondering what kind of cool thing to do (especially as it gets to be spring and I am yearning to do outside/nature type things), I pull out this book.  The Maine Library System has it:

Nature Crafts for Kids (50 Fantastic Things To Make With Mother Nature's Help) by Gwen Diehn and Terry Krautwurst This book is wonderful too and has also been on our bookshelf for years! Love the ideas of what to make!!!  Organized by season. It is available through the Maine Library Lending System (minerva):

Cobblestone magazines are wonderful - "ASK" is excellent and was my daughter's favorite! Appleseeds was another favorite. ( The library may have them for borrowing as well - or you could request them if your library doesn't carry the ones you would like.  

Make Zine Training Camps (This is just one of the camps.  Click on Sign Up For Camps for different topics):
Here's the home page:

Biomechanics - Katy Bowman has a biomechanical background, founded the Restorative Exercise Institute and is a mother to young children.  She has a newsletter that you can sign up for and an interesting blog and website for those interested in how the body moves, posture, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and more.

Article on bioluminescence and what kinds of mushrooms produce and emit light by a chemical reaction: 

Entertaining and interesting video - Neil deGrasse Tyson "How Smart are Animals?"

Astronomy and Star Parties:
For those in midcoast Maine, there is an observatory in Lincolnville and there are star parties about once a month that rotate between three locations - Lincolnville, DRA and Whitfield.  You can sign up for a newsletter ( from them if you are interested in finding out about star parties and happenings. Check their website to make sure the dates and locations are still the same:
"BR" = Brower Observatory in North Whitefield
"GQ"= Galaxy Quest Observatory in Lincolnville
"DRA" = Damariscotta River Association Land Trust in Damariscotta

DATES -- All star parties are shown scheduled on Saturday nights, but may be moved to the Friday or Sunday, as the weather requires. In some cases, if an entire weekend is cloudy, it will be possible to move to the next weekend, to be announced as needed on a case-by-case basis. 

TIMES -- Observing starts at the time shown. Arrive earlier to set up. 

For events held before the new moon, moonrise times and percent fullness are shown. The Moon rises late enough not to disturb the parties. 

The calendar includes several events of interest to CMAS, but sponsored by others.

Oct 18, DRA, 7:00 

Oct 22, Baseball's World Series
Opening Night (Oct 24-26 unavailable)

Nov 22, BR, 7:00

Dec 13, BR, 7:00
Moonrise 61% 11:11pm
Peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower

Jan 17, 2015 DRA, 7:00

Directions to the Galaxy Quest observatory in Lincolnville, ME:   

For those interested in astronomy in other parts of Maine:

Southern Maine Astronomers: 

Astronomical Society of Northern New England (Kennebunk, ME):

Astronomy Institute of Maine (Bernard, Bar Harbor)

Maine State Star Party: Will be on August 28/29th 2015.
Cobscook Bay State Park, Edmonds, Maine
Hosted by the Downeast Amateur Astronomers

Acadia Night Sky Festival (held annually in Sept)

Southworth Planetarium (Portland, ME):
(Right now, there is a new show called "Dinosaurs At Dusk."  If you would like more information, check out the post on August 23rd on their facebook page about Questions and Answers to do with that particular show.

"Find The Constellations" by H.A. Rey (Yes, the same author who wrote the Curious George books!)  He also has another book about astronomy called "The Stars: A New Way To See Them."

Videos about the symbols of physics and astronomy:

The Moon in My Room: 

Excellent post by Pam Laricchia, author of "Free To Learn," 
to do with unschooling and science and curiosity!  
LET'S TALK ABOUT ... Neil deGrasse Tyson on children and science
This showed up in my facebook feed recently. It piqued my interest because Michael and I enjoy listening to Neil deGrasse Tyson's podcast, Star Talk Radio. Neil, an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, says he is often asked by parents how they can get their kids interested in science. I'm going to pull out some of what he said, but if you'd like to hear him yourself, here's a link to histwo minute video answer (the transcript is there as well).
A couple of newsletters ago I wrote: "I love discovering that while I'm often exploring life through the window of unschooling, there are many others, looking through completely unrelated windows, that are discovering the same kinds of foundational ideas about life." And today I'll add "and learning."
It's true! People who enjoy looking at the bigger picture of things through the lens of their passion are often coming to the same realizations that unschoolers discover, and this is another case in point. Neil probably doesn't know it but he's quite aptly describing the premise of learning through unschooling.
"And I have only one bit of advice. Get out of their way. Kids are born curious. Period. I don't care about your economic background. I don't care what town you're born in, what city, what country. If you're a child, you are curious about your environment. You're overturning rocks. You're plucking leaves off of trees and petals off of flowers, looking inside, and you're doing things that create disorder in the lives of the adults around you."
That is a key premise of unschooling: curiosity drives our children's learning instead of curriculum. Children are innately curious. Nurture it, support it, get out of its way. I also love that he points out that this isn't the easy way out, that giving our children the space to follow their curiosity does impact the parents' lives. It's a choice you make.
"And so then so what do adults do? They say, "Don't pluck the petals off the flowers. I just spent money on that. Don't play with the egg. It might break. Don't...." Everything is a don't. We spend the first year teaching them to walk and talk and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down."
Then he points out that many parents make the other choice. But as parents choosing to cultivate an unschooling learning environment, we see and value the learning in all those situations, and we consciously choose not to tell our children to "shut up and sit down." This is where the beauty of unschooling lives, in all those intriguing, everyday moments of life as our children follow their curiosity and explore their environment.
"So you get out of their way. And you know what you do? You put things in their midst that help them explore. Help 'em explore. Why don't you get a pair of binoculars, just leave it there one day? Watch 'em pick it up. And watch 'em look around. They'll do all kinds of things with it."
This is another key piece I'm so glad he added! His initial "get out of their way" bit was great, but it's not the whole story of learning. Not only do we give them the space to explore, we go out of our way to help them. To nurture their curiosity by taking them out into the world and by bringing pieces of the world to them. What do we think they might find interesting? Not what do we wish they would find interesting, but what would make their eyes light up with inquisitiveness? Learning shines when people are curious and engaged. Make that happen as often as you can. :-)
Thanks for sharing, Neil!

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Various cheap or free programs (many kinds!) at Maine Wildlife Park or Swan's Island

Damariscotta River Association (for those near Damariscotta, ME) has a homeschool group that meet on Mondays once a month and a program (hands on) regarding Native Americans of Maine each fall.  Sarah Gladu, the naturalist there, is wonderful!!!  Contact Sarah Gladu or the DRA to sign up for any classes or programs.  

Damariscotta River Association
PO Box 333 Damariscotta, ME 04543
110 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta 04543
DRA Fall/Winter Children's Programs 2014 

As of May 2015, you can check their event calendar:

Wild Encounters A regular program for Homeschool Families and Groups
These classes are held 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon the third Monday of each month (except September, October and January). Hike and nature journaling always included. Prepay for five classes and get a sixth class free. For ages 5 and up (younger may come).
Fee: $5.00/child. Call DRA to register.
September 29 - Insect Safari: Catch insects, learn about metamorphosis and life cycles.
October 13 - Wabanaki Living: Hands-on Wabanaki living skills with Passamaquoddy birch bark
artist David Moses Bridges. (Note: Special date. Choose one session: 10:00 a.m. -
Noon for ages 6-9 or 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. for ages 10+)
November 17 - Maine’s Mammals: Investigate skulls and skins and make a plaster track.
December 15 - Birds in Winter: Meet a live duck, discover how birds survive the cold weather.
January 12 - Animal Adaptations: Discover animals’ amazing survival adaptations.
February 16 - Outdoor Living Skills: Dogsledding and snow-shelter building.

E.A.r.t.H. (Ecology for Advanced Homeschoolers) For homeschooled youth ages nine and up with a serious interest in natural history and related topics. Regular homework is assigned. Classes held one Tuesday of each month (except October) from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Application available for limited spaces at Fee: non-members $65/student for three month session; members $40/student for three month session. Prepayment due last day of month before new session begins: 9/30, 12/31 and 3/31)
September 30 - “Get to Know You” Hike
October 6 - Migration: Focus on Birds and Butterflies (special Monday date)
November 25 - Phytoplankton: World of microscopic marine organisms
December 9 - Winter Tree Identification: Learn to identify trees and other plants in the winter
January 13 - Animal Tracks and Signs Hike on River~Link Trail
February 10 - Lobster Biology and Management: Try a wildlife management game!
March 17 - Water Quality Monitoring: Bacterial monitoring to check Great Salt Bay
April 14 - Marine Invertebrates: Focus on bivalves and annelids of estuaries
May 19 - Sea Birds: Visit an island and learn about pelagic birds
June 9 - Isopods and Special Arthropods: Observe amazing life cycles of these creatures

Frogs and Pollywogs For preschoolers (ages 2-5) and their parents/guardians. Hike always included.
These classes are held 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. the third Friday of each month (except October). Prepay for five classes and get a sixth class free. Fee: $3.00/child. Call DRA to register. 
September 19 - What Makes a Fish, A Fish? Pull up minnow traps in the salt marsh, learn about fish.
October 10 - Mammals of Maine: See mammal skulls, hike for animal signs, make a plaster track.
November 21 - Who’s Home? Investigate a forest, search for animal homes, learn about hibernation.
December 19 - Can You Be a Bird? Look into hollow bird bones, meet a live duck, make binoculars. 
January 16 - Wetlands in Winter: Visit wetlands, drill through the ice and search for life beneath.
February 20 - Winter Wonderland: Dogsledding and snow-shelter building.

Jr. Naturalist After-School Program (Grades 1-5) Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Inquiry-based, hands-on learning in a safe outdoor environment. The DRA Great Salt Bay Farm is on a bus route from local elementary schools and close to Route 1. Month-long sessions. Call DRA to register.
Fee: $55 non-members /$50 members at “Mussel” level (scholarships available)
November - Wildlife in Winter: Study animal tracks and signs, play games, nature journaling.
February - Winter Wonderland: Dogsledding, snow-shelter building, nature discovery.

All programs meet at the DRA Great Salt Bay Farm Heritage Center (110 Belvedere Road) 
unless otherwise indicated

Maine Museums: 

Maine State Museum:

Field Trip Opportunities at the Maine State Museum - September 11th 2012 - Bugmania and Earth Science Day on October 16th 2013 at the Maine State Museum.  (Their website is usually updated with the current year's information sometime in August.)

***NEW*** Portland Science Center! 
Should open sometime in August 2015 (or shortly thereafter)

Children's Museum and Theater of Maine (Portland):

Maine Discovery Museum (Bangor):
Note: The Maine Discovery Museum is part of the Association of Children's Museums (ACM) and Association of Science Technology Centers Incorporated (ASTC).  Therefore joining this museum with reciprocal membership is a good deal as you'll receive some benefits at other ACM and ASTC member museums (often a museum is affiliated with only one of the associations).  Do note that there have been recent changes to the ACM memberships.   You can read about that and reciprocal memberships for ACM and ASTC in general online.

Children's Discovery Museum (Augusta):

Coastal Children's Museum (Rockland):

Maine Field Trips to do with animals: 

Kisma Preserve near Bar Harbor -

Diver Ed  (Maybe combine a trip to the Kisma Preserve with "Diver Ed" since they are both in the Bar Harbor area.)

DEW Animal Haven:
(This used to be the DEW Animal Kingdom)

York's Wild Kingdom, York, Maine:

Maine Wildlife Park, Gary, Maine:

Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden, Southwest Harbor, Maine (has a butterfly release party each July):

Virtual Maine Field Trip
Project Puffin - Watch live video of Osprey's and Atlantic Puffins in their natural Maine habitat.

Audobon Kids Page:

Resources or Field Trips to do with the Sea

In Massachusetts:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:

Boston Museum of Science:

In Hawaii: This is where Jim and I very briefly worked in the mid 1990's...they used to mail out free whale information to those who wrote or called.  
If you don't get to visit Maui and go on one of their fabulous cruises or snorkeling adventures, maybe it would be exciting to get some snail mail about sea turtles and whales from the island! - Here's a place (Maui Ocean Center) that was built just after we left the island.  Their website has a video gallery, pictures and information about marine life and links to other  related sites.  

Maine Field Trips to do with the Sea: 

Diver Ed, Bar Harbor area:
This is a cool program where you go out on a boat with Diver Ed who scuba dives and brings up interesting creatures from the sea.  He wears a microphone and you can view him on a screen on the boat while he's below.  He does it with enthusiasm and silliness! (Though can get carried away and be too much of a teaser in my opinion which is based on the one and only trip we went on in 2008.)

SeaSHOALS: Marine Science Education for Families

Did you ever wonder what it's like to be a marine biologist? If your answer is "Yes," then roll-up your sleeves and register for a SeaSHOALS adventure to the Isles of Shoals, one of the Maine/NH Seacoast's most intriguing destinations! This introductory program, designed for first-time Shoalers, includes a weekend full of "family-friendly" activities based at the world-renowned, Shoals Marine Laboratory on Appledore Island. SeaSHOALS is an amazing opportunity for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the special children in their lives, to immerse themselves in marine science! Over the course of the weekend, you will have the opportunity to:
This unique, and life-changing experience is for all ages, with special emphasis towards engaging children from 5 to 15. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Carol Steingart: President, Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association (GOMMEA)
Marla Jones
: Teacher, Advanced Studies Program @ St. Paul's School; and Merrimack, NH High School
Alyssa Lyon: Environmental Educator, Yarmouth, Maine
Tracy Kane: NH's own "fairy house" artist and author. Tracy will lead a fairy house building workshop in one of Appledore's coves made famous by American Impressionist, Childe Hassam! 
Nancy Donovan: Maine artist and storyteller, Nancy is the author of Oscar the Herring Gull. Through the story of Oscar's life, young and old can learn about the ways of gulls.

Carol Steingart is happy to entertain questions: carolsteingart@  207-831-4436
or the Shoals Marine Lab shoals-lab@cornell. edu  607-255-3717

Family Quests (this one in Rockland Harbor in Rockland, ME):

This quest is in South Bristol, ME:

"Resources for Educators" page from the Maine Department of Marine Resources:  

Bigelow Labs (located next to Boothbay Aquarium) - We went to their "2011 open house" which was very hands on.  We were able to sample plankton and we received plankton samples to take home which we could shake and they glowed in the dark.  We also were able to look at the samples in the lab with their microscopes and there was a scientist to point out and tell about what was seen on the screen.  There were many other things to see and do as well.  Here's the blurb for one of their prior tours: "Visitors will have a chance to talk with the Bigelow scientists who are exploring the world’s oceans and hear about new discoveries in oceanography. Hands-on demonstrations of ocean science in action include technologies to study plankton, bioluminescence, and the microbial processes at the foundation of the marine food web.  Ocean sampling equipment will be available on the dock.  Guests of all ages are welcome, rain or shine."

They are doing open houses again this summer, dates to be determined.  You can call them to get on their email list and/or like them on facebook.  Supposedly, the first open house is smaller than the ones later in the summer.  Fall is very popular with about 400 people touring.  Therefore, if a smaller crowd would better suit your family, then it is best to go to the first open house (plus, less people may mean more opportunity for the hands on activities!).

Note: A trip to Bigelow Labs might be nice to pair with a trip to the Boothbay Aquarium as they are located almost right next to each other.  

Education Administrator at Bigelow: Valerie Young
ph: 207-315-2567 ext. 107
Note: In early 2013, I spoke with Valerie regarding homeschooling tours.  She said that because of getting so many requests lately and because it has been difficult to find a scientist available to lead the tours, it is best to go on the public tours during the open houses in the summer.  In addition, the public tours are planned events with many scientists and will have more to offer in general.    

Bigelow's link to other sites -

Opportunity for Maine high school juniors to become involved with ocean science research for one week (in May) through the The Keller Bloom program at Bigelow Labs:


Darling Marine Center, Walpole, ME
If you are interested, contact the center regarding current homeschooling programs:


Cool short underwater video (Ted Talk) -
Video of harbor seal pup almost kissing a diver in NH plus some facts about harbor seals in the story preceding the video.  The story also lists some of the sea life you might encounter if you were to scuba dive in New England, especially out by by Isle of Shoals in Maine.  - The Isles of Shoals are a group of small islands and tidal ledges that are located along the border of Maine and New Hampshire.  Duck island is one of the islands located on the Maine side of the border.)  Here's the link to the article and video about the harbor seal:

Build Your Own Underwater Robot: This might be an interesting family project, or one to do with a group.  I would recommend considering the upgrades so that you can take it 100 feet and also purchasing the instructions because you'll need them. - To purchase the underwater robot kit

(Price went up to $275 - Maybe get the additional upgrades so that you can take it 100 feet and instructions too because you'll need it would be a bit more, but maybe worth it and if enough people chipped maybe it would be affordable.)

Make Your Own Robot:


First Lego League Robitics Programs:

VEX Robitics Team:
Starting your own team:

Maine Robotics Camp:

Science/building/tinkering related projects: 
Einstein's Workshop (In Massachusetts) - An "amazing space for kids to explore the creative side of science, technology, engineering, and math."  This place looks so cool that I signed up for their emails in case something stands out as a not to miss opportunity (even though it is far away) or gives one of us ideas:

Make: Weekend Projects

Foraging, Plant, Raw Food Information:
Are you interested in foraging?  There is a great series of videos made by Sergei Boutenko (son of Victoria Boutenko who has written much about raw food):   
His video (in parts) :

Sergei Boutenko's new book - Wild Edibles: A Practical Guide to Foraging, with Easy Identification of 60 Edible Plants and 67 Recipies:

Sergi's rap song - "Don't Eat Something If You Don't Know What It Is":

"Wild Plants of Maine A Useful Guide" by Tom Seymour - Tom occasionally does presentations at nature centers and libraries as well as nature walks.

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and not so wild) Places by Steve Brill with Evelyn Dean
Wildman Steve Brill's website:
Interesting and funny article about how he got arrested in Central Park for eating the park flora!

A Maine author of plants and medicinals to check out (thanks Erik DaSilva!):

"Dandelion Celebration: A Guide to Unexpected Cuisine" by Peter Gail.  Lots of recipes for dandelions in there!  The library system has it too!  

Herb Fairies (We don't own this yet, but downloaded what was available free and think this looks really neat!)

We do have "Wildcraft," an herbal adventure game which was created by the makers of Herb Fairies.  If you are interested in it, watch for a sale as the price gets reduced periodically.


"Kids Can Grow" 4H program in Maine (see below for 4H contact info)

"Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots" by Sharon Lovejoy - An excellent book of gardening information and ideas.  She has written other great books as well.

Three close up videos of a chicken laying an egg.  Reminds me of birth! (My son Kanoa is interested in chickens and how hens lay eggs and we found these videos.)

Video 1

Video 2 (I like video 2 the best.):

Video 3

Panning for gold in Maine
The book "The Next Bend In The River" talks about where to find gold in Maine (I have not read it, but someone told me about it). - The summary on Goodreads  states "The Next Bend in the River - Maine Mining Adventures" tells those who enjoy the outdoors how and where to find gold in Maine. There are instructions how to pan and sluice, tips on dredging and dowsing, and a list of the better streams and locations where gold can be traced. Also, we are told about the mining boom and bust in the late eighteen hundreds, along with the colorful hoaxes and their flamboyan creators."

The info below on rock/fossil hunting and gold panning is from this site: (click on family activities and scroll way down and click on Franklin County to open up a word document about rocks and fossil hunting and gold panning in Maine.).
Fossil Hunting: Dead River Gifts
Many kinds of fossils can be found within a few miles of Dead River Gifts. These usually include brachiopods and other small shells and ocean life from millions of years ago. A field guide to fossils is recommended and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is useful.
Call:  246-7161 (Dead River Gifts) for directions and the best times and places to look.
Gold Panning
Eustis area
Gold has been found in many streams along Route 27; you could strike it lucky anywhere you find black sand. Some likely streams are Gold Brook in Chain of Ponds Township, Kibby Stream in Kibby Township , and Gold Brook in Appleton Township .
Call:  246-7161 (Dead River Gifts in Stratton) for suggestions and directions.Directions: Gold Brook  is the most accessible and probably the most panned. It flows into Lower Pond, the southernmost pond in the Chain of Ponds (about 10 miles north of Eustis village).
Rock Hounding
Stratton area
The famous Maine "watermelon" tourmaline, as well as amethyst, garnets, red jasper, and other gems and minerals can be found in stream beds in many places around Stratton. Nash Stream is the most likely, but others such as Alder Stream and the Carrabassett River may turn up some nice rocks as well..
Call: 246-7161( Dead River gifts) for directions and suggestions. Directions: Route 16 passes over Nash Stream just over two miles south of Route 27 in Stratton. The stream bed continues along by the side of the road for two and one-half miles and then turns south and goes uphill.

Fossils - Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming: (If you can visit someday, click on the kids tab - There are kids programs  where they can look for fossils in the research quarry.  Or  maybe you'd like to explore the website to look at pictures and other things.)

And check THIS out!!! Paleontology Camp for Home and Unschooled students!!!
Fall Paleontology Camp, September 25th-30th hosted by Fort Hays State University Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Fort Hays, Kansas. To better accommodate homeschool and unschooling students, we are introducing a fall paleontology field program in 2016. Join us as we spend six days exploring the paleontology and natural history of Kansas out in the field! Students will get to investigate the paleontology and ecology of ancient Kansas that once included forests of ferns, and a sea of sharks, flightless birds, and immense marine reptiles! Along the way, we will also visit a Miocene fossil site called Minium Quarry, famous for its prolific mammal and plant fossils. During fieldwork, students will learn how to find and collect fossil material as paleontologists do, using the same tools as professional researchers. Students will learn to take field notes, use GPS units, map and compass skills, and proper methods of fossil collection to preserve as much information as possible. Discussion and building critical thinking skills are also emphasized as we learn about the geologic record, and explore the evidence for evolution we find preserved in the rocks!
Fees are $600 per member, and $660 per non-member.
High School Science Camps: Paleontology (Fall) | Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History

Dig Magazine related Archaeology This link goes to Maine.  For another state, click this link:
(Note: This is intentionally pasted here and above.)

I Dig Fossils video (VHS):
(Saw this link suggested on a "My unschooler is interested in" facebook post:

Abbe Museum in Maine:

Maine Field Trips to do with rocks and minerals:
Bumpus Mine - Bruce Barrett does free rock and mineral tours (very informative) and is whom to contact if you are interested in setting up a field trip there.  He wrote that he needs a minimum of 12 students (not including parents, Pre-K children or chaperones).  His email address is  

Greg Marley, mushroom expert and a "fungi" (I don't know if he's a "fun guy" really, but I couldn't resist writing that!)
If you were interested, maybe you could attend one of his walks/talks or you could see if you could arrange him to do something in your area or even for homeschoolers. 

Science Podcasts: 
If anyone is interested in watching science podcasts specific to a specific area (anatomy, chemistry, phisiology, earth science, statistics and graphing, etc) click on link here then go to videos to see what is available.

Maine 4-H Programs: 
If you would like to become involved with a 4-H program, you can contact your local 4-H office to find out what groups are available (and maybe ask what age ranges belong to the groups as well).

Tanglewood 4H Camp and Learning Center at Tanglewood and Blueberry Cove
Tanglewood is located in the mid-coast area of Maine just off of route 1 north of Lincolnville Beach. Tanglewood  offers homeschool programs and both Tanglewood and Blueberry cove offer summer camps.  Staff may also be available to come to an outside location to do programs (for a fee).
Contact person: Patricia Chapman, Administrative Assistant at University of Maine Cooperative Extension. phone: 207-789-5868 

Mark The Date On Your Calendar (if you'd like): 

In late July, there may be a Butterfly Release at Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden - Check this site to see when it is happening this year.

In early September, the Camden Public Library hosts a Midcoast Mini Maker Faire.  Inquire at the library 207-236-3440.  Here are former links that might have some information. 
What is it about?

Merryspring Nature Center has ongoing family programs and events:

2015 Tuesday (noon) Talk Series (check it out - lots of different topics):

Camden Area Nature Walk to Take Place at Merryspring Nature Center
February 7, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.
Interested in learning about birds, trees, flowers, insects, animal tracks and other areas of natural history? Coastal Mountains Land Trust and the Camden Conservation Commission have teamed up to co-sponsor monthly natural history walks in the Camden area. Walks usually take place on the first Saturday of each month from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Participants will meet in front of the office building. We will likely focus on animal tracks and signs and winter tree identification. Snowshoes may be helpful, but not essential, if there is a recent snowstorm.

Advance registration is not necessary. To learn more and to find notices of location, last minute changes and/or cancellation, visit Coastal Mountains Land Trust's Events Calendar page at or Merryspring's website.

Participants should come prepared for an outdoor excursion, easy to moderate in pace. Please leave dogs at home. The walks will be facilitated by area naturalist Roger Rittmaster and will encourage experts and amateurs to discuss and share their knowledge of natural history. For more information about the Land Trust please visit or call (207) 236-7091.  

Bug Maine-ia at the Maine State Museum: 
It is over for this year (2014), but keep this in mind for next September-usually a Wednesday in mid-September from 9am-3pm.
The museum will be abuzz with insects of all kinds, from honeybees to walking sticks! Entomologists, environmental educators, foresters, and others will be on hand to guide you and your students through the expansive, yet often itsy-bitsy world of insects. Come explore the many fascinating ways that bugs affect our lives! 

Earth Science Day at the Maine State Museum:
Wed 10/15/2014 9am - 3pm

In celebration of national Earth Science Week, the museum is presenting a one day educational fair full of displays and interactive demonstrations focusing on Maine’s geology, energy education, hydrology, archaeology, and mega-mammals from the Ice Age. See how products from the earth contribute to our economy, education, and enjoyment. Visit the Museum on Maine Earth Science Day to learn more about lightning, GIS mapping, renewable energy, the
cement industry in Maine, and much more!
Free Admission All Day!

To make a reservation for Earth Science Day contact the Museum at 287-2301 or go to the following link to fill out the online reservation form:

Maine State Museum Offers Free Admission to Homeschools
The Maine State Museum is committed to helping educate and inspire homeschooled students. Rich learning opportunities for homeschooled students are available through the Museum's full schedule of programs and tours for a wide range of ages and learning styles.
These dynamic programs and tours take place among the exhibits and feature inquiry-based discussions, in-depth focus on artifacts and specimens, and promote a spirit of inquiry and critical thinking.
There are no admission or program charges for homeschool groups.
For more information and to schedule a visit to the Museum visit and click on the “Learn” tab.

Homeschool Mondays at Tanglewood: 

Fall 2014: 
Program consists of (8) Mondays: Sept 22 & 29, Oct. 6, 20 & 27 and Nov. 3, 10 & 17
  • Ages 5 – 8 and 9-12 will be in separate groups with a maximum of 8 participants per group
  • 9 am-2 pm each day
  • Cost: $240 per child for the (8) day program
  • Click here to register (choose special programming) — deadline is Friday, September 5th*
  • Call (207) 789-5868 or e-mail with any questions or concerns.
  • Print parent packet or request one be mailed on your registration form.
  • FAQ Sheet & Packing List
* We need a minimum of 5 participants to make this program successful.   We will email everyone after September 5th to cancel if we do not have enough participants. (max of 8 participants per age group)   If the age group you need is full, please register for the waiting list option.  If we get enough waiting list participants, we will try to open additional slots.

Tanglewood’s new eight week Homeschool session offers a project-based curriculum that integrates science, language arts, social studies and art. Each day will be shaped around outdoor, inquiry-based explorations in the forest, freshwater and marine ecosystems.Children playing around a tree
Depending on the ages and learning stages of participants, activities may include phenology surveys, macro-invertebrate inventories, nature journaling, watercolor painting, puppetry and music. Collaboration within and between human and natural communities will be a unifying theme of the season.

For those who are looking for a religious Nature Study program - A Camden homeschooling mom (Raylene Hunt) runs a "nature study" program and would be thrilled to share her love of nature with others.  She is also offering to coach parents on how they could do their own nature study programs with their kids or run their own nature study groups. She is offering a 1 day workshop and ongoing support via phone/email.  Here is her website if you'd like to check it out.

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