Keep an Estimation Jar
Dec 4 – Dec 31 all-day
Keep an Estimation Jar

Here’s a helpful, easy way to practice estimation at home. The Estimation Jar (by Jumpstart).

Pick a jar to use, like an old tomato sauce jar. Then each week fill it with something different. Cereal, pasta, rocks, marbles, etc. Ask each family member to write down their estimate of the jar’s contents. This is an easy way for everyone to practice estimation.

View the Activity

Sid the Science Kid Video on Estimating
Dec 11 – Dec 18 all-day
A Day in the Life of Your Heart
Jan 8 all-day
A Day in the Life of Your Heart

Visit Science Buddies for more at home experiments like this one.

Practice Taking Your Pulse and Calculating Heart Rate from Science Buddies.

Before starting your experiment, it is important that you have practiced taking your pulse and using that data to calculate heart rate.

  1. There are two spots usually used to take a pulse: the carotid artery in the neck and the radial artery in the wrist. Arteries are large blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Figure 2 shows the location of both these arteries.
    1. For descriptions on how to find these spots, check out the Topend Sports Network website.
    2. Practice finding and taking pulse measurements from both spots and decide which is easiest for you.
  1. Press the fingertips of your index and middle fingers over either the radial or carotid artery. Gently wiggle your fingertips around until you feel a steady, rhythmic pulse. Don’t push too hard.
    1. Never use your thumb to take a pulse. Thumbs also have strong pulses and you might confuse the pulsing of your thumb with the beating of the pulse you’re trying to measure.
    2. If you are measuring the pulse in the carotid artery, never measure it on both sides of the neck at the same time and do not massage that area of the neck (just press gently with two fingers instead). Both these actions can interrupt blood flow and cause fainting or loss of breath.
  2. Once you’ve found the pulse, use your other hand to start the stopwatch. Or have a helper run the stopwatch for you.
  3. Using the stopwatch to keep track of the time, count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds.
  4. Multiply the number of beats in 10 seconds by 6 to get the total number of beats in 1 minute (which is 60 seconds). This calculation is illustrated in Equation 1 in the Introduction.
    1. Although heart rates are described in beats per minute (bpm), you will only measure your pulse for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6 to calculate beats per minute. Your heart goes back to pumping at regular speed very quickly after exercise or physical activity. So if you measure past 10 seconds, your heart rate will nearly be back to normal already, which would not help you figure out what the rate was when it was beating quickly.

For other experiment like this and for more information visit Science Buddies Website.

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