Category Archives: Uncategorized

Littlebits Circuit Kit

We got a Littlebits kit for Christmas. It comes with a set of color-coded circuits that snap together with magnets. It’s a really cool way to learn about electronics by building things like a flashlight, a windmill, or a three-wheeled car.

We decided to make a doorbell, which uses the power, button, dimmer, and buzzer bits.

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The dimmer and buzzer, hidden behind the doorbell

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The doorbell, with white button

The finished project!

Folsom Powerhouse

This past weekend we got to visit the historic Folsom Powerhouse. Built in 1895, it used what was then state-of-the-art technology to harness water power and turn it into electricity for the city of Sacramento.  This kind of power is also known as hydroelectric power. It’s now a historic landmark and home to lots of different interactive exhibits.

The Folsom Historic District also features really neat original storefronts, the Folsom History Museum, and an original blacksmith forge, next to which you can pan for “gold” and learn about early prospectors.

We learned a lot on this trip without realizing it, and had a lot of fun while we were learning!

Remembering Kid Scientist Co-founder Jeffrey McManus

From the Kid Scientist About page: “Kid Scientist is the blog of Jeffrey McManus, a Silicon Valley software engineer and writer, and his daughter, Celeste. When Celeste started kindergarten, they began having a conversation about science every morning — Celeste would ask questions and Jeffrey would answer to the best of his ability. (Sometimes he’d need to look up the answers when they got home.) Their conversations meandered, covering topics ranging from biology, the environment, space, health, you name it. Eventually they decided it would be a good idea to share the subjects of their conversations with the world, so in 2007 the Kid Scientist blog was born.”

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Jeffrey P. McManus
1967 – 2013

At the beginning of this Summer, our family made plans for revitalizing Kid Scientist with input from now middle school-aged Celeste and her younger brother Revelin. Jeffrey passed away on July 5, 2013, before we had a chance to put our plans into action. He was a leader, a teacher, and a mentor to many. His children’s education meant everything to him, and he was always looking for ways to teach them new things in a way that was fun and memorable. Thanks to him, Celeste and Revelin remain fascinated by nature and the universe and what makes it tick. In that spirit we are going to continue to blog about the things that make us curious about science.

If you have a topic that you’d like us to cover, please leave a comment and we’ll investigate!

Carole McManus
Editor, Kid Scientist