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WEEKLY ADVENTURES

daily activities

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WEEK
03
DAY 4

Wild Weather

Great Balls of Fire...and Ice

Balls of fire and ice rocketing across the sky might sound like something out of Harry Potter, but in fact, instances of flying fire and ice have been recorded as far back as the Middle Ages. (Weird, right?) Weirder still, witnesses have claimed that they can vary in color from red to blue. Today, we'll decide whether these balls are really fire and ice, or if there is another scientific explanation for what we're seeing.

what you’ll need

  • A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
  • Paper
  • Pens, markers, or colored pencils
  • 2 styrofoam plates
  • Clear tape
  • A sweater
  • An aluminum plate (tin foil will work as a substitute)

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FOR PARENTS

Ask About Today

Hail was once believed to be frozen raindrops. But how is it actually formed?

Dinner Discussion

Throughout history, there have been many mythical stories about what causes thunder. If you had to calm a child who was scared of thunder, what's the best explanation you could come up with?

Skip the Ads

Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.

Weekly Materials

This week's materials list includes a few items that are a little more unusual—like styrofoam plates, baby oil, and food coloring. If you can find them, we think they make for some really cool experiments. If you can't, no worries, just skip ahead.

explore

30-60 minutes

Dive into some of the weirder weather you'll ever hear about.

01

Lightning...Ball?

A single bolt of lightning is around 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. That’s...really hot. But when lightning transforms into a ball and starts to follow you...yikes! Definitely time to run. Learn more about ball lightning in this video and how it may hold the key to a new source of energy for our planet.

WATCH

Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.

02

All Hail...Hail

Hail is much more common than lightning balls, but when it does fall, you might feel like you're on the wrong side of a dodgeball match with the sky.

03

The Colors of Weather

You heard of blood rain earlier in the week, but today, we'll learn more about it, along with black rain, black blizzards, and more colorful weather events. Understanding how color shows up in our atmosphere will help you understand how those same colors can turn into extraordinary weather.

For younger explorers

Mr. DeMaio Explains the Weather

Thunder and lightning may seem scary, but understanding them better might ease your fears. Mr. DeMaio is back to explain the basics.

create

30-60 minutes

Ever heard the phrase "lightning in a bottle"? Today we're creating lightning in your hand. (Kinda.)

01

Catch a Lightning Bolt

About 1 in 12,000 people is likely to be struck by lightning. But don’t worry: the vast majority of them survive. While getting "shocked" by static electricity is far from what it would feel like to be struck by lightning, it does come pretty close to what it might look like. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions to create your own “lightning in your hand.” Once you've seen what it takes, go ahead and make your own.

CHECK IT OUT

Pro Tip: This experiment won't work in a very warm or humid room. If you can, do this experiment indoors in the coolest spot in your house, with the AC on, or with a fan nearby.

For younger explorers

Draw Your Own Storm

Grab a piece of paper (or two), and some markers. It's time to get to drawing your own stormy sky. This video walks you through on how to draw your very own angry thunder cloud.

read

15-30 minutes

Dive deeper into legendary weather.

01

More About Hail

By now, you know that all weather is connected. In fact, hail forms inside a thunderstorm. Discover more about where it usually falls (and how fast), how big pieces of hail can get, and more.

02

Legendary Lightning

Part of what makes lightning legendary is that it comes in a variety of forms—from bolts to balls. Learn more about the variation of shapes and colors lightning can take on.

For younger explorers

Franklin and the Thunderstorm

Read along to the story Franklin and the Thunderstorm by Paulette Bourgeois.

For younger explorers

Cars: Thunder and Lightning

Next up, read along with Cars: Thunder and Lightning.

play

30-60 minutes

By now, you’re basically a weather expert. But do you have the right survival instincts to make it through some of the most extreme weather?

01

Disaster Master

With this graphic novel game, you'll become a Disaster Master.

For younger explorers

Dress Your Puppy

Pick your favorite puppy and dress it according to the weather.

move

30 minutes

It's weather dance time again!

01

Thunderous Fitness

Earlier this week, you created you own rain dance, but today you’ll create a thunder dance. Check out this one from Chakaboom Fitness and try to follow along.

02

Choreograph Your Own

Want to go the extra mile? Create your own choreography to Imagine Dragon's song "Thunder."

more to explore

15-30 minutes

Want more fire and ice? Explore some more!

01

Can We Keep It Cool?

Thunder and lightning appear frequently in mythology and folklore. From thunder-bolt-wielding Zeus in Greek mythology to the Chinese Goddess of Lightning, who was viewed as a symbol of justice, thunder and lightning are often used in storytelling to represent power. Read on to find out how ancient cultures interpreted lighting.

02

Slow-Mo Lightning

Lightning is super cool when it jolts through the sky, but it's even cooler in slow motion.

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