Science Heads

Working toward a better understanding of science and technology.

Science Heads Inc. provides free resources to schools to enhance STEAM education and organizes educational events for the public to further science literacy.

Science Heads at the Great Park for the Irvine Public Schools Foundation STEAM Carnival

We will be bringing the Mobile Observatory to do some sun-watching on Earth Day, Saturday April 22nd.

More information is available on the event's web page.

Featured Resources:

NASA/JPL Yardstick Eclipse Demonstration

NASA/JPL Yardstick Eclipse Demonstration

Demonstrate how the Earth and Moon cast shadows on each other from the light of the Sun.

Straw Rocket

Straw Rocket

Students cut out and color a paper rocket, and fly them using straws.

Pinhole Eclipse Viewer Handout

Pinhole Eclipse Viewer Handout

Handout with diagrams and explanations of how to make and use a pinhole solar eclipse viewer.

What is an Eclipse? Handout

What is an Eclipse? Handout

Handout with diagrams and explanations of both lunar and solar eclipses, and lists of upcoming eclipses.

How Do Telescopes Work Handout

How Do Telescopes Work Handout

An event handout to briefly explain how various telescopes function.

Come to Our Mobile Observatory Open House, April 10th, at the Mission Viejo Library!

Bring the whole family for a free afternoon of fun and educational activities!

Science Heads Inc. and the Mission Viejo Library are celebrating National Library Week with Free Science Activities.

The afternoon will begin at 12 noon with a ribbon cutting event for Science Heads' new Mobile Astronomical Observatory. The observatory will then be open to the public from 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

A map is available on the event's Yelp page.

Free activities include:

  • Safe Solar Viewing using the observatory's specialized solar telescope
  • Explore the Solar System with NASA Interactive 3D Software
  • Fun science related activities for both children and adults

This event is appropriate for children 4 years and older and adults..

Mobile Observatory at Lake Forest Elementary
The Mobile Observatory was a hit in our first outing, at Lake Forest Elementary

Mobile Observatory Nears Completion - Come See It!

Our mobile observatory is nearly complete. All we need is to mount the telescope and do some fine-tuning work.

Finished exterior of the observatory
Finished exterior of the observatory

We are going to bring the observatory out for its first public spin when we go to Lake Forest Elementary School on March 10th between 6pm and 8pm. Come see us there!

Rancho Cañada Elementary Science Night 2017!

It was overcast, so we didn't get to do any stargazing, but we still had a great time with crafts and hands-on activities in the Astronomy room.

Our handouts for the night were our updated "Meteor Showers of 2017", "How Do Telescopes Work?", and two on eclipses:

Meteor Showers of 2017 Handout

Meteor Showers of 2017 Handout

Handout with explanations of meteors and other objects on one side, and a description of meteor showers (from SkyAndTelescope.com) on the other, plus a list of dates for the meteor showers of 2017.
How Do Telescopes Work Handout

How Do Telescopes Work Handout

An event handout to briefly explain how various telescopes function.
What is an Eclipse? Handout

What is an Eclipse? Handout

Handout with diagrams and explanations of both lunar and solar eclipses, and lists of upcoming eclipses.
Pinhole Eclipse Viewer Handout

Pinhole Eclipse Viewer Handout

Handout with diagrams and explanations of how to make and use a pinhole solar eclipse viewer.
Straw Rocket

Straw Rocket

Students cut out and color a paper rocket, and fly them using straws.

Mobile Observatory Project Progress!

We've been busy building a mobile observatory out of a humble trailer. We had already cut a hole in the roof, and mounted a ring for the dome. Now it was time to clean the dome and prepare it for attaching to the top of the trailer.

Pieces of the observatory dome being cleaned
Pieces of the observatory dome being cleaned
Dome pieces ready for mounting on the trailer
Dome pieces ready for mounting on the trailer

We ended up needing more hardware for the project, and with the afternoon winding down, we packed everything up for the night. The assembly crew reconvened a few days later to continue the work. As you can see below, we were able to get the dome fully installed and working great!

Richard refers to this as 'climbing Half-Dome'
Richard refers to this as 'climbing Half-Dome'
Richard and Barton work on attaching the shutter doors
Richard and Barton work on attaching the shutter doors
Completed dome in twilight
Completed dome in twilight
Venus makes an appearance over the dome
Venus makes an appearance over the dome

Since then, Richard has been working on the electrical wiring, and work on the telescope pier has been progressing. Stay tuned for future updates, and more pictures are available on Richard's Bellcroft Observatory page.

Rancho Cañada Elementary Science Night 2016

Was a blast! Amy brought a tub full of flour and some balls to be our model impactors.

Students gathered around the meteor impact display
Students gathered around the meteor impact display
Our crater-making arena, a tub half-full of flour
Our crater-making arena, a tub half-full of flour
A ball makes impact sending flour flying
Impact!
Aftermath - many different sizes and shapes of craters
Aftermath! Many different sizes and shapes of craters

The rest of the Science Heads crew operated the telescopes, viewing the Moon, Jupiter, the Pleiades, and the Orion Nebula.

Nearly full Moon
The Moon was about 90% full

Our handout for the night was on the meteor showers of 2016:

Meteor Showers of 2016 Handout

Meteor Showers of 2016 Handout

Handout with a meteor coloring page on one side (public domain image) and a description of meteor showers (from SkyAndTelescope.com) on the other, plus a list of dates for the meteor showers of 2016.

Lunar Eclipse in the Orange County Great Park - September 27, 2015

Informal gathering to watch the lunar eclipse. There was a great turnout, many people in the park to watch the moon rise in eclipse.

Moon rising over Saddleback, in eclipse
Moon rising over Saddleback, in eclipse
Eclipsed moon over the Great Park balloon ride
Eclipsed moon over the Great Park balloon ride
A picture of the fully eclipsed moon from an earlier lunar eclipse, in 2014
A picture of the fully eclipsed moon from an earlier lunar eclipse, in 2014

Fall Colors Booth at the Foothill Ranch Farmer's Market - October 9, 2014

We had leaves imported from Idaho (thank you, Rose!), and crayons for making leaf rubbings.

Our booth at the Foothill Ranch Farmer's Market
Our booth at the Foothill Ranch Farmer's Market
Topic for the day was fall colors
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We want to thank our sponsors:
Kiwanis Club of
Mission Viejo