What Would You Do In Space?

The depths of space are incredibly vast and mysterious, and modern-day scientists have yet to unfold its secrets. However, one company is aiming to explore the depths of space, and even find some resources in it as well.

Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining company based in Washington, wants to be at the forefront of finding usable resources in the solar system. More specifically, the company wants to explore asteroids for natural resources and precious metals. Asteroids are rich in useful and necessary resources such as nickel, iron, water, and platinum. The interesting and innovative part about Planetary Resources’ plans is that they intend to use an unmanned robotic spacecraft to do all of the mining and exploring they want to do in space.

Does this company’s explorative work inspire your Blasters? If your kids had the chance to go into space and explore, what would they do? Get your Blaster thinking about space exploration by building their personal outer space diorama! Help them use their imagination and pretend that you are in space with them, on some distant planet. Create a diorama to replicate the scenery of the planet, and get creative! Here are some directions:

Materials you will need

–          Empty shoebox (with the lid)

–          Construction paper, paint, stickers, and any other decorative items

Directions

  1. Cover the inside and outside of your shoebox with black construction paper or black paint. Make sure to also paint the lid. Please see picture below for an example.
  2. Place your box inside the box’s lid, as demonstrated in the picture below.
  3. Create a surface at the bottom of your box using construction paper or some other material. This is supposed to replicate the surface of a planet.
  4. Add whatever elements you would like in your box. You can foreign planets, alien monsters, and even some planets and stars in the background.

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Your child can customize their diorama with different components. Encourage them to use their imagination, and maybe they can even draw inspiration from when they play Math Blaster! Tell us what you think about this craft, and let us know about any cool ideas your Blasters had.

Merry Christmas, Blasters!

How are you celebrating this joyous day? Let us know all about your favorite holiday traditions. Whether you’ve been busy unwrapping gifts or eating sweet treats, we hope that you get the chance to spend some of the day enjoying the company of your family and friends. After all, there is no better time than now to celebrate the season with the ones you love most.

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And, if you have some time to spare during all your family festivities, don’t forget to stop by Math Blaster to wish your blaster pals the happiest of holidays! You might even want to take the time to throw a Pod party or send a few gifts to your B.F.F.s

2012, A Year in Space News

This past year was a big one for out of this world news. From landing the rover, Curiosity, on Mars to celebrating the life and achievements of famed astronaut Neil Armstrong, there was never a dull moment in the world of science and more specifically our ventures in outer space. As we look back on the year and head into 2013, here are some of the top developments and stories that made headlines in Science news.

– The landing of the Mars Rover, Curiosity occurred on August 15th 2012 and opened the door for our study of the red planet and the possibility of life on other planets.

Endeavour’s journey to the Los Angeles Science Center started with a cross-country retirement tour, beginning in Orlando, Florida and ending with a tour through the streets of Los Angeles on October 13th 2012.

– On August 25th, 2012 the world lost legendary astronaut, Neil Armstrong who was the first man to walk on the moon. For his achievements and contributions to NASA’s space program, he was decorated in 17 countries with several medals and honors, including the Medal of Freedom and Congressional Space Medal of Honor.

– Just this past month, Golden Spike a privately funded company, announced plans for prepare for commercial flights to the moon in early as 2020.

But those weren’t the only big developments of the past year. 2012 also brought us the return of SpaceX Dragon, the Tissint meteorite landing in Morocco, and the rare sighting of the Blue Moon. Which of these stories was most memorable for you? For more information on any of these stories, feel free to browse some of our past posts, here on the blog. Or, if there are any other science or space stories that you and your kids want more information on, just let us know!

Give the Gift of HyperBlast 2 HD!

The holiday season is a busy time when parents often find themselves constantly “on-the-go.” This year, keep your kids from falling into bouts of boredom during their extended holiday breaks with Math Blaster’s HyperBlast 2 HD mobile game. Just stop by the iTunes App Store or GooglePlay to download it directly to your mobile device, today!

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Whether you are on a long road trip or just running a few errands around town, this exciting game is full of fast paced action that is bound to keep you kids attention and make learning as fun as ever. With over 40 levels of play, HyperBlast 2 integrates challenging math problems that can help your kids practice their skills in subjects like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and even fractions.

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Have your kids hop on one of our HyperBlast HyperCycles to race down obstacle filled tunnels and face off with one of our four fearsome alien bosses. To blast them away and level up, they will need to use their math skills to select the correct answers. Check it out today, and you’ll find that HyperBlast 2 HD will have your kids on the edge of their seats. And, there is no better time than now to give the gift of Math Blaster to your kids.

Geminid Meteor Shower

Have you and your children ever gone star gazing? Your Blasters get to see space from inside the space station in Math Blaster, but were they able to check out the Geminid Meteor Shower that happened just last Thursday on December 13?

Meteoroids are a collection of various particles in space, and they can be as small as grains of sand or as big as boulders. When meteoroids pass through Earth’s atmosphere, the path they are falling in can be visible to humans — this is called a meteor. A meteor shower is an event that occurs in space when meteors are seen “falling” from a particular area in the night sky, which is why meteors have nicknames like “shooting star” or “falling star.”

The most recent meteor shower seen is called the Geminid Meteor Shower. According to scientists, the Geminid Meteors originated from the constellation of Gemini. Another interesting fact about the Geminid Meteors is that they were supposed to be the best meteor shower show of any during the year.

Meteors showers can be displayed in different ways. Particularly strong and abnormal meteor showers are called “meteor outbursts” or “meteor storms.” Also, although it was mentioned before that meteors range in size, it is lucky for Earth’s inhabitants that most meteors are no bigger than a grain of sand. When meteors actually hit the earth’s surface, it is then called a meteorite, just as we talked about with our Moroccan Meteorite post.

If you and your Blasters missed this meteor shower, there is no need to worry — there are meteor showers all year round! Some of the more famous meteor showers include the Perseid Meteor Shower and the Leonid Meteor Shower.

Go online with your child and research about the different meteor showers that happen throughout the year. Learn more about this fantastic celestial spectacle, and perhaps you can grab a telescope and watch the next one together!

 

‘Tis the Season for Traveling

With the holiday season finally here, you might find yourself with a lot more free time. You and your kids could spend that time at home or around the Math Blaster Space Station… but why not take a little extra time to step outside your front door? The world is out there just waiting to be explored and this time of year is the perfect time to travel with your friends and family.

Some of the most popular places for winter vacations include China, the Cayman Islands, Brazil, and Canada.

Harbin Ice Festival

In China, thousands will be flocking to the month-long Harbin Ice Festival where you’ll be able to find intricate ice sculptures of dragons and palaces. Your kids can even take slide around ice and go ice-skating in their free time. The festival begins on January 5th and is a must-see for people who love creativity in all forms. To see what the Ice Festival has to offer, all you will need to do is take a train from the larger cities of Beijing or Shanghai.

However, if you are not a fan of the cold, you can always head to warmer climates this holiday season by traveling to a place like the Cayman Islands. While having some fun in this sun locale, you can immerse yourself in sun, diving, snorkeling and even explore the beautiful marine life.

As expenses tend to pile up during the holiday season, international travel may not be in everyone’s budget. Consider going on a road trip to the nearest state and discover places and new cultures in an area a little closer to home. There is so much for your family to see and learn when you step out into new parts of the world.

Holiday travel is a great experience that can bring your loved ones together during the winter season. Whether you choose ice sculptures or snorkeling with turtles, there’s something for everyone when you are traveling around the world. What places do you consider great winter vacation spots? Let us know in the comments below!

One Giant Leap for Mankind

With all the hours of hard work that your kids put in around the Math Blaster Space Station, have you ever caught yourself wondering about what it might be like to travel into the unknowns of outer space? Currently, only a handful of private citizens have already had the opportunity to orbit through space. However, with the recent proposal by a privately funded company to start manning missions to the moon, commercial spaceflight may be more of a realistic goal for the near future than ever before. In a matter of a few years, you could be booking yourself on a flight as one of the first space tourists or better yet, an official astronaut.

Now, that dream is as close as ever to becoming a reality. As companies like Richard Branson’s much talked about Virgin Galactic are actively accepting reservations for future trips into space. Depending on your chosen package, deposits for Virgin Galactic flights can range anywhere from $200,000 to $1 million.  However, with the rate at which technology has been advancing in this field and with the development of new spacecrafts, there is now more than one company making waves in the market of commercial space travel.

More recently, Colorado-based start up, Golden Spike has made headlines promoting their plans for privately funded commercial flights that would take people from earth all the way to the moon. With the first flights scheduled for as early as the year 2020, the company prices each trip at about one and a half billion dollars. The plan was announced by CEO, Alan Stern, a former director from NASA on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the last moon landing, which occurred in 1972.

Although the costs of these flights may not be practical for average citizens, the announcement marks a great opportunity for the advancement of space programs worldwide.  As technology and research proceed forward, we can expect that elite list of space tourists to grow at unprecedented speeds. And in the case of Golden Spike’s plans for flights to the moon,  Neil Armstrong’s iconic words from the legendary Apollo 11 flight seem most fitting as this venture can easily be considered “one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.”