Impressive Strength: The Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The ocean dwelling Peacock Mantis Shrimp is tougher than its name implies. Do not let this pretty little guy fool you—this creature’s front appendages can strike with an underwater acceleration that equates to the same velocity of a speeding bullet from 22-calibur rifle! So why are researchers willing to go face to face with such a menacing little crustacean? Researchers have designed a structure for composite materials that can resist impacts tougher than airplane standard materials. All of this is inspired by the stomatopod’s impressive strength that seems out of this world!

Photo by Craig D

Photo by Craig D

With raptorial appendages that fold under its body, similar to that of a Praying Mantis, the Peacock Mantis Shrimp can deliver a hard hitting blow. They can wield their fist-like clubs to strike prey with great force at speeds up to 50 miles per hour in milliseconds—we can blink and miss this shrimp’s punch! Their appendages move so fast that the water that surrounds these limbs start to boil and create cavitation bubbles. When these bubbles collapse, they produce an underwater shock wave that is strong enough to affect their prey even if the Mantis Shrimp misses its target.

What is most impressive about this species is that is can punch up to 50,000 times with out damaging its clubs before molting. This unbelievable strength of such a tiny animal is what makes them one of the more interesting species to scientists in the animal kingdom. Studying the Mantis Shrimp’s fist-like clubs, will allow researchers to identify the key components to its structure and applying that knowledge to creating improvements with everyday objects, including advanced body armor for combat troops.

Show the Ooze Who’s Boss

To be a skilled Intergalactic Space Station Blaster, every Cadet must fine tune their problem solving efforts on top of quick reflexes. Oozami is the perfect training course to put your math skills and response times to the ultimate test! Climb to the top unscathed as you race against time to answer math problems that will unlock the chamber doors to freedom and away from the toxic ooze! Here are some tips and tricks that will help you conquer the obstacles in Oozami!

Ooze

Escape the ooze – The most important thing to remember while training in Oozami is to never touch the ooze! So be careful as you jump from one platform to another in your search for the correct answers.

Click here for more Oozami Tips and Tricks!

Worksheet of the Week

Missing Proportion - Printable proportion worksheet for all grades

Bark Beetles and Groundwater Flow

Recent studies have revealed relationship between the common bark beetle and the changing water quality and flow in the Rocky Mountain area of Colorado. As healthy pine trees begin to dry and falter at alarming rates, many look to the local infestation of these powerful beetles as the cause of acres of drying plant life. Affects that have become so damaging that natural groundwater flow is now being diverted, as the areas no longer need water to feed the lush and green pines that were once much more common.

Photo By: Forest Service Northern Region

Photo By: Forest Service Northern Region

So how does the removal of a few trees alter the flow of the surrounding groundwater streams, which have seen little change in recent years? Through the process of transpiration, healthy trees are actually able to take up water from the soil where they grow to transport throughout their plant structure. The excess gathering of water in the soil during this process eventually contributes to local water movement or streams, defining the direction and strength of the flow. Because of the number of trees drying out in the mountainous region, there is now an excess of water flowing through the ground, and feeding into local streams.

Scientists are now finding changes in the make of the quality of water. All of which has been a result of the bark beetles affect of local plant life. For such a small creature, the local population has caused quite the commotion.

Get Inspired for Easter

Family, laughter, and fun—another Easter holiday is around the corner! How will you be celebrating? Many of us gather with family and friends to celebrate this time of the year and also enjoy much of what the spring season has to offer. Make this year a memorable one for your little ones and try new things. Whether it be new crafts to share with your loved ones or bringing the colors of spring indoors with decorating, there are so many ways to that you can set this Easter a part from the previous ones. Your kids will have a blast and so will you with these inspiring Easter ideas from Math Blaster!

Photo By Elana Roussakis

Photo By Elana Roussakis

The best part is that you can turn any simple activity into a mini math lesson teaching basic concepts that your kids will learn through hands on practice. Whether it be counting out treats to place in goodie bags or learning proportions and shapes while folding origami bunnies, your kids can strengthen their math skills and have a stellar time while doing it!

 

Worksheet of the Week

5 Minutes Drill - Multiplication Worksheet for 1st Graders

Kick Start Your Spring Celebration

Spring has arrived and Easter is just around the corner! Have you thought about ways to celebrate the season with your kids? We can help you prepare for all of the fun festivities with these simple ideas that will help you and your Cadet at home have a blast this Easter!

Easy Easter Recipes with Kids

Spending time in the kitchen with your kids can easily be turned into a quick, hands-on math lesson in disguised while making delicious Easter treats. Choose simple recipes that your kids will have no problem with preparing most of it on their own. Crispy rice treats and even simple party mixes, like “Bunny Bait” have simple instructions where your kids can measure and count what is needed.

Photo By David Goehring

Photo By David Goehring

Click here for more Easter fun!