This Kids Science Newsletter includes a question of the month, current science events, and a simple science experiment.

Question of the Month
When did Sears Roebuck and Company sell homes by mail order?
(answer follows the simple science experiment)

Steve Jobs and Apple Computers

A few days ago Steve Jobs passed away. I decided to write about how he has influenced my life for the past 26 years. He is also the reason our family was able to start our home based business, Ring of Fire Science, using desk top computers. Prior to 1985 computers were large and made to be used by people in large companies using function keys. That all changed with the Apple Macintosh and the mouse.

Apple computers over the years
My first Apple computer was purchased in 1985. It was the newly released Macintosh and did not have a hard drive. Instead, It had two slots for sloppy disks. In one side one the front I would place a disk containing the Microsoft Word program. On the other side was a blank disk that I used to save the information I had written.

My first published newsletter was for the Oregon Sheep Dog Society. I use to train Border Collies and became the editor of the newsletter our organization published. Over the years I have purchased a number of Apple computers, each more powerful and versatile than the last. My first science textbooks were written on an Apple Computer which by then did have a hard drive. Today, our latest Apple computer is used to create our DVDs which contain video lessons.

iPod and iPod nano
Steve Jobs convinced the music industry to allow him to sell their music online. Prior to that everything was pirated. When the music was available online I purchased over time both an iPod and an iPod nano. I use them when I go walking and listen to them on airplanes as I travel. Prior to that in order to listen to music I needed a boom box or some other cassette player to play music. Now I can take out my nano pod and listen to music where ever I go.
I purchased an iPad for my grandson a couple of years ago. I am homeschooling him and he uses it when doing his schoolwork. He uses it to do research, write papers, etc. Then when he is done with his work he looks at robots and other material online about remote controlled cars etc.
My iPhone and the other smart phone on the market are because of Steve Jobs vision of what we want but don't know it. This morning I checked for weather conditions in the Santiam Pass because I am heading to central Oregon in a few hours. Snow is predicted today and the passes are about 4,800 feet. The GPS on my phone is especially important when I travel to conventions around the country. My iPhone is only a few months old and I am still learning new features on it. The booklet that I downloaded from the internet about all the features on my phone is about 250 pages long.

Simple Science Experiment

Funny Bones

You will cause real chicken bones that break when you try to bend them into "funny bones" that can bend.

  • Chicken bones
  • Pickle jar (or glass bowl)
  • Vinegar


  1. Save some chicken bones after a chicken dinner or making chicken soup.
  2. Clean the bones off by scrubbing them until all the meat is off the bones.
  3. Place the bones in the pickle jar.
  4. Cover the bones with vinegar.
  5. Place the jar on a shelf for three days.
  6. Take a bone out and see if it bends.
  7. Take a picture of you bending the bone.
  8. Wait several more days with the bones in the vinegar to see if they will bend easier after a longer period in the vinegar bath.

Science behind the experiment
when bones are placed in an acid a chemical reaction occurs. Tiny bubble of carbon dioxide form as the acid reacts with the calcium carbonate. the collagen in bones is left behind as the calcium carbonate dissolves.

Answer to the question of the month
When did Sears Roebuck and Company sell homes by mail order?

Sears manufactured and sold homes through their mail order department between 1908-1940. There were over 240 different designs people could purchase. The price for the homes ranged from $595 to $5,000. The homes came complete with plumbing and electricity. They ranged from bungalows to mansions. The homes were ordered by mail and delivered by rail.
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Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this Just For Kids Science Newsletter and tell me what you think!

Sincerely yours,
Myrna Martin

www.Kids-Fun-Science.com www.Kids-Earth-Science.com www.The-Science-Site.com