"Tap into Learning" Cross-promoting Spigot online.

Coming Soon - Cells Issue

Turning on the Spigot of the Mind

How can we instill confidence and persistence
for careers in Science?

New evidence from the Lenovo 2011 Global Student Science and Technology Outlook, a survey of 4,800 students from around the world conducted by Red Shift Research, reveals some reasons why students are reluctant to enter science fields.Many students (89%) think that science is “cool,” but only about 50% of students are considering going into one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. …more

Spigot Author Interview ~ Elsie Spry

I caught up with author of "Scientist are People Too," Elsie Spry.  Here's what she had to tell us...

I'm mainly a Mom.  I love my kids and family.  They have always been my first priority. Writing for myself and for others (when they need a technical or educational piece) has been a joy, but back-burned since I am distractible by nature. Multi-tasking beyond one sphere of influence (either the home or the workplace) is difficult for me since I lose my "place" and purpose quickly.  Now that the kids are older, the focus for multi-job tasking is a little easier...

What is "particular" physics?

The new "particular"physics are useful applications of particles, developed and patented by Dr.Spry.  Not the quasar or air/water kind, but good old pile-making stuff like sand, gravel, dirt  -- also, corn, oatmeal, shell, etc.  The stuff that flows like water; but unlike water, makes a pile.

You wrote about William J. Spry, are you related?

He's my Dad.

What else have you written?

Sales proposals for nuclear plants, lesson plans, trivia radio programs, Mother Earth How-Tos, essays, poems, parenting booklets, journals, song lyrics, etc.

What is your greatest challenge as an author?

Corralling my ideas.  I'm in the habit of writing ideas down on any scrap of paper while I am whirling about away from my desk.  The scraps can get lost before I can formally enter them anywhere else; so I sometimes lose them.  On top of that, my thinking is associational.  Sometimes the scraps I don't lose may as well have been written in Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs for as much sense I can make of them later!

Do you have any quirks that help or hinder your writing process?

Cutting any sentence I write at first in half.  When I was in school, the emphasis was on pithy big words and long phrases.  Balderdash!  Direct and simple is the BEST way to communicate to any other human.  But Balderdash sentences are what  I usually write first.

What are your future plans? 

For the immediate future, I will keep on introducing the new "particular" physics through written and hands-on presentations (I make many models out of Duplo). It will take a while, since the applications are not  in any science or engineering book now.  They are too new.  And new is hard for most people...

What field are you most interested in pursuing?

Technical/Educational writing.  As I tell everyone, I am the only liberal arts major in a highly technical household.  My skill is in translating the technical Balderdash of professionals so the rest of us can benefit and learn from their knowledge. You do not grow up with a biologist, physicist, engineer, and math whiz without developing some strong defenses against technically arcane terminology (I find laughing at the weird spellings is a good start -- maybe making a funny limerick about how silly the technical language is also helps).

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for the interest!

Thank you, Elsie.  Check out Elsie's web sites at;  http://particularconcepts.com and

Scientists Are People Too!

  by Elsie Spry

Dr. William J. Spry is a nuclear scientist and inventor who grew up in the 1900s. In elementary school young Bill’s teachers made him do extra work because he fidgeted, talked, drew, and made mistakes in class. These mistakes were just the beginning.

As a boy, Bill Spry plowed his grandparent’s farm with mules, fished, and hiked in the mountains of Pennsylvania. He and a buddy had fun catching rabbits by running after them. He noticed the world around him and learned new things...READ MORE


Be sure to come back Wednesday March 21st to read my interview with the daughter of Dr. William J. Spry and author of the article, Elsie Spry.

A Tummy in Motion - Health Connection

by Sue Rambin

Have you ever really felt sick on a boat or a roller coaster ride? Riding in a car or an airplane in
turbu-lent weather can also make you nauseous. This is referred to as motion sickness.

Three Pathways

That’s not just a feeling you have in your stom-ach. There are three different pathways from your nervous system that send out signals from your brain to your body...READ MORE

Word Letter - Language Arts Connection

                                                                By Karen Gentsch

Word Ladder is a game credited to Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. The object of the game is to change the starting word into the ending word one step at a time. At each step, you change only one letter to make a new word. For example you can change CUP to POT in three steps:

Can you change MOVE to REST?

Read the clues then write the next word. Remember to only change one letter at each step.

Check it out on; http://www.spigotscience.com

How Our Bodies Move

A pitcher sees a signal from the catcher, winds up, and throws the ball. The movement seems automatic. Did you ever wonder how it happens? Imagine the brain as a ―computer‖ with incoming and outgoing telephone lines. The brain receives data about the world through the senses, for example, hearing and vision. ..READ MORE

Spigot Science Theater - The Newton Project

Spigot Author Sarah Richard

I caught up with another of Spigot's talented authors, Sarah Ricard (Sound & Cells Issue).  Read on as Sarah shares...

Tell us a bit about yourself.  I am originally from N'awlins, the oldest of five children (four brothers), have twin daughters (the only set in the entire family), love to work out, and play the piano.  Teaching GED classes was the best job I ever had because there was nothing like seeing a student graduate from high school, but I currently work in health care (I like night shift!).  My undergraduate degree was from the University of New Orleans in sociology, and I have a graduate degree in special education from Notre Dame.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?  Even as a small child, I was a writer.  I always wrote letters to everyone who knew me, wrote my first song at 8, and had a scary Halloween story (a cat sitting job in a house with a spooky AC) posted on display in elementary school.

When and with what book did you first get published?  Is Christmas Coming? was my first children's book through DiskUs Publishing www.diskuspublishing.com/sarahrichard.html after I finished college.  (I'd tell you the year, but then you'd know I'm old!)

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  It is fun to make people laugh.  A lot of my stories use humor.  (Free reading comprehension worksheets that use humor are available at the www.sarahvrichard.zoomshare.com website.)

What are you working on now?  The latest story I am working on is about a secret admirer for young adults. 

Do you have any quirks that help or hinder you has an author?  A sense of humor really brings stories to light by capturing the reader's attention.

What's the greatest moment you've had as a writer?  Any time something is published... Even if a book only sells a handful of copies, it is always fun to create and share stories.  Sometimes I wonder if I should stop writing because I haven't made the New York Times Best Seller list, but a good friend of mine said, "If you're having fun doing it, don't quit.  When it's no longer fun, then stop."  It'll always be fun for me, so I keep writing.

Anything you'd like to write about that you haven't yet?  There are a few story ideas I haven't put on paper yet, but my mind is always working overtime.

What has been you biggest challenge as a author?  Marketing is brutal.  BRUTAL!

Anything else you'd like to add?  Science is an interesting subject.  Science degrees make more money than writing degrees.

Check out Sarah online at; Sarah's Virtual Story Cafe www.sarahvrichard.zoomshare.com