STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend: June 10

Between school, homework, practice and spending time with loved ones, it’s easy to miss out on the latest in science, technology, engineering, art and math. But don’t worry, Thinkery’s got you covered. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly STEAM discoveries from the previous week. It’s fuel for your weekend.
STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - King Tut's Dagger
Photo credit: Daniela Comelli, courtesy of EOS/AGU.

King Tut’s dagger was out this world. Seriously.

When archaeologists discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, there were many fascinating objects and artifacts to comb through. Among the 5,000+ funerary objects in Tut’s treasury was a unique, almost timeless, dagger. The gold and crystal dagger, found near the pharaoh’s right thigh, initially confused scientists. The blade, sealed in Tut’s tomb for more than 3,200 years, showed hardly any signs of rust or age.

Since scientists were baffled by the mystery blade, they ran tests to determine the dagger’s origins. Using X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, a non-destructive technique used to determine the elemental composition of sensitive materials, they found iron, nickel and cobalt—materials found inside meteorites.

The source of this mysterious metal? Scientists believe Tut’s blade was formed from chunks of a meteorite nicknamed Kharga, which fell thousands of years ago 150 miles west of Alexandria.

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Chilicola Charizard
Photo credit: Spencer K. Monckton.

Go to college. Study science. Discover a brand-new species. Name said species after your favorite Pokémon character.

Spencer K. Monckton, currently a PhD student at the University of Guelph, discovered eight new bee species while working on his master’s degree at York University. A longtime Pokémon fan, Monckton dubbed one of the polyester bee species Chilicola charizard—a moniker inspired by the popular draconic character.

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Charizard
Photo credit: Ken Sugimori.

Endemic, or native, to Chile, Charizard bees are teeny-tiny creatures. Between 4–7 mm in length, they’re dark brown or black and patterned with yellow markings. Its impressive antennae resemble a dragon’s horns. Can you spot the resemblance? We can!

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Gululu
Photo credit: Gululu.

Dehydration is a nationwide concern. According to a study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, more than 50 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States are under-hydrated. How? They’re simply not drinking enough water.

To combat dehydration in children and promote healthy habits, Gululu is releasing a Tamagotchi-inspired water bottle that turns hydration into a game. The interactive water bottle, enabled by technology, uses virtual pets to reward children for drinking water regularly. What a fun way to stay healthy!

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