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We are all spending more time at home these days, but ay Family Science & Engineering, we have always encouraged families to explore and become aware of science and engineering happening in their everyday lives. When we really start looking, science and engineering are everywhere!

So, here are a few ways that science and engineering showed up at my house in December 2020.

I have to start with the great conjunction of 2020! Jupiter and Saturn were the closest they have been, from our viewpoint, since 1623. The sky was not clear for us in Portland on December 21 (the date they were the closest), but we caught a break in the clouds on December 23 and joined a crowd at our local park to enjoy the show. This photo was taken with an iPhone through our spotting scope, so it is not the best. But it does show that I was there!

The second photo is a bit of a cheat because it was not taken at my house. My parents live in Albuquerque, and my mom sent this beautiful photo of a lenticular cloud over the Sandia Mountains. Both these first photos remind me to look up when looking for science in my life!

This photo was taken by my husband, a lifelong, amateur entomologist (follow him on Instagram at @insect_a_gram if you love photos of insects). This is not an insect, of course, but a beautiful spider that was right outside my backdoor one afternoon. We don’t see as many insects and spiders in winter for a variety of reasons (click here find out where they go), so her showing up in December was unusual. Wildlife is one of my favorite ways to see science around me.

Lastly, I have been busy in the kitchen with three projects that I have been meaning to start. From left to right, I have a batch of sauerkraut started, some broccoli seeds I sprouted, and a sourdough starter that I just got going (I am a bit late to the sourdough craze). Two of these involve the process of fermentation (the sauerkraut and sourdough starter), and sprouting involves giving some seeds the right conditions to sprout making a healthy addition to our salads and sandwiches. The kitchen is full of science, engineering and math. What STEM can you find happening in your kitchen?

Now it’s your turn! What science & engineering showed up in your life in December 2020?

Share your experiences on Instagram or Facebook with #familystemathome!