Joel Thomas

Joel Thomas

Joel has been teaching science since 2000.  He taught for a period of time in a formal classroom setting, then moved outside to direct outdoor school programs on the Oregon coast.  After nearly 10 years he started Glen’s Gizmos alongside his wife Roxanna and they have been blessed to travel and teach together. 

Recently they started the Glen’s Gizmos Homeschool Hub in Vancouver, Washington to serve homeschoolers in the Pacific Northwest through classes, curriculum and outdoor school programs.

Joel will be running six hands-on science sessions for elementary and middle school students (a parent must attend with their child). Space is limited. There will be a sign-up sheet at the science workshop area and each family is asked to sign up for no more than two hands-on sessions during the conference.  

Battery Cells:  In this family friendly lab we are building and testing wet and dry cell batteries. It will help if you have a solid understanding of pH before taking this lab though it isn’t required. Together we will tackle questions including: How were batteries invented? What is inside a battery? Where does the power come from? How on earth does a potato produce electricity? What is electricity? Why is a 9 Volt so powerful when it is smaller than a 1.5 Volt D cell?

Electromagnets (make & take):  In this family friendly lab we are building and testing electromagnets. It will help if you have a solid understanding of batteries prior to taking this lab, though it isn’t required. Together we will tackle questions including: How were electromagnets invented? Why do electromagnets work? What metals can be used in an electromagnet and what applications do electromagnets have?

Electric Motors (make & take):  In this family friendly lab we are building and testing simple electric motors. It will help if you have a solid understanding of electromagnetism before taking this lab though it isn’t required. Together we will tackle questions including: When were electric motors invented and how does an electromagnet drive a motor. Students will create and take home a simple working electric motor.

Bug Pinning:  Join us to learn how to collect and pin bugs in a insect collection. In this study of entomology participants will go home with their first beetle pinned and ready for a collection, along with the knowledge to expand on their collection.

Mineral Testing: During this workshop we will be testing rocks of all types for hardness, color, streaks and reactivity to acids. How can a geologist tell what is in a rock? Join us to find out.

Frog Dissections: During this session students will have the opportunity to dissect a frog! Previous knowledge is not necessary. Young children can be successful in this activity with direct parent support. All students must take directions and safety seriously or they will be asked to sit out.

How are amphibians able to survive in and out of water? What does the word metamorphosis really mean? How does metamorphosis point to God as our Creator? What is the difference between incomplete and complete metamorphosis? Join our frog dissection for answers to these questions and many more!

Go to the full speaker and session list here.