Ruxz_M-rbu5hJUPoenSULdy6Wzk The Science of My Life: February 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Busy Homeschool Science Workshop

We had another great group of students of all ages participate in a science class this week.  I decided to focus on Science Literacy since Dr. Seuss Birthday is coming up on March 2.  Since we made oobleck last time, we didn't get out the cornstarch again, but I reminded them of that experiment and the fun we had last month!

My friend shared a new book with me last week that is based on the fable, :Six Blind Men and the Elephant."  It is called Seven Blind Mice.  I use this story to introduce the power of observations, and how we try to understand the whole picture in science, and not just pieces.  Unless we communicate, investigate, and collaborate, we won't know the big picture that surrounds us.

So I read that story as well as the story of the man who learned how to photograph snowflakes.  It should really be winter outside, but it hit 60 degrees this week, so the snowflake story might have been a little too late to tell!

We returned to Dr. Seuss as we talked about Horton Hears a Who.  I always use a clip from this movie (either popular version) as I introduce microbiology.  Horton uses one of his senses to accept that there is something out there that exists even if he can't see it.  He spends the rest of the story trying to protect the Who's even if others don't believe they exist.

I taught the kids that an entire world of organisms exist right under our noses and we have to use tools and technology to learn about them.  I taught them about microscopes, the history, the parts, and the different kinds of microscopes.  And then I let them loose to investigate.

I think my favorite moment is when an older child came up to me and asked if he could take a dead wasp that he had found in a window sill and look at it under the dissecting scope.  Great idea!  A parent actually took pictures of some of the slides with her phone, so I have included one.  It was a good session, albeit a busy session.  Oh the places they will go with their brains and their feets!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Antarctica Exhibit at Museum of Idaho

Today we learned about the two teams that raced to reach the South Pole first between the years 1910 and 1912.  The British team was on their way when they learned about the Norwegians.   The exhibit at the Museum of Idaho was really good and we learned about how they prepared, survived,  and successfully reached the South Pole.    We also went to see my grandfather's exhibit of Hearts of Courage.
Their winter survival story of 1943 is miraculous.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Harmony Boxes at Burley High School

Thanks for inviting me, Mrs. Heiner!  These special hydroponic boxes are a project from ISGC that the kids have successfully been growing plants in.  Today, Mrs. Heiner (with a little commentary from me) showed the students how to cross-pollinate cucumber plants using the same techniques as Mendel used in the garden.  It was a fun visit and the kids are lucky to have such a passionate teacher!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Winter Ecology at Craters of the Moon National Monument

The 8th grade girls of Declo Junior High had a great day at Craters.  This field trip was possible because of some funding through the National Park Service.   I am so glad that their teacher made the arrangements.  After some winter ecology education, we spent some time snowshoeing in the park.  It was perfect weather with some fresh snow.   Tomorrow the boys get to come.  It was a very smart idea to split them up.  I think it gives them a chance to listen and take it all in without worrying about what they look like!  :)