Saturday, October 8, 2011

Science Day!

A state park in our area hosts an amazing, annual science day where groups of students visit different stations to learn about everything from earthworms to acid rain. There are many stations and each group visits six. Our homeschool group visited:

-A station where we tested solutions with cabbage juice to see if they are acid or base.

We then tested the lake to see if it had been affected by acid rain. We were happy to see that our little sample of lake water turned blue/green, which means that it was a base.

And then, of course, we had to mix acid (vinegar) and base (baking soda) because who doesn't love that sudden volcanic eruption!

-A Zoo station where we met Matilda, the eastern box turtle. We learned that her kind are the only turtles able to completely close their shell, transforming themselves into little "turtle rocks." The only thing able to get them open at that point are crows, who pick them up, fly high into the air and - are you ready for this? - look for a parking lot in which to drop them. Ugh.

-An animal CSI station - this one was so clever!

We learned how an animals skull can tell us whether they are prey or predator, and then we visited some "crime scenes" to sift through the evidence and determine who the victim and the attacker were.

In some cases, samples of "scat" showed us that the victim had themselves eaten another animal that day.

-A paper recycling station where we made our own recycled paper, complete with shredded leaves, flowers and cinnamon. This is one we want to try at home!

-A forest recycling station where we learned about earthworms, bacteria, fungi and the decomposition of leaves and fallen trees.

-At the final station we met several beautiful owls, falcons and a turkey vulture.

All in all, it was a fun and fascinating day made even better by a game of beach football at the end!

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