KEEPING BIRDS SAFE INQUIRY – by Laura Collins (STAO Connex Inquiry Series)

Teacher and students will participate in an inquiry designed to consider how reflective surfaces of windows might pose as a potential danger for birds. Students will have the opportunity to make observations through field work (community walks), as well as conduct research to learn about birds, their habitat, basic needs and develop a solution and prototype to help protect birds from harm using the Design Thinking approach.

Click here for the complete resource. 

Thanks Laura!!!!!!!!!!!!

STAO Resources for World Tsunami Awareness Day – submitted by Amy Gorecki

the outbreak of the unprecedented great east japan earthquake and tsunami

November 5th is World Tsunami Awareness Day. These rare and extraordinary natural phenomena are something that will captivate the interest of your students. If you would like to learn more about this day, please visit: https://www.un.org/en/events/tsunamiday/ Continue reading

Monarch Butterfly Tagging – submitted by Kent Cheesman

We are tagging the monarch through a program call Monarch Watch which is a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration.

Click here for their website 

This year our school has raised over 120 Monarch larvae. To date we have tagged and released 92 Monarch butterflies. Many students are intrigued by the program and have been contributing with larva found at home, providing milkweed to feed the larva and providing oranges and flowers for the Monarchs when they emerge from their chrysalis until there are released.

This endeavour has provided many educational pluses as students are very interested in the life cycle of not only the Monarch butterflies but also the many other “critters” they are finding and researching throughout our school yard. It has also been the starting point for many related classroom inquiries and writing activities as well.

Thanks so much for sharing Kent

Kent Cheesman is the Principal of Cookstown Central Public School.

 

Images from a Cell Phone Camera – submitted by Dave Gervais

This is an image of an insect taken from a Huawei p 30 pro cell phone camera. When I compare that to images that I took in 1978 using a really good dissecting microscope with an optical camera, this is incredible. I could easily take these images and identify this insect using a good dichotomous key.

The cost for this cell phone camera is comparable to that of a good dissecting microscope attached with an optical camera, around $ 1400 dollars. Either just with the cell phone, or equipped with the hand held circular motion free tripod, this device could greatly improve field trip images without the need to take specimens back to the lab. What a great purchase for a science department!

 

Question:   Can you identify this insect from the banks of the Ottawa River?  Send your answers to info@stao.org, attention safety committee. Answer will be posted next week.

Dave Gervais

Chair STAO Safety Committee

 

 

Thanks for the submission Dave !

 

A naturalized yard: making a difference – submitted by Dave Gervais

This is a picture of my front lawn. You might see a decided absence of grass. When I first moved here, it took me almost 2 hours to cut the grass in the front and back yard. At my wife’s urging she suggested that we plant trees to make the busy road in front of our house disappear, buffer the traffic noise, and put a stop to the endless cutting of grass.

In addition by selecting some plants natural to the landscape, we have made a difference to this small welcome insect. Win/win…considerably less grass cutting, and a more interesting yard.

Extend that same idea to a school yard, and an ecology field trip could be as convenient as a short walk outside.

Images taken with a Motorola Cell Phone with an Android System..

 

Dave Gervais

Chair STAO Safety Committee

 

Thanks for the submission Dave !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the Origin of Butts – YouTube

We’ve already been told that everybody poops – but did you ever stop to consider why? It’s thanks to our heroic through-gut that humans don’t suffer the same fate as jellyfish and anemones, and every hero has an origin story… Hosted by: Olivia Gordon

Homemade Ice Cream | Science Experiments | Steve Spangler Science

Use science know-how to create a tasty vanilla treat!

The Roman emperor, Nero, is credited as the first person to have a type of ice cream made for his meals. Snow was used to freeze fruit drinks that he enjoyed so much. In 1310, Marco Polo helped out as did King Charles I of France in 1640. The French served it in Philadelphia in 1782 to honor a new country: the USA! Dolly Madison served it in the White House in 1813. In 1846, Nancy Johnson invented the hand-crank ice cream freezer. Ice cream cones were first seen in 1904 at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (better known as the St. Louis World’s Fair). The rest, of course, is history. The secret to making ice cream is to lower the freezing point of ice so it can freeze the cream. How? The scientific secret is plain old salt! Here’s a simple recipe you can follow right at home to make your own ice cream. Who needs Nero?

Continue reading