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

Making Connections In Grade 8 Sciences | STAO Connex by JULIE ARSENAULT-HOWICK

 

This project started with a Bungee Barbie activity (this one was developed by Stephanie Minor, DSBN and translated into French by me). This activity was great, as it helped students develop skills in making predictions and measuring results of trials and making modifications based on those trials. Continue reading

IT’S A MINECRAFT PARTY: USING MINECRAFT IN A SCIENCE CLASSROOM – by Jonathan So

This resource was created to demonstrate an effective use of integrating technology in a Science classroom. This particular resource is about using Minecraft in the classroom and implementing gaming as a fun and engaging way to consolidate science concepts. There is something for everyone in this resource no matter where you are in your learning journey: whether you are currently using technology in your classroom effectively, just beginning to use technology, or wanting to begin, this resource will assist you in your learning process.

Click here to go to the complete resource. 

This resource is part of STAO’s Connex series.  

Thanks Jonathan!!!

World’s biggest bee spotted alive for the first time in decades | CBC News

A walnut-sized bee with a massive jaw and impressive wingspan has been spotted for the first time in nearly 38 years, proving its species is not extinct.

Source: World’s biggest bee spotted alive for the first time in decades | CBC News

Growing Plants in Test Tubes | Science Experiments | Steve Spangler Science

Reveal the science behind sprouting seeds and water conservation.

Nothing compares to eating fresh vegetables picked right out of the garden! But, what’s happening out of sight in the soil of that garden? Here are two plant-growing activities you can do anytime of the year to discover the science behind those growing marvels and to discover a unique way to conserve water, too.

Continue to the Source for complete details….

Source: Growing Plants in Test Tubes | Science Experiments | Steve Spangler Science

Bird Feeding Stations: Bringing Nature to the Classroom – submitted by Dave Gervais

As most investigations do, this one began with a question. I had a log delivery to my house. The logs were primarily birch. What caused the damage to the birch trees that I was chopping up for wood? The holes were too shallow to suspect woodpeckers. I peeled off the bark, fully expecting to see insect galleries. There were none, but my internet search soon yielded pictures of similar damage caused by sapsuckers.

Some of my bird feeding stations have fat to attract woodpeckers. And so, I stood vigil to see if the fat might attract sapsuckers as well. Pictures from my reference book aided the identification.

Setting up a bird feeding station at school would be easy. The cost is minimal and there is no complicated storage. The seed could be stored in class in a steel trash bin. The lid should seal well to prevent attracting mice or other rodents.

Students could participate by taking turns filling the stations. Throwing in a few old logs and stumps would provide a natural setting. Identifying the birds and studying their ecological niche would be a great science activity.  Students could also take part in the bird feeder surveys that are advertised from time to time.

Thanks for the submission Dave!