Saturday, May 18, 2019

Wrapping Up Science Club

Friday, May 3

  • review last Thursday's Black Hole lecture by Dr. Shane Larson
  • review The Life Cycles of Stars handout from NASA
  • use Theodore Gray's Photographic Card Deck of the Elements to lay out elements created in the core of a medium star (elements 1 - 6, Hydrogen - Carbon); lay out elements created in the core of a massive star, which goes past the red giant stage (elements 7 - 26, Nitrogen - Iron)

    If you think of the core of a star as sort of an element-making furnace, a medium star's furnace goes out when it gets to carbon and a massive star's furnace goes out when it get to iron. The remaining elements are either created in the incredible energy released by the explosion of a dying star, aka a supernova, or they are man-made.

  • work on The Life Cycles of Stars activity sheets
      Star Life, level 1
      Space Spirals, level 1
      Space Connection, level 1
      Star Scrambles, level 1
      Deep Space Doublets, level 2
      Nebular Nonsense, level 2
      Space Spirals, level 2
      Those A-Maze-ing Stars, level 2
  • look at nebula pictures cut out from old wall calendars
      Dumbbell Nebula
      Carina Nebula
      Seagull Nebula
      Bubble Nebula
      Lagoon Nebula
      Eagle Nebula
      planetary nebula NGC 5189

Friday, May 10

  • revisit nebulae, watch computer simulation of Interstellar Clouds
  • do collaborative Nebula artwork (children ages 3 - 14) using a 22" x 30" sheet of 140 lb cold press Arches bright white watercolor paper, watercolors, gelatos, chalk pastels, and Daler-Rowney acrylic ink

  • review Periodic Table and the relationship between the nebula artwork and our own life story, read Older Than the Stars by Karen Fox

  • discuss how humans have always been fascinated by the sky

    Our seven days of the week are named for the Sun, the Moon, and the five "wandering stars." These wandering stars are the five planets that the Ancient Babylonians could see with their naked eye. The gods' names may have changed over centuries and cultures, from Babylonians to Greeks to Romans to the Anglo-Saxons, but the concept of naming our days for these heavenly bodies has remained.

  • discuss constellations, do Star Signs level 2 from The Life Cycles of Stars activity sheets
  • discuss how the constellations that you see in the sky vary by season, look at Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outer Space with Binoculars, a Telescope, or Just Your Eyes! by Bruce Betts

  • go outside and do a movement activity to demonstrate why the constellations that we see in the sky change

    Get a big group of people and go outside to a field. Have two people stand in the center and the remaining people stand in a large circle around them. One of the center people is the Sun. This person stands still the whole time. The people in the outer ring are the Constellations. They also stand still the whole time. The remaining center person is the Earth. The Earth person has to spin around constantly to represent the day/night cycle and also has to walk in a circle around the Sun to represent the seasonal cycle of the year. While simultaneously rotating and revolving, this Earth person also has to call out the name of whatever Constellation person he/she sees when facing away from the Sun (night time). In watching the Earth person walk all the way around the Sun and face different people along the way, it becomes clear why constellations in the sky appear to come and go. They are not moving. We are.

Friday, May 17

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Zoology II, Week 3: Lion, White-Tailed Deer

Here are some notes from our third week of Zoology II.

Monday, May 13

Tuesday, May 14 - Field Trip to the St. Louis Zoo

Thursday, May 15

  • recall Lion, read portion of Cats by Wilfrid Swancourt Bronson, look at diagram "Showing How Cats' Claws Are Held In Or Thrust Out"

  • read Young Lions by Toshi Yoshida
  • add Lion to MLB (one child came up with a great idea for an illustration for this... a large grassland of yellow, orange, and brown dried grass with the caption "the lion is completely camouflaged")
  • introduce Ruminants
  • read pages 5 (bottom paragraph) through 12 of Horns and Antlers by Wilfrid Swancourt Bronson, look at diagram "A Ruminant Stomach"

Friday, May 10


  • look at the Seventh fact from Cow by Jules Older and identify errors in the diagram of the cow's stomach

  • play Ruminant / Not a Ruminant with the wooden animal collection and make a display of the two groups



Some of these were hard and some were easy to sort. We know that ruminants eat plant material, and we also know these animals are are prey (not predator). They evolved the Market Basket and other three stomachs so that they could grab a bunch of food quickly without chewing it and then retire to a safe hidden spot to chew their cud and digest the food in peace.

In fact, ruminants are cloven-hooved cud-chewers. I didn't have a goat figure, but that could also have been added to that group. Pigs, on the other hand, have cloven hooves but do not chew a cud. Camels chew a cud but do not have a cloven hoof. Donkeys, horses, and zebras are easily confused with ruminants because they are herbivores but no... they are monogastric. And the others (squirrel, pink flamingo, mouse, mole) were just for fun!


  • review and add the Four Stomachs of the Ruminant to MLB
  • read Horns vs. Antlers (remainder of Horns and Antlers chapter 1)
  • look at and feel horn and an assortment of white-tailed deer antlers
  • read chapter 6, "The Red Deer," from The Human Being and the Animal World by Charles Kovacs

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