End of Summer Oceans Quiz

French Angelfish PairSince everyone has either had fun by the ocean side this summer, or still dreaming about being by the Ocean side, here is a Fun End of Summer Teaching Oceans Pop Quiz, to keep the Brain Fresh for the upcoming classes in the Fall!

1. Sea Turtles live in all the world’s oceans except the ____________.

2. Adult Turtles swim in shallow lagoons, feeding mostly on various species of ______________.

3. Clownfish are native to the warm waters of the ___________ and __________ Oceans.

4. _________ have two stomachs and therefore can hunt for larger animals than their mouth could otherwise handle.

5. Angelfish are ____________ animals, because they hide amongst the crevices of the reef by night.

6. Through the 19th century, the word “kelp” was closely associated with seaweeds that were fired to obtain __________ (primarily sodium carbonate).

7. Manatees use taste and smell, in addition to sight, sound, and touch, to_________.

8. Salmon eggs usually range from _____________ in color.

9. Clownfish are one of the few fish that are safe from sea ______________.

10. The ___________ is a marine mammal, the heaviest member of the weasel family.

11. When eating, the otter first uses ___________ to dislodge prey and to open shells.

12. Seahorses have an equine profile, meaning they look sort of like ________.

13. ____________ have vibrant rainbow colors and deep, sideway-flat bodies.

14. Before spawning, salmon may grow a hump and grow canine teeth like a dog, developing a_______, a curve in the jaws.

15. Like___________ , anemones have stinging cells.

16. When a shark is resting, it does not use its nostrils, but rather, its___________, tiny holes behind each eye.

17. A _________tail is paddle-shaped.

18. ________ are large seaweeds belonging to the brown algae family.

19. _________ are pink and silver fish from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Great Lakes.

20. Although corals can catch small fish and animals, they obtain most of their nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular_______.

21. __________ typically have five “arms” which radiate from a central disk.

22. __________ are slow-moving and live in warm, shallow, coastal waters, surviving above 15°C.

23. ____   ________ are related closely to coral and jellyfish.

24. _________ have proven problem-solving skills, social complexity and curiosity.

25. Coral have______ ; each one being like a tiny upside-down jellyfish with a shell.

26. ____ _______ “bob” around in sheltered areas such as sea grass beds, coral reefs, or mangroves.

QUIZ ANSWERS:

Angelfish

1. Arctic Ocean

2. Seagrass

3. Indian and Pacific

4. Sea Stars

5. Diurnal

6. soda ash

7. communicate

8. orange to red

9. Anemonae

10. sea otter

11. rocks

12. horses

13. Angelfish

14. Kype

15. Spiracles

16. jellyfish

17. manatee

18. Kelp

19. Salmon

20. algae

21. Starfish

22. Manatees

23. Sea Anenomae

24. Sharks

25. Polyps

26. Seahorses

If you really want to give yourselves an elementary science Brain-Squeeze this summer, here is an Oceans Quiz from National Geographics: http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/ocean-extremes-quiz/

Ocn Scnce TpT VersionAnd Here is one from our classroom at Science-Lessons.ca: a 52-Card Playing Deck for Ocean Learning, includes 4 several games and completely downloadable for Print and Cut-out – Crazy Starfish! Go Snorkeling! Sea Cluster! and ?Hypothesy?: Ordering:  Ocean Science: Ocean Creatures Playing Cards

Also, an updated and more improved version with Teachers Pay Teachers!

Making Your own Orgonite Generator

Crystal Blue MSCLArtFirst, a bit about What is Orgone?  And What is an Orgonite Generator?  Orgone energy is a hypothetical universal life force that was first known coined by a 1930’s scientist named Wilhelm Reich.  An Orgonite Generator is a homemade device using a container of inorganic and organic materials, that is designed to turn negative energy into positive uplifting energy, in general.  http://www.orgonite.info/what-is-orgonite.html.   Reich was experimenting with collecting different forms of energy to make positive generators.  In its final conception, developed by Reich’s student Charles Kelly after Reich, Orgone was conceived as the anti-entropic principle of the universe, a creative substratum in all of nature comparable to Mesmer’s animal magnetism. Orgone is regarded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a type of “putative energy. There is no empirical support for the concept of orgone in medicine or the physical sciences, and research into the concept ceased with the end of the Institute.  www.orgonite.info  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone.  Though it is notable, however, that famous scientists such as Galileo, Hypathia, Tesla and  Pythagoras, but to name a few, were also refuted as having no empirical support – including all those who first claimed the Earth to be round and not flat!

Making your own Orgonite Muffins are Easy to Make at in-class or at home, Materials needed are:

Beezwax or EcoEpoxy Resin

Large Stir Spoon

Small crystals, even the smallest is great

2 kinds of scrap metals such as copper shavings (look around in your Mom and Dad’s garage or ask your teacher or local welder for some scraps)

a bit of paper and tape

Muffin Pan

For more instructions, visit here:  http://beeswax-orgone.com/make-an-orgone/; and here:  http://www.orgonite.info/how-to-make-orgonite-hhgs.html.

Orgonite Generators are said to turn negative energy into positive energy, purify the atmosphere, detoxify water, ends drought, help plants grow better, repel pests, require less water, Inspire a pleasant demeanor and balanced, happier moods, and help awaken your innate senses.  We first made one with paper and a bit of goldleaf, our compass, ruler and marker – drawing on the paper, a geometric flower of life, adding positive words.  We felt it generating positive energy and so thought it was an orgonite generator.  To truly test our generator we would have to first make a blank one with the gold, one with the flower of life, one with tiny words on it, and one without, and test each one in the garden to see if it attracts life, or if the flowers around it perk up!  Then, to document all of that!  But then, we read that Reich’s devices were said to “generate” only when in a container.  Otherwise they only “accumulated” the energy – hence, we believe what we made is an orgone accumulator (adding together inorganic and organic materials). Besides not being contained in a container with beeswax or EcoEpoxy, ours only had one kind of metal, and had no crystals.  So our next step is to make the Eco-Epoxy muffins!

Wilhelm Reich CloudbusterHere is a photo of one of Reich’s generators designed to do cloudbusting and make rainfall.  (Photo: Extracted January 28, 2014 from: www. Wikipedia. Org / wiki / orgone.)  People who make homemade orgonite generators have we believe, good intentions – putting positive feelings into our environments.  Though, unfortunately, most generators have been made with epoxy fiberglass resin, that is reportedly not very good at all for the environment, in general.  Thus, our personal concern is whether crystals “like” being encapsulated in epoxy (as it is also apparent that crystals are living and have feelings!  Our sense is they would not like being encapsulated in a non-eco-friendly substance.  So…..we searched and found alternatives that are earth-friendly.  3 Eco-alternatives:

1. Beeswax.  Yellow Gold in color. http://beeswax-orgone.com/make-an-orgone/.

2. EcoEpoxy.  Clear in color and others.  http://www.earthsafefinishes.com/EcoEpoxy.html.

3. Ecopoxy.   Amber in color. http://ecopoxysystemscanada.com/.

http://www.westwindhardwood.com/products/ecopoxy/intro.php.

Our friend who makes generators at home, says, if you are wondering if an orgone device works or not try testing it on something that can re-act to your orgone device like a plant or lizard or other animal.  Testing may take minutes, hours, days or a week for optimal results.  Try taking digital pictures of the subject being tested to document it.  He says his generators makes his plants grow faster and greener and attracts interesting wildlife like frogs and lizards.  He also writes words on his like Love Peace Harmony Compassion Forgiveness Happiness and Oneness.

And we like this person’s Kirlian photos (infrared photo-technology), also forwarded to us by our friend Kevin.  Way cool.  🙂  http://www.orgoniseafrica.com/blog/improving-orgonite.  Are we, as human beings, orgonite generator? If we have contained within our bodies, more than one metal, organic and inorganic material, would we not also orgonite generators?  We would say yes, to an extent, though we do not contain non-carbon based crystals.  Crystals, are a different kind of life form on Planet Earth.    What about if wear a crystal, then?  Hmmmmm.  Good Science Questions.  Be sure and clean and care for your crystal, if you choose to wear one.  We believe Crystals have Feelings too!

Other sources of information on Orgone Generators:

For more interesting and Fun Science Activities and Games, feel Free to visit:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather3.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

 

Pepper and Water Chase

School is Back in Full Swing and so is our Learning Fun in Elementary Science! This activity can be done at home or in school but be careful with the pepper – it can make you sneeze and should never be put near the eyes!  Have fun!

Pepper and Water Chase:

Not all liquids can be mixed together. Oil and vinegar are insoluble, meaning they do not mix together. Liquids that do not mix well together will try hard to separate into layers to form what chemist call a suspension.

In this activity students will observe two insoluble liquids and how they react around when mixed with each other.

Materials:

Milk & Food Coloring

Water & Pepper

Liquid Dish Soap

Flat pan with sides (cake pans work great)

Toothpicks

Instructions:

  1. In the pan add about a half-inch of milk to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add several different colored drops of food coloring.
  3. Dip a toothpick into the liquid soap; be sure to make sure any excess soap drips are removed. There should be some soap on the tip of the toothpick.
  4. Place the toothpick (with the end with the soap first) in the center of the pan and watch the milk and food-coloring move.

(The milk may begin to swirl as it continues to try to move away from the soap on the toothpick). You can repeat this same activity using water and pepper. Placing the water and pepper in the pan and using a toothpick with liquid soap to make the pepper scatter.

How It Works:

The soap is made up of water and soap particles. In the milk the fat particles are hydrophobic meaning they do not like water and want to move away from the water in the soap. This is what is observed when the colors spread and the milk moves away from the soap on the toothpick. As the fat molecules in the milk continue to move away from the soap, they take the colors with them and form a swirling mixture of colors.

When teaching chemistry concepts that involve new vocabulary, it is helpful to create flashcards that can be posted in the classroom to reinforce the new word. For this activity, you can take a picture of the mixture, to remind the students about how insoluble mixtures do not mix or have a picture of an oil and water mixture. Science should not be a standalone topic, but instead can be incorporated in language and in math. To read more about integrating math into science, visit: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/integrating-math-science-creatively-ben-johnson

For Our Fun Learning Game about other great science activities, you can visit here!

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/mammals.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather8.htm

http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

 

Love Chemistry: Liquids and Solids

Furthering and expanding our discussion on solubles, the in between liquid and physical state, here is another fun activity to try in the classroom.  Solids and liquids are generally easy to recognize. For example, slippery and wet items are usually liquids, like water, liquid soap, even blood. Solids are usually hard and easy to hold like a bowl, spoon, or even dirt. Solids have strong attractions between their molecules that keep them stuck together whereas liquids have some attraction between their particles, but the attraction is more flexible, allowing the particles to slide across each other. It is not always that easy to identify a liquid and a solid when they are happening at the same time. What happens if something is both a liquid and a solid?

In this activity students will explore the differences between a liquid and a solid.

Materials:

Cornstarch

Water

Large Mixing Bowl

Measuring cups (1 cup and ½ cup)

Instructions

  1. Pour the cornstarch (1 cup) into the bowl. Identify that it is a solid.
  2. Add ½ cup water to the bowl with the cornstarch. Identify that it is a solid.
  3. Mix the mixture, either with a large spoon, but fingers work great too.
  4. Let students explore the texture, grabbing handfuls and squeezing the mixture and then releasing.

How It Works:

This mixture seems to have both properties of a solid and a liquid simultaneously. This is because when pressure is applied, like when it is squeezed, the particles are forced close together. When the particles are closer together they begin to temporarily attract and attach to each other forming what chemists call “weak intermolecular forces”. What happens when the pressure is released? The solid seems to melt right before your eyes. This is because now the particles are not forced so closely together and are not as attracted and attached to each other and are able to flow like a liquid usually does.

Chemistry is an easy topic to teach to students of all ages, especially elementary school students as they are often very curious about how things change over time. Even looking at the leaves change in the Fall is an example of Chemistry. For more science teaching techniques from the National Science Teachers Association, visit: http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/elementary.aspx   or

http://www.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/outreach/secondary/shows-lab-visits/solids-liquids-gases/

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, We Invite you to visit any of these pages:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weatherbingo4.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

 http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

Teaching Acids: Shine Your Pennies with Lemon!

Ever had a lemon? Or anything sour? Then you have eaten an acid. Acids can be harmful like battery acid, but most acids are safe to eat like lemons, limes, and vinegar. In this activity students will explore how the properties of acids can be used to help clean objects. When acids are mixed with other compounds like salt, they form special molecules called ions. These ions are able to react with other compound nearby and have chemical reactions that can be used to change other substances, or in this case, clean the penny.

In this experiment students will experiment with the properties of an acid. 

Materials:

Measuring cup (1/2 cup)

Tablespoon

Pennies (dirty and old pennies work best)

Lemon Juice and salt

Taco Sauce

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup of lemon juice with a tablespoon of salt.
  2. Take a small amount of taco sauce and begin rubbing the pennies with it. (Use your hands, the more you scrub the better!)
  3. Periodically dip the penny in the lemon juice and salt mixture to help clean the penny even more.
  4. Scrub the penny for about 5-10 minutes until the pennies are nice and shiny.

How It Works: The taco sauce has vinegar and salt in it, which when combined form a super cleaning mixture. When salt is dissolved in vinegar it breaks into two ions (or charged particles), sodium and chloride. These ions are able to then mix with the copper oxide (a.k.a. rust) on the penny and dissolve the rust, leaving the penny shiny like new. The lemon juice and salt mixture does the same, with the salt dissolving in the lemon juice to form the cleaning machines, sodium and chloride.

When teaching Chemistry concepts, it is best to do hands-on activities. There are great vocabulary words that can be reinforced during Chemistry-related activities, like liquid, solid, acid, base, even words like chemical change, and physical change. There are lots of Chemistry topics around us everyday from how we cook foods to how our bodies breakdown the food we eat. For more useful teaching techniques related to acids and to everyday chemistry, you can visit: http://www.watchknowlearn.org/SearchResults.aspx?SearchText=acids   or

http://teachingbug.com/edu/acid-base-science-experiment

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, we invite you to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

 http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

Hands-Free Balloon Blowing

Now that we have tackled, Liquids and Solids, we move on to the scientific properties of Gas.  There are three states of matter: solids, liquids and gas. Unlike liquids and solids, gases are a challenge to “see” because the particles are so small that they are almost invisible. We can collect gas when we blow up balloons or inflate a tire. Gas particles are supercharged, bouncing machines. Gases are not only very small but they have a lot of moving energy called kinetic energy and are constantly bouncing off of each other and the things around them. When a balloon is inflated, it is the gas particles that do the work, bouncing off of the balloon’s walls, pushing it bigger and bigger.

In this activity, students will see how gas can be made using a chemical reaction and how gas can be used to inflate a balloon.

Materials:

Several empty and dry plastic bottles (a disposable water bottle is fine)

Baking Soda

Vinegar

Balloon

Tablespoon

Funnel (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda in the empty balloon. Note: A funnel comes in handy for this step.
  2. Fill the empty bottle with 1-2 inches of vinegar.
  3. Attach the balloon to the top of the plastic bottle, but be sure not to let any baking soda get into the bottle.
  4. Lift the balloon and let the baking soda fall into the bottle.
  5. The liquid will begin to fizzle and the balloon should begin to inflate. Note: You may want to hold the rim of the bottle to be sure the balloon doesn’t fall off.

How It Works:

The baking soda and vinegar mix to form CO2 (carbon dioxide) which is a gas. When the gas is formed, there is nowhere for it to escape, but into the inside of the balloon. As the gas particles begin moving around, colliding with each other and the walls of the balloons, it is able to inflate the balloon.

There are lots of ways that chemicals help make our lives easier and also safer. Airbags work using a chemical reaction and so too do ice packs. Even those bright glow sticks are made possible by the wonderful world of Chemistry. Teaching elementary school students about chemical reactions is best done near sinks as these can be messy learning activities. For more ideas about how to teach young students and fun videos/songs about chemical reactions, visit: http://www.watchknowlearn.org/SearchResults.aspx?SearchText=gases

For another of our Fun Games for Learning Science concepts, feel free to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather3.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weatherbingo4.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather8.htm.http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/planetsbingo.html

 

Slimy Creations

In chemistry, there are two important terms, soluble and insoluble. This month, have fun making slimy creations to teach this science concept.  If a substance is soluble, it means that it is easily dissolved in another solution. For example, sugar is soluble in water. However, if a substance is insoluble, it does not easily dissolve in another substance. For example, oil is insoluble in water. In some cases, you can have two substances that are soluble in one another, but when mixed makes something new that is not soluble and instead forms a solid. This principle of forming an insoluble product, called a precipitate, is what this experiment explores in a fun and slimy way.  Another example is a natural formation of this slimy substance and it is in the aloe plant.  The following photo shows a cross-section of an aloe leaf and the slime that is in the middle of the plant, naturally formed.  (Pic: Succulent Plants;  In Wikipedia.  Retrieved May 6, 2013 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe

In this activity students will learn how a solid is formed from a liquid mixture.

Materials:

Liquid white glue

Borax

Warm water

2 Large Sealable Plastic bags

Measuring Cups (1 cup)

Teaspoon

Food coloring (optional)

 Instructions

  1. Fill one plastic bag with 1 cup of water and add one tablespoon of Borax and mix.
  2. Seal bag and set aside.
  3. Fill the other plastic bag with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of liquid white glue and mix. Seal and set aside.
  4.  (Optional) Add a few drops of the food coloring to the water/Borax bag and mix well.
  5. Slowly add the water/glue mixture to the water/Borax mixture.
  6. Mix the contents together, by gently squeezing the plastic bag.
  7. Reach in and pull out the slime.

How It Works:

The glue and Borax particles mix together to form a solid that has strong attractions to each other to allow for a new stretchy solid to form. The two liquid solutions were soluble, but when mixed became insoluble. The slime that is made is considered the precipitate. Looking for more, precipitate fun and information, visit: http://bit.ly/103ehLC. 

Discussion Questions to Ask:

  • What did we add to the mixtures?
  • What formed?
  • Was the substance formed a liquid or a solid?
For more of our wonderful games that assist teachers and learners in elementary science, feel free to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/mammals.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/forceenergy.html

Pennies in Motion: Newton’s Law of Physics

Newton’s 1st law of physics states that an object at rest will stay at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion. This is an easy physics concept that can be taught to students of all ages. For example, when a bowling ball is rolled down a bowling alley, according to Newton, it would continue to roll until a force acted upon it, like when it crashes into the pins, or if it rolls over a rough spot on the alley. Often things continue to move until it is pushed back by another force, called gravity. This activity is a neat way to teach this principle of motion and allow students to experiment with different variables like changing the size of the coin, the size of the balloon, even the rate at which they spin the balloon.  http://www.ck12.org/physics/Newtons-First-Law/

In this activity students will experiment with the principles of motion.

Materials:

Balloons

Pennies (other coins are optional)

 Instructions:

  1. Place a penny in the balloon before you blow the balloon up.
  2. Blow the balloon up and tie the end to keep the air in.
  3. Move the balloon in a circular motion to get the penny moving.
  4. Using enough force (without popping the balloon) continue to move the balloon in a circular motion until the penny is spinning along the inside of the balloon.
  5. When you stop moving the balloon, the penny should continue moving around the inside of the balloon.
  6. Allow time for each child to try to get the penny to spin.

How It Works:

The penny begins moving because of the force and motion applied to it. The penny is not stopped by the inside of the balloon because there is no friction (or resistance) making the penny stop spinning. The penny is able to move in a circular pattern around the balloon because of centripetal force, which is a force that draws things into the center of a circle. This is force is greater than gravity, which is why the penny does not fall until, you stop spinning it and gravity takes over.

Teaching physics concepts to students may seem daunting especially if you are unfamiliar with physics concepts yourself. Here is another great physics website that can get you well on your way to feeling more comfortable with teaching physics-related ideas like Newton’s laws of motion.

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, we invite you to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

 http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

Spring Treasure Hunt: Wild Edible Science

For our Spring Treasure Hunt this year, we looked around the schoolyard and in our backyards for budding edible flowers and this is what we found so far – some being edible and some NOT.  Blue-Eyed Grass (See Photo to left), Grape Hyacinth, Crocuses, Daffodils and Narcissus.  Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrhynchium bellum) is a pretty 6-petalled native species (similar to Blue-Eyed Mary’s (which we believe only has 4 petals).  Both the leaves and the flowers can be steeped for drinkable tea.  Our class is still determining the nutritional value of our findings. Golden Blue-Eyed Grass is similar in shape and form, but different branch of the same species (Sisyrinchium californicum;   Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyrinchium.

For your Spring Treasure Hunt, have your class split up into groups and start documenting what they find in their notebooks.  If anyone has a camera, a photo can be taken for identification to show the class later.  Then, have them determine which ones are safely edible and nutritious.  Asking locals, or checking in the encyclopedia or library, they can then determine their nutritional value.  Differentiate between which species are native to the local flora, and which ones are not.  Determine which ones are friendly to the land and neighboring plants, and keep those ones.  You can, for fun, dig out and replace them with ones that are – though if they have a bulb for a root under the ground’s surface, the bulb must also be under-dug.  i.e.   if the bulb is left in when though the flower has been pulled up, the plant will continue to propagate.  We found out that Daffodils, Narcissus, and some Crocuses, though lovely to look at are considered best NOT to eat and did not make our edible list.  Whereas Crocus Sativa has edible saffron in the middle, other crocuses are NOT edible, such as a different purple crocus called the Autumn crocus Colchicum autumnale, containing an alkaloid called colchicine.  Always be sure before trying flowers out for edibles, and do your homework!  We also found out that Daffodils are Narcissus, Narcissus being the Latin name of the genus for both, and are native mainly to the Mediterranean region, in particular to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Northern Africa and the Middle East .

These Beautiful “Grape Hyacinth”, or Muscari, though not a native species to the local land in our yard, is on the other hand, nutritious.  In the Mediterranean, and in many other parts of the world, the root bulb can be used both in salad, and as well, used in replace of onion, leek or garlic – roasted in the oven, or minced and sauteed.  The skin of the bulbs can be pulled off before cooking http://www.livestrong.com/article/523815-how-to-eat-a-muscari-flower/.  The flowers themselves are a brilliant purple and can be tossed in salad and placed on the dinner plate as a garnish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscari.

At the end of the class note section, return to the grounds and carefully with a clean (sterilized) pair of scissors, cut a handful of the ones that were determined to be edible. Wash the flowers with the tiniest bit of eco-friendly dish soap and water, and then rinse with water.  Share and enjoy your tasty treats.  Share with the class which ones you like, and what taste thee flowers have – nutty, bitter, sweet, etc.  Grape Hyacinth or better known as Muscari, are reported to tase nutty, though we found them to be a bit bitter.  Maybe they become sweeter as time grows in the later Spring.  We suggest a honey lime and water mixture to pour over them – unless you prefer bitters.  We garnished our plates with the hyacinths and the blue-eyed grass, and also made tea.  The plates looked so Beautiful!

For more information, we also found a wonderful site for identification and classification of local native flower species:

From UBC, http://www.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/eflora/

Blue-Eyed Mary: http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/ShowDBImage/ShowStandard.aspx?index=14398)

Blue-Eyed Grass: http://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/ShowDBImage/ShowStandard.aspx?index=29656

For Our Fun Learning Game about other great science activities, you can visit here!

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/mammals.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather8.htm

 

 

 

 

Science of Olfactory Response in Deer, Racoons and Coyotes – Saving our Edibles

In this article we discuss our landscape experiment of preventing racoons from reaping the entire harvest of the plum tree, while at the same time, welcoming and sharing the flowers with the resident deer.  The racoons were eating all of the plums from the tree (not sharing!) and then leaving a huge mess afterward, with nowhere then, for us to sit and read by the tree.

After each Tier of your Experiment, record your results and present your findings to your Science Classroom Teacher and share with your Classmates.  First choose a critter to deal with who has been causing a bit of havoc on the land to your plants.  The critters we were dealing with were racoons and deer, but we didn’t want them to go completely away as they are so beautiful and cute!  There are 5 Stage Tiers to our experiment:  Science Experiment:  Warding off Racoons, Welcoming but only Sharing with Deer!

Tier 1:  Jars of Ammonia

Place small jars of strong smelling ammonia around the plum tree to ward off the racoons.  This seemed to reduce the number of visits to the Plum tree by the racoons, but did not stop from still making a huge mess, both of their pits and their scat, nor did this deter the canine visits.  There was also a scatter canine (dog) who left a mess too.

Tier 2:  Radio

Find a small transistor radio and place it in the area turned on.  The sound of people talking and singing seems to alert them to possible interruption and danger.  This again, helped a bit, yet, when it rained we had to find an umbrella for the radio, and also had to keep charging the batteries to keep it on all the time.  This deterred somewhat, the racoon, but not the canines.

Tier 3:  Predators – Bringing in the big guns

Determine the main predators of the critter you are dealing with, and spray the area or soak cottonballs and place near their general entrance. If you can find the synthetic scents of the predator in a local hardware store, spray the scent around the area in which you do not want the animal to eat.  For racoon, we think the key predator is the Coyote, and synthetic coyote pee ought to do the trick to scare them back to another route.  This apparently is not a favorite friend to canines (domestic dogs) either.  We are only beginning to run this part of the experiment.

Whereas we wish to reroute them, and not hurt them, this seems a pliable stage to our experiments.  And whereas also, we wish to welcome the deer, though not let them eat all of our fruits, vegetables and flowers, we are planting in 3 different areas.  This is slightly to the chagrin of our neighbours who want them to go away permanently, but we love them and believe them to be Beautiful Innocent Resident Deer who are vegetarian and who provide good “clean” “scat” for the compost for our vegetables.

Area A: By the plum tree, with synthetic predator spray

Area B. By the top of the walkway, with no predator spray

Tier 4 and Area C: By the bottom entrance, with only vegetable oil and egg mixture.  Apparently, deer so not like the mixture of Egg yolks, light spices, milk and vegetable oil.  Giving the perimeter once every 10 days to 2 weeks, this ought to deter their olfactory responses to finding other flowers and vegetables to eat.  We will see!

Tier 5: Bringing in Bear

We hope we would never come to this, and it is Synthetic Bear Pee Spray.  When we are hiking we like to have Bear spray to ward off Bears should they approach you – that is a different kind of spray altogether.  But if Bear approaches you and looks at you face to face, would you have the strength of will to dig through your hiking pouch and pull out the spray?  You bet!  But in this experiment, we are suggesting the opposite kind of Bear Spray that which wards the animals off whose predator is Bear.  Apparently Bear is the main predator of dogs, a predator of racoons, and rodents and this Spray ought to definitely make them retreat.

Olfactory Senses of Deer, Racoons, Coyotees and Bears

Deer – The two species of deer found mostly in North America are the white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus and the mule deer Odocoileus hemionus. The most important sense in these – and in most animals – is olfaction – the sense of smell.  The preorbital gland of the deer is about an inch in length, Wikipedia says it is “not entirely clear whether the preorbital gland secretions of North American deer emit an odor that is significant in terms of chemical communication”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preorbital_gland#North_American_deer.

Most of the time, the glands remain in the closed position.  The preorbital gland is a pair of exocrine glands, trench-like slits of dark blue to black, nearly bare skin and are around the eye. Interestingly, they secrete pheromones and other chemical compunds onto twigs and branches as part of their communication system to other animals.  This is most interesting whereas some people do not consider animals to be “intelligent” in the way of having abilities to communicate with one another.

The moist nose of a deer, similar to that of a dog, allows the deer to pick up the faintest of odor particles that are then drawn into the olfactory organs. A deer can detect the odor of approaching danger several hundred yards away.  Their elongated noses are filled with an intricate system of millions of olfactory receptor sites (near 3 million as compared to only 5 million in human beings. Their keen sense of smell is very important for avoiding predators, identifying other deer, and identifying food sources. Their sense of smell is important for scent communication with other deer. Deer have seven glands that are used primarily for scent communication.

Racoon – They have a good sense of smell, this sometimes being used to locate food, for example when it is buried in snow. They are also known to use scent in intraspecific communication.   Raccoons have an excellent sense of touch, in that they smell with their paws and nose. “The forepaws are much more sensitive than the hind paws, with four times as many sensory receptors and a larger number of CNS cells responding to ventral forepaw stimulation.

twycrosszoo.org/S/0MCarnivor/Procyonidae/Procyon/Procyon_lotor/10PlotorDetPhy.htm  Typically, they identify the food with their eyes (visually) or with their noses and hands (through olfaction), they then proceed to grasp the item with their forepaws. “After grasping the object the object is rolled between the palms”, and the little pads of the digits (the fingers). The food piece is then brought towards the mouth. Raccoons always fiddle with their food with their paws before eating it, giving it a feel and assessment before eating it.  wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/0MCarnivor/Procyonidae/Procyon/Procyon_lotor/11PlotorBehFeed.htm

Coyotee – Prairie Coyote Wolves are scientifically named Canas Latrans, which means “barking dogs”.  Like the deer, it is the coyote’s wet snout that keeps its olfactory response running.

Bear – One of the animals whose sense of smell is strongest of all animals is Bear.  www.buzzle.com/articles/animals-with-an-amazing-sense-of-smell.html.  Bears have thousands of small receptors opposed to their very large smeller (nose).  Better than all other animals in smell detection, Bear has 5 times the size an olfactory region in the brain as compared to human beings.

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, we invite you to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

 http://www.literature-enrichment.com/