Scientist Bob McDonald in Victoria, BC, November 22nd

Bob McDonald Quirks and Quarks wiki Nov 14From mad scientists, to lunar landings, to outrageous weapons, science is gracing the big screen. But just what’s plausible, capable, or already happening?

Join one of Canada’s best-known science journalists on November 22nd when the host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks….http://thevic.ca/item/quirks-and-quarks

For more info about Bob McDonald’s CBC Radio show, visit here: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/host/.  Bob’s Book is entitled:

 Measuring the Earth with a Stick: Science as I’ve seen it:

http://www.kidsbooks.ca/The-Quirks-&-Quarks-Guide-to-Space/Product.aspx?ProductID=121009&DeptID=0

http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/books/

Quirks N QuarksHis book, which was short-listed for the Canadian Science Writers Association Book Award, is a collection of essays reflecting on his 25 years as a science journalist.  Bob also hosted and wrote a children’s TV science series, Heads Up!, which ran for 3 seasons on TVO and the Knowledge Network. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board for Geospace Planetarium.  Here is Bob’s Science Blog:  http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/host/

For info on Our Awesome Science Learning Lesson Plans, Games and Activities, feel free to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/lesson-plans/index.html

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

www.butterflybooks.ca

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!

Septarian Nodules in The Earth’s Crust

Moeraki Boulders SunriseThis month’s Science focus is about a most interesting phenomena called a Spheroidal Concretion, and the special “animal” (though not an animal – or was it at one time?) is called a Septarian Nodule.  In their raw found forms, one might think that they are eggs, with a living creature inside awaiting to hatch – or that maybe they are sediment space shuttles that came from outer space.  Because of their interesting looks, they are also known as Dragon Eggs.  They formed during the Cretaceous period, about 50-70 million years ago.  Many of these facts, we learned this weekend from a rock show organized by the Victoria Lapidiary Society.  Helpful participants were Fossil Grotto from Duncan, BC, and Stone Haven Gems.  We learned a lot!

Concretions are rounded rocks embedded in layers of stone in sedimentary rocks, often they are harder than the surrounding stone, and whether out of the host rock; http://www.rocksforkids.com/R&M/concretions.html#Septarian_Nodules.  They are a hard mass of sedimentary rocked compacted tightly at one time, by way of the precipitation of mineral cement, that has grown spaces between the sediment grains – outward in 7 directions.  The sedimentary rock nodules are kind of mineralized calcified encased “mud”, made up of calcite and ironstone.  There are 2 basic stages of development that are shown in the photos here:(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concretion; Moeraki Boulders; Septarian Nodule; photos drawn March 17, 2014 ) caused by networks of cracks in which the minerals, usually calcite (CaCo3 – Calcium Carbonite – in the Periodic Table, Calcium, Carbon and Oxygen) been deposited into the solution before hardening.  Prior to the depositing of minerals, the cavities are filled with ironstone; (Melody, EARTH-LOVE Publishing House; Love is In The Earth – Kaleidoscope pictorial, 1998; pp. 282-283).

Septarian NoduleOn a metaphysical level, these beauties are said to filter dreams and keep only good ones around a person, such as is with dream catchers, and thus good to keep near a sleep space.   Also used to facilitate neuro-linguistic programming, instilling patience, endurance and tolerance to a person; freedom of body movement supporting the body’s self-healing abilities.  (Melody; 1998). Melody, a most fantastic source in the world of minerals and crystals, says it can be placed in the centre of Medicine Circles, facilitating Connection and Harmony.

Questions to ask Learners in your Classroom:  What causes minerals to migrate to a centre and become harder?  What are their true origins?  Can you find septarian nodules in your backyard?  Or are they only in one part area of the Earth?

For Fun Learning and Teaching activities and games, feel free to 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/

Interesting links from the Victoria Lapidiary Rock Show we visited:

Victoria Lapidiary and Mineral Society: http://www.islandnet.com/~vlms/.

Fossil Grotto: http://www.caves.org/grotto/ccg/um/2012_03_um.pdf.

Stone Haven Gems: http://www.stonehavengems.com/septarian-nodule-pebble/.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Natural Science: How Do Crystals Grow?

A crystal is a special type of solid where the particles are arranged in an orderly and repeating pattern. When solids are dissolved in water, they form a solution, like when salt and water mix. As particles dissolve in water, the particles of the solid separate and distribute evenly throughout the mixture. Sometimes two dissolved particles move closer to each other and begin to attract, causing them to stick together. Over time more and more particles attach to the growing solid and “drop out of the solution”. The solid formed is a special compound called a crystal.

In this activity students will explore how crystals are made.

Materials:

Measuring cups (1/2 cup)
Tablespoons
Alum (spice can be found at grocery store)

Instructions:

  1. Add ½ cup of hot water to 2 ½ tablespoons of alum.
  2. Crystals will form within 30 minutes.
  3. Want bigger crystals add more alum to the water.

How It Works:

When the alum and water mix, the alum begins to accumulate in clusters and as the warm water evaporates, it leaves the lumped crystals behind. The alum forms not just a solid, but a solid with a repeating pattern, making a crystal.

Discussion Questions to Ask:

  • How did were the crystals made?
  • What characteristics do the crystals have?

There are many places where crystals grow in nature, like ice crystals are often formed in the winter, in colder climates as the liquid molecules freeze. Also in caverns, there are stalagmites and stalactites that are crystals of calcium carbonate. When teaching concepts like crystals, young students may become bored as the formation of the crystal may take longer than one class period. To keep the students’ attention, incorporate crystals-related activities in other areas, i.e. math (counting or matching crystals), art, geography (where do crystals form in nature), even in physical education (students can pretend to be frozen crystals and play tag). It is best to start this activity and others that take more than one day on a Friday, that way when the students return on Monday the process is complete. For other science teaching tips related to crystals, visit: http://bit.ly/10l3FXy

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/

 

 

What makes Blue plant Oils Blue?

Answer:  Azulene 

Have a look in your schoolyard and backyards, and see if you can find the Wild Flowers, Stones and/or Marine Life that contain Azulene (the chemical compound that would make them blue). Azulene is an organic compound, an isomer of naphthalene. Even though naphthalene itself has no color, azulene is dark blue, hence the dark color Blue in the essential oils of Yarrow, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, Cypress and Black Spruce.  It is not surprising that the Spanish word for Blue is Azul.  The mushroom Lactarius indigo is blue because of a derivative of azulene.  Azulene is also found in some marine invertebrates, and in Lapis Lazuli stones found in Middle Eastern Persia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapis_lazuli

The compound azulene has a long history, dating back to the 15th century as the azure-blue chromophore was first obtained through steam distillation of the German Chamomile flower.  This azure-blue chromophore was later discovered in Wild Yarrow flowers and named in 1863 by Septimus Piesse.  Its structure was first reported by Lavoslav Ruzicka in1937. With anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties, it is often in skincare products.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azulene

Even though Wild Yarrow flowers, Achillea millefolium, grow in colors of bright yellow, white, pink, orange, salmon and purple, the oil of the Yarrow flower is azure blue.  Blue Yarrow oil is what is termed as volatile as it has “proazulenes”, making it blue.

www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/yarrow.html

Yarrow oil is both a sweet and spicy smell, and is watery in its constitution.  Yarrow is Sacred, Holy, Healing and Spiritually Protective for many First Nations Peoples.  Thank you Mother Earth for these healing flowers, stones and marine life – and for Azulene and the color Blue!

Blue Tansy essential oil also is a vivid deep blue color due to its azulene content.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azulene.  It is wildccrafted from common wildflowers grown in Morroco and North Africa from thee daisy family.  The Latin name is Tanacetum Annuum.  Health benefits include natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.  Herbalist Peter Holmes says it as also a “qi” or energy regulator for the body.

www.Snowlotus.org/blue-tansy-essential-oil-article.aspx.

 

 

 

 

Creating a Platylope

How about a “platy-lope” – an animal that is half platypus and half antelope?

This week, have your students create a new species, and write about and draw a picture of their animal. Have them examine the qualities of different species, and combine them into what they think would be the most adaptable survivable animal.  It could be a “dolphi-gator” – an animal that is half dolphin and half alligator. It could be a “spid-eagle” – a half spider and half eagle. Continue reading “Creating a Platylope”