Science Encounters | Spring Session 2013
Nature's Ways (Grades K - 2nd)
In this beginning ecology class, students will become naturalists as they explore the wonders of nature. We will observe earthworms, isopods (pill bugs), and ants as they react to various types of stimuli (food, temperature, light). Students will make their own plant press and press a variety of wildflowers. Students will “become” birds as they pick up and collect a variety of “foods” using different types of beaks. We will try to see how old trees are and what kind of conditions they lived through by studying tree rings. We will bury trash, uncover it the last day of class, and learn what types of materials decompose. Students will learn about plant adaptations when they invent and build a plant that can withstand fire or get water from deep underground. Finally, students will play several games that will help them understand the delicate relationships between animals, plants and limited resources on earth.
Earthworks (Grades 3rd - 5th)
In this ecology class, students will gain exciting hands-on experience with topics of major concern to our planet. Students will dissect owl pellets as they learn about predator/prey relationships within food chains. They will collect water samples from nearby waterways, pollute the water with chemicals that are found in fertilizers and observe changes in the water. Students will then experiment with various systems to discover the most effective method for filtering the water. Acid rain will be explored in a closed terrarium system. Students will attempt to clean up oil spills using a variety of devices. Students will also experiment with different earth materials to see which stores solar energy best. They will then use their knowledge of solar energy to construct a solar house.