Monday, March 26, 2012

Field Trip Fun

We went to Liberty Science Center last week. It was foggy, so the kids didn't get to see the view of the Statue of Liberty. (That was always the most exciting part for me as a kid!) My group spent most of its time around the animals. It was neat because we spent the beginning of the year learning about animal classification and adaptation as well as plants. They also got to do a couple of investigations that made them feel like real scientists.

Do you see animals hiding? We do!

These fish were bigger than our heads! Their slim bodies allow them to move with agility. They have eyes on the sides of their heads to see predators more easily. There were also two dogfish sharks that were hard to get a picture of.

We watched how water can affect sand, particularly with erosion. This stream table allowed students to use cranes and suction to move the sand.

A mock sand dune tank complete with fake herons, fish, and turtles was a big hit.

Can you see how the turtle blends in with the rock? Do you see the slim fish right under it and in the top right corner of the picture?

See the spotted flounder? Neither did we at first! Its spots help it blend in with the rocky bottom.

These puffer fish warn predators to stay away by filling themselves with air. They also have very sharp teeth and can be poisonous!

We took a break from the fish to do an investigation with fresh water and salt water.

We found that when mixed, our red salt water sank underneath the blue fresh water because it was more dense.

Eventually it mixed into purple brackish.

Students learned about wind power as they used a sort of reverse vacuum to power a moving fan. We watched the meter as the fan blades moved faster and faster.

We watched how atoms moved within different states of mater using balls on springs.

Students learned about how oil is drilled in the ocean. It's pretty destructive to the ocean...

and can be very dangerous and costly if there's a spill!

And then after was back to the animals! Do you see the snake? Here's a hint: the blade of grass points right to it!

The turtles blend right in with the wood chips.

The kids looked at scorpions and other icky creatures.

We saw gila monsters...

that blended right in with the ground and logs.

We saw poison dart frogs, whose colors warn predators to stay away!

 We saw humungous cockroaches blending in with the wood.

We also watched moving walking sticks. They were really good at mimicking the sticks they were on!

Before we left, some of the kids just haaaaad to go into the Tornado Tunnel. You can see the wind speed increase in the background. A category 1 tornado reaches at least 74 miles per hour. They crammed so many kids in there that the door popped open! 

It was a fun day, but we didn't get through even half of the exhibits. I was really happy that no one got hurt or sick! ;)

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