Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust

Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful spring afternoon! They also have great programs for the whole family. I've listed a few of them here.

April 9
Starwatch, Friday, 8 p.m. (Family Program) Enjoy an evening of stargazing with Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association members who will offer observing tips and an opportunity to gaze through their telescopes. Location: the knoll on Raytharn Farm. Park at the Creek Road cul-de-sac (off Terwood Road) and walk ¼- mile on the Raytharn Trail to the top of the hill. Cancelled under cloudy/rainy skies. Call BMAA at 215.579.9973 after 6:30 p.m. if the weather is questionable. Free.
April 10
Birders’ Early Walk, Saturday, 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Led by Paula Scelsi. Beginners welcome. Bring your binoculars and field guide. Free.
April 10
Spring Peepers! Saturday, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Family Program) It’s the time of year to hear the unique sound of spring peepers! Join naturalist Tom Hibbs for an evening walk and learn about these remarkable tree frogs while listening to their springtime serenade. Pre-registration required. Members free; non-member adults $5, children $3.

Science Night is coming up!

Please Come to Lower School Science Night and
The Academy of Natural Sciences Animal Encounters
April 15, 2010
7:00 PM-8:30 PM

Science Night is an opportunity for Lower School students to present one or more of their long term science projects to the school community, just like the Middle and Upper School students do. In addition to the Academy of Natural Sciences exhibit, you’ll have an opportunity to see projects from each grade and take part in the ever-popular Lower School Science Night Scavenger Hunt! This evening celebrates a culmination of a year of remarkable science inquiry and analysis.

You will also have an opportunity to meet animal ambassadors from our Live Animal Center of the Academy of Natural Sciences. Ogle an owl or look at a lizard! Touch beautiful and cool artifacts such as bones, fur, and feathers. Stop by the Lower School Art Room for this not-to-be-missed display!

Hope you can all make it!

Right before Spring Break.....

There was certainly a lot happening right before Spring Break. The 4th grade did a magnificent job at the 29th Annual Delaware Valley Mold Symposium! See my previous post for pictures of the day. Each student created an mold experiment, carried it out, formulated a conclusion and then made a poster highlighting the project. They all presented their work at Plymouth Meeting Friends School along with students from Penn Charter and Oak Lane Day School. Each school performed mold songs and made mold t-shirts for the Symposium. It was a wonderful day from start to finish......

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Wonderul Moment

Last week, when we began our PreK study of mealworms, there were a few students who were reluctant to touch them. I have this every year, sometimes students aren't used to animals and can be fearful at first. When this happens, I always let students move at their own pace in becoming gradually accustomed to the experience. One student in particular this year was extremely fearful and chose to sit at a different table so she could be as far away as possible from the insects. This week, with gentle positive encouragement, she came to the table and handled the mealworm many times! The look of joy and wonder on her face was extraordinary and validates everything I have felt about the benefits of children interacting with nature. It's also what makes my job so wonderful; just being able to witness such a transformation is truly a gift.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nile River Valley Models

One of the great units in 2nd grade science is our study of Egypt, which enhances the ongoing 2nd grade classroom study. Today we set up a model of the Nile River by constructing a river, adding sand and soil surrounding the river, planting the entire area with seeds, and then flooding the area with water. This simulates the periodic flooding that made the Nile River valley such a fertile place to grow crops. Will the grass and wheat germinate and flourish? Stay tuned to find out the answer in a few weeks!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Day with a Biologist

It is always wonderful when I have parents who are scientists come in to do a class in their area of expertise. Today we had an amazing day with Jeff Petersen, father of a 1st grade student, who taught four lessons on cells, bacteria and viruses to 1st and 4th grades. He brought a powerful microscope and 60 agar petri dishes so that all the students in both grades could set up an individual experiment. Tune in next week to see what grows in our petri dishes!