Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September Science

To culminate their study of cells, Marianna and her classmates created detailed models, many of them edible.  ;-)  Marianna considered making a pizza, but I persuaded her that gingerbread would be simpler and sturdier.
 Surprise!  We had all the fixings already in the house, including some candy left from last Halloween.
 Charming, isn't it?  And so educational!
Can you identify the flagella, Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, or lysosomes?
How about the rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum?
At least the nucleus and cilia???
Rebecca and I have been reading a biography of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch cloth merchant from the 1600's.  Although he didn't invent them, Leeuwenhoek was fascinated by microscopes.  He studied microbes, blood, insects, and more, recording detailed information and building many of the best microscopes of his day.

We own a stereoscope (3-D) that magnifies up to 40 X, but soon Len will bring home a real microscope (400 X) for a weekend.  Becca and I are preparing for this with a project suggested by our library book.  Each week we're filling four containers:  one with tap water, another with tap water and pepper (as Leeuwenhoek did), and the others with creek water and tap water plus dry grass.  By the time the microscope arrives,we should have fresh as well as one-, two-, and three-week jars to scrutinize.
 We have woods, a tiny meadow, and a creek behind our house, 
so finding some "natural" water was simple enough.
 We were surprised, though, to find a beaver dam!
It did explain why our trek through the grass was so . . . squishy.

I don't have much of a science plan for this year, but we're holding our own for now.

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