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Idaho State University

Earth Week 2020

Endangered Species Activities

Endangered Species Activities pdf

Arbor Day

He who plants a tree plants a hope. --Lucy Larcom

The cultivation of trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful and the enobling in man. --J. Sterling Morton

Citizen Science Tree Project

The Tree GLOBE app allows you to measure the height and the circumference of trees using your camera on your phone. This data is compared with NASA satellite data. You can track the growth of trees over time as well. Observing tree height allows NASA to calculate the gain or loss of biomass and how that affects carbon in the atmosphere.

Learn More About Trees

Learn to Identify Trees in Your Community. You can use the Trees of Idaho Booklet to identify trees on the Idaho State University Quad. 

More about Native Trees in Idaho 

Adopt a Tree

Choose a tree that you can visit regularly for a year. Keep a diary of the tree’s life for that year. Add pictures each time you visit your tree.

Games, Quizzes and Printable Activity Sheets About Trees for Kids

Tree Crafts

Collect sticks from around trees and make a stick trivet.

https://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/nature-crafts/tree-crafts-for-kids6.htm

Bark Casting-Make a permanent cast of the bark of your tree.

https://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/nature-crafts/tree-crafts-for-kids1.htm

Learn How to Grow a Tropical Tree from a Seed

https://lifestyle.howstuffworks.com/crafts/nature-crafts/tree-activities-for-kids7.htm

For preschool children see the STEM Learning for Littles for Arbor Day

 

Pollinators

Earth Day 2020

Pollinators are an important part of the ecosystem and they are very important to agriculture. You can do your part to help pollinators with the following activities.

  1. Avoid using pesticides.

  2. Plant for pollinators. Use plants that are native to your area when possible.

  3. Support local beekeepers and bees. Buy local honey.

  4. Conserve all of our resources, Use less and reduce your impact. 

The hidden beauty of pollination

Pollination: it's vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film "Wings of Life," inspired by the vanishing of one of nature's primary pollinators, the honeybee.

What is Pollination?

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/What_is_Pollination/index.shtml

Who are the pollinators? Learn more about the different animal pollinators and the flowers that they depend on. https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/animals/index.shtml

Make your backyard attractive to pollinators

Backyard Pollinator Guide 

https://www.neefusa.org/resource/pollinator-backyard-activity-guide


How to build a pollinator garden.

https://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/PollinatorGarden.html

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/gardening.shtml

Make a home for bees

https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/kids/activities/beebox.shtml

https://www.discoverwildlife.com/how-to/make-things/how-to-make-a-bee-hotel/

 

Get involved become a Citizen Scientist for Pollinators

Help scientists track bumblebees by reporting sightings to Bumble Bee Watch

Test your pollinator knowledge

If you think that you know all about pollinators, try this test.

Activities for Preschool Learners

Butterfly Life Cycle

Make a bee and butterfly watering station



Be a Citizen Scientist from your own backyard-Clouds

Globe Cloud Observer

Globe Cloud Observer is an app that you can download on your phone. Use the Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store to download this app to your phone or iPad. You can take pictures of the clouds and make observations about the extent of the cloud cover.

Get the App

GLOBE Observer Cloud Science

Why make cloud observations?

Clouds are a major component of the Earth’s system that reflect, absorb, and scatter sunlight and infrared emissions from Earth. This affects how energy passes through the atmosphere.  Different types of clouds have different effects, and the amount of cloud cover is also important. Clouds can change rapidly, so frequent observations are useful to track these changes.  Such observations are able to see change over time and help with interpretation of satellite cloud data.

What can you learn?

You will learn how to identify clouds.

This is a new feature just added last week, April 17, 2020, to help you identify what type of cloud you are photographing. You will answer a series of questions and the app will suggest a type of cloud. If you are still unsure, it will give you a detailed definition of the cloud type.

The second half of the wizard helps you identify “percentage of cloud cover” and “opacity.” Instructions on how to use it are available at the link above.

  1.  You will learn how scientists use your data along with satellite data to understand our atmosphere.
  2.  You will be part of an international crew of citizen scientists gathering useful information about our earth.
Cloud in a Bottle Activities:

Have you ever wondered how clouds form? Make your own “cloud in a bottle”.  https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/project/make-a-cloud-in-a-bottle/

Cloud in a Bottle for Older Learners- This activity explores how air pressure and cloud formation are related. https://scied.ucar.edu/sites/default/files/files/activity_files/activity_cloudbottle2_0_0.pdf

Cloud in a Bottle Video

Cloud Identification Video

 

 

What fish share

Week of April 20th

There is an amazing variety of fish species living in many different habitats, from trout living in cold mountain streams to parrotfish living in tropical oceans. Even though there is great diversity among fish species, some general characteristics can be made about fish as a group.

Generally, fish have fins and a long, streamlined or narrow body that help them to swim easily through the water. The form, or shape, of a fish’s body and body parts, relates to their function, or how the parts work. Function also depends on form. This relationship exists in the natural world and also to things people invent and make.

A duck’s webbed feet help it to swim, and the streamlined shape of a submarine helps it move easily through the water. By observing and studying the different body parts of a fish, one can learn how the fish’s body functions, why the fish lives where it does, and how the fish is able

to get food. Making models is one way to learn about structures, their functions and how they behave under certain conditions. Models can be used to investigate how different types of fish fins help fish survive in their habitats. Making observations using models is one way to look at the world as a scientist.

Fish Fins

Fins are used to move, steer, stop and maintain position. Most fins are composed of fin rays covered by skin. The fin rays provide support and are necessary for fin movement. 

Trout have three unpaired fins: dorsal fin, anal fin and caudal fin. The dorsal and anal fins are essential in helping the fish stay upright. The caudal fin is the ‘tail’ of the fish and thrusts the fish through the water. It also acts as a rudder to steer the fish. 

Trout also have two paired fins: pectoral fins behind the gills and pelvic fins below and behind the pectoral fins. The pectoral fins act as brakes and help with side-to-side movement. The pelvic fins help with up and down movement.

Trout also possess an adipose fin which lacks fin rays. It is believed to help reduce drag and improve swimming efficiency.

For more information of fish fins check out this Fish Fin Presentation pdf.

Now that you know about the different fins, spend at least 10 minutes observing the fish swimming. Before you watch the video, write down what you think each fin will control.

Trout Underwater Relaxing Nature Background Video

Questions about fins?

  1. Observe how the fish move up, down, forward, backward, turn, stop and remain still.

  2. What happens when a fish moves its caudal fin?

  3. Pectoral fin?

  4. Dorsal and anal fins?

  5. Write a description of how the fins function to help the fish survive.

  6. Check the TIC page 70 to see if your ideas match with those of biologists.

Next week we will be making models of fish with fins using plastic bottles and plastic lids. Try to save some over the next week if you can. One liter water bottles, two litter pop bottles, and any round plastic bottle will work.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature Scavenger Hunt

You can find most of these items in your own backyard in the spring. 

  • 2 different kinds of birds
  • Flowers starting to grow
  • Buds growing on a tree or bush
  • Something smooth and something rough
  • One yellow item
  • Two red items
  • One white item
  • A squirrel eating something
  • Listen for a bird and try to copy its sound
  • Tree seeds
  • 3 different types of trees
  • An animal that is not a bird or squirrel. Remember that insects and spiders are animals too.