Monday, March 12, 2012

Mad Science Monday

Our fabulous local library has been hosting Mad Science Mondays this spring, with professors and students from the college giving hands-on science lessons.  Today's topic was slime.  Specifically slime on rocks - algae.

One of the science professors led a short discussion of food chains.  He prompted the kids to work their way down the food chain from big predator to plants - lion, zebra, grass.  Then he told the kids that algae is the "grass" of rivers.  Then the kids got a chance to look at and touch algae.  Slime.
The kids were invited to sniff the algae and touch it.  Katherine jumped right it.  Rachel refused.  She is not a fan of slimy things.
Then the professor put a drop of algae on a microscope and projected the image onto a screen.
Suddenly that green slime was a whole lot more interesting!  There were all sorts of little critters swimming around in it.  Kate thought they were "germs" but she was totally fascinated.  Then the kids all got turns to look through microscopes at snails, insect larva, and assorted other goodies found in rivers. 
Katherine lined up to see as many different organisms as she could.  (Rachel looked at a couple and declared them "yucky".)


I think it's time to find a creek to explore for my science girl and her reluctant sister!



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