Thursday, June 3, 2010

Adventures in Nature!

A group of students from my school visited Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and The Science Mommy was asked to chaperone (in her official “Science Teacher” capacity!)  This is my all-time favorite field trip, so I took my Science Kid, Aiden along with me for the day. 

Turnbull is a Wildlife Refuge, and the staff do a fantastic job of teaching kids about habitat, diversity, and the need for wildlife protection.  This unique habitat is home to many species of migratory birds, especially water fowl.  The kids participated in three different activities while we were there.

Science 023It was rainy and a bit cold, but we were able to see lots of birds and evidence of other wildlife on our hike.  Our guide pointed out cinnamon teals, mallards, kildeer, barn swallows and red-winged black-birds to name just a few.  We looked at trees felled by beavers, and examined trees eaten by porcupines as well as understanding why snags are important for habitat.

Science 024  Science 026

In the pond study, Kid Scientists collected samples from two different regions – the water column and the muddy bottom – and examined the invertebrate life to determine water quality.  Aiden found a midge larvae, several scuds, and a large predaceous diving beetle.  Using field microscopes and hand lenses kids discovered, identified and documented the life from the pond.  Aiden also found a frog near the pond.

Science 027Turnbull also has a classroom with mounts of animals that would be commonly found at the refuge.  Here Kid Scientists can get up close to animals and examine adaptations that help the animals survive and thrive in the wild.  Aiden was most interested to learn that while owls have extremely large eyes (compared to the size of their skull) they are not able to move their eyes independently, an important reason for their ability to turn their heads 270 degrees!  Here he is at the touch table with a squirrel.

The trip was great - for the middle school Kid Scientists  and for Aiden and I.  If you live near Cheney, WA, Turnbull is open to the public and is easily accessed for day trips.  Follow the link above for more information.  This is not the only place where kids can get close to nature…check out other places in your area and take your Kid Scientists on a new adventure!

The Science Mommy would love to hear about your trip into the wild!

1 Science Moms have commented...:

Tessa said...

What a fun field trip and a cute science kiddo :) We had fun seeing him today during our Kindergarden field trip!