Daily Discovery: What’s With Weather? – Forecast It!

Post written by Heidi Fuhrman, Discovery Camp Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: What’s With Weather? – Forecast It!

One minute it’s sunny and the next you can build a snowman! We all experience weather, but what really is weather and how do we predict it? Learn about how meteorologists forecast the weather before building some forecasting tools and setting up a weather station of your own!

Supplies:

For Observation Journal:

  • Paper
  • Crayons/markers

For Barometer

  • Glass jar
  • Balloon or plastic wrap
  • Rubber band
  • Ruler
  • Straw
  • Tape
  • Scissors

For Thermometer:

  • Bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Straw
  • Marker
  • Food coloring
  • Clay or playdoh
  • Pan of hot water, pan of cold water

Instructions:

Make Your Own Weather Journal:

Meteorologists track weather over multiple days to make the best forecasts. Weather data over decades gives us information about a place’s climate. You can track the weather from your home! Use your observation skills and the tools below! Keep your eye out for other Discovery at Home tools you can add to your weather station. Over time you will be able to forecast the weather too!

  1. Gather your supplies! You’ll need paper (or you can print the handy weather report sheets at the end of this pdf! Make sure to print double sided!) and a pencil/marker. If you want to make a book, you’ll need a stapler or hole punch and string too.
  2. Fold your paper and cover paper in half. Place your journal paper inside the cover. You can use plain paper or print off our journal pages. Decorate your cover! Attach the journal pages to the cover using stapler or by punching a hole at top and bottom and tying together with string!
  3. Fill out your observation journal! Try and fill it out at the same time every day to be able to make the most accurate forecasts. After a few days try forecasting the weather. Why did you forecast that? What data did you base your forecast off of?
  4. Try some of the other activities included here!

Make Your Own Barometer:

A barometer measures atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere overhead! Meteorologists track atmospheric pressure because a change in atmospheric pressure means a change in weather. Weather is controlled by changes in air pressure—high and low pressure systems (remember these are represented by “H” and “L” on our weather maps!). High pressure causes air to flow down and fan out near the ground, keeping clouds from forming—so nice weather! When air pressure is low, air flows together and then upward where it gathers, rising, cooling, and forming clouds—stormy weather! You can monitor the atmospheric pressure in your town by building your own barometer! TIP: It won’t be exciting at first, but if you watch for several days, you’ll notice the pressure is changing without
you realizing it!

  1. Gather your supplies! You’ll need a glass jar, ruler, straw, balloon or plastic wrap, scissors, tape, and a rubber band.
  2. Cut the long end off the balloon. Cut a small slit in the end of the balloon.
  3. Stretch the balloon so that it fits over the mouth of the jar. Make sure it’s nice and tight and secure with a rubber band. If you don’t have a balloon use plastic wrap. Make sure it’s not loose or saggy…we need our jar to be sealed nice and tight!
  4. Tape the end of the straw onto the middle of your balloon lid. A longer straw will make the barometer more accurate. You can put two straws together by cutting a small slit in the end of a straw, squeezing it to make the end smaller, and slipping it into another straw.
  5. Keep your barometer indoors and in a place where it won’t get bumped. Place a ruler behind your straw to observe it rising and falling.

Observe:

Observe your barometer for several days and record what you see in your weather journal. Be sure to observe at the same time each day. What do you notice? Does the straw point to the same place on the ruler each day? Is it rising and falling? What does that mean? Remember, a straw rising means increasing pressure— sunny and clear—a straw falling means decreasing pressure—cloudy and stormy!

Make Your Own Thermometer:

A thermometer measures temperature—how hot/cold the atmosphere is. Meteorologists report temperature using Celsius or Fahrenheit. In the U.S. we use Fahrenheit, but most other countries use Celsius. Temperature can tell us important things—for example it can’t snow until it’s below freezing (32°F)—but temperature is also relative (compared to something). A 70° day would feel chilly after a week of 90° weather, but hot after a week of 40° weather! Thermometers are some of the oldest tools we use to understand the weather. Try making your own thermometer and see what you observe!

  1. Gather your supplies! You’ll need a clear bottle, water, straw, rubbing alcohol, food coloring, and clay (playdoh works too!)
  2. Start by filling your bottle ¼ of the way with equal parts rubbing alcohol and water. Add a couple drops of food coloring. We’re using red like in a real thermometer. PRO TIP: If you’re not using a clear straw add extra drops. The darker the water, the easier it will be to see it in the straw. Mix in the coloring.
  3. Form a small clay pancake (we’re using playdoh!) and poke a hold through for your straw. Be sure there is no clay inside your straw!
  4. Stick your straw into the bottle. The end should be in the liquid but SHOULDN’T touch the bottom of the bottle.
  5. Secure the straw at the top of the bottle with your clay. Be sure you have a tight seal. Pinch it tight against the straw but don’t crush it. Make sure
    the top of your straw is poking out the top and is open to the air.

Observe:

Note where the water level IN THE STRAW is. Make a mark on the outside of the bottle. You can calibrate your thermometer by noting what the air temperature is (say how warm it is in your home) and noting that next to the mark.

Place your bottle in a pan of hot water. What happens to the water level in the straw? Label the level and temperature. What happens when you take your thermometer out? What happens to the level when you place it in cold water? Label that level and temperature.

Forecast It!

Use your new tools to set up a weather station! Observe the weather over the course of a week or two at the same time every day. What do you notice? What patterns do you see?
After a few days of data can you forecast the next few days of weather? Were you right?

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: What’s With Weather? – Rain

Post written by Heidi Fuhrman, Discovery Camp Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: What’s With Weather? – Rain

We’ve learned about forecasting weather, but what about one of the components of weather—rain?! Learn about precipitation and create your very own water cycle before building another tool for your weather station! (If you haven’t checked out our “What’s With Weather: Forecast It!” Discovery at Home you might want to start there!)

Supplies:

For Experiment:

  • Ice cubes
  • Pot & Stove top
  • Cookie sheet or pan

OR

  • Glass jar
  • Plate
  • Ice cubes & water

For Rain Gauge:

  • Empty plastic bottle (2 liter soda bottle works best!)
  • Scissors
  • Rocks, gravel, or marbles
  • Ruler
  • Tape & Marker

Instructions:

Experiment: Make It Rain

Precipitation, including rain, is just one important part of the water cycle! The basics of the water cycle are evaporation, condensation, and precipitation but scientists who study our climate also think about how runoff from mountains, groundwater, plant uptake and more effect our water cycle! What can you think about that might effect where water goes and how it gets to the oceans? What might impact how it gets to the skies and back to us? Start by building your own water cycle!

  1. Gather your supplies! You’ll need a pot, stovetop, ice cubes, a cookie sheet or similar pan, and an adult’s help!
  2. Put your cookie sheet into your freezer. You’ll need to let it get cold for a few minutes!
  3. While your cookie sheet freezes, take out a good handful or two of ice cubes and put them in a pan. What do you notice about the ice cube? What do you notice about water in its frozen form?
  4. With an adult’s help, put your pan full of ice cubes on a stove burner and heat them up. What do you hypothesize will happen to the ice? What happened? As the ice warms up, the molecules water can move! It’s now a liquid! What do you notice about water in its liquid form? As the water gets warmer and warmer the water molecules can move faster and faster until they bump each other out of the pan! What you see isn’t smoke but water vapor! What do you notice about water in its gas state? Carefully, with your adult’s permission hold your hand way above the pan and see what happens. Is your hand getting wet?
  5. Take your cookie sheet out of the freezer and hold it a few inches over the pan. You can put some extra ice cubes on top for good measure! What do you hypothesize will happen? What do you notice now? What is happening to the water vapor? Keep holding the cookie sheet there and watch the bottom where the water vapor is hitting. After a few minutes what do you notice? Is the water condensing? As the water vapor hits the cold cookie sheet it cools down and turns back into a liquid, condensing on the bottom of the sheet and falling back to the pot as rain!

You just made a mini-water cycle!

If you can’t use a stovetop, you can do this rain experiment a different way!

  1. Gather your supplies, you’ll need a glass jar, hot water, a ceramic plate, and some ice cubes.
  2. Pour your hot water into a glass jar and place your plate flat on top. What do you notice?
  3. Wait a few minutes and then place some ice cubes on the plate. What is happening on the bottom of the plate?

Make Your Own Rain Gauge:

Meteorologists and other scientists track precipitation to better understand a place’s climate. Knowing how much precipitation has fallen in an area also helps them better predict droughts and floods. This helps farmers and keeps communities safe! NASA helps track precipitation using satellites in space, but meteorologists track it from the ground too! You can track precipitation in your neighborhood by building your own rain gauge to measure how much rain and snow falls in your backyard! Does more or less rain fall then you hypothesized? Add your rain gauge to the weather station you might have built from “What’s With Weather: Forecast It!” You can also track how precipitation your backyard gets in your weather journal you created with that activity or help out real scientists by checking out the citizen science opportunity at the end of this section!

  1. Gather your supplies! You’ll need rocks or gravel, a marker, ruler, scissors, tape, and clear bottle. A 2 liter soda bottle works best, but you can also use a water bottle, juice bottle, or even an empty milk jug!
  2. With an adult’s help, cut the top of the bottle or jug off, about 2-3 inches below the top. If you’re using a jug with a handle, be sure to cut above the handle.
  3. To keep your rain gauge from blowing over or away fill the bottom with some rocks or gravel. Then Flip the top portion of the bottle over and fit inside. It should form a funnel! This will allow your rain gauge to better collect rain as it falls!
  4. Tape the two bottle pieces together. Then, using a ruler, mark the side of your rain gauge! Place your rain gauge outside. You’ll need to pick a good spot! You want somewhere level, open to the sky, and not likely to get too windy. Make sure nothing is hanging over the gauge (like a tree or roof).

Observe:

If it rains or snows within 24 hours, check your gauge and see how high the water is! That’s how much rain has fallen in the last day! In your weather journal make a note of the day and amount of rain. Then go online and find the official rainfall amount…how closely did your amount match? Repeat whenever it rains!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: Investigating Clouds / Descubrimiento en casa: Investigando las nubes

Post written by Charlotte Conway, Public Programs Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Investigating Clouds

NASA scientists study clouds to better understand and predict how Earth’s climate is changing. Community members can collect data about clouds and share it with scientists to help do this important research. In this activity, you will record cloud observations and learn how you can share data with researchers who collaborate with NASA!

Supplies:

  • Pencil
  • Book, clipboard, notebook, or other hard surface to write on
  • Investigate Your Sky Today activity sheet, or a blank piece of paper

Instructions:

  1. Investigate the sky! If you are able to, go outside or observe the sky from a window.
  2. Notice and observe the shapes of the clouds you see. Are the clouds puffy with clear edges, thin and whipsy, or layered and sheet-like?
  3. Then draw a detailed sketch of what you see. The sky is big. To make an accurate observation, it is helpful to orient yourself north, divide the sky into quadrants, and sketch what you see in each one. If there are no clouds today, that’s okay! That is real data too, so make a note.
  4. Now, estimate the cloud coverage. How full is the sky today? Make an estimation how much the sky is covered with clouds from 0-100%.
  5. When you are finished sketching, go inside. Write down the date and time of day that you make your observations. Write down observations about the shape, size, color, and any features you noticed about the clouds next to your drawings. Try to use some of the scientific vocabulary below to classify the clouds you observed!
  6. If you enjoyed observing the clouds, join a community of participants working with NASA to collect important scientific data about clouds. Learn more and download an app to contribute your cloud observations: observer.glove.gov.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

 

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: Investigando las nubes

Los científicos de la NASA estudian las nubes para entender su función y también para predecir cómo está cambiando el clima. Pero, ¿sabías que tú también puedes colectar datos sobre ellas y compartirlos con los científicos? ¡Tus observaciones podrían resultar en investigaciones muy importantes! En esta actividad, vamos a observar a las nubes haciendo varias anotaciones mientras aprendemos cómo compartir estos datos ¡con los investigadores que colaboran con la NASA!

Artículos necesarios:

  • Página de actividad incluida ¡Investiga el cielo de hoy! o papel blanco
  • Una superficie firme para escribir (como un libro, un portapapeles, o un cuaderno)
  • Algo para escribir (lápiz, pluma o marcador)

Instrucciones:

  1. ¡Investiga el cielo! Si puedes, ve afuera, o también puedes observar el cielo desde una ventana.
  2. Presta atención a la forma de las nubes. ¿Son densas con bordes claros, delgadas y tenues, o tienen capas con áreas grises?
  3. Ahora dibuja detalladamente lo que ves. ¡El cielo parece ser infinito! Para formar una observación precisa, es útil orientarse hacia el norte, dividir el cielo en cuadrantes (o cuatro partes), y dibujar lo que observas en cada uno de ellos. Si no hay ninguna nube, ¡no te preocupes! Apúntalo de igual manera porque este dato también provee información importante.
  4. Estima su cobertura. ¿Qué tan lleno está el cielo de nubes? Haz un estimado desde 0-100%.
  5. Cuando termines de anotar tus datos, apunta la fecha y hora en las cuales hiciste tus observaciones. Al lado de tus dibujos, escribe sobre sus formas, tamaño, color y otras características que hayas notado. Puedes tratar de utilizar el vocabulario científico incluido abajo para clasificarlas.
  6. Si esta actividad te ha gustado, únete a la comunidad de participantes que trabajan con la NASA para recopilar datos científicos importantes sobre las nubes. Obtén más información y encuentra una aplicación para contribuir con tus observaciones en: observer.glove.gov.

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

Para encontrar actividades, ideas y mucho más descubrimiento en casa, ¡síguenos!

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Daily Discovery: 3-D Constellation

Post written by Sierra Tamkun, Learning Experiences Manager.

Daily Discovery: 3-D Constellation

Twinkle twinkle little star… I wonder how far away you are! From Earth, stars in constellations look like they grouped together in the same area of space. In reality, they are at different distances from us, and only look grouped together because of our perspective. Make your own 3-D constellation and see how close (and far away!) the different stars in the constellation Orion are to Earth!

Supplies:

  • Piece of cardboard or cardstock
  • Thin string or thread
  • 8 small beads (pony beads work well!) or buttons
  • Tape
  • Orion constellation images (attached)
  • Needle or pushpin
  • Pen or pencil
  • Ruler

Instructions:

  1. Draw out the constellation Orion on your piece of cardboard, or print the constellation provided and glue it on. Tip: if drawing the constellation, don’t forget to add the names of the stars!
  2. Poke a hole through the cardboard where each star is located.
  3. Cut 8 pieces of string. Each piece should be about 18 inches long.
  4. Tie a bead onto the end of each piece of string. These will be your stars!
  5. Thread the end without a bead through each of the holes on your cardboard.
  6. Using your ruler and the chart below, pull your string through until the bead is the correct distance from the cardboard. This distance will be different for each star. Place a piece of tape over the back of the string to keep it in place at the right length!
  7. Hold your constellation board above your head and allow the beads to hang towards you as you look up. From this perspective, the beads align to form the constellation Orion, just like on Earth!
  8. Now hold the board in front of you, allowing the beads to hang towards the floor. From this different perspective, see how the stars are not on the same plane but all in different locations in 3D space!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: Egg-cellent Egg-tivities – Part 2

Post written by Lea Mikkelsen, Early Childhood Coordinator & Charlotte Conway, Public Programs Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Egg-cellent Egg-tivities – Part 2

Let’s learn all about eggs! What are eggs, anyway? What animals do they come from? What are the different parts made of? What can we do with eggs?

Glowing Egg

People who raise chicks use a technique called candling to determine if an egg is fertilized and has a chick growing inside of it. Your eggs from your refrigerator at home will not have a chick growing inside, but this is a really neat way to look inside an egg!

Supplies:

  • One egg
  • Flashlight
  • Dark room

Instructions:

  1. Hold the egg gently in your hand (or ask an adult to help you) and press the flashlight carefully against the eggshell.
  2. Carefully rotate the egg to see it from different angles.
  3. What can you see? Do you see the spots in the egg shell? Do you see the air cell?
    a. The egg shell is almost entirely composed of calcium carbonate. There are pores in the egg shell that allow some breathability to the shell.
    b. The air cell forms when the egg is laid. You can see where the air cell was when you look at the flat end of a boiled egg.

Floating Egg

Learn about density and buoyancy through this floating egg  experiment. Don’t forget to make your hypothesis about what will happen to each egg!

Supplies:

  • Two eggs
  • Water
  • Two tall drinking glasses
  • Three tablespoons of salt

Instructions:

  1. Fill one glass ¾ of the way with water.
  2. Make a hypothesis about what will happen to the first egg.
  3. Carefully place the egg into the glass of water and observe. What happened to the egg?
  4. Fill a second glass ¾ of the way with water.
  5. Add 3 tablespoons of salt and stir.
  6. Make a hypothesis about what will happen to the second egg.
  7. Carefully place the second egg into the second glass of water and observe. What happened to the egg?

Tip: If an egg floats in water without adding salt, the egg is likely old. The air cell has grown inside the egg, making it buoyant. Check the egg for a bad smell before you eat it.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Image credit: bonappetit.com

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Daily Discovery: Egg-cellent Egg-tivities – Part 1

Post written by Lea Mikkelsen, Early Childhood Coordinator & Charlotte Conway, Public Programs Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Egg-cellent Egg-tivities – Part 1

Let’s learn all about eggs! What are eggs, anyway? What animals do they come from? What are the different parts made of? What can we do with eggs?

Egg Carton Art

Save that egg carton! It can be upcycled and turned into so many amazing things. You can cut it, glue it, build with it, paint it, use it to hold small loose things like beads or pretty rocks. There are endless possibilities!

This activity will show you how to cut apart an egg carton to make upcycled flowers. Share your egg carton creations with #dailydiscovery!

Supplies:

  • Egg carton(s)
  • Scissors
  • Glue, decorative paper, paint, paintbrush (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Ask an adult to help you cut out the center pointy pieces of the egg carton. Be sure to leave plenty of the “petals” on them.
  2. Use the scissors to cut out the petals of the flower. Try cutting them in different shapes!
  3. Cut a long sturdy stem piece with a little tab on one end from a flat part of the egg carton.
  4. Make a hole in the base of the flower and thread your stem through the hole with the tab resting inside the flower. That will keep the stem from sliding out of the flower. Optional: use glue to keep the stem in the flower.
  5. Use paint (if you have some) to decorate your flowers. Be creative! You can also use paper to make leaves or more petals on the flower. Let the flowers dry and then pop them in a vase to bring cheer!

Natural Egg Dying: Cooking with Science!

Experiment with these natural dyes to make beautiful, colorful eggs that are totally edible! The best part is, you can make these dyes using items you have in your kitchen, and you don’t have to waste any food in the process.

Adult supervision is required for this activity.

Supplies:

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Saucepan
  • Water
  • White Vinegar
  • Clean kitchen or paper towels
  • Slotted spoon
  • Small bowls
  • Cheesecloth, fine sieve, or strain
  • Natural dying materials from your kitchen (Suggestions: beets, ground turmeric, coffee, spinach, yellow onion skins, red cabbage, yellow delicious apple peels)

Instructions:

  1. Gather materials for your natural dyes. This is a great opportunity to reduce, reuse, and recycle! Try using your kitchen waste like yellow onion skins, any stale coffee, or apple peels for dyes! If you use fresh produce, like a beet or red cabbage, think about how you might eat the boiled vegetables afterwards.
  2. Now comes the fun part! Experimenting with different natural materials can produce surprising colors, and don’t hold back from mixing 2 or more materials together to achieve new colors.
  3. Prepare your natural materials into liquid dyes according to which materials you are using. Always use adult supervision when you are using the stove or chopping vegetables.
    a. For the whole vegetables, like red cabbage or beets, chop them into smaller pieces first(around one inch). Place 1 cup of desired material in your saucepan and cover with 1 quart of water. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, or until desired color is achieved. Strain mixture and reserve the liquid.
    b. For the spinach, onion skins, or apple peels, place about 2 cups of desired material in saucepan and cover with 1 quart of water. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, or until desired color is achieved. Strain the mixture and reserve the liquid.
    c. For the ground turmeric, place 2 tablespoons of turmeric in 1 quart of water. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes. Strains the mixture if you are using cheesecloth, otherwise, don’t worry about straining. Reserve the liquid.
    d. If you are using stale coffee, there are no preparations needed. Skip ahead to the next step!
  4. Place reserved liquids in individual small bowls. Stir in 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per every cup of liquid dye.
  5. Retrieve your hard-boiled eggs when you are ready to dye. Make sure to keep them refrigerated at all times when you are not using them!
  6. Use a slotted spoon to slowly lower your hard-boiled egg into desired color dye. Refrigerate the bowl to let the dye soak into the eggshell.
  7.  Time for the big reveal! After at least 30 minutes, use your slotted spoon to remove the egg from the dye.
  8. Pat the egg dry using paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. To mix colors, you can soak an egg first in one colored dye for 30 minutes or more, followed by a second soak in another colored dye for 30 minutes to an hour. Get creative and experiment with different soak times and color mixtures to achieve a whole spectrum of colors!
    a. Note that natural dyes will produce a subtler color than artificial dyes. For more vibrant natural colors, you can soak your eggs in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. Store the colored eggs in an egg carton in the refrigerator until you are ready for an egg-celent snack.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: Make Your Own Observation Journal

Post written by Sierra Tamkun, Learning Experiences Manager.

Daily Discovery: Make Your Own Observation Journal

Scientists, engineers, naturalists, writers… they all need space to record their ideas, plans, experiments, and observations! Make your own observation journal to record all your at-home exploration!

Supplies:

  • Paper (white or lined)
  • Decorative/Construction Paper
  • Staples or a hole punch
  • String, yarn, or ribbon
  • Glue
  • Brightly colored tape or paper
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils

Instructions:

  1. Plan out how many sections you want in your notebook, and how many pages you will need per section. Design the pages yourself, use the templates provided at the end of these instructions, or keep your pages blank for flexibility. Tip: You can always add more pages later if you need them!
    a. Our four sections are: Experiments, Invent and Build, Explore Your World, and Stories. What sections do you need in your observation journal?
  2. Line up your section pages with your cover paper. Cut along the edge until your cover paper is the same size. Tip: If you cover paper is the same size as your inside pages, you can skip this step.
  3. Place your cover paper on top of your other pages. Staple or hole punch the left side of your sheets to create a binding. If using a hole punch, tie the pages together with string, yarn, or ribbon.
  4. Use colorful tape, paper, or markers to create page tabs and label the different sections inside your journal.
  5. Now it’s time to label the front of your journal! Cut a rectangle out of the paper of your choice to glue to the front of your journal, and add a title.
  6. Start exploring, observing, and recording! Record your experiments, make notes about the world around you, record a family story, or design your own invention!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: Constellation Scope/ Descubrimiento en casa: ¡Observa las constelaciones!

Post written by Sierra Tamkun, Learning Experiences Manager.

Daily Discovery: Constellation Scope

Have you ever searched the night sky for patterns in the stars? For thousands of years, humans have used easily recognizable star patterns, or constellations, to guide mythology, storytelling, and travels. Explore some well-known patterns in the night sky by making your very own constellation scope!

Supplies:

  • Toilet paper tube
  • Dark construction paper
  • Tape
  • Push pin
  • Constellation patterns (attached in PDF)

Instructions:

  1. Using your toilet paper tube, trace a circle on your dark-colored construction paper. Draw a larger circle around the outside – this is how we will attach the paper to the toilet paper tube!
  2. Cut along the outside circle. Fold the edges of your paper circle over the top of your toilet paper tube and attach it with tape. Tip: cut slashes along the edge of your paper circle to fold them over more easily!
  3. Place your constellation pattern on top the paper circle. Using a push pin, poke holes where the “stars” are.
  4.  Look through your viewer at a light source to see a shining constellation. Tonight, head outside and see if you can find this same constellation in the night sky!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: ¡Observa las constelaciones!

¿Alguna vez has podido observar alguna de las constelaciones en el cielo nocturno? Una constelación es un grupo de estrellas en una región celeste que forma una figura determinada. Por miles de años, los seres humanos las han usado para guiar viajes, contar historias y crear mitologías. Crea tu propia mira telescópica y ¡encuentra algunas constelaciones famosas en el cielo!

Artículos necesarios:

  • Tubos de cartón (p. ej. de papel higiénico o de toalla de papel)
  • Papel de construcción o cartulina (de color oscuro)
  • Cinta adhesiva
  • Tijeras
  • Chincheta o tachuela
  • Plantillas de constelaciones (incluidas en la segunda página)

Instrucciones:

  1. Traza un círculo sobre el papel usando el tubo de cartón como guía. Luego dibuja un círculo mucho más grande a su alrededor, para que este sea el borde que nos va a ayudar a adjuntarlo al tubo de cartón.
  2. Recorta el círculo más grande y envuélvelo alrededor de uno de los extremos del tubo, fijándolo con cinta adhesiva. Consejo: Es más fácil doblar el papel si le haces unas cortadas paralelas.
  3. Imprime o dibuja las plantillas de las constelaciones que puedes encontrar más abajo. Corta y pega una de ellas sobre el papel que adheriste al tubo, y haz agujeros sobre los puntos negros, o “estrellas” que corresponden a cada constelación con la ayuda de la tachuela o chincheta. Puedes hacer una, o todas las constelaciones utilizando diferentes tubos de cartón.
  4. Apunta tu mira telescópica hacia cualquier fuente de luz para mirar una constelación simulada y aprender sobre ella. Esta noche, ¡puedes tratar de buscar la misma constelación en el cielo!

¿Te gustaría descargar esta actividad? Haz clic aquí para obtener un archivo PDF.

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Daily Discovery: Tube Sock Black-footed Ferret!/Descubrimiento en casa: Muñeco de hurón patinegro hecho con calcetines

Post written by Hannah Curtis, Education Assistant.

Daily Discovery: Tube Sock Black-Footed Ferret!

It’s time to get cuddly! Using your knowledge on BFFs and reference photos, create your own black-footed ferret (BFF) stuffy to have and to hold!

Supplies:

  • Tube Sock(s)
  • Newspaper
  • Cotton balls
  • Tissue paper
  • Sticks
  • Small rocks
  • Buttons
  • Glue
  • Scrap fabric
  • Markers or paint

Instructions:

  1. Using what you know about BFFs, create your own black-footed ferret stuffy! Get crafty with unexpected things in your house; this ferret was colored by rolling it in used coffee grounds!
  2. If you have the matching sock try making a tube sock prairie dog or maybe a BFF sock puppet!.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Traducido por Károl de Rueda y Laura Vilaret-Tuma.

Descubrimiento en casa: Muñeco de hurón patinegro hecho con calcetines

Usando tu conocimiento sobre el hurón de patas negras o patinegro, y con la ayuda de algunos materiales caseros y fotos para referenciar, haz tu propio muñeco ¡y acurrúcate con él!

Artículos necesarios:

  • Calcetines/medias
  • Papel periódico
  • Bolas de algodón
  • Papel de tisú/seda
  • Palitos
  • Piedritas
  • Botones
  • Pegamento
  • Retazos de tela
  • Marcadores o pintura

Instrucciones:

  1. Después de leer los datos sobre los hurones patinegros -también llamados hurones de patas negrasque incluimos más abajo, utiliza este nuevo conocimiento y empieza a crear tu peluche. Para construir su forma y obtener su semejanza, usa cosas inesperadas que ya tengas en casa. Por ejemplo, puedes teñir tu peluche usando café molido desechado, como en la foto más abajo.
  2. Si tienes el otro calcetín, utilízalo para hacer un amigo (podría ser otro animal como un perrito de la pradera) para tu peluche; otro hurón o también podrías hacer un títere.

Aprende más sobre los hurones patinegros.

El hurón de patas negras o patinegro es la única especie de hurón nativo de Norteamérica, y también la única que vive en las praderas de pastos cortos en Fort Collins. Son uno de los mamíferos que están bajo peligro de extinción en el continente, por lo tanto, están protegidos bajo la Ley de Especies en Peligro de Extinción (Endangered Species Act). En el año 1979, pensábamos que el hurón de patas negras ya estaba extinto, pero en 1981 fueron redescubiertos en Meeteetse, Wyoming, y afortunadamente, un programa desarrollado para criarlos en cautividad salvó esta especie de su extinción. Hoy día, con la ayuda de muchos colegas y socios, los hurones de pies negros ¡están en vías de recuperación! En el Museo del Descubrimiento de Fort Collins (FCMoD), estamos orgullosos de apoyar los esfuerzos para la recuperación de los hurones de patas negras, e incluso cuidamos a dos de ellos en nuestra exhibición permanente. ¡Nos encantaría que los visitaras!

Aunque parecieran un lugar sin mucha vida, las praderas de pastos cortos están llenas de biodiversidad. Ahí hay muchos hogares de animales diversos, incluyendo el búho llanero, las serpientes toro, los sapos Woodhouse. También se podrían encontrar antílopes, zorros, halcones, liebres, reptiles, diferentes insectos, tortugas y perros de la pradera. Estos últimos son la especie clave que apoya los muchos animales que viven en este ecosistema, especialmente los hurones de patas negras. Más del 90% de la dieta del hurón consiste en perritos de la pradera, y usan sus madrigueras como su hogar para protegerse del clima y de los depredadores, pasando prácticamente ahí toda su vida.

Para más información sobre los hurones patinegros y su ecosistema respectivo, visita el sitio web https://blackfootedferret.org/, y/o sigue la página del Centro Nacional para la Conservación de Hurones de Patas Negras (National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center) en inglés aquí: https://www.facebook.com/FerretCenter/.

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Daily Discovery: Walking Rainbows

Post written by Hannah Curtis, Education Assistant.

Daily Discovery: Walking Rainbows

Put your lab coat on; we’re getting scientific! With this experiment, discover how colors interact to form rainbows and observe the natural process of capillary motion in action!

Supplies:

  • Time
  • 6 full sheets of paper towels
  • 6 mason jars (clear if possible). If you don’t have jars use cups or bowls
  • Red, blue, and yellow food coloring

Instructions:

Before you get started, review the color wheel on page two and remember the colors you need to form a rainbow. Feel free to experiment to see how mixing certain colors will create different colors. Together, determine how you will create a rainbow using only red, blue and yellow.

  1. Fill three jars full of water. Add red food coloring to one, blue
    to another and yellow to another, 4-6 drops each.
  2. To form a circle place the empty jars between the red, yellow
    and blue jars.
  3. Roll each sheet of paper towel into tubes. Drape one side into
    a full jar and the other into an empty jar until each jar is
    connected with paper towels.
  4. Start your timer to see how long it takes for the colored water
    to move from one jar to the next. Water will begin absorbing
    right away, but the whole process will take around 48 hours,
    so check back every few hours to see how it has changed.

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Image credit: Messy Little Monster

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