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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Homeschool Tuesdays

Yesterday was our first Oceanography class at the Zoo.

We learned what makes an ocean an ocean. (Salt content.)

We learned about the effect of the moon and sun on the earth. The moon and suns' gravitational pull effects the oceans.

We learned about low tides, high tides, neap tides and spring tides.

The kids did a hands on demonstration using blow up models of the sun, earth and moon.
We discussed different ways the moon would effect the earth's tides when it was in different positions from the sun. (What would constitute a low tide, a high tide etc.) It was a great visual for the kids. (I also love how big the sun compared to the earth. It really helped the kids see the difference in proportion. )

And here you can see he took the sun real far away (as it is in real life) and asked which one, the sun or moon would have a greater effect on the earth's tides.

We also learned about currents. (And saw a clip of Nemo, where Crush is riding the current.

We saw a neat experiment as food coloring was dropped into a still bowl of water. (Where it dispersed slowly outward.) Then as Jason (the teacher) swirled his hand around you could see the red part rotate around the bowl like ocean currents would.

We did another experiment where ice was placed in a glass of warm water and you could see how the water began to move around.

Since we did not have any hands on ocean animals to see, we looked at the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach-which is similar to the sea roach. You can also click here for a view of a large 2.5 foot sea roach (isopod) that attached itself to a submarine this past April. (I found it rather fascinating.) It was found at a depth of 8500 feet.

Just a note here of clarification from the actual teacher.- A cockroach is an insect, while the sea roach is an isopod, or underwater invertebrate. They are both decomposers and play a similar role but are not actually related.

Uh, well I just let the kids pet the roach. Ick!