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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

News Junkie and Algae Experiment

I am a bit of a news junkie.  Towards the end of the school day, the news is on.  If you have been watching the news you know, Ebola, is all over the news.  Yesterday, early morning, my son got sick, and then again later in the morning.  My 10 yr old was convinced he probably had Ebola.  She pays more attention to the news than I thought.  Which gets me to my point.  If I am going to watch the news, which is usually not good news and often embellished, I better be prepared for some weird reactions and questions.  Of course my son does not have Ebola, he was fine after the second incident and we have had no contact, direct or otherwise with anyone from West Africa.  It was probably our Science experiment, because he did not follow the directions clearly.

About 10 days ago, we tried to see if there was anything living in our pool.  There wasn't, but I think things are starting to grow in their now, lol.  Anyway we have a rain collection bucket, that I water plants with.  I had not messed with it for a while, and that did have algae in it.  It also had a tiny ant head, with algae growing around it, that was really cool to look at under the microscope.  We did this on Sunday.  As I was looking I could see little critters moving around.  Our microscope is not super strong, so I couldn't tell exactly what they were, but there was a lot of them.  I told DJ to be sure and not touch his face, before he got to wash his hands, after handling the sample.  He might not have listened.  None of his friends, or us got it, but it could have just been something he ate.  But we all ate the same thing.  I have dumped the bucket and sanitized it, since to dog likes to drink out of it now and then.  From now on I will have the hand sanitizer right there to clean hands, and then wash them with soap and water when all experiments have been completed.

The second experiment we did, was to watch a seed grow.  You need six seeds.  We used Magnolia seeds, because they are all over the back yard.  You soak them over night, then gently remove the out covering of the seed.  It should be slimy and slide right off.  This was really cool under the microscope.  We couldn't get our seed to slice open, no matter how much we tried, so we skipped seeing the inside.  Next you put about 6 tsp of dirt in a ziplock bag and push the seed down into the dirt.  Seal the bag, most of the way, leave a small area for evaporation to occur.  Place it in a sunny spot, and then check it in a few days.  You should be able to see the seed starting the growing process.  I think this would work better in a tight fitting case, like a clear CD case, but we will see how it goes.  These are easy, fun, and educational experiments that anyone can do. 

Even though my son was not feeling well, he made it through the whole school day, Monday, slowly but still, and is all better today.  This week is a normal school week, and then next week we have some fun, educational things going on.  More on those later this week.

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