This week many of the children receiving Tree Frog Treks visits in their schools will be learning about heat. Heat is a form of energy. When you sit close to a fire and feel its warmth, you are feeling the energy of the molecules that escaped the fire and bounded into the air molecules. The molecules then got heated up and bounced into your skin, jiggling and shaking the molecules of your body.
Tree Frog Treks students will also learn about endothermic and exothermic reactions. Endothermic reactions absorb energy in the form of heat, and feel cold to the touch. Exothermic reactions release energy in the form of heat, and feel hot.
Watch the videos below to learn more about hot and cold reactions:
This is the last week of classes for our Fall term for most of our schools. We made some new connections and met some really creative and amazing kids. Our teachers were great this semester and came up with some really original ideas to add to our curriculum. One of our lead teachers, Mara, ended her class last week by having the children complete their special nature journals. In these books, the kids wrote down observations of the natural world: animals they saw, plants they learned about, things they might notice in the snowy weather (for the folks who went skiing), and when the trees in San Francisco started to grow new leaves. The idea behind this was that the kids could “take what they know, everywhere they go.” They closed the hour, journals in hand, with the famous Pinky Promise; which is to be nice to our friends, and the animals. With pinkies held around the circle, they recited Tree Frog Treks “Bill of Rights” and received mini diplomas.
We are looking forward to our Winter term which starts the first week of January. Our curriculum for this term will be Lab Science Explorer! See you then!!
This week students in our school programming will be learning about pollution and how it affects the ocean and ocean dwellers. They will take a journey with “Fred the Fish” as he swims through the wild lands of Yosemite at the head of the waters of the Merced river to the great San Francisco Bay. As he travels he meanders through picnicker’s garbage, soil erosion, city street rain, runoff oil slicks, central valley herbicide and pesticide runoff, and finally a San Francisco Bay flaming oil tanker spill.
The students will then brainstorm on ways to keep the ocean clean and to save poor “Fred the Fish.” We will discuss the importance of recycling, not littering, avoiding the use of plastic bags, among other ideas.
This week students receiving our school programming will be learning all about space, our solar system, and extremophiles. They will learn the saying “My Very Eager Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas” to learn about the different planets and the order in which they rotate around the sun. We will discuss earthly extremophiles or organisms that live in extreme conditions that are physically extreme (hot, cold, dark, deep) and geochemically extreme (acidic or base) such as the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica where their average annual temperature is -4 degrees and the Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Prismatic Springs where the spring reach temperatures of 194 degrees.
The students will also learn how to make a cloud! Here is how you can make your own cloud at home:
Matches or a lighter
Glass jug with a small mouth (like an apple juice jug)
1) Light the candle
2) Turn the jug upside down and hold its mouth over the flame for 10 seconds (do not hold it over the flame for more then 10 seconds as it gets very hot).
3) Immediately put your mouth inside the opening of the jug to make a seal.
4) Blow hard into the jug.
5) Then remove your mouth.
6) Watch as a cloud forms inside the jug.
7) Discuss how think clouds around Titan prevent sunlight from reaching its surface and make it really cold.
This week students receiving our school programming, will learn all about recycling. We will discuss the importance of recycling, composting, and describe where waste goes if it cannot be recycled. They will learn that there are two human made objects that can be seen from space, the Great Wall of China and the Freshkills landfill outside of New York City, the largest landfill in the world. What can we do to alleviate the issue of trash taking over our world? Follow the 4 R’s:
Reduce: consume less and throw away less waste.
Reuse: find a new use for an old item. Repair something if it is broken. Donate items and buy used goods. Reusing requires less energy then recycling because an item does not need to be reprocessed before it is used again.
Recycle: take an old material and process it to turn it into a new material.
Did you know that there are over 950 species of bats in the Amazon??
This is just one of the interesting facts that our students will be learning this week with our “Tropical Amazon Rainforest” curriculum! They will learn that there are four different layers of the rainforest: the emergent, canopy, understory, and the forest floor. The students will also become familiar with the plants, animals, and sounds of the rainforest. One of the projects we will make this week is a rainstick. Here is how you can make one at home:
Cardboard tube (toilet paper roll, paper towel, etc)
Dried beans, rice, or seeds (of different sizes)
Styrofoam packing peanuts
Crayons, markers, or other materials to decorate
1. Cover one end of the tube with construction paper
2. Tape it on well! (Make sure the beans and rice do not fall out of the tube)
3. Fill the tube with Styrofoam packing peanuts
4. Add beans, seeds, and rice to the tube
5. Cover open end with construction paper, and tape it well.
6. Decorate your rainstick
Here is an easy and inexpensive way to explain volume and density to kids. This is an experiment that we like to call “Will It Sink or Will It Float?
1 large bowl or small tank
1 can of Diet Coke (or diet soda)
1 can of Coke (or regular soda)
1 orange with peel
1 orange without the peel
1) Fill a bowl or small tank with water.
2) In the first part of the experiment start with the Diet Coke vs. Coke. Place the Diet Coke in the water first and observe what happens. Next add the regular Coke to the bowl of water. The sugared soda sinks to the bottom because it is more dense and the diet soda floats because it is less dense.
3) Now try the same experiment with an orange. Place a peeled orange in the water and then add an orange with its peel on. You will notice that the peeled orange sinks and the unpeeled orange floats to the top. Density = Mass/Volume. When the orange has a lot of volume compared to its mass, it will float (unpeeled orange).
4) Put an egg in a cup of water. You will notice that they egg will sink to the bottom of the cup. Now add some salt, stir, and add even more salt. You will see that the denser salt water pushes the egg up. The same thing happens to us when we enter the ocean. The salt water in the ocean pushes us to the top to float.
Did you know that of all of the water on Earth that 97% is salt water, 2% is frozen in polar ice caps, and only 1% is drinking water?
These are some of the cool facts that students will be learning this week with Tree Frog Treks. This week, the curriculum is titled, “Oceans in Motions!” The kids will learn all about the five oceans on Earth: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. They will learn that the earth’s surface is made up of 70% water, all about water currents, and the animals in the ocean.
Click here to learn how to make a paper plate fish!
This week, the students are learning all about the African Savannah. Savannah vegetation varies from open dry grasslands with scattered trees and scrubs to more thickly wooded areas. The African Savannah is also home to the largest, tallest, and fastest land animals on Earth! This week, students will learn about Savannah’s animals, endangered species, camouflage, and different types of grass. They will also learn the saying:
Sedges have edges.
Rushes are round.
Grasses have joints,
from their tops to the ground.
The images above are of the different types of grass found in Savannah. The first image is of a sedge; the second image is of a rush, and the third is of grass.
This fall, Tree Frog Treks is providing school programming in 70 schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This week our curriculum is focused on how to “Become An Explorer.” Students will learn about explorations and about some famous explorers like Christopher Columbus and Lewis and Clark). They will also learn about the tools people use to explore things like maps, binoculars, and compasses. Here’s how you can make a compass at home:
How to Make a Compass
Straight pin or sewing needles
A magnet (it works better if it is not covered in plastic)
A slice of cork
Compass Rose sheets (see image above)
1) Magnetize one end of a pin or needle by rubbing a magnet against it (be sure to rub the magnet in just in direction.)
2) Attach it to a piece of sliced cork.
3) Place it in a petri dish with water.
4) The magnetized needle will align with the magnet north/south.
5) Place the compass rose you designed with the marked directions and place it under the dish.
6) After you find north see what happens when you move the magnet near, but not touching, your compass.
Tree Frog Treks offers programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for children ages 4 & up including adventure day camps, school programming, birthday parties, Kid's Play Night (our enriching childcare), community events, and much more.
At every Tree Frog Treks event, your children will meet live animals, create science and art projects, and explore the outdoors.
Check out our website http://www.treefrogtreks.com