Monthly Archives: May 2013

2 Comments

To see Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3's original post...

Clear the Coast Presentation

Hello Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3,

After sending a reply to your comment, I had some time this afternoon so I visited two small beaches. They aren't the three mentioned in the comment but I thought they'd be a good start to a garbage survey.

Bar Beach

The first is known as Bar Beach. It lies at the entrance to the main lake in town. It is where tidal flow from the lake meets the sea. Below is a photo taken today...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Bar Beach is the smallest seaside beach around town. It is only about 100m (about 325ft) long and can be very busy but today was cool so only a few were there. Below is a photo of what I found on this beach. As I was about to leave the beach, I also saw a cigarette butt.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

As you can see, there was a plastic bottle, spoon, bottle top and piece of pipe. The other two items are lolly (candy) wrappers and, yes, they were also plastic. The only thing I picked up that wasn't plastic was a cigarette butt.

Middle Beach

Middle Beach is our second smallest beach. It was late afternoon when I took the photo below. The photo was taken from the northern end looking south. Remember, where I am in Australia, it's along the east coast. We see the sun rise over the ocean. The first time I saw the sun set over the ocean was when I visited New Zealand's South Island west coast. I wasn't a very long way from B4's town in New Zealand. I was in Greymouth about 80km (50 mi) from them.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Middle Beach is about 1100m (about 1200 yards) long. I was alone on the beach while there. Below is a photo of what I found...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Again, I mostly found plastic. Being a larger beach, I found more than on Bar Beach. Here is what I found...

A foam cup and two pieces of foam, three lolly (candy) wrappers, two plastic bottle tops, two pieces of yellow plastic and one piece of blue plastic, a plastic cigarette lighter, part of a fishing float with a hook still attached, a small plastic cup, fishing line, a small piece of nylon rope, a plastic gold ball, a larger fishing float (the plain white thing), a tissue, a fruit juice container I think dropped on the beach, and a plastic straw.

I have some filming to do at a music camp over the next few days but I hope to give you a report on other beaches before June 7, Ocean Day. All items I found were removed from the beaches and placed in rubbish bins.

Other beaches I can access from town are...

Main/Pambula Beach - 5.9km (3.3 mi)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Short Point (Tura Beach) - 3.6km (2.2 mi)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

North Tura Beach - 2.9km (1.8 mi)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Another beach I can access a little out of town is in Bournda National Park

Bournda Beach - 4.2km (2.6 mi)

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

3 Comments

To see Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3's original post...

Clear the Coast Presentation

Hello Mrs. Watson and K/1/2/3,

I found your post on pollution on our beaches both fascinating and disturbing. Where I live, the beach can be reached by a 15 minute walk or a short drive. While we don't have huge amounts of garbage washing up on beaches because of our distance from major cities we do still have a problem. Below is a photo I have taken along a track in my town. It would be a tragedy to lose such environmental richness and beauty due to a careless disposal of garbage.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

I read each comment your class members shared...

Sharon - Your suggestion is very wise. Even if we didn't drop rubbish we can help by picking it up.

Bronwen - Oil is a major problem if spilled into our oceans. I have seen seabirds and penguins covered in oil and washed up on beaches. We don't have otters hear but we do have seals facing the problems with nets and fishing line.

Brooklynn - Like the ocean's animals, we too wouldn't survive if we swallowed too much plastic. You are correct, we can help by picking up plastics we find on beaches.

Linden - You understand the danger of the plastic rings used to hold pop together. An animated film named "Happy Feet" showed a penguin with such rings around its neck. What a terrible thought, plastic making its way to Arctic and Antarctic waters.

May - I have found dead birds washed up on beaches covered in oil. Oil stops them from flying and, if swallowed, can poison animals.

Jacob - Very true. We never know what might happen if we carelessly throw rubbish into out opens or let it wash down drains and out to sea.

Lily - I remember scenes of the tsunami hitting the shores of Japan sweeping all before it. So much was washed out into ocean,

Koa - I find it annoying when I find garbage left on beaches by people too lazy to place it in bins.

Teagan -To an animal hungry for a jellyfish meal, plastic bags can easily be mistaken for food.

Kezra - Your comment is very detailed. I can see you recognise the dangers of plastic bags a 6 pack holders. On one of my walks along a beach, I once found a dead bird with a 6 pack holder around its neck and wondered if it has caused the bird's death. Perhaps the bird hadn't been able to swallow any food.

Jorja - Carelessly leaving traps around can be a death trap for animals. While we don't have much crab trapping, there are lobster traps in use so I hope people are careful with them.

Solomon - You are a responsible crab trap owner because you check your traps but it's sad you found a plastic bag inside. At least it hadn't been eaten by an animal.

 

While many ships travelling our oceans treat garbage responsibly, there are still many who dump the garbage overboard and add to garbage entering our oceans from drains, careless people, and even tsunamis such as the one that struck Japan. Those who know the oceans are aware of an environmental tragedy garbage has caused for the Pacific Ocean. It is know as Great Pacific garbage patch or Pacific trash vortex. Garbage has collected together because of the ocean currents but we aren't certain just how large it is but I suspect it is very large and still growing. Here is a Wikipedia link...

Great Pacific garbage patch

If we read your advice and act on it we can all make a difference. If we don't care, we risk losing many  animals...

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

 

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To see the original post...

Today’s Problem: Sealed Solution

Hello 4KM and 4KJ,

I think you already know I love a maths challenge. Seeing your post for your special visitors, I saw the included challenge and thought I would share my solutions. For others, here was the challenge for the students and special visitors.

This problem is from the NRICH website.

There are 10 cards each bearing the digits 0 to 9. Two are placed in each of five envelopes. The sum of the two cards in each envelope must match the number on the envelope. The challenge was to find what two cards could be in the envelope numbered 8. The students and visitors were informed there was more than one solution. See the below graphic...

Number envelopes

 

How did I find my solutions?

1. The challenge stated the two cards in each envelope are added to reach the number on the envelope (the sum of the two cards).

2. Being ten cards each bearing a digit from 0 to 9, I assumed each digit could only be used once.

3. Next I looked at the target, Envelope 8. Using the cards, what 2 card combinations could give the sum of 8? Here they are..

8 + 0 = 8

7 + 1 = 8

6 + 2 = 8

5 + 3 = 8

4. Now I drew up a grid to test each of the sums to see if all four could be correct. I found three worked but one failed. Here are the three successful answers...

3 + 4 = 7    8 + 0 = 8   6 + 7 = 13   9 + 5 = 14   1 + 2 = 3

2 + 5 = 7    7 + 1 = 8   9 + 4 = 13   8 + 6 = 14   3 + 0 = 3

7 + 0 = 7    5 + 3 = 8   9 + 4 = 13   8 + 6 = 14   1 + 2 = 3

Therefore, Envelope 8 could only contain 0 and 8, 1 and 7, or 3 and 5.

 

Why did 2 and 6 fail?

Envelope 14 can only contain 8 and 6 or 9 and 5 to give the sum of 14. As  2 and 6 (6 + 2 = 8) have been used, 8 and 6 aren't possible but what about 9 + 5 =14?

Envelope 13 can only contain 9 and 4, 8 and 5 or 7 and 6 if the sum is to be 13. If we have already used 2 and 6 (2 + 6 = 8) and 5 and 9 (5 + 9 = 14), we can't use any solution for Envelope 13. Therefore 6 + 2 = 8  is not a solution.

How did I do?

For Heather's original post...

Superior Strawberries

Hello Heather,

I think most of us see unusual things in our lives. Unusual means out of the ordinary so it could be something we wouldn't normally see or something we see in an unexpected place or way. I thought I would share a few photos.

The Photos

Some of the photos were taken 20 to 30 years ago. The photo quality isn't high because they were scanned from old colour slides and negatives.

1. If we look at a map of the world, we see the equator drawn around the middle. To the north and south are lines marked as tropics. In the north there is the Tropic of Cancer whereas the tropic to the south of the equator is the Tropic of Capricorn. Any island or nation in between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are said to have a tropical climate. The Tropic of Capricorn passes through Australia's north. When driving a group of parents and children on a 6000km journey to Uluru in Australia's centre and back, we stopped when seeing this line paitned on the road at the Tropic of Capricorn. Some smart person thought it would be funny to write one side was hot and the other cold.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

2. In the 1980s I was in New Zealand. I visited a church in Rotorua and saw this wonderfully engraved glass window showing the Moari Jesus walking on the outside lake.

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 This photo was taken many years back. The last time I visited the church, a sign asked visitors not to take photos inside the church

3. This photo was taken around 30 years again. There had been a storm in the late afternoon. The cloud patterns and colours were amazing.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

4. I am not quite old enough to have seen real dinosaurs but this photo from about 25 years ago was of a robotic dinosaur looking very realistic as it moved. Can you imagine seeing a real one?

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

  5. I was once out photographing fungi such as mushrooms and toadstools when I saw a pattern of fungi on a tree. I added some eyes to make this face.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 6. While in Tasmania, Australia's only island state and the most southern state, I was on a river that looked more like a mirror surface.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 7. I was in England in a railway museum when I came across this platform sign. It had been used in the Harry Potter movies.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 8. Dragonflies can be very hard to photograph. They are quick fliers and are easily disturbed but one day while I was taking a break from hiking, this one landed beside me.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

It's our unusual experiences in life that can make our lives interesting, exciting or perhaps even frightening. Being unusual, we don't know when they will happen. I wonder what will be my next?

25 Comments

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

On May 22, 2013 this "Extended Comments for Students" blog turned one. I would like to thank everyone who has stopped by to see what has been happening and those who have also taken the time to add a comment to one of the posts. When this blog was started on May 22, 2012, I had no idea so many would think it worthwhile enough to visit, even if by accident.

By the end of May 22, 2013, there had been 38,737 visits from over 150 nations in its first year.

Birthdays are often a time for gift giving to the birthday person but I decided this blog would give a gift to celebrate its birthday. I chose to send a gift to the class whose extended comment was posted on or nearest to the blog's birthday. While no posts were made on May 22, two classes received a post on May 23. As such, each has been sent the cute little echidna (spiny anteater) toy seen in the photo below as well as a metal token from Potoroo Palace, my favourite native animal sanctuary. Potoroo Palace is my source for these cute little guys as well as many photos and video clips.

The two winning class blogs are...

4KM and 4KJ in Geelong, Australia

and

Battalion Hawk Bloggers (aka Global Grade 3) in Canada

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Below is a photo and video clip of a real echidna from Potoroo Palace. His name is Spike. Potoroo Palace also has a rare white echidna. Below the photo is some information about the echidna taken from a previous post on this blog.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Potoroo Palace, N.S.W., Australia

Schools and students have permission to use this video clip for non-commercial, educational purposes.

 

Short-beaked Echidna or Spiny Anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-beaked_Echidna

Class: Mammalia

Order: monotremata (egg- laying mammals)

The echidna has a spiny defence. When frightened, they dig their strong claws into the ground and show only their spines. The different species of echidna and the platypus are the world’s only surviving species of monotremes, i.e. egg laying mammals. The short-beaked echidna in the photo is common in most areas of Australia and I have even found one in my garden.

The short-beaked echidna can reach 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in) in length, with 75 mm (3 in) of snout, and weigh between 2 and 5 kg (4.4 and 11 lb).

Luckily the gift echidna toy being sent is much lighter otherwise postage would have been very expensive. 🙂

3 Comments

Battalion Hawk Bloggers have prepared a post on their marionettes...

Presenting...our GLOBAL Marionettes!

Hello Battalion Hawk Bloggers,

I was very impressed when I saw your Global Marionette presentation. With 200 nations in our world, it can be hard to decide which countries to represent and/or study but you have chosen four very interesting countries of a most certainly global nature. Here are our world's seven continents in their order from largest to smallest area and the countries you have chosen...

Asia - India - Often said to be the Indian sub-continent because it had once been separate but continental drift had it collide into Asia and caused the rise of the Himalayan mountains.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of India

Nations of Asia table

Africa - Tunisia - The smallest North African nation.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of Tunisia

List of sovereign states & dependent territories in Africa

North America - This is your home continent so you have it covered. You live there.

List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America

South America - Peru - We have shared your studies on this country.

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Public Domain graphic sourced through Wikimedia Commons

Flag of Peru

List of sovereign states and dependent territories in South America

Antarctica - This continent is international. While some countries, including Australia, lay claim to parts of it there are no real borders and no people living there permanently.

Europe - Ukraine - Once part of the former U.S.S.R., it is an independent nation.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Flag of Ukraine

 List of sovereign states and dependent territories in Europe

Australia - The only continent that is one country. I don't know of any national costume for Australia so clothing for a marionette could have many options. As well as the native Australians (Aborigines), Australians have many cultural backgrounds. My heritage before Australia is Scottish and English but I know my ancestors stretch across Europe, Africa and Asia. We are all in one big family.

 

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Flag of Australia

Types of Puppetry

All of the below embedded You Tube clips are not my work.

Since I was little, puppets have interested me so I carried out a little research through Wikipedia to see what kinds of puppets can be made. Here are the types and You Tube clips of some I found and I must admit I hadn't heard of all the listed types...

  • Black light puppet

Chelsea, Rayann and Rebecca from Battalion Hawk Bloggers were interested in black light puppetry. I explained black light (ultraviolet) puppetry doesn't need to be complicated. White paint or material can be used to make the puppets. Below is another black light puppet video from You Tube. The puppets are gloved hands with the people wearing black...

An ad has been playing on Australian television recently. It seems to be the actors in the ad are wearing fluorescent suits where colours can be turned off and on. They look like black light  puppets but may be black light/body puppets.

  • Bunraku puppet

  • Carnival or body puppet

  • Finger puppet

  • Sock puppet

  • Hand puppet or glove puppet

  • Human-arm puppet

  • Light curtain puppet

  • Marionette

Jayden and Joyce were interested in the goat marionette video so I've embedded another video clip, this time of a marionette clip from "The Sound of Music".

  • Marotte

  • Pull string puppet

  • Push puppet

  • Toy theatre

  • Rod puppet

  • Shadow puppet

  • Supermarionation

  • Ticklebug

  • Table top puppet

  • Ventriloquism dummy

  • Water puppet

  • Object Puppet

I've added another below because this type includes my favourite puppet you will see at the end of the post. This type is really two types combined.

  • Hand and Rod Puppet

Wikipedia Reference if you want to find out more....   Types of Puppetry

Can you see what type of puppets you made? Visit the "Types of Puppetry" link to read more.

Over the years I have made, used or seen a number of the puppet types. My classes have made finger, glove, shadow, sock and rod puppets. They can be sometimes messy to make but are always fun, especially when they're ready to use. 🙂

Recently, puppets have made it to big stage productions. Perhaps some of you have heard of the production, "War Horse". I find their puppets fascinating, particularly the adult horse, Joey. Below is a You Tube clip showing the ad for the production. Watch to see how puppets become "real" members of the stage show.

This is an embedded You Tube clip and is not my work.

Who or what is my favourite puppet? He is a hand and rod puppet you might know...

 

Christopher was asking about The Muppets and the number of types they used. Below are some more Muppet clips. You will see glove, glove and rod, and body puppets. Cane you see other types?

Body puppets start what once introduced The Muppet Show on television.

This clip shows glove puppets. At the end Kermit (glove and rod) appears.

And for another student who likes Elmo.

To see 4KM and 4KJ's post...

SMOOTH MOVES

Hello 4KM and 4KJ,

After reading your post and watching your video presentations on Smooth Moves, I was fascinated. Science is one of my favourite subjects so I decided to search for more information on your topic.

Science talks about hypotheses and theories but words such as theory can be confusing for members of the public. On a different blog, I wrote about ideas, hypotheses and theories. Here's a link...

What is science? Looking at ideas, hypotheses and theories.

Just what are motion, force, friction, push, pull, gravity, and momentum?

(Definitions are all sourced through The Concise Macquarie Dictionary, Macquarie University, 1982 ISBN:  0 86824 109 1)

Motion

Definition: The process of moving, or changing place, or position.

Motion seems simple. An object goes from one place to another but I will give you something to consider.

A man is looking out a window when he sees a building pass by very quickly. Was the building moving?

I think most of us would say the man must have been moving because buildings don't pass windows. Look at the next.

A man is looking out of his window when he sees a bird pass the window. Was the bird or man moving?

This isn't as easy as it seems. Do you know why?

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Force

Definition: strength or power exerted upon an object.

Force is anything acting on an object. It can be pushing, pulling, gravity, a ball hitting you or even mum and dad telling you to do your homework or else. 🙂

Look at the picture below...

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Franz Joseph Glacier, New Zealand

This photo shows New Zealand's Franz Joseph Glacier. In colder, wetter times, the glacier gets bigger. The force of the moving ice pushes rocks down the valley. In the photo, you can see a boy standing on a rock ledge is standing on a curved groove rubbed into the stone cliff by the moving ice and rock. Can you imagine the force needed to push rocks together like this?

Friction

Definition:the resistance to the relative motion of surfaces of bodies in contact.

When two surfaces move over each other you can have friction. Rub your hands hard together and you will hear them rub and feel the warmth the friction between your two hands causes. When friction is high, two objects have more difficulty moving along each other's surfaces. It takes more force to make them move. When friction is low, two surfaces can move easily across each other. Look at these examples and decide which has high friction and which has low.

An ice skater's skates glide across the icy surface. Is friction high or low?

You rub your hand across rough sandpaper. Is friction high or low?

What about extreme examples in nature? Earthquakes also result from a friction reaction. Two great masses of rock push along each. They can become locked together not moving until force builds up enough to break the hold. The You Tube clip below discusses earthquakes.

 

This video is an embedded You Tube clip and is not my work.

Push

Definition: to exert force upon or against a thing in order to move it away.

Pushing is something you well understand. We use force to move things away from us. Which of these is an example of push?

1) Playing a game of tug-of-war.

2) Helping someone sitting on a swing move.

Pull

Definition: to haul or draw towards oneself or itself.

Whereas pushing moves things away from us, pulling moves them towards us. Which of the following is an example of pull?

1) Playing a game of tug-of-war.

2) Helping someone sitting on a swing move.

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Gravity

Definition: the force of attraction by which terrestrial bodies tend to fall towards the centre of the earth.

I wasn't completely happy with the definition for gravity I found in my dictionary. All objects could be said to have gravity, even us, but it's the larger bodies that are large enough to have a big gravitational effect on us. This means gravity is different on different planets because they are different sizes and masses. If you were to stand on the Moon, you would weigh about one sixth your weight on Earth.

If you were able to stand on the Moon without a spacesuit, would you be able to jump higher and further than on Earth?

Here is a link to a site where you can find what you would weigh if you were able to stand on other planets, the Moon or our sun.

Your weight on other planets, the Sun and the Moon

Did you know gravity changes, and therefore your weight, the further you move away from the centre of our Earth? Someone standing on the top of Mount Everest would be a small amount lighter than the same person standing on a beach beside the sea.

Look at the below photo taken many years ago...

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Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

It's gravity allowing us to go down a slide but we don't go too fast because friction helps to slow us. The friction comes from us sitting and you can see the boys also using their hands to slow themelves. Without any friction as we sit on the slide, what might happen?

Momentum

Definition: the quantity of motion of a moving body, equal to the product of its mass and velocity.

Momentum is what we have when moving. Unless something acts on us, we will keep moving in the same direction. On the slide photo above, friction slows the momentum of the students.

To work out our momentum, you multiply our mass by our velocity (speed). This means the bigger our mass and/or speed, the higher our momentum and the more force is needed to stop us. This is why large semi-trailers take longer to stop than small cars or why a faster car takes longer to stop than a slower car.

In 2007, Queensland ran a TV commercial about stopping distances for cars. In each case, the car is the same but the speeds (velocities) are different. Watch the video below then see if you can answer the question...

This video is an embedded You Tube clip and is not my work.

Did the different speeds (velocities) of the car make a difference to how long it took the car to stop?

Did you know if you were in space away from the Earth and Moon and were able to use a spray can, the spray coming out of the can would start you moving? If nothing such as gravity or friction acted on you, you would continue in that direction and not stop.

Voyager I and II spacecraft were launched into space back in 1977. Their course took them out beyond all of the planets in our solar system. They will continue in the directions they were sent unless something stops them. This means their journey might last hundreds or many thousands of years. What a journey!

The link below shows you how far from Earth Voyager I and II now are. You will see the distances changing as you watch because they are moving very quickly. Voyager I is now over 18,000,000,000 (18 billion) kilometres from Earth.

How far from Earth are Voyager 1 and Voyager 2?

Now for a Little Science Fun

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 After making this movie clip, Professor Flurfflefinger disappeared. Some believe he never really existed and the movie clip was a prank. Others believe he accidentally turned his anti-gravity on himself and is floating somewhere out in space. Still more believe real scientists laughed at his ideas so he now is in hiding promising to never talk about science again.

Do you think his demonstrations are real or fake? Why?

 

3 Comments

Mrs. Ranney and her class prepared a post looking at adaptation in desert dwelling animals...

Desert Dwellers, Announce Your Adaptations!

Hello Mrs, Ranney and Class,

 

Your post on desert dwellers and adaptations was fascinating so I thought I might prepare a post on some animals found in Australian deserts. Unlike your post, I haven't been able to find any animals to tell their story so I'll have to write for them.

Deserts in Australia

Wikipedia Reference: Deserts of Australia

Deserts cover about 18% of Australia's land. That's about 1,371,000 square kilometres (529,000 square miles).

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Copyright holder: Martyman at the English language Wikipedia

Deserts may not be completely without plants but the plants are sparse and low. In the photo below, the area is not really part of a desert and is taken from on top of Uluru (Ayers Rock) looking west towards Katatjuta (The Olgas). The Great Sandy Desert begins further west of Katatjuta but you can see the arid (dry) landscape of central Australia.

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Some Animals of the Australian Desert and Their Adaptations

Feral Camels

Wikipedia Source: Australian feral camel

I know the first reaction when people read 'camels' might be picturing them roaming the deserts of a Middle Eastern country but camels can be found wandering Australian deserts. They were first brought to Australia, mainly from India, in the 1800s to carry supplies to isolated communities in central Australia. By the 1900s, trucks started to replace them so they were released into the wild. They have become a problem where their numbers are too high. Australia now exports wild camels to the Middle East.

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Camels have adapted to dry conditions and can go a long time without taking a drink of water. They store fat in their humps to help them through dry times. Their long fur helps protect them from the heat of the daytime desert. Even when they breathe out through their noses, much water vapour is trapped and reabsorbed.

Red Kangaroos

Wikipedia source: Red Kangaroos

Other Source: Nature Notes - Red Kangaroos

This is a public domain image sourced through Wikimedia Commons.

Red kangaroos (Macropus rufus) are the largest of the kangaroos. They can be found in much of Australia's drier and desert climates. In my first school as a teacher in western New South Wales I would see them bounding across the countryside.

Red kangaroos are mainly active at dawn and dusk, resting in the heat of the day.

Their hopping has been found to save energy. At low speeds, there hopping uses about the same energy as a similar sized animal running on four legs. At high speeds they use less energy than a four legged animal. They can reach speeds of 35 to 30 kph (13 to 16 miles per hour). While I don't have a video clip of red kangaroo, below is one showing eastern grey kangaroos at a local animal sanctuary. Eastern greys are smaller than reds but fully grown males are almost the same height. I have seen some about my height of 185cm (73 inches). The video clip shows mostly females and young kangaroos and includes some hopping.

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Emus

Wikipedia reference: Emu

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Emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae) are the second largest bird found in our world today. They can reach up to 2 metres (78 inches) in height and are flightless. Only the ostrich is larger.

In the wild, they are found across huge areas of Australia. Again in my first school in western New South Wales I would see emus running across the plains. The above photo was taken as I drove to school one day. They can run long distances at speed but can reach around 50kph (31 miles per hour) in a sprint.

Their feathers protect them from the heat. They don't need to drink frequently but when they do they take in as much water as possible. Below is a video clip I took of emus in a local animal refuge...

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Dingo

Wikipedia Reference:  Dingo

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Dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) are a subspecies of the grey wolf. They are thought to have first arrived in Australia with seafarers perhaps 12,000 or more years ago. They are found from desert to grassland areas but can't roam too far from water. They live in dens, deserted rabbit holes or logs and are Australia's largest predator. Dingoes don't bark like domestic dogs. Their bark is short. They do howl.

 

4 Comments

4KM and 4KJ have been looking at number sequences...

Number Sequences and Patterns

One student replied to a comment I wrote. The class had looked at the Fibonacci Sequence I had shared and were able to work out the next number in...

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, …

They worked out, for example,  8 came from adding the previous two numbers, i.e. 3 + 5. 13 came from adding 5 and 8. 21 came from 8 and 13. They worked out the next number would be...

13 + 21 = 34

I shared a much harder sequence of numbers I found. I think many adults might have a problem solving this one...

15, 29, 56, 108, 208, ___

Given a choice of four possible next numbers, which do you think comes next...

a) 386   (b) 400   (c)  416   (d) 438

I gave the answer as (b) 400

Why is this so?

Looking at the numbers, I first noticed each number was roughly double the previous...

15, 30, 60, 120, 240

I then looked at the difference between the doubling and the sequence number...

15, 30-1, 60-4, 120-12, 240-32

But how could we work out the pattern? The number we subtract changes. Here is the pattern...

15, 2 x 15 - 1 x 1, 4 x 15 - 2 x 2, 8 x 15 - 3 x 4, 16 x 15 - 4 x 8

Notice...

1)  the number to multiply the 15 doubles each time

2) the first number in the subtracted multiplication goes up one each time

3)  the second number in the subtracted multiplication doubles each time

Using these patterns, the next number in the series would use the equation...

32 x 15 - 5 x 16 = 480 - 80 = 400

If a student understands how I worked out the sequence, what number comes after 400? Leave your answer in the comments.

Is this a case of being as clear as mud? 🙂

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If you know anyone keen on hard number sequences, here is a link to a few. It is a number sequence test. The above sequence is part of the test...

Number Sequence Test - Hard

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To see "Don’t Let the Bear Drive the Model T!" from Mrs. Moore and the 4th Grade Techie Kids, click the title below...

Don’t Let the Bear Drive the Model T!

Hello 4th Grade Techie Kids,

What an amazing book you have written. I can see the bear was really keen to drive the Model T but he wasn't allowed. I think you left us wondering what the next adventure might be in the bear's future. Would it be called, "Don't Let the Bear Fly the Helicopter?"

Your story had me thinking of the first car on the old family dairy farm when my mother was a girl. They didn't have a Model T, they had a Whippet. Just by chance, a nearby town had a car and truck show for charity recently. As I wandered around adding to my photo collection, I found a Whippet amongst the collection. Here is the photo.

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Location: Pambula, N.S.W., Australia

Reading your story, I wondered what would happen in a story entitled, "Don't Let the Cow Drive the Whippet!"

I think I'll take the challenge with a short story with a little rhyme. Here goes....

 "Don't Let the Cow Drive the Whippet!"

.

Farmer Arthur was a special guy,

He was my grandad you see,

He'd tell his tales of make believe,

Especially for me.

.

But of his stories, there was just one,

I’d often ask to tell,

It was of Daisy, the brilliant cow

And a car called Whippet as well.

.

One day when heading off to town,

He’d left the cow a warning.

“Now don’t be bad while I am gone,

I’ll be back in the morning.”

.

But Daisy was a naughty cow,

She’d never, ever listen.

She sneaked the keys and took the car

“He’ll never know it’s missin.”

.

Now if this was a simple spin,

Nothing bad might happen.

But she forgot there was a spy,

And the spy dog wasn’t nappin’.

.

Daisy took for her gang of five,

The others knew to fear.

They were the dreaded Udder Gang,

They’d been a scourge all year.

.

Daisy sat behind the wheel,

With Belle who sat beside.

And in the back were Milk and Cream,

There’s no room left inside.

.

But of the gang there was a fifth,

And she’d not be one left out.

So on the roof she took her place,

The crazy milking lout.

.

They had their spin round country roads,

Before heading back to farm.

They parked the car and all got out,

They thought they’d done no harm.

.

The morning dawned and Arthur came,

The cows saw spy dog talkin’.

Their fear now grew as they watched on,

For Arthur was their way walkin'.

.

“What have you done, you silly cows?”

They knew he was quite mad.

But Daisy smiled her innocent smile,

Said, “Moo?” and then looked sad.

.

Her acting might have worked you see,

For Daisy was so convincing.

“I know you did it you naughty girl.”

Her sadness turned to wincing.

.

While dog had told, that was not all,

For Arthur saw his Whippet.

With milk on floor and hooves on roof,

Daisy’s forgotten one small snippet.

.

She promised she’d never repeat her deed,

Her naughty jaunt that day.

But as she spoke her hooves were crossed,

She's always sneaky that way.

.

Daisy gathered her gang to have a chat,

“The next time we go a driving,

We’ll take the dog and clean the car.”

The Udders were so conniving.

.

 Click on the drawing to open another window and hear the poem read.

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Here is a link to Mrs. Watson and class's brilliant soil study post...

Soil Investigations

Dear Mrs. Watson and class,

Your soil investigation techniques are wonderful and I see you have discovered soil isn't as simple as it might seem. The soil around my house is mainly a clay/sand mix but we have improved the soil in our garden by adding to our natural soil. We help build the humus layer.

Let's have a quick look at the story of soils...

 Rocks

Formed from lava flows.

This photo is from my collection of photos but was unmarked and so I am not certain of its source.

Location: Kilaeua, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Blown out by volcanic eruptions.

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Location: Mount Tarawera, New Zealand

Can build up in layers.

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Location: Rock cutting, Yellowpinch, Australia

Eroded by wind and rain to form sands.

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Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Shells can add to the mix.

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Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

In time some hardy plants can grow.

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Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Other plants take hold as the soil builds up. Dying plants build the humus layer.

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Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Fires can add ash to the mix making soils richer and help plants grow

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Location: Royal National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Sometimes drought can take away the plants...

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Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

...but water can make the plants burst into life again.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

 

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Location: Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

 The process goes on as layers form and erode away, sometimes sharing beautiful colouring with us as they do...

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Location: North Tura Beach, Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

and looking more like the work of an artist's brush.

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Location: North Tura Beach, Bournda National Park, N.S.W., Australia

Did you know colour can sometimes give you clues to soils?  When I lived in western New South Wales the soil looked reddish in colour. It was coloured by  iron content in the soil. The soil was rusty.

In the above photos I recently took, you can see many colours. Being a national park, I couldn't take samples to check what the different colours were but I could take photos. I was left with questions...

How many colours can you see?

Are the red areas high in iron?

Are the yellows coloured by sulphur?

Could the white be layers formed from shells?

Could the pink be a mixture of the others?

Soils and how they are made can be a very interesting subject and, as you have found, are not just dirt.

For the original post from Mrs. Yollis and class...

Biographical Bonanza

Dear Mrs. Yollis and Class,

I may not have been born in the United States but I thank it for taking me in as one of its own when I needed to escape the persecution by the Nazis in Germany in 1933. Germany had been the place of my birth in 1879 but living as a member of the Jewish faith, although I wasn’t particularly religious, was enough for my ideas to be condemned by the Nazis.

I must admit my early life was less than inspiring. I didn’t start speaking until I had turned two but even then I had a curious mind. When I was four my father gave me a compass. As I saw the needle always point north, I wondered why this would be so. This was perhaps what started my interest in mathematics and science.

Perhaps two of my most remembered works were my Theory of Special Relativity and my equation...

E=mc2   (Energy (E) = mass (m) x (the speed of light) squared

What is relativity? If you think of two cars doing the same speed, in the same direction, along a freeway, passengers in each car would see the others not moving but a person standing on the side of the road would see both pass quickly. Relative to each person in the cars, there is no movement. Relative to the person on the side of the road, there is movement.

Have you noticed when you’re inside your cars on a freeway nothing inside appears to be moving yet the scenery outside the car is speeding by?

My journey in mathematics and science started when I was quite young. Will any of you take up the challenge?

Albert Einstein

(Wikipedia Reference: Albert Einstein )

 

This image is in the public domain and was sourced through Wikimedia Commons.