Friday, August 10, 2012

Ecology Quest 2

On Monday, we spent a lot of time exploring the Museum's Butterfly Garden. We made nature journals to use for the week, and we mapped the Butterfly Garden. The maps we created were collected for use by the people who maintain the garden and will help them with their work! We also created a scavenger hunt for afternoon campers to use with interesting questions based on our observations in the garden.

Tuesday we visited the Arboretum, which is the perfect place to learn about trees. We learned about the structure of a tree and the functions of its parts such as the root hairs and the crown. After learning our individual roles, we came together to demonstrate a functioning tree. We also collected leaves we found on the ground for leaf art.
Everyone demonstrating the different parts of a tree.

On Wednesday, we discussed climate change and forests. Linda from the SNRE (School of Natural Resources and the Environment) provided a lab on plant growth. We learned how to collect and graph real data to determine the age of a tree and the relationship between tree growth and climate determinants. We also spent sometime classifying leaves. Using what we found in the Arboretum on Tuesday, we created leaf art!

Thursday we talked about recycling. We completed a recycle race where we learned which items can be recycled and which items cannot. The object of the recycle race was to take a pile of "trash" (it was all clean!) and place them in the correct bin. We then discussed our reasons for putting certain items in the recycling bin or non-recycling bin.  We determined recycling vs. non-recycling based off what the City of Ann Arbor recycles.  We also made recycled art!

Since it was raining on Friday, we learned about ecosystems. We were divided into teams and had to research the biotic and abiotic characteristics of various North American ecosystems. We then made a giant poster to depict our ecosystem. We then had to match animals to the environments they live in given information about that animal. We then took a vote as to whether or not the animal was in the proper ecosystem and had a discussion about why or why not.

We had a great week at camp this week learning about Ecology and exploring the Museum and other parts of the U-M campus.  We hope you will join us next year!

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