Friday, July 29, 2016

Wild Adaptations

Welcome to Wild Adaptations in the morning session of Camp Explorations!

On Monday, the campers learned about different kinds of adaptations that animals have that help them survive.  Specifically, they learned about the different types of beaks that birds have, and how the different shapes allow the birds to be specialized in eating different kinds of foods.  The campers played with slime made from Metamucil, which is similar to the slime of a hagfish - a deep sea creature!  Then the campers made cootie catchers and quizzed each other on different kinds of adaptations.  To end the day, the campers played bingo, using some of the new words that they learned today about adaptations!

On Tuesday, the campers saw the world in a new light.  The campers made Styling Deep-Sea Goggles that allowed them to see what everything would look like in the deep-sea! Hint - it's a blue down there.  Then the campers learned about the pressure of the ocean, by comparing a Styrofoam cup that has been taken down to 1,500 meters under the ocean and a regular one.

Flat Stanley visited us at camp this week.
Then the campers made finger paintings of shrimp that live all across the oceans.

On Wednesday, the campers got a special visit from the Leslie Nature and Science Center. Lannis, our educator from LSNC, brought two owls and talked about all the different kinds of adaptations the owls have that help them survive!  The campers also got to make mystery painting.  First, the campers used oil pastels to paint nocturnal animals on black velvet.  Then they added UV paint to their drawings, which only appear under black light.  Night time is when these pictures really come alive!

On Thursday, the campers learned about prehistoric adaptations and got a tour of all the cool dinosaurs on our second floor!

The campers then got to become a dinosaur, by making triceratops hats, claws and tails.  

Then the campers picked random traits for a dinosaur out of a bag, and drew a picture of what it might look like!

Watching clips of Prehistoric Sea Monsters*

*You can find the entire film of Prehistoric Sea Monsters on YouTube.

On Friday, the campers got to Skype with a real deep-sea grad student from Florida National University!  Earlier in the week they thought of some questions to ask her.  She talked about what she does, and what kinds of creatures she finds in the deep sea!

Asking questions to the scientist

Asking more questions

Next, the campers got to extract (and play with!) strawberry DNA. The campers also learned how scientists collect data about where deep-sea creatures live. The counted all the sea creatures they could find on our map, and counted how many of each kind they found in each location.  To end the day, the campers got to learn about DNA that's in all living creatures.  They even created their own songs about DNA!
Extracting DNA from strawberries
Flat Stanley helping extract the DNA

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