Hello scientists, this is Meteor Martin and I am going to discuss our lessons for the week of Nov. 5th, 2018. First, we had Kindergartner’s work on Weather Wizards. Next some 3rd graders loved The Body Shop and finally we studied ecosystems with 5th graders and went on an Eco Safari.
For Weather Wizards, we discussed and discovered different weather events and climates as the children had a chance to “touch” lightning and “see” thunder. Next, we went ice fishing, and the kids learned to pick up ice with a piece of string using a secret ingredient. Finally, we all made instant snow that the teacher could keep and use it throughout the school year.
The Body Shop was a blast! The 3rd graders were able to see first hand digestion of a cracker using saliva. Then, everyone made a polymer very similar to how our digestive system takes food and turns it into energy. Next, we got to take a very close, HANDS ON look at a cow liver, kidney and heart. The reactions of the children were priceless.
Finally, this week, we went on a safari to explore and talk about ecosystems. The children made a rain forest from the ground up as we spoke about its different layers and what they are comprised of. Next, each child made there very own corral reef with bright colors and sea weed.
Whew, What A Week!!! Now to get supplies ready for some more fun and exciting hands-on experiments next week!
Rare sprites were seen above Hurricane Matthew’s thunderstorms over the weekend!
Hurricane Matthew is a storm that was heading for the Caribbean this past weekend and it started producing some unique sights. Red bursts of light were photographed from Puerto Rico early Saturday morning, October 1, 2016! Hurricane Matthew had just undergone a rapid intensification. These bursts of energy or electrical discharges in the upper levels of the atmosphere are known to the science community as Sprites.
What Are Sprites?
Sprites occur above thunderstorms from the positive discharge of cloud to ground lightning. Sprites are usually weak bursts of energy that are released directly over an active thunderstorm cloud with cloud-to-ground lightning below.
Sprites are generally colored red, but can appear blue similar to the color of some lightning strikes closer to the cloud. Some sprites can reach 55 miles into the atmosphere.
Sprites are usually very quick, lasting only a few milliseconds and are hard to capture in photography.
For that fact alone, sprites are fairly rare sights.
Check out this video below to learn more about these rare meteorological phenomenons!!
This weeks Think About It Thursday we will discover what thunder, not lightning, actually looks like!!
In a recent article published by USA Today, scientists reveal that they have actually “seen” thunder. “We all know what lightning looks like, and all hear the thunder that comes out from the lightning strike,” said Maher Dayeh, a research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. These first images of thunder allow us to see what we hear, he said. “While we understand the general mechanics of thunder generation, it’s not particularly clear which physical processes of the lightning discharge contribute to the thunder we hear,” Dayeh said.
Since thunder and lightning are unpredictable, Dayeh and his team artificially triggered lightning strikes at an outdoor laboratory in central Florida last summer. Scientists fired off a small rocket into the thunderclouds. Like fish biting a baited hook, lightning was attracted to a copper wire attached to the rocket.
Dayeh put out a sophisticated array of 15 microphones to study the thunder. The microphones were lined up 103 yards from the rocket launch pad where the triggered lightning hit.
It turned out that the loudest thunder was near the ground, not up in the clouds. “That’s where the lightning channel is attaching into the ground,” Dayeh said.
To check out the rocket experiment watch this video below: