Your Learning Connection #16


Your Learning Connection  |  Vol. 16



Your Learning Connection is generously sponsored by Bank of America, Physical Sciences Inc., Rye Family Dental, and York Hospital.



Hermit Crabs


What is small, scuttles sideways, and stays in a snail shell? A hermit crab of course! Hermit crabs can be found all along the coast of New Hampshire, along the rocky shore, on sandy beaches, and even in the salt marsh! Some animals can only live in one type of habitat, and so we call them specialists, but hermit crabs have adapted to live in many different habitats, so we call them generalists. In every habitat, hermit crabs rely on snail shells that they find on the ocean floor in order to protect their soft bodies. Learn more about the hermit crabs found in New England from naturalist Daryn in the video below.

To learn about more species of hermit crabs all around the world, head to National Geographic.

Now it’s your turn! Create your own hermit crabs, and design some shells for their homes using this Hermit Crab Match Activity

Bonus: Storytime! Ready to cozy up with a good book? Grab a blanket and listen to Emma’s reading of A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle!” 



Staying Warm


Has the weather been getting colder outside in your neighborhood? As winter approaches, what are some ways that you stay warm? When our bodies get cold we shiver, but we have also found ways to keep ourselves warm such as building houses, and bundling up in warm clothes. But without walls and sweaters, how do marine mammals avoid getting too cold in the ocean? Learn about how the mammals in the coldest parts of the world stay warm at SciShow Kids. Then, try out this Blubber Glove Activity to learn more about how whales and seals stay warm. Eager to learn more? Head to Steve Spangler Science and try out this Hand Warmer Experiment to see if you can find a new way to stay warm this winter.



Wildlife Tracks


Time for tracking! With winter in New England comes a lot of wet weather—perfect for tracking animals right in our backyards! Squishy mud and fluffy snow provide the perfect surfaces for pawprints to be left behind, and we can also be on the lookout for scat and other signs that wildlife have been travelling through. Ready to become a nature detective? Learn some tracking tips from Daryn in the Signs of Wildlife and Tracking video below.

Then, grab some identification cards for your area (NH Fish and Game’s Tracking ID and Scat ID cards), head outside with this Tracking Tracks Activity and see what you can discover! 

For more help identifying animal signs, download one of these apps: Critter TraxiTrack Wildlife, or Scats & Tracks of North America.






Ever think of becoming an artist? Photography is one type of art that requires a lot of scientific knowledge both about the tools used to capture photos and the things that you are photographing. Taking pictures of tiny snowflakes is quite a challenge, but can also have beautiful results. Dive into the history of snowflake photography at InsideScience, and see some of the most recent snowflake artwork by Nathan Myhrvold at DPReview

Snowflakes are some of nature’s most beautiful works of art. They have radial symmetry just like sea stars and many flowers, and always have six sides because of the way water molecules are shaped. Want to learn more about the artistry of snowflakes, and how they are made? SciShow paints the picture! 

Now it’s your turn! Grow your own snowflake crystals with this Snowflake Craft.


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