Your Learning Connection | Vol. 8
Harbor Seal Pups and Safe Viewing
What is snuggly-looking, smells like fish, and is federally protected? A seal! These marine mammals are the animals that the Seacoast Science Center Marine Mammal Rescue team responds to most frequently. Check out the video below, featuring Ashley Stokes and Brian Yuratsis, members of our Marine Mammal Rescue crew, to learn what to do if you see a seal on the beach!
Pupping season for harbor seals is just getting started and typically occurs during the months of May and June in our region! Can you match the baby seals with the adult in Marine Mammal Match? To learn more about the four seal species seen on the New Hampshire coast, head to the NOAA Species Directory.
It is springtime, and many trees and plants are busy making leaves! Leaves help plants make food through photosynthesis and help them turn carbon dioxide into oxygen! Learn a little more about how plants and Photosynthesis work.
Some leaves are soft and smooth, some have veins and textures that we can see and feel, and some are even fuzzy! To take a closer look at some leaves, try making some awesome Leaf Rubbing art. To see another way that leaves are turned into art, check out Omid Asadi’s Leaf Art.
Become a Bird Scientist
Did you know that there is a specific name for scientists who study birds? Ornithologists look at how birds behave, how they grow, what they eat, and how they fly (or don’t fly)! Ornithologists can identify birds by the color of their feathers, the shapes of their beaks, their sizes, and even their songs! Now it’s your turn: head outside and start observing some birds to become a Bird Scientist yourself!
Ready to become a citizen scientist? After making your own bird observations, you can help other bird scientists and conservationists by adding to a community data set using easy apps like eBird. Not sure where to start? Discover the birds in your yard or garden with the help of eBird’s backyard birding tips.
Binoculars are a great tool for observing birds. They help us to focus in on a small area, and make things that are far away look closer. If you don’t have any binoculars, you can make your own with simple materials found around the house. Check out All Kids Network’s Binocular Craft for a list of materials and directions!
Have you ever measured your height, or compared your baby clothes to the clothes you wear today? It is fun to think about how much we have grown over time. Now, take a look out your window. Can you see any plants? All of those plants started as just tiny seeds. For a giant tree, that’s a lot of growing! To learn more about how this happens, take a look at the SciShow Kids video, How Does a Seed Become a Plant?
Knowing how fast plants grow can help scientists to predict how entire forests will develop over time. Measuring the growth of plants is also a great way to practice our observation skills. Become a plant scientist, and try out this Grow Your Own Plants activity!
Need a container for your plant? Try making your own pot using this Simple Newspaper Plant Pots activity. Would you rather draw your plant then measure it? A Nature Journal is a great tool to make more detailed sketches and notes.