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Experiments

Super Science in Your Own Backyard

What You Need:

• A yard or park
• Notebook
• Clear tape
• Field guides for your part of the country
• Pencils, crayons, markers
• Camera and tape recorder (optional)


1) First, bring your notebook on a nature walk. Use your senses to observe your surroundings. What do you see, hear, and smell? (Never taste anything on a nature walk!

2) Then, write down your observations. Be specific. Write a description of any animals, birds, insects, flowers, and trees you see.

3) Pick leaf and twig sample from the trees on your walk and tape them in your notebook. Don't pick any wildflowers. Many flowers are endangered or provide food for endangered insects.

4) If you have a camera take pictures to go along with your descriptions. You could also tape record any sounds you hear.

5) When you get home use a field guide to identify your observations.

6) Create a nature guide of your own neighborhood. Draw pictures, or place your photos, in a notebook. Identify and label the plants or animals you observed. Add any interesting information you want to share. You can also include your sound recordings, and leaf and twig samples.


A Scientific Explanation:

When scientist observe the natural world they take measurements and observe specific details about their trip in the field. You can make your nature guide more scientific if you record the date and time of your observations. You can also record the temperature and weather when you take your nature walk. Now, you're collecting data like a real scientist!


EXTRA! EXTRA!

Next time it rains put on your gear and go on a wet weather nature walk. What new things do you notice?