Not to talk about the weather but…..
I super love this time of year, when the weather warms up, and we are doing field studies for biology and geology. Monday we set off for Magee Marsh near Toledo, Ohio to see if we could find any migrating warblers. I promise I checked the forecast – Rain in the late afternoon, high near 60 F. I may have missed the wind speed. When we got there it was 40 F with the wind howling off the lake at 30+ mph and steady rain. The drive home was steady rain too. SO… Our hike was a very short mile. We did see a few warblers. The warblers can’t to fly across Lake Erie in that kind of weather, so they were tucked in some low branches. I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the warblers – I hope to remedy that within the next two weeks while the migration is still going.
The trip wasn’t a waste – We saw a couple of bald eagle’s nests (pictured) and actually saw an eagle land in the nest, disappear, and leave again about 5 minutes later. We saw lots of egrets and what we think was a cormorant. We are looking forward to making a return trip next week hopefully with warmer weather.
We spent some time reading Marvels in the Muck by Doug Wechsler. It’s a great book about salt water marshes and estuaries. Of course now we are wondering, “What are the differences between salt water marshes vs. the marshes and estuaries around Lake Erie?”
All the stormy weather this week was a great reminder how much E’s team learned during this past year’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) season. The theme for 2013-2014 was Nature’s Fury. Each team selected a natural disaster, researched it and presented an innovative solution. The solution isn’t just for FLL competition. The kids share the solution with the community it is designed to help. E’s team researched tornadoes and developed a Debris Protection System. There’s no substitute for a safe shelter but the Debris Protection System can help because – “Wearing a helmet during a tornado is a no brainer.”
I was working on my end of year summary, and it was great to see how FLL contributed to some really great unit studies. I love that these kids are encouraged to research, reach out to experts, use their creativity, and make a contribution to their community in addition to developing programming skills. Sign up for the 2014 – 2015 FLL season begins May 5th. The theme will be:
The promo says, “Teams will teach adults how kids want and need to learn.” I’m really excited about this challenge. I hope educators and policy makers are paying attention, because the kids are going to come up with some great ideas.
Speaking of great ideas – if you didn’t have a chance to check out the finale of the Angelic Scalliwags Medieval study it is amazing. Claire does such a great job guiding her kids through project based learning studies.
Much of our week was spent shivering beside soccer fields. I really appreciate the coaches and all the time they put into coaching and encouraging the boys. Wednesday night practices were rained out and I found myself walking around the house singing, “I love a rainy night.” It was such a joy to have a relaxed dinner with the kiddos.
What places are you exploring?