Saturday, August 16, 2008

Science Saturday

There are several ways to include science this week. First, would be to talk about the giant panda. Unlike American bears, panda bears do not hibernate and are unable to walk on their hind legs. One reason they do not hibernate is that the food they eat does allow them to build up enough fat storage to make it through the winter. Their diet consists mostly of bamboo shoots and roots. Although they can be found in zoos all around the world, the giant pandas natural habitat is the mountains of central China.

Pandas tend to start reproducing around age 4-6 years. Mother pandas carry the baby for 3-5 months, a much shorter time than humans. The baby pandas are born weighing approximately 3.5-4 ounces and with all white fur. They will begin to show black and white coloring at around 1 month of age.

Currently, giant pandas are an endangered species, with only about 1500 remaining in the world. Endangered means at risk of becoming extinct and extinct means no longer existing. There would be no more giant pandas anywhere in the world.

Another option for science this week is to learn the symbols for gold (Au) and silver (Ag) from the periodic table. One way I was taught to remember the symbols for gold and silver was Aggg, silver. Auuuuu, (pronounced Awwww) gold. Older kids could also learn iron (Fe) and copper’s (Cu) symbols, which are combined to make bronze. Bronze is an alloy combining both iron and copper.

Other topics that could be taught this week include nutrition, exercise, heart health, lung health, muscles, etc, pretty much anything that goes along with athleticism.

Endangered: at risk of becoming extinct
Extinct: no longer in existence
Alloy: a combination of two or more metals

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