Resources from Environmental Education - 10/8/20
Meet the Critters!
The Color Orange in Nature
Bruce Rasmussen, a retired EE teacher who now lives in Las Vegas, recently shared a fascinating article about hummingbirds from the local Audubon group in Las Vegas. The article tells about a kind of hummingbird that lives in the Andes of Peru and survives by cooling down at night to just 3.26 Celsius. Here are some wonderful ideas that Bruce shared for bringing this topic into the classroom:
- general information about hummingbirds
- vocabulary study with words like Torpor, Hibernate and Cloaca
- geography lesson - a tropical rainforest that gets down to freezing at night
- mathematics - converting 5,000 Meters to miles, and 3.26 C to degrees F.
- What are some of the things that trees do to get ready for winter?
- What do some birds do?
- What do flowers do?
- What do insects do?
- What do people in Wisconsin do to get ready for the cold weather?
- How do people conserve energy?
- What kinds of animals hibernate?
Each week, Lisa Swaney (the Planetarium Director) will share some fun opportunities here!
Happy World Space Week!
October also brings Earth Science Week and Solar Week. Each of these links has a ton of resources that are readily available to you and your students. I highly encourage you to check them out. Or maybe some of your students are interested in seeing what NASA is all about. You could go on NASA’s Virtual Tours or NASA at Home site. Virtual tours include exploring the moon or the lab where Moon rocks are studied or tours of NASA laboratories and facilities. Every two weeks, NASA at Home features virtual tours related to a timely topic. Happy Exploring!
Mitchell Park Domes - Virtual Learning
Science Room Spotlight
This week's science spotlight is the launch of a new environmental education unit for middle school. A group of educators from across Waukesha County came together to build a three week integrated unit that connects NGSS, Social Studies C3 Framework, and Career Readiness into an amazing set of lessons and assessments. A special thank you to Michelle Sciborski and Brianna Beadle for being on the review team!
Middle School River Quality
For those of you who are missing your middle school field experience for environmental education, we are offering an in class version! We will bring the water samples and kits to your building and students can determine the quality of the Fox River through a variety of physical and chemical tests! Interested? Connect with Emma and she can get you set up!
From Garden to Table, E. B. Shurts Style
By EE Teacher Sally Turner
Back in June EE Teacher John Tompsett built three fine garden beds and they were installed by Environmental Ed. Staff on the E.B. Shurts grounds. "What shall we plant?" was the question.
Perennials, herbs, vegetable plants and seeds found their way into the rich compost. We didn't know what summer would bring for our tender plantings, some of which we had no clue of their identity. We watered, weeded and pruned. Visitors in the form of four legged diners, seed eaters and pollinators meandered into the gardens, each having a purpose dear to its heart.
Behold, there was produce to be had! Tomatoes, squash, lettuce and chives were abundant and the least likely to disappear down a woodchuck hole. A wonderful harvest for an experimental endeavor to be sure.
We share with you a sample of our bounty (Crookneck Yellow Squash, Tomatoes) along with recipes and ideas for this fall season. The crookneck squash has a firm flesh and is prepped for cooking by halving it, removing its seeds and peeling the outer skin. It is delicious diced and added to a vegetable medley when oven roasting or stove top sauteing in a hot skillet.
Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
4-6 med. green tomatoes
3/4 C. all purpose flour
3/4 C. cornmeal
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 T. butter
Canola or olive oil
Wash and core tomatoes, slice about 1/2 in. thick. Lightly salt both sides and place on paper towels for 15 min. to draw out extra liquid. Pat dry.
Whisk eggs in one bowl. In a separate bowl combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge tomatoes in flour mix, then dip in egg, then dredge again in the flour mixture.
Pour enough oil into the pan to cover and heat on med. temp. Add butter to the oil. Add tomato slices to the heated oil, browning on both sides for about 3 min. (Until golden) Remove and place on paper towel to drain excess oil.
They are best hot from the pan. Enjoy them by sprinkling with parmesan, romano or asiago cheese and dipping into marinara sauce. Honey mustard or ranch dressing make excellent dipping sauces as well.
Produce isn't just for eating. Sometimes it is fun to pretend the vegetables are family members gathered at the table! Bon Appetit!
Guess the Vegetable!
What Fall Vegetable Am I?
By EE Teacher Lynn Parkhurst
I am green,
I grow on a stalk.
I am a leafy vegetable, closely related to broccoli or cauliflower.
Guess who I am yet?
My name is thought to come from being popular in Belgium.
Last clue…. I look like a mini cabbage!
Scroll down for the answer!
When purchased at the store or farm market, many times the fresh sprouts are cut off and sold in a bag. But Brussels Sprouts are actually grown on a tall stalk! (Look closely along the stalk in between the leaves, there are too many to count!) This vegetable prefers cooler growing weather, and is harvested starting in early Fall until a hard freeze. Include a sprout plant or two in your summer garden, and come Autumn you will be enjoying these tasty veggies!
Moving in Nature
National Geographic Explorer Magazine
In Case You Missed It!
Support for Outdoor Learning
To see detailed outdoor learning ideas, check out this slideshow.
To see a flyer that outlines our support offerings this year, check out this link.