Sunday, May 30, 2010

Science Sunday: Roly Poly, bugs, and the like

So, I got our science book for the year, or however long it takes us (at the rate we’re going it will not be a year, we did not take 2 weeks on chapter 1, but I don’t think we’ll always go this fast).  I had intended to do one of their other experiments, but then my kids got ahold of the book, and were paying attention as I read, and they heard the “collect bugs and observe them” and they were off running.


So what happened?


Well, first I woke up, and grunted at the kids as they kept telling me they were going to get bugs.  I guess I didn’t take them seriously enough, because next thing I knew they had collected four roly polies (does anyone know the right spelling for this?), and had them in the butterfly pavilion which I had bought.


As a side note, can I just say my kids were so disappointed that the caterpillars did not magically appear as soon as they had put the envelope in the mail box.


036 Ummm, I fairly sure that is Superman in the picture opening the pavilion….. 

Hypothesis: Insects are cold-blooded, so if we get them cold they will move slower.


Procedure: Observe the insects in warm weather/ our house.  Then put them in the refrigerator for a while (in a well closed cage) and see if they move slower afterwards.


What actually happened:037

Yeah, that was definitely Superman.  Because I remember telling Batman several times that day to change his shirt around.


When we observed the roly polies after they’d been in the refrigerator, the kids all swore they were moving slower.  I’m not entirely convinced, I think a different bug would have been better to observer.  I want to repeat this experiment with crickets or something else that moves more.


In case you can’t tell, my kids are obsessed with roly polies, so we’ve looked at them a lot.  I think they would have been a lot more interested in the caves if we’d gotten the tour guide who told all about the roly polies that dropped down there.


Their next question was of course, what do they eat?  Followed up by, what eats them?  Can you tell my kids like food?  So, I had no idea, so we googled it.

Roly Poly

Basically, they eat plants, dead plants, whatever they can get.  They’re somewhat helpful to your soil, but there was a lot of debate.


To my kids’ minds, they’re the most incredibly awesome bugs ever.  You pick them up and they roll up into little balls.  They love them.  Seriously.


And, since it’s getting late, and I want to go to bed at a reasonable hour, I’ll leave you wondering what we did to see how an insect sees (and FYI, I”m not going to recommend what we did, but give you what I believe is a better alternative).

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