Discover the hidden world in a drop of pond water and other micro marvels. We use photographs and illustrations to preview the expedition ahead, then we journey into the microscopic world with live microscopic images projected on a screen for easy group viewing. We usually meet creatures from 3 or 4 of the 5 kingdoms of life. I use real microscopes fitted with a video camera for quality images. The pictures at the bottom of the Vernal Pools article give a sample of what might be viewed. I can also offer a micro scavenger hunt option where children can gather samples to be viewed. This will require a longer program time and appropriate outdoor access.
The program is best in March through November when pond life will be more plentiful.
A contact form is at the bottom of the page
Massachusetts Science Curriculum topics addressed in this program:
Characteristics of Plants and Animals
1 Classify plants and animals according to the physical characteristics that they share.
Adaptations of Living Things
6 Give examples of how inherited characteristics may change over time as adaptations to changes in the environment that enable organisms to survive, e.g., shape of beak or feet, placement of eyes on head, length of neck, shape of teeth, color.
8 Describe how organisms meet some of their needs in an environment by using behaviors (patterns of activities) in response to information (stimuli) received from the environment. Recognize that some animal behaviors are instinctive (e.g., turtles burying their eggs), and others are learned (e.g., humans building fires for warmth, chimpanzees learning how to use tools).
Classification of Organisms
1 Classify organisms into the currently recognized kingdoms according to characteristics that they share. Be familiar with organisms from each kingdom.
Structure and Function of Cells
2 Recognize that all organisms are composed of cells, and that many organisms are single-celled (unicellular), e.g., bacteria, yeast. In these single-celled organisms, one cell must carry out all of the basic functions of life.
3 Compare and contrast plant and animal cells, including major organelles (cell membrane, cell wall, nucleus, cytoplasm, chloroplasts, mitochondria, vacuoles).
4 Recognize that within cells, many of the basic functions of organisms (e.g., extracting energy from food and getting rid of waste) are carried out. The way in which cells function is similar in all living organisms.
2.2 Compare and contrast, at the cellular level, the general structures and degrees of complexity of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
2.3 Use cellular evidence (e.g., cell structure, cell number, cell reproduction) and modes of nutrition to describe the six kingdoms (Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, Animalia).
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Additional details are at the bottom of the main programs page