Doodle Science - January 2011

Circulated to schools, organisations and individuals - covering primary science and related bits and bobs.


This pretty birdie is a Bittern.

I got this photo on New Years Eve at the RSPB Dungeness reserve right next to the nuclear power station.
These fine feathered chaps are a real success story as thanks to habitat loss and the fact that they are rather tasty they became very rare.

At enthronement of George Neville as the Archbishop of York in 1466 the menu included '200 Bytternes; 400 Hernshawes (young herons), and 1,000 Egritts'.

He could not do it these days as that is more than all the Bitterns in England now, but there are a few more on the continent.

I had never seen one before and then I saw three in one day, including this one who was so close to the hide I could have grabbed him and taken him home.

They have some great adaptations including the way they can stand in reeds with their head held high and disappear.
Because of this their eyes are really rather odd
And they make a funny noise too.

Great Dates in Sci and Tech for January.
2nd 1880 ~ The first electric Street light went on in Wabash Indiana.
6th 1959 ~ Jack Kilby patents the integrated circuit
10th 1996 ~ The supercomputer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov at chess
13th 1633 ~ Galileo arrives in Rome for his trial by the Inquisition
14th 1989 ~ Death of James Bond, the ornithologist whose name Fleming took for his super spy.
18th 1930 ~ Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto (planet not dog)
21st 1804 ~ First Steam Locomotive in Pen- Y- Darren Wales

Something to try.
String telephones.
Make sure to attach the string to a match or tooth pick across the bottom of the cup.
It will transfer the vibrations to the cup far better.
Make sure the string is tight.
A single phone with the string still attached makes an excellent sound when the string is pulled between the fingers and thumb.
Using a piece of wet kitchen toweling makes a really nice noise.
It is amazing how far the sound can travel.

Health and safety
String can cause friction burns.
And shouting can hurt your throat.

Nest spotting
Our feathered friends will be starting to get them selves organised for the coming season soon.
Depending on the species some will be nest building before the end of February.
Ravens will already have laid eggs, but if you have them in the playground I'm jealous.

A Web site well worth a visit is
Astronaut Douglas H Wheelock sends pictures on his twitter account.

I have found another site of resources, you could try Primary Resources
there are loads of free things!!!