Doodle Science - March 2011

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

The first clear day for weeks in this long winter and I found myself in the garden sorting out a pond.
This picture is of a contrail left by a plane that flew over not very high and not very low
and instead of the condensing water vapour forming long chains it made these short lived sky rings.
I think it was caused by the air masses being very unstable and so the vortexes off the wing tips were pushed and bent.
Very pretty as they billowed away.
Great Dates in Sci and Tech for April.
1st 1826 ~ Samuel Morey patents the Internal combustion engine
3rd 1888 ~ Gottlieb Daimler patents his version and his is the one that we more or less use today
6th 1966 ~ Early Bird, first communications satellite in geosynchronous orbit
11th 1905 ~ Einsteins Theory of Special Relativity
21st 1994 ~ Wolszczan announces finding extrasolar planets
25th 1953 ~ Watson and Crick publish the structure of DNA
26th 1986 ~ Chenobyl Nuclear power plant disaster.
27th 1981 ~ Xerox introduces the computer mouse.
30th 1006 ~ Supernova SN1006 brightest supernova recorded pops off in the Lupus Constellation.
Something to try
Pond watching / Dipping
This time of year there is lots going on in ponds, and I know that "pond life" is an insult but there really is loads of really interesting stuff going on.
Dipping is good fun but take care.
Make sure you have somewhere to put the animals before you catch them, a plastic tray is ideal, do not leave them in the sun and make sure they have plenty of water.
Strangely enough the creatures do find it rather stressful and do try to be nice to them,
in fact watching a pod can be all together more fun for all involved,
you can actually see the creatures doing what they are meant to do.
There are loads of good pond life identifiers about to help you ident what you find.
Health and safety
Don't go in the water,
keep the water out of cuts,
wash hands afterward and
don't pick up the animals as some of them can bite.

A Web site well worth a visit is
Snow Monsters of Japan
Have a look at Teachernet for some free stuff.