Doodle Science - October 2012

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

Yes, it's a spider, sorry all you arachnophobes but please don't be scared, they eat a lot of flies and mosquitos you know and they are worse. This lovely lady and yes, she is female ( the males are quite a bit smaller in this sort) is living in a carnivorous plant trap in my greenhouse. She is an Araneus Quadratus, a bit more unusual than the commoner A. Diadematus the normal orb web spider round here and she is wider and much more yellow too. For each of the past 4 or 5 years I have had a large one of these in the greenhouse at this time of year, they do not overwinter as adults but as eggs so she does not have long left and is patiently waiting for her gentleman to come along. That is why this time of year is so good for large spiders and this year there are quite a few. Don't worry there are not many that can hurt you in Britain, two are supposed to be able to bite but you have to be really unlucky for them to do it. Lovely smile! though ehh? And those four dots you can see on the head are a some of her eyes, I think she has eight.
Great Dates in Sci and Tech for October

1st of October 1969 ~ Concorde first broke the sound barrier
2nd of October 1925~ John Logie Baird starts testing a working TV
4th of October 1957 ~ Sputnik is launched starting the space race
4th of October 2004 ~ Space Ship 1 wins the Ansari X prize as the first private spacecraft.
6th of October 1995 ~ 51 Pegasi is discovered, the first planet found that does not orbit the Sun
9th of October 1992 ~ About 13 Kg of the Peekskill meteorite destroys a 1980 Chevrolet in New York State.
17th of October 1933 ~ Einstein leaves Nazi Germany and moves to the USA.
Something to try.
Minibeasting, or for the more formal Looking at Invertebrates. This time of year is by far the best time for looking at these creatures,
because many of them have an annual life story the adults are at their largest now,
not just spiders but grass hoppers and many more are teaming about,
Until the frosts start to kill them off the micro world is busy.
Even if you are not on this topic, just take the time to have a look.
Soon the dragonflies will be gone and butterflies will be trying to find places in sheds and classrooms to hibernate .
A good plant to look at is ivy, it's flowers are some of the last nectar sources of the year.
Health and safety: Don't play with or handle the creatures, you might hurt them!! And I suppose there is a very slight chance you might get bitten.Make your own little world.
Some thing else to try

make a very little and simple motor,

go here for how Motor
and digitalschoolhouse For some free ideas