Just For Fun

Just for Fun: Falcons nesting on high-rise building in Springfield, MA

Hi, crew!

Picture1Just a quick fun post I wanted to share in-between G3 programs. My Aunt shared this cool web site with me. Since 1989, peregrine falcons have been nesting on the high-rise Monarch Place building in Springfield, MA. Over the years, they have produced over 30 offspring from that location. A permanent nesting ledge – with live camera – was attached to the building to help them out and keep them safe.  You can view them during any daylight hours by going here:

http://www.wfsb.com/category/281239/falcon-cam

I’ll warn you now, watching the live web cam can be addictive (though I often seem to catch the chicks when they’re sleeping in a giant, fluffy huddle 🙂 ).

Here are some interesting facts taken verbatim from the WFSB website:

Mating season for Falcons occurs in March. The female lays three or four eggs over a period of approximately seven days. Hatching begins in early May and flight begins at approximately 42 days for male falcons and 45 days for female falcons.

Peregrines mate for life and will often return to the same nest, year after year. They make their nest in a scrape, normally on a cliff edge. The female chooses a nest site, where she creates a shallow hollow in the loose soil, sand, gravel, or dead vegetation in which to lay eggs. No nest materials are added.

The Peregrine is known as the fastest member of the animal kingdom, reaching over 200 mph during its characteristic hunting high speed dive called a “stoop.”

The Peregrine Falcon is also known as a Duck Hawk in North America and is a bird of prey in the family Falconidae.

While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles, or even insects.

After hatching, the chicks are called “eyases.” Both male and female parents leave the nest and travel up to 15 miles to gather prey to feed the young. Chicks fledge 42 to 46 days after hatching, and remain dependent on their parents for up to two months.

The Peregrine Falcon can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rain forests. This makes it the world’s most widespread bird of prey.

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Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween to all of my favorite budding scientists!

Here’s a little fun video from my favorite Muppet scientists, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his trusted assistant Beaker…enjoy!!

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Program 24: The G3 Trivia Tournament

weird_inventionsbizarre_inventionsFor our final program before our special summer series of G3, I thought it would be a lot of fun to have our first ever G3 Trivia Tournament! And what better topic for our tournament than the bizarre and wacky inventions that people have created from the 1800s and on.  My sources for all questions were two wonderful books by Jim Murphy:  Baffling & Bizarre Inventions, and Weird & Wacky Inventions.  All G3 scientists broke into teams of their choice and selected a team name. Our G3 teams were:

TRACK A

Awesomes

Funny Pickle Unicorns

TRACK B

Smarty-Smarts

3,241

Sky Blues

Super Scientists

Smarter Than You

The Awesomes vs. Funny Pickle Unicorns

Awesomes vs. Funny Pickle Unicorns

3,241 and The Smarty-Smarts (2 of the 5 Track B teams)

3,241 and the Smarty-Smarts

The rules for the day were very simple. I showed all players a picture of an invention from one of the books, described it, and then gave 4 possible answers that identified what the invention was supposed to do. Each team then flashed a card that said either 1, 2, 3, or 4 to indicate their choice. My assistant Kaitlyn kept score. All players received a prize from the prize table in the end, though the first place team got first picks, then the second place team, etc.

Track A Champions (The Awesomes) at the prize table

Track A Champions (The Awesomes) at the prize table

In Track A, there was actually a tie! Our tie breaker was the classic Rock, Paper, Scissors. Each team chose a representative to play, and the best 2 out of 3 games took the title. The Track A champion was the Awesomes.

Track B Champions: The Smarty-Smarts!

Track B Champions: The Smarty-Smarts!

In Track B, it was a touch-and-go competition throughout the hour, with Smarty-Smarts, 3,241, and Smarter Than You battling fiercely for the top spot. In the end, the Track B champion was Smarty-Smarts.

Truly, every team was full of winners because all G3 scientists did a fantastic job!

Check back soon for information about our really awesome summer series of G3 programs for the month of July… 🙂

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Happy Halloween!

Meep Meep!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, my G3 scientists!

Enjoy this fun little video I found on youtube courtesy of The Muppets Studio. It stars (surprise surprise) one of my all-time favorite Muppets: Beaker 🙂 That’s my 2012 costume…what are you going to be this year? See you soon!

Muppet Labs is pleased to unveil its Pump-kinetic sculptor, The Carve-O-Matic 3000!
(c) 2009 The Muppets Studio, LLC

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