As we all do our best to stay home and flatten the curve, WCS Education understands how difficult these times can be. That’s why we want to support all of you out there with some engaging science activities that you can do anywhere. Teachers, you can use this in your remote learning with students. Parents, you can use these activities with your own kids at home.
All of these activities come from WCS Education programs, so if you like what you see, join us for more programs in the future! We hope you enjoy these weekly doses of science, and reach out to us on social media if you have any thoughts or ideas you want to share with us! @WCSEducation on Twitter and Instagram. Stay safe and do science!
This activity uses movement to get students thinking about animal adaptations. How do animals move? Can we move the same way they do? What about their bodies lets them do the things they do to survive? This comes straight out of our Zoo Animals and Teaching the Elementary Curriculum course, so if you like this, consider learning more fun ways to explore science in engaging and hands on ways with our Zoo Animals professional learning course running April 13-18 online!
At zoos and aquariums and in the wild, scientists carefully observe animal behavior in order to learn more about those species. By observing animal behavior, we can learn more about what a species eats, when it is usually awake or asleep, and what role it plays in an ecosystem. You can do this same kind of science investigation at home by observing the behavior of a pet or someone you live with!
These activities will give you a peek into the life of an insect and let you try to experience
the world from their perspective. This type of activity is great for a variety of reasons – it lets
kids learn in an engaged, hands on way, plus it builds empathy and connection to different
animals by pretending to be them, all while learning science concepts and having fun!
This activity encourages you to make a pledge to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but this is a wonderful activity to do even after Earth Day has passed. After all, the Earth needs our help every day of the year!
Scientists create questions based on what they observe in their surroundings. In this activity, you will act like a scientist and create questions that you could research based on what you see! You’ll observe animals (in your home, outside of your window, or on your computer) and write down what you see. Once you have observations, you can begin to create questions about what you’d like to learn more about. There are several types of questions that can be created and you’ll get to choose the question type that fits best! If you want to do even more, you can begin to think about how you might go about answering your question like a scientist would! Good luck, scientist!
Migratory birds are birds who migrate, or fly long distances to move from one location to another with the changing seasons. May 9th, 2020 is International Migratory Bird Day! A day to celebrate those hard working migratory birds and the ways that all of us can help them in their journey. There are so many different ways to celebrate birds, and this activity is here to give you some ideas and you can choose!
The primary threats to orangutans in the wild are habitat loss and fragmentation, fires, and illegal hunting/trafficking. This activity, adapted from the resourceI Heart Orangutans…Do You? created by OSAFE, is designed to engage children at home in a craft that is simple, entertaining, and that connects them to orangutans.
Identification and classification are critical parts of being an ecologist. These skills take lots of practice. They help us to learn about different kinds of wildlife - their features, what similarities they have, and what makes them diverse. You can build up your own classification skills by observing wildlife and trying your hand at identifying what you see while looking out the window or taking a walk around your local park
Pollinators play a vital role in the world around you! Pollinators like insects, birds, bats, and small mammals travel from plant to plant looking for food and, in the process, help new plants grow. Pollen from one plant sticks to these animals and falls off on a different plant, beginning the process of growing the fruits and seeds that produce new plants. Pollinators are responsible for much of the food we eat and serve many important ecosystem roles from carbon sequestration to preventing soil erosion. You can help support pollinators and their work by building your own pollinator garden at home!
The world’s oceans are an incredible resource, as well as the home to over 90% of the species living on earth. June 8, 2020 is World Oceans Day. One way you can celebrate World Oceans Day is by taking the time to share something you think is interesting or important about the ocean with the people you know! Good science communicators make a plan for their message, their audience, and the platform that they will use to send that message.
In the wild, there are animals who are hunters (predators) and those that are hunted (prey). A skilled predator is always on the prowl for fresh prey. What can an animal do to stay off the menu? Find out how some animals survive by using camouflage to blend in with their surroundings. In this activity, participants will be the hungry predator hunting for prey. You might be surprised to see which individuals avoid your grasp!
Conservationists often do their fieldwork outside of a laboratory setting. Because they are out in the field, the notes that they take are very important. Those notes allow the scientist to record the details of everything that they see so that they don’t have to try to remember later. To do this, scientists use all types of methods, including writing down what they see, collecting numbers for how many animals or behaviors occur, and sketching animals and plants so that they can identify them later. Scientists call these notes “field notes” because they are notes taken “in the field”. Can you take field notes like a scientist?
Use this guide to spot common local birds. Count how many you see a day and post them on
your eBird account. What you discover will be collected and shared with all the other scientists
using the site. Scientists use your bird count to help determine things like bird species diversity
and how many of each kind of bird can be found all over the world.