Getting Ready for a Visit from Real Scientists

On Wednesday morning, March 29, we will have two real scientists visit with us. Dr. Natalie Gordon is a geneticist. Dr. Richard Gordon is a theoretical biologist. Both of them are colleagues of Sister Patrice. They came to PEACE last year. This year the Learning 4Life Success class gets them!
Research on sea turtle anatomy

To get ready, all of us are learning a lot. 

1. Sea turtles

We didn't know anything about sea turtles. Now we know a lot! Everyone had one question to research. We had to write research notes. 
We had to get good pictures from the internet. We had to type everything. 

We all had to make something to show what we learned. 
There are seven species of sea turtles.
Some are endangered.

We put it all on a display.

That was this Wednesday.

Facts about Sea Turtles
2. Echinoderms and Mollusks and Corals

What is that, you ask? 
These are marine animals. Echinoderms are animals like star fish and sand dollars. 

Jaron examines a horseshoe crab shell. Horseshoe
crabs are "living fossils" because they
have stayed the same for millions of years.
Mollusks are animals like bivalves (clams, scallops) , gastropods (conchs and snails), and also cephalopods (octopus and squid). 
Researching our topics

We also learned about horseshoe crabs, which are "living fossils" because they did not have an upgrade in their design for a million years.

We used books, videos, internet articles, and real shells.
We looked at a lot of shells. The shells came from Florida. We saw videos and studied pictures. We each had to pick a topic for research again. 

We made some more things for  the wall. That was this Thursday.

3. Friday was Fossil Friday

Did you know South Dakota was once at the bottom of a big ocean? Did you know the Black Hills have a lot of igneous rock and also Milbank and Yankton have some? But everywhere else in SD it is metamorphic and sedimentary but mostly sedimentary?

Did you know that glaciers are like bulldozers and they pushed all the dirt, stones, gravel, and even boulders to this part of South Dakota from Manitoba, Canada? The glaciers also made the Coteau des Prairies.  The glacial till is what we see: dirt, rocks, boulders, and gravel.

Fish fossils from Colorado
We also studied Sister Patrice's fish fossils. They came from Colorado, but when Colorado was under the ocean, it was not called Colorado. 

There was also a hard stone with a lot of sea shell fossils in it. We looked at the fossils with magnifying glasses.

A fake fossil of marine life
Then we made our own fake fossils. They are made with clay and sea shells. We made an imprint. Real fossils take thousand of years to make. Our fossils took about 20 minutes. 

Almost looks real, doesn't it?
We also did a lot of fossil research.

  •  How are fossils really made?
  • Where was the largest fossil archelon (prehistoric turtle) found in South Dakota? 
  • Who is "Sue"?
It was a lot to learn. Hopefully we can remember some of it for next Wednesday when the scientists come!