MAC Junior Explorers- Homeschool Science Classes
Wednesdays, 10-11:30 am
Leader: Paula Chouinard & Linden Rayton, Naturalists
Classes are for ages 7-12. Parents are encouraged to stay and participate. Please dress to be outside! Pre-registration required for all classes.
Members $12 per class
Non-members $15 per class
(per child/parent pair)
Jan 16: Snow Birds
Not all snow birds go to Florida. Some birds, like the Snowy Owl, migrate down from Canada to winter in New Hampshire when food is scarce. Discover other irruptive winter visitors. Prepare to take part in Audubon’s NH Winter Bird Survey the second week in February!
Jan 30: Snow walkers!
For the naturally curious, signs of animal life abound! Learn about tracks and scat and other visible signs of a variety of animals that stay active in the frosty cold! We will make some tracks of our own as we trek the fields and forest in search of animal evidence.
Feb 20: Life Under the Snow and Ice (Postponed from Feb 13)
What is happening under that ice and snow? Discover New Hampshire’s native species that hunker down for the long New England winter. Fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals-learn how they adapt to survive the winter.
March 6: Life in the Supranivean Zone
On a warm winter day you might see snow fleas hopping on the snow. Use microscopes, magnifying glasses and other tools to discover ants, spiders and other life that thrive alongside snow fleas in this “supranivean zone.”
March 20: Cookie Mining and Fossil Fuels
Spend two weeks of mud season inside exploring the science of climate change with us. Burning fossil fuels currently provides the energy to power our lifestyle. How do we get our fossil fuels in the first place? Model coal mining and fracking by using chocolate chip cookies, and see how well you can extract the necessary chocolate to survive. Learn how different organizations are helping us reduce our energy use.
April 3: Looking into Surface Albedo
Climate change affects some parts of the globe more than others, particularly the North Pole. Surface albedo is a measurement of how reflective something is, and is a useful way to monitor the health of the Arctic sea ice. Do an experiment that demonstrates the albedo of different surfaces while practicing your science skills. Play a game of arctic animal adaptation to imagine how polar bears and other ice-dependent creatures survive.
April 17: Vernal Pool Exploration
Wear your rain boots for this day of vernal pool discovery. Journey to our nearby vernal pool in search of the salamanders, frogs and larva that use these temporary spring pools to mate and lay eggs. Explore the amazing adaptations these animals have to successfully grow in bodies of water that only last a few months.
May 8: Wildflower Hunt
How many wildflowers can you find? Maybe it will be the skunk cabbage, which creates its own heat to melt the snow; or maybe the lady slipper, which cleverly forces insects to walk through its pollen! Go on a group hike with your own checklist and see how many you can find, and learn more about these special, seasonal friends.
May 22: Forest Ecology
Compare white pine and red maple habitat at Massabesic with ecological field science methods and tools. Start with an individual ground cover survey and learn to use a quadrat. Practice your math while combining everyone’s data into one comprehensive understanding of the two habitats. Then play a game to stake a claim on what you think is the best habitat!
June 5: Water, Water Everywhere
As we look toward summer, this is a great time to explore the local and state watershed. Learn about water flow through our state and nearby Lake Massabesic, and do some water quality tests to better understand the elements in the pond. Use nets to catch (and release!) aquatic life.