Kids Science Newsletter - Issue #4
Where is Earth's deepest lake?
This Just For Kids Science Newsletter includes a question of the month, current science events, science trivia and a simple science experiment.
Question of the Month
Do you know the name of the deepest lake on Earth and where it is located?
(answer follows the simple science experiment)
Science Current Events
- Artificial Glaciers
- In the high-altitude desert of Leh, India the glaciers are retreating and villagers have not had enough water to sustain their needs for the past several years. It is the highest inhabited region on Earth and the average rainfall is just 2 inches. This is not enough water to grow an annual crop of barley, peas and wheat the villagers need to survive during subzero freezing weather. A retired engineer is helping the people of Stakmo, a village in the region, create artificial glaciers. The villagers built stone walls above the village to divert water to areas where the land is shaded during the winter and spring. A series of embankments slows the freezing water long enough to build up an artificial glacier that melts in the summer allowing villagers to grow crops and feed their livestock. The project has been so successful that other nearby villages are building their own artificial glaciers.
- Plague of Frogs
- A news article on June 4 reported millions of frogs are migrating from a nearby lake across a highway in Greece. Three automobile accidents occurred while drivers were trying to evade the frogs forcing officials to close the highway. Seismologists are concerned that the migration might be related to a massive earthquake in the near future. Prior to large earthquakes in Italy (2009) and China (2008) frogs began a mass migration a few days before the earthquakes. Scientists are not sure why the migrations occur. The frogs might be extremely sensitive to very light tremors in the earth prior to a major earthquake or they may be seeking a better place to find food.
- Arctic Terns Affect Arctic Lakes
- Arctic terns accumulate high levels of toxic minerals in their bodies during their annual migration that covers up to 50,000 miles each year. The birds accumulate high levels of the toxic minerals mercury and cadmium in their bodies from the fish they eat in the ocean. They are depositing these chemical in uncontaminated lakes in the Arctic during the nesting season in their feces as they swim and nest around the lakes.
- Bats are the only truly flying mammals. Other mammals like the flying squirrels and flying lemurs are sometimes called flying mammals but they only glide through the air. The "wings" of bats are double membranes of skin stretching from the side of their body to their hind legs and tail. Bats primarily use echo location, which is a form of sonar, whey they fly at night looking for insects instead of their eyes.
- Dolphins can hear sounds in the water that were created up to 15 miles away.
- If you have a wood stove and plan to stock up for the winter. You might buy a cord of wood. A cord of wood is a pile of logs four feet wide and four feet high and eight feet long.
- The empire state building is 1,250 feet tall from its base to its tip. It took just one year and ten million bricks to build the empire state building.
Simple Science Activity
Cave in a Cup
Ground water flowing through limestone rocks creates stalactites and stalagmites in limestone caves. In this activity, you will be creating caves out of sugar cubes.
- Tall clear plastic cup
- 1 cup (250 ml) sand
- Sugar cubes
- Waterproof wood glue
- Measuring cup
- Pour sand in the bottom of a cup until it is about one-half inch deep (2 cm)
- Place a layer of sugar cubes on top of the sand.
- Squirt waterproof glue over the sugar cubes. (If the glue is not waterproof the activity will not work)
- Add enough glue so that it seeps down the sides of the sugar cubes.
- Repeat the previous steps until the sugar cubes are about one inch from the top.
- Add a final layer of sand on top of the sugar cubes.
- Allow the glue to dry overnight.
- Poke a hole into the bottom of the cup with a nail.
- Set the cup in a sink or large bowl.
- Slowly pour 1 cup (250 ml) of warm water over the top layer of sand and let the water seep out of the bottom of the cup.
- Repeat until a cave forms in the sugar cube rock.
Science behind the experiment
Limestone caves form where large deposits of limestone are located. Groundwater flowing through the ground dissolves the limestone rocks carrying the dissolved calcite in solution away. When the groundwater saturated with calcite flows into a cave the calcite crystallizes as the water evaporates forming stalactites and stalagmites of travertine.
Answer to the question of the month
Lake Baikal, the deepest lake on Earth is located in Siberia, Russia. At its lowest point it is 5,315 feet deep. It is increasing in size one inch each year due to plate tectonic movements. The lake is located close to the Mongolian border and folklore tales tell of an island in the lake that was the birthplace of Genghis Khan. The lake contains one-fifth of all the freshwater on Earth. It is larger than all the Great Lakes in North America combined.
Easy Science Experiments
Water Experiments, Dropping Clippies
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