Great Migration in East Africa
Our Kids Science Newsletter is published each month. The newsletter includes a question of the month, current science events, science trivia and a simple science activity that is fun for kids of all ages.
Question of the Month
How big is the Grand Canyon?
(answer follows the simple science experiment)
Science Current Events
- Great Migration in East Africa
- For thousands of years a great migration occurs each May in East Africa. Approximately 1.5 million wildebeests, 400,000 zebras, thousands of gazelles and antelopes migrate out of the Serengeti preserve in southern Tanzania. The animals are followed by hyenas and lions that typically scavenge behind them in this epic journey. In the past several years the animals have stayed longer and longer in the Serengeti preserve rather than migrating to the Kenyan sanctuary.The journey takes several months and human activities in and around the Kenyan sanctuary has made it more dangerous for the animals. Wardens believe that the migration that takes months may eventually end altogether as the animals linger longer and longer in the Serengeti preserve.
- Near Misses by Meteors and Asteroids
- The meteor that exploded over Russia last month injured over 1000 people. Most were injured by flying glass. The injuries and death toll from the blast could have been much greater if it had exploded a fraction of a second later. Scientists estimate that the meteor was approximately 50 feet in diameter when it exploded. To understand the danger a meteor that was 150 feet in diameter exploded over Siberia in 1908. The shockwave from the blast flattened 825 square miles of forest. The same day a 130 ft long asteroid passed within 17,200 miles of the Earth. This is within the orbit of some of our satellites. Scientists are urging the formation of an international monitoring system to prevent Earth from being struck by a catastrophic blast.
- Secret Agent Mice
- The Russian military are training mice to replace their dogs used to detect explosive, ammunition and people being held hostage. Experts say the Russians are using these tiny agents because they have a better sense of smell than dogs and can be trained in a few weeks. When the mice detect certain smells they run to a certain place in their cage and make a certain pose.
- Planning Ahead for Polar Bears
- Scientists studying polar bears are studying how to feed polar bears as climate change has caused the loss of Arctic sea ice. The polar bears rely on the sea ice to hunt for food. Many people living in the Arctic area are afraid the bears will starve to death if they do not receive any help. Today there are 20,000 polar bears living there. Research scientists from Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Norway and Russia are making plans to save as many bears as they can.
- All pet hamsters are descended from a single female wild golden hamster found with a litter of 12 young in Syria in 1930. Pet hamsters run up to eight miles a night on a wheel in their cage.
- Hurricanes form in the Atlantic Basin east of the continental United States. They also form in the Northeast Pacific to the west of the west of the United States. The hurricanes in the Northeast Pacific almost never hit the United States while Atlantic Hurricanes strike the United States mainland on average less than two per year.
- The great white shark can reach lengths of 20 feet and weigh more than 5000 pounds. They reach maturity at around age 15 and can live for more than 30 years. In the movie Jaws the great white shark was described as a ferocious predator of humans. In reality they prefer fish, seals and sea birds.
- The highest measured sand dunes in the world are in the Sahara Desert. They can reach a height of 1,410 feet. This is taller than the Empire State Building in New York.
Simple Science Activity
There are many fantastic fish that live in the ocean. In this activity you will copy pictures of some fish and write facts about where they live and what makes them unique.
- Ten 5 x 8 inch index cards
- Pictures of different fish
- Colored pencils or pens
Science behind the experiment
Fish are aquatic animals with a backbone and are cold-blooded. Fish live in all parts of the ocean with the most varieties living around coral reefs. You can also include other creatures that live in the ocean that are not true fish. For instance, jellyfish are not really fish because they do not have a backbone but would be fun to have in your fish cards.
- Choose ten different fish for your fish cards.
- Draw a picture of the fish or print one off the internet that will fit on a card.
- Leave enough space to write some interesting information about the fish.
- Read about each of the ten different fish you are writing about.
- Take short notes that can be used on the cards.
- Write the name of the fish at the top of the card.
- Glue the picture of the fish on the card.
- Write several facts about the fish.
- Display your cards on a bulletin board.
Answer to the question of the month
How big is the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon is 7000 feet at its deepest point. The canyon is 275 miles long and at its widest point is 18 miles wide.
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