Kids Science Newsletter - Issue #001
What are the fastest flying insects?
This Just For Kids Science Newsletter includes a question of the month, current science events, science trivia and a super simple science experiment.
Question of the Month
Do you know what is the fastest flying insect?(answer follows the Super Simple Science Experiment)
Science Current Events
- Animals frolicking beneath Antarctica
- NASA took a two minute video beneath the Antarctic icecap recently. Scientists expected to find some microscopic life600 feet below the Antarctic icecap and instead two animals appeared frolicking around in the short video. One was a small 3-inch shrimp-like animal that rested on the cable attached to the video camera. Also a tentacle of a foot long jelly fish was brought to the surface. Scientists are wondering if animals can thrive in this harsh environment could animals be alive in the oceans on Europa which is a moon of Jupiter. Some scientists wondered if the animals under Antarctica's icecap could have swam in from the open ocean but the scientists that produced the video doubted it because the open ocean is over 12 miles away.
- An Icelandic volcano begins erupting after 200 years
- A volcano on the island of Iceland began erupting. The volcano is near a large glacier and it was feared the volcano could melt part of the glacier causing major flooding on the island because of its size. It is the fifth largest glacier on Iceland. Flights in and out of the country were diverted and roads were closed. The eruption sent lava high into the sky and ripped a kilometer long fissure in the ice field. Iceland sets on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has a mojor volcanic eruption about every 5 years.
- Methane bubbles up as permafrost melts
- Students at the University of Alaska were studying the methane gas bubbling up through the permafrost. Methane gas is bubbling up through holes as the permafrost melts. They were studying the permafrost on the Seward Peninsula. They took a cigarette lighter and lit the gases above a hole in the permafrost. The gases formed a bright flame above the hole and then shot into the air. Lakes are forming all over the Arctic and methane is bubbling out of all these lakes as rotting vegetable matter that has been frozen melts and decomposes.
- Jellyfish are not really fish because they don't have a backbone. They are underwater creatures with tentacles and a jelly-like body shaped like a bowl turned upside down. The Portuguese man-of-war has tentacles that can be more than 100 feet long. The tentacles contain poison used to catch the prey they eat. If you brush against a Portuguese man-of-war while swimming it will release venom that is very painful.
- Peanuts are upside down nuts! Nuts are really the seeds of a plant. Seeds normally grow toward the sun. The peanut's seed pod instead of growing upward toward the sun grows downward into the soil where it ripens underground.
Super Simple Science Activity
Every object has a center of gravity. In this activity you will find the center of gravity of a spoon and fork.
- Ball point pen
- Sharp pencil
- Join the spoon and fork by sliding the spoon through the tines of the fork.
- Place the ball point pen beneath the fork and spoon, moving the point around until it balances.
- See if you can balance the fork and spoon on the sharpened point of a pencil
- Next, try finding the balancing point of other objects.
Science behind the experiment
The center of gravity of the spoon and fork is below the base of support. The ball point pen tip is above the center of gravity. The eraser is more stable than the pencil point because it has a larger base of support.
Answer to the question of the month
The dragonfly is the fastest insect. it can fly more than 30 miles per hour. It beats its wings between 25 and 40 times per second as it travels through the air. Many insects beat their wings much faster but travel at a slower speed as they travel through the air. The mosquito, for instance, beats its wings over 600 times per second and only travels about one mile per hour as it flies around.
Here is another amazing balancing experiment!
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