Use this blog to:
- Ask Professor Plant any questions you may have.
- Share interesting stories or photographs with other schools.
- Once you send a message, Professor Plant will read it then publish it onto the website.
To be web safe:
- We will not publish any childrens names.
- When you leave a message, list the name of your school, then your comment will be posted as 'pupils from' and the 'name of your school'.
- Always ask your teacher for permission before posting a message or a photograph.
SCAN is an Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales project, which helps schools promote Education for Sustainable Development.
Happy New Year Bulb buddies! I hope you all had a fun Christmas.
It has been a very stormy in the last few weeks in many parts of the UK. Weather scientists at the Met Office say that this is due to the jet stream – a narrow band of fast moving winds high up in the atmosphere. The jet stream blows from west to east across the Atlantic Ocean and can bring us stormy weather.
December 2013 was the windiest month in the UK since January 1993. It has also been very rainy - in Scotland December was the wettest month since 1910. That means it hasn’t rained that much in Scotland for over 100 years! What has the weather been like where you live?
All this rain and stormy weather has meant that there have been floods in parts of England, Wales and Scotland, and sadly some people’s houses were flooded at Christmas. In areas close to the seaside giant waves also caused flooding.
SUPER SCIENTIST CHALLENGE:
Why do some areas flood and others don’t? Use these maps to investigate!
Study the first map of Aberystwyth in Wales, where there has been flooding. Can you see the wiggly lines called ‘contour lines’ that show the shape of the mountains and hills? Can you see the sea and the river shown in blue? When rain falls in the surrounding area it runs down the hills into the river then into the sea. If there is very heavy rainfall the river may flood. If it is very stormy there may be very large waves. Where do you think it might flood? Hint – flooding can happen in low lying areas and areas near rivers and the sea. This link has some animations about the different factors that cause a flood.
Study the second map from the Environment Agency – the purple areas show where there is risk of flooding. Is the flood risk where you thought it would be?
Now you can investigate the area where you live…
First search for your school on the first map. Can you see any contour lines? Where is the high land and the low land? Is there a river, lake or the sea nearby? Where might it flood?
Next search for your school on the second map. Make sure you tick the two boxes ‘Flood Warning areas’ and ‘Flood Alert areas’ on the left of the page, flood risk areas will then show up in purple. Is there a flood risk in your area? Is the flood risk where you thought it would be?
One recording week til Christmas!
Merry Christmas Bulb Buddies!
I can't believe this is the last recording week of 2013! Congratulations on keeping weather records for the last six weeks! You don't need to keep anymore records now until the week beginning the 2nd of January 2014. You can leave your bulbs in school over Christmas and relax until the New Year. I hope you have a fantastic Christmas after working so hard this term!
We've had some terrible weather this week so I do hope you didn't have any storm damage or flooding in your local area. The weather has caused some terrible problems for people across the UK - see the weather in pictures http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/feeds/25232374
Manor Primary School (Oxfordshire) reported:We are very sad to say that all the plant pots blew over. As a result the bulbs and compost came out the pots. I just wondered what you would like us to do and whether we can re pot and carry on?
With the recent weather, I'm sure many pots blew over and many bulbs will need re-potting. Don't worry your baby bulbs are fairly tough and will be fine if they are quickly tucked safely back into their pots.
Merry Christmas from Professor Plant and Baby Bulb!
St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Leyland: Dear Professor Plant. On Tuesday and Friday this week, we think our temperature was so high because the sun was shining right on our thermometer. It felt so much colder - our teacher’s car thermometer showed 3 degrees. Next week, we are going to move our thermometer to a different place where the sun will not shine directly onto it. Love from Mrs Thompson's Year 1 Class. Prof:P: You've done the right thing here, it's important that thermometers are not placed in direct sunlight or they will show higher temperatures.
Raglan VC Primary: Rainfall on Mon included the weekend rainfall. A crocus bulb was starting to shoot (20/11/13), we covered it with a handful of compost. Prof.P: This is a good idea to keep the bulb warm but as long as the crocus bulb was planted 10cm beneath the soil then you shouldn't need to cover over any shoots in future.
Ysgol Bro Eirwg: Cwestiwn oddi wrth Rhys: Pam mae angen dwr ar y bylbiau? Prof.P: You only need to water your bulbs if the soil in the pots becomes dry to touch. At this time of year there should be plenty of water from the rain but it's important to check your pots when you make your weather records. Bulbs need water which they absorb through their roots. The water helps the plant grow shoots and prepare to flower in the spring.
Manor Road Primary School (Lancashire): It's been a blustery but fairly dry week here in Lancashire. Our bulb labels have suffered in the winds but hopefully the bulbs will be snug in their pots! Prof.P: Sorry your labels are ruined but glad your bulbs are safe :-)
Burscough Bridge Methodist School: Tuesday there was a small layering of snow. Prof.P: How exciting! Also bulbs need cold weather to trigger their growth at this time of year - so all good for the bulbs.
Ysgol Rhys Prichard: Tuesday rainfall fell as sleet. Thursday was the first real frost this winter. Prof.P: Again, this is great for the bulbs to trigger their growth.
Arkholme CE Primary School: There are some difficulties on a Monday morning because sometimes it might have rained over the weekend. Prof.P: Don't worry Arkholme - we expect all the schools taking part to have a higher reading on a Monday so this is not a problem.
Greyfriars RC Primary School: hi our bulbs are doing fine and the leaves on the trees in the school garden have fallen. The Scots Pine still has its needles. From Airlie and Athen. Prof.P: Yes the Scots pine is one of our few native plants to remain green in the winter. Can you think of anymore? These plants are often mentioned in carols.
The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: The weather is very varied each day; sunshine, cloud, breeze. On Sunday night it froze hard so even though the temperature was high in the sunshine, the compost in the pots was frozen. Prof.P: this is good for the bulbs at this time of year it tells them that it is winter now and that spring is on its way in a few months.
St. Ignatius Primary School: Again the bulbs have been vandalised over the weekend. The pots have been moved or tipped over. Our janitor is out at the moment trying to fix them and get everything back to normal. We are very upset and disappointed by this but we will continue to look after our plants as best we can. Prof.P: Very sorry to hear that this has happened again but delighted to hear that you are determined to continue. Is there anywhere else in the school that is safer to keep them?
Glyncollen Primary School: We are getting really good at recording our weather data. This week has been very cold. We hope the bulbs are warm in the earth. Prof.P: Don't worry the bulbs will be fine - they like it cold at this time of year. Glad to hear that you are getting good at keeping your weather records it's a very useful skill that you are learning.
Raglan VC Primary: 10% of pots are showing growth of bulbs. Prof.P: I like how you are reporting this. Good use of numeracy!
Burscough Bridge Methodist School: Thursday night seen the area hit by storms. Prof.P: Glad the school is safe.
The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: A terrible storm on Tuesday night which continued with a wet and windy Wednesday. The pots keep filling up with leaves as fast as we can clear them but no need to water yet. The children are enjoying looking at the scales on the rain gauge and thermometer and comparing them to the rulers we are using in maths. Prof.P: Great to hear you are enjoying comparing this will make you super at science. Don’t worry about the leaves too much the bulbs will find their way through the leaves without any problems.
Wow the trees are beautiful at St Fagans: National History Museum this week! I love the autumn colours.
What colour are the leaves where you live, brown red, yellow or all gone? The trees like the spring bulbs are finely tuned into our temperatures. Not been too cold in Cardiff yet, so in places we still do have some green leaves. But if it's been cold where you live the leaves may have already dropped.
85 records in this week - thanks to all of you who are getting out each day to keep your weather records!
The coldest temperature recorded so far is -1 degree Celsius recorded by St. Blanes Primary School in Scotland. St. Blanes: "It's soooooooo cold today Professor Plant today! We had to wear our hats, scarves & gloves when we went outside to take our weather readings. We discovered that all the water had frozen and turned into ice - WOW! Room 3 in St Blanes are LOVING this project, even though our teeth are chattering!" Take a look at where they are on the map or view their temperatures.
The most rain was recorded in Ysgol Bro Eirwg this week 140mm! Bro Eirwg: "We've enjoyed collecting data this week. When will the bulbs start to grow?" They will be growing beneath the soil already but shoots should appear above the soil from January onwards.
Your questions - my answers:
- Culross Primary School. Very cold week - children enjoyed measuring rainfall and looking at temperatures. We also discussed the importance of trying to record results at the same time each day. Prof.P: Very good - this is important for ensuring a fair test!
- St. Blanes Primary School. We are excited to go out into the school garden everyday to check our rain gauge and thermometer! Ysgol Sychdyn: We have enjoyed recording the weather data. Prof.P: Fantastic - you'll be weather experts soon!
- Cawthorne's Endowed Primary School. Hello Professor Plant this is a very good idea. Prof.P: thanks you very much!
- St. Mary's Catholic Primary School. Thank you Professor Plant for sending us the bulbs. We enjoyed planting them and can't wait to see what they look like when they grow. From Year 1 children at St Mary's in Leyland. Prof.P: I'm sure the flowers will be beautiful Year 1!
Planting and measuring
All the bulbs are now tucked safely into the soil! Over 6,000 in total were planted across the UK by the Super Scientists that have begun keeping weather records to investigate climate change.
The weather on the week of planting was very wet but despite this the pupils got outside and enjoyed gardening. The pupils created labels for their plants and adopted them and will care for them until they flower next spring. See some of the pictures sent in from schools.
Last week schools began keeping weather records. They are learning how to record temperatures and measure rainfall. They then upload these records to our website using their ICT skills. So far, I’ve received fifty four records - which is amazing! Keep up the good work bulb buddies!
I'd like to say a special hello to Isaac from Lancashire who visited Cardiff Museum over half term and popped in to say hello. Unfortunately, I was working planting our new Urban Meadow and so missed Isaac but I did get the lovely note. Sorry I missed you Isaac - hope you enjoyed your visit to Cardiff.
Your comments - my answers:
SS Philip and James CE Primary School: We're not sure our laminated labels will survive the winter so we wrote our names on the lollypop sticks and on the side of the pots in case the pictures fall off. Any other advice welcome! Here are some comments from the children: "I really liked comparing the size of the bulbs." "I enjoyed seeing the pointy part of the daffodil peeping through the compost." "Putting the soil in and getting my hands messy was the best bit". "It was really cool." Prof.P: Glad you enjoyed planting. Keeping the tags on the labels is tricky. I think what you have done is great. Some schools use a permanent white marker pen to write on the pots.
Kilmaron Special School: This year we have planted our bulbs in 4 different places to see if they grow better at the front of the school or at the back. We have planted some in the bulbs in a new bed and some in old beds to see if the soil makes a difference. Prof P: Great investigative skills Kilmaron - please let us know if you see any changes and if they are as you predict?
Glyncollen Primary School: Our bulbs are in good condition. We enjoyed planting them and can't wait to see them grow. Prof.P: Glad the bulbs are doing well and that you are enjoying the project again at Glyncollen.
Greyfriars RC Primary School: I am really enjoying it thank you for last year. I'm loving the bulbs mine are called Earl and Willum. Prof.P: I'm delighted to hear you enjoyed and are continuing to this year at Greyfriars.
Ladywell Primary School: We are really enjoying looking after the bulbs. We will be a few days behind everyone else as unfortunately they were knocked down and we had to replant the bulbs. We are thankful that you gave us more bulbs because they were destroyed. We are also thankful for including us in the project. Prof.P: Glad you got the bulbs and more importantly that you haven't given up!
Bleasdale CE Primary School: We have been scaring away the slugs! Prof.P: Many gardeners will be very interested to know how you are doing this Bleasdale. Let me know.
Raglan VC Primary: We removed lots of fallen leaves from the top of the pots. No watering required this week.
Ysgol Bro Eirwg: Ar ddydd Mercher cafon ni 19cm o law, sef 190mm - mae'r siart dim ond yn mynd i 100mm! Hefyd ar ddydd Gwener cafon ni 11cm o law, sef 110mm, yr un broblem gyda'r siart! Diolch Athro.Ardd: Llawer iawn o glaw! Wnai newid y furflen we - diolch.
Woodplumpton St. Anne's Primary School: It's interesting to see the difference between the highest and the lowest temperatures in one week. We are very excited to be taking part in the project. We want to know what will happen. Prof.P: Hopefully in the spring you will have some beautiful flowers!
Culross Primary School: We are going to send our weather reports on Monday’s. On Friday the rainfall was 10 mm because it was hailstones on Thursday evening. Prof.P: Wow hailstones already! We had some in Cardiff too - I got soaked!
Burscough Bridge Methodist School: There was a high amount of rainfall this week and due to the weather conditions over Wednesday night the gauges tipped and lost the contents. Prof.P: I use a big lump of clay to help keep my rain gauge in place but most days it should be fine in the soil.
The big plant
Just five days now until the big planting week which will take place all over the UK as part of the Spring Bulbs for Schools investigation! I do hope the weather is kind to us!
Six and a half thousand pupils will plant bulbs as the 1st step in this exciting climate investigation.
English and Welsh schools will be planting on the 21st of October and Scottish schools on the 25th.
To all of you planting:
- Remember to make your labels before you plant!
- Please read this before Planting your bulbs to ensure a fair-test!
- Please send me or Tweet me pictures of your class planting to use in this blog.
My Twitter account is www.twitter.com/professor_plant
Good luck bulb buddies!
An experiment of bulbous proportions!
Hi! I'm Professor Plant and I'd like to welcome the six and a half thousand young scientists across the UK that are taking part in the Spring Bulb for Schools Investigation this year!
Twelve thousand bulbs will be planted and monitored as part of this long term climate investigation being co-ordinated at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. If there was a world record for the most people planting bulbs simultaneously, (in several locations) we could smash it!
All the bulbs have been counted up by our fantastic volunteers (see the pics) and are steadily being delivered to the 150 schools across the country. I'd like to welcome each an every pupil and teacher who will be working on this project!
- Take a look at the map to see where the bulbs are being sent across the UK
- If you haven't already received my letter please follow this link
- Before each bulb is planted, each pupil must also adopt their bulb and promise to care for it. If you want to know how see this link
If you are wondering where the bulbs came from and how they got to your school - please read then read on y friend Baby Bulb is going to explain:
"My bulb buddies and I come from a nursery plantation in Manorbier, near Tenby in Wales, it's called 'Springfields'. We didn't spring from the fields, but we were picked and loaded onto a van ready to go to our new homes. At first I was a little afraid, but then when I met Professor Plant at the Museum I understood that I would be cared for by a nice young person and that I have an important job to do. We have all been selected to help us understand how the weather can affect when my friends and I make flowers. My parents before me grew here too, Springfields have been growing us 'Tenby Daffodils' for about 25 years, and we are one of the two daffodils that are native to the British Isles".
Just a few weeks until planting now! I can't wait!
Rhondda Super Scientists
Williamstown Primary School pupils, in the Rhondda Valleys, were awarded first place amongst the sixty three Welsh schools taking part in the Museum's Spring Bulbs for Schools investigation this year.
The class of Super Scientists won a fun-packed nature trip to St Fagans: National History Museum where they were awarded certificates. As part of the day trip they studied newts, looked for mini-beasts, watched bats and built giant nests in the woodland!
Professor Plant: ''They all had a great day and should be very proud of how they represented their school. The standard was very high this year, the schools are getting better and better at recording and logging their data. Williamstown did extremely well with their recording and really got involved in the project from the start last November until the end in the spring - which came very late this year!"
Alison Hall, Teacher at Williamstown Primary: "The pupils said it was the best day out they had ever had - they loved viewing the bat roost in particular! In terms of the investigation, the children have have loved the whole process from planting and recording to measuring and waiting for the first bloom to appear. It has been great for improving their science, numeracy and ICT skills. We are now really enthused about nature and the environment and are keen to set-up more outdoor investigations in our school grounds".
If you would like to take part in this project next term - please complete the on-line application form: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/1738/
To see our teacher evaluation report - follow this link: https://scan.wufoo.com/reports/spring-bulbs-for-schools-evaluation-report/
As you can see from the evaluation question below the project is very cross-curricular:
Spring Bulb for Schools: Results 2005-2013
The ‘Spring Bulbs for Schools’ project allows 1000s of schools scientists to work with Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales to investigate and understand climate change.
Since October 2005, school scientists have been keeping weather records and noting when their flowers open, as part of a long-term study looking at the effects of temperature on spring bulbs.
Certificates have now been sent out to all the 3,979 pupils that completed the project this year.
See Professor Plant's reports or download the spreadsheet to study the trends for yourself!
- Make graphs & frequency charts or calculate the mean.
- See if the flowers opened late in schools that recorded cold weather.
See how temperature, sunshine and rainfall affect the average flowering dates.
Look for trends between different locations.
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Daffodil Drawing Competition 2013
I announced the Winners and Runners Up of the Daffodil Drawing Competition a couple of weeks ago, and now their fantastic drawings are now up on our website for you all to see!
In this competition I was looking for botanical illustrations – these are pictures of plants drawn in a scientific way. This means I was looking for beautiful pictures but they also needed to have clear labels to show the different parts of the Daffodil.
1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winners will receive a bird watching kit with mini binoculars. Runners Up will receive flower seeds for the garden.
Click here to view this year’s Winners and Runners Up.