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Baby bulb
Baby bulb

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.

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SCAN is an Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales project, which helps schools promote Education for Sustainable Development.

December 2012

Twelve more sleeps

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 13 December 2012
Professor Plant wearing Santa hat.

I can’t believe it’s just twelve more sleeps until Christmas! I've sent you all a Christmas card in the post to thank you all for the hard work you have done so far.

This is the sixth and last week of recording until January so Merry Christmas from Baby Bulb and me.

I’ve really enjoyed all of the comments and questions I’ve had this year and look forward to answering more in the New Year.

I do hope you all have a fantastic break and return in January eager to see how your bulbs are doing. If you are concerned that your bulbs may not be safe over Christmas then take them home with you – but remember they must be keep outside in the cold!

The weather has been very cold in places over the last week or so but it is predicted that it will get warmer. Harwell Primary School reported -10 °c last Thursday. Very cold indeed! Can you confirm this is correct?

My favourite Christmas carol is the ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ because it contains two of our native evergreen plants. The Celts used these plants to celebrate the Winter Solstice and of course they are used by Christians to celebrate Christmas.

If you don’t know it, here are the lyrics:

Your questions, my answers:

Greyfriars RC Primary School: We are really enjoying this! Prof.P: So glad to hear it!

DarranPark Primary: There aren't any signs of growth yet. Prof.P: Give it time; you should see something in January.

GlyncollenPrimary School: We have seen a pattern in our temperatures this week. We have also found out a way to stop our rain gauge from falling over. We hope we don't have any snow next week. From Glyncollen year 4 Prof.P: Great to hear you are seeing patterns in your weather data and that you have found a way to stop your rain gauge from falling over. Please let me know how you do it?

BalcurviePrimary School: We have had a lot of ice this week and freezing temperatures. We also had snow over last weekend and on Thursday. Prof.P: I hope it gets warmer for you at the weekend!

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): We have noticed how much colder is has got this week. There has been some ice on our plant pots and we feel really sorry for the poor bulbs! Prof.P: Don’t worry too much I’m sure they will be fine.

KilmaronSpecialSchool: Records for rainfall on days with negative temperatures may not be correct as the water had frozen and expanded so reading may be higher than actual water collected Prof.P: Thanks for letting me know Kilmaron; I will make a note of it. If it happens again melt it before you measure. Thanks

Ysgol Pencae: It rained cats and dogs on Friday and was milder. Did it rain more in Cardiff? Prof.P: We only had 10mms of rain in Cardiff a quarter of what you recorded!

Birds and berries

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 7 December 2012
black bird feeding on crab apples.
Frosty roof top.

Snow has fallen in Ladybank Primary School in Scotland and Nether Kellet Primary School reported frozen rain in their rain gauge! Here in Cardiff too, we have begun to see frost in the mornings.

At this time of the year, birds get very hungry and start to feed on berries. This blackbird began eating the crab apples from the tree at the bottom of my garden. I don't cut the tree back so it becomes a good source of food for the birds in the winter. This is a female black bird - they are brown and don't have yellow beaks – so quite different to the males.

Don't forget to feed the birds over the winter. Find out how to make a speedy bird cake.

Sixty five schools sent in weather records this week! Thanks so much to all of you who sent in your recordings.

Your questions, my answers:

TorView Community School: Please accept the above data as being CORRECT for TorView CommunitySchool. The previous 'temperature' details were wrongly submitted in degrees 'Fahrenheit' instead of 'centigrade.' Prof.P: Well spotted! Thanks for letting me know, I will remove the Fahrenheit data from your charts. 

Medlar with Wesham CE Primary School: Hi professor plant there has a little bit of rain so we have not had to water them much. They are not growing yet but they are staying healthy. We are being very patient but we just can't wait for them to grow. Prof.P: Good things come to those who wait! It’s so nice when the flowers open in the spring. It cheers me up every year!

RogietPrimary School: How are you professor plant? It has been very cold here in Rogiet. Prof.P: I’m good thanks Rogiet, been cold here too, but I’m wrapping up warm. I hope you are too?

Your school: Westwood CP School: When I measure the rainfall on a Monday do I count the rainfall that fell over the weekend too. Or should I empty the contents when I get to school on Monday and measure at our usual time of 2pm? St. Mary's RC Primary School (Lancashire): What happens on Monday when the rain gauge includes Saturdays and Sunday? Prof.P: Hi Westwood & St Mary’s! Good question! You should measure the rainfall that fell over the weekend, that way we will know exactly how much rain has fallen that week.

LadybankPrimary School: We think our thermometer is broken because it was snowing today and it read 15 degrees. Prof.P: I will send you a new one immediately. Enjoy the snow! I’m very jealous.

Ysgol Pencae (Conwy): We had lots of rain over the weekend. The weather has got colder. We are measuring our rainfall in ml with a homemade gauge, is this correct? Prof.P: Hi Ysgol Pencae. Great that you have managed to build your own rain gauge! Please could you measure the rainfall in mm rather than ml. Everyone across the country measures in mm so in order to compare we need it in mms. See this video about how to do this. You will be able to convert the mls back into mm by pouting the amounts you measured into your rain gauge and seeing what the mms are. Hope that makes sense. Thanks

Ysgol Capelulo: This week has been really cold and wet. It was very wet on Monday and really cold on Thursday, on Wednesday and Thursday there was no rainfall. This week in Wales it has been very windy. We enjoy taking other people out to help us take the readings. Goodbye. :) Prof.P: Great idea getting others involved, glad you are enjoying!

KilmaronSpecialSchool: We have had to move the location of our rain funnel as one of the pupils in another class was caught emptying it out. It is now hidden behind a bush outside our classroom window. Prof.P: Oh dear, good plan to hide it!

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): We have noticed how much the temperature has fallen this week and we are concerned about our poor bulbs getting too cold! Prof.P: Don’t worry they will be expecting it to be cold at this time of year.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: One of our pots has been knocked over we are worrying about vandalism. Prof.P: Oh no! If you re-plant them they are often fine. If the vandals are from outside the school perhaps you should think if there is anywhere safer around the school? If they are from in the school you should talk to them.

Your school: Ysgol Porth Y Felin: To PP the plants are fine we have 2 plants that have started to grow and the temperatures are quite close apart from Thursday, when it was very cold. Prof.P: Gosh growing already!

St Mary's CatholicPrimary School: It has been very cold this week; we hope our bulbs are tucked up nice and warm in their pots. Prof.P: I’m sure they will be fine!

Thorneyholme RC Primary School: Yo prof plant hows it rollin'!!!!????? Cute little bulbs are part of our school now. Prof.P: Great to hear they have settled in.

Nether Kellet Primary School: Today the water froze cool as ice!! Prof.P: Brrrrgh! To get the measurement you need to bring it in to defrost to water.

Many thanks



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