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SCAN

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

April 2014

TOP 10 garden birds

Posted by Catalena Angele on 7 April 2014

Which are the TOP 10 most common garden birds in the UK?

Double and triple flowered daffodils – how unusual!

Lovely flowers at SS SS Philip and James CE Primary School

Some flowers did not fully open – I wonder why?

Hi bulb buddies!

Big Garden Birdwatch results

Which are the TOP 10 most common birds in your garden? Nearly half a million people helped the RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds) with the Big Garden Birdwatch 2014. They counted over 7 million birds! Did you help? If not then maybe you can do some bird spotting and join the Big Garden Birdwatch next year? To find out which birds were in the TOP 10, click here

Which schools have had their first flowers?

Trellech Primary School in Wales, and Britannia Community Primary School in England sent their first flower records. Well done and thank you to these schools!

One of my colleagues her at National Museum Cardiff sent me this photo of daffodils growing in her garden, can you see anything strange about them? The photo is a little fuzzy but if you look closely you will see that some of the stems have two or even three flowers! How unusual! Have you had any unusual plants?

Thank you to SS Philip and James CE Primary School for sending me this lovely photo of all their flowers, don’t they look wonderful? In the third photo you can see that they also had some unusual flowers - some of their daffodils did not fully open. This is very interesting, can you think of any reasons why they might not have opened? Did this happen to your flowers?

Daffodil man!

Would you like to see a funny photo of Daffodil man? Click here. His real name is James and he is wearing a suit of daffodils to raise money for charity! Well done daffodil man!

Your comments, my answers:

Prof P: I had lots and lots of comments from Dallas Road Community Primary School so I thought I would put them all on the blog this week, thank-you all for sending me your messages! Congratulations to all of you, even if your flower did not grow, was stepped on, got broken or died, you are ALL Super Scientists! Prof P.

Dallas Road Community Primary School: 

I think it didn't open because the daffodil was hovering over it and so it didn't get enough sun and rain. :(

I think my daffodil was in the shade so it did not open.

Someone cut its head off

It didn't open because somebody stepped on it

It died

Someone broke the bud off

Mine did not open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My Bulb disappeared

It was a bit floppy so we did not get chance to tie it up. But it is still open.

I am quiet sad my daffodils have not opened but they are growing so I will believe that soon they will and they are really tall.

My daffodil is growing very tall but it is a bit floppy.

My crocus is beautiful some of them are starting to die but still i'm happy because some are still growing and some have opened and some of them are fully beautiful i'm really happy about every crocus. My crocus's are quiet tall some are small as well

my crocus is really beautiful i have got another 3-4 crocuses opening i really enjoy seeing my plant grow.

My crocus has flowered well and is growing quite tall which is good and happy about it all.

I did not get a daffodil so it did not grow.

Daffodil has broke and I had to tie it up.

My plant head fell off. I haven't seen it since so I don't know if it has grown back.

My daffodil didnt open. I dont think mine had enough sunlight

Prof P: Culross Primary School sent me messages to tell me they had named their flowers, thanks Culross! Here are some of the names they gave their Daffodils and Crocuses: Danny, Dafty, Crocy, Abby, Croaky, Dave, Chris, Cassy, Ceeper, Bob, Jim.

Many thanks,

Prof P

March 2014

Deadline Day!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 28 March 2014

Thank you bulb buddies from Professor Plant and baby bulb!

Flowers at Rogiet Primary School in Wales.

The start of our Wildflower Meadow at National Museum Cardiff

The Spring Bulbs deadline has arrived! I would like to say a HUGE thank you for working so hard to get all your weather and flower records in to me on time.

Which schools have had their first flowers?

Balcurvie Primary School, Chatelherault Primary School, Glencairn Primary School, St. Blanes Primary School, St. Patrick's Primary School, Tynewater Primary School and Wormit Primary School in Scotland, and Brynhyfryd Junior School, Cleddau Reach VC Primary School, Coed-y-Lan Primary,St Athan Primary, St Mellons Church in Wales Primary School, Ysgol Bro Eirwg, Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn and Ysgol Y Plas in Wales, have all seen their first flowers open. In England, Bleasdale CE Primary School, Combe Primary School, Cutteslowe Primary School and Flakefleet Primary School, all sent their first flower records.Well done and thank you to these schools! 

Keep sending in your flower records!

As I said in my blog last week, if your plants have flowers but they have not opened yet, please keep watching them and send me your records when they open. They will not be in time to be in this year’s Spring Bulbs Report, but they will make next year’s report more accurate.

What if you didn’t have a flower?

Thank you to all the pupils who have sent me a record to say their plant did not flower, or that their flower did not open (you can do this by clicking ‘Didn’t open’ in the Flower Record). I know it can be a bit disappointing if your plant does not flower. But please don’t be sad! One thing that a Super Scientist must learn is that experiments don’t always work out the way we want them to! This does not mean that the experiment has failed. For a scientist it is JUST AS IMPORTANT to record when something does not happen, as when it does.

You will get a Super Scientist certificate and pencil if you worked hard and helped with the Super Scientist Investigation – whether your flower opened or not!

Wildflower Meadow at National Museum Cardiff

Here at National Museum Cardiff we are experimenting with growing a wildflower meadow. Do you have a wildflower meadow at your school? We have planted some seeds and bulbs and the first flowers to appear have been crocuses and daffodils! Here is a picture of them. It doesn’t look much like a meadow yet does it? But hopefully by the summer it will look very different. The muddy circle is where we have planted lots of red Poppies to remember the First World War. This year it is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and here at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, we will have events and exhibitions that tell the stories of the people of Wales during the War. Click here to find out more.

Your questions, my answers:

Dallas Road Community Primary School: Hi Proffeser Plant!! Prof P: Hi everyone at Dallas Road!

Pinfold Primary School: nearly all the bulbs have opened. The mystery bulbs are blooming very well. The crocus is growing purple flowers. Prof P: What were your mystery bulbs Pinfold?

Glyncollen Primary School: Hello Professor Plant, We're excited because our bulbs have now sprung and we can't wait to get our certificates. From, Year 4. Prof P: Congratulations Year 4! I look forward to sending them to you, you are Super Scientists!

Ysgol Terrig: Our Bulbs have opened and they are 15cm tall :). Prof P: Great measuring Ysgol Terrig.

Rougemont Junior School: What a warm a dry week Professor Plant, our crocuses are all blooming as are our daffodils. Prof P: All the colours look so lovely don’t they?

St. Ignatius Primary School: We have uploaded our weather records for this week but unfortunately our bulbs have not flowered just yet. We are disappointed as this is the last week and we can see them coming along but not as quick as we would have hoped. We will continue to keep an eye on them and let you know when they have flowered. Our teacher will need to do this next week as P7 are off to Kilbowie in Oban for an outward bound trip. Prof P: Please don’t be disappointed P7, your results are still really important, even if your flowers didn’t open by the deadline. Enjoy your trip it sounds like fun!

Kilmaron Special School: We are using the findings of our daily temperature readings and rainfall as evidence in our SQA National 1 Measurement unit. Prof P: That is fantastic Kilmaron, I am so glad it is helping you with your qualification.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Thank you very much we really enjoyed it and are datherdils are blooming and are very healthy and strong through all of these conditions. Stanford in the vale gardening club. Prof P: I am so glad you enjoyed it Stanford, that makes me very happy!

St. Blanes Primary School: Hi Professor Plant, the start of the week felt much warmer. It's the first time we saw the temperature in double figures! Prof P: I hope you enjoyed the warm weather.

Gladestry C.I.W. School: it has grown well i'm a mum. Prof P: Congratulations! You must have looked after your baby bulb very well.

Chatelherault Primary School: Some of our plants are starting to bloom the daffodils are showing the most. The crocuses are still growing but not as much as the daffodils. Prof P: That is very interesting as crocuses usually flower before daffodils.

Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands: Dyma ein blodyn cyntaf gan LM o Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands. Mwy o haul plis!Prof P: Llongyfarchiadau LM o Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands!

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: my plant is just the same as the plant I got at my home it has grown twenty cm. Prof P: It’s wonderful to hear that you are growing flowers at home too, well done!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

Professor Plant’s flowers have opened!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 21 March 2014
Professor Plants flowers have opened.
Professor Plants flowers have opened.
Stanford Gardening Club’s first daffodil.

I am so excited because my flowers have finally opened! They are so pretty and make me smile every time I see them! My crocus opened on 16 March and was 90mm tall, my daffodil opened one day later and was 240mm tall. Here is a photo of them.

Thankyou very much Stanford Gardening Club from Stanford in the Vale CE Primary School in England for sending me a photo of your first daffodil! Would anyone else like to send me some photos of their plants? I will put them on the website too!

Which schools have had their first flowers?

Abronhill Primary School, Culross Primary School, and Glencairn Primary School in Scotland, and Christchurch CP School, Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Gladestry C.I.W. School, Rogiet Primary School, Ysgol Clocaenog, Ysgol Gynradd Cross Hands, Ysgol Deganwy and Ysgol Santes Tudfulin Wales, have all seen their first flowers open. In England, Arkholme CE Primary School, Burscough Bridge Methodist School, Coppull Parish Primary School, Hillside Specialist School, John Cross CE Primary School, Pinfold Primary School, Scotforth St. Paul's CE Primary School, SS Philip and James CE Primary School, St Laurence CE Primary School and Woodplumpton St. Anne's Primary School all sent their first flower records. Well done to all these schools!

One more week to go…

There is only one more week to go before the Spring Bulbs project deadline. Please remember to send in your records by the 28 March.

What do you do if your flowers have not opened by the deadline?

Please keep sending in flower data! If your flowers have not opened and you would like to carry on with your investigation then please do! When they open you can still record the flowering date and plant height on our website.

I set a deadline because every year I write a special report that gives a summary of all the data sent in so far. I need to write the report in April. All records sent in before the deadline will be included in this year’s report. Records sent in after the deadline will be added to our database and will be included in next year’s report.

All the records that you send are very important. I promise you that all your data will be included in the project and will help the investigation to be more accurate in the future.

Have you seen any signs of spring while you have been out playing? On the weekend I saw a bumblebee, a ladybird and some little baby lambs! I looked in a pond but I didn’t see any frogspawn. Have you seen any frogspawn? What other signs of spring have you seen?

Would you like to be a Nature Detective? The Woodland Trust have lots of Fun Spring Activities for you to do, click here for how to spot the early signs of Spring. Click here for lots of other fun Spring ideas.

Your questions, my answers:

Ysgol Bro Eirwg: Roedd y mesurudd glaw yn llawn ar ddydd Llun gan ei fod wedi casglu'r holl law dros hanner tymor. Rydym ni yn gyffrous iawn bod rhai o'r bylbiau wedi dechrau agor. Rydym wedi sylwi bo'r bylbiau sy'n agor yn hwyrach llawer yn llai, oes rheswm am hyn? Athro’r Ardd: Rydw i’n falch iawn bod eich blodau chi yn agor Ysgol Bro Eirwg! Da iawn chi am arsylwi mor ofalus ar y planhigion a gofyn cwestiwn gwyddonol gwych. Yr ateb yw… dwi ddim yn siŵr!! Efallai bod rhai o’r bylbiau yn llai na’r lleill wrth gael eu plannu. Gallai hyn olygu eu bod nhw’n cymryd mwy o amser i flodeuo a’u bod nhw’n llai o faint. Oes gennych chi unrhyw syniadau i’w esbonio? Sut fyddech chi’n profi eich syniadau wrth dyfu rhagor o blanhigion y flwyddyn nesaf?

Raglan VC Primary: Our flowers are blooming now! The shoots are 85 cm tall! Prof P: Do you mean 85mm tall Raglan? An 85cm tall flower would be HUGE!

Glencairn Primary School: It was very foggy on Thursday night and Friday morning! Prof P: Great weather reporting. I love fog, it’s quite spooky isn’t it?

Hillside Specialist School: Our first flower opened. By K. Prof P: Well done K and everyone else at Hillside School.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: It was fun me and R. really enjoyed it. Prof P: Hooray!

SS Philip and James CE Primary: A lot of our crocus flowers had come out over the holidays! Prof P: Fantastic! A lot of people’s flowers opened during the holidays.

Pinfold Primary School: Mystery bulbs started opening on Monday. We think they're daffodils. Other bulbs are growing very well. Prof P: Great news Pinfold.

Ysgol Terrig: our bulbs are growing great they are now 7cm tall !!!!! Prof P: Fantastic news Ysgol Terrig!

Chatelherault Primary School: During the week it has been sunny and because of this our plants has started to blossom although the flowers are still closed. We have had a lot of spiders in our pots. Prof P: Oooh, how cool! I love spiders! Their webs are so beautiful and the way they make them is so clever.

Culross Primary School: We have been very busy in P5-7 recently with trips to Scottish Parliament and also the Foodbank with a collection we organised. Sorry for the lack of records for Tuesday and Thursday! Matt is the name of my daffodil and he was the first one to flower here at Culross PS. It has been quite warm here at Culross and we haven't had any snow, so the daffodils are now beginning to grow. O's crocus is called Coco and measures 50mm. Her’s is the first crocus to flower here at Culross. Well done to O.! Prof P: Wow you sound like you have had some really interesting school trips Culross Primary. Well done for collecting for the Foodbank. I love the names you have given to your plants!

Darran Park Primary: The first crocuses flowered on the 7th of march. Their colour is purple\violet. The bees have already started collecting the pollen and they are 6 cm tall. Some of the other crocus bulbs have only just started to sprout through the soil. Prof P: Great observations Darran Park, I like your description of the crocuses as purple/violet.

Arkholme CE Primary School: Sun shining at last it is doing the flowers a world of good they have come out to see it!!! Prof P: It is doing me the world of good too Arkholme!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

So many flowers!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 14 March 2014
Super Scientist Certificate — Will it have your name on it?
Crocuses and bumblebee at St Fagans National History Museum
Professor Plant recording the weather with a Super Scientist Pencil!
Wow bulb buddies – so many of you have seen you flowers open since the last blog! It must look beautiful in your playgrounds and school gardens! Thankyou for all your flower records.

Which schools have had their first flowers?

St Bernadette’s Primary School in Scotland and Abergwili VC Primary, Darran Park Primary, Henllys CIW Primary, Llanishen Fach CP School, Ysgol Bro Tawe and Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau in Wales, have all seen their first flowers open. In England, Balshaw Lane Community Primary School, Dallas Road Community School, Golden Hill School, Holy Trinity CE Primary School, Manor Road Primary School, Red Marsh School, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, St Michaels CE (Aided) Primary School, St Nicholas Primary School and The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School all sent their first flower records. Well done to all these schools!

Only 2 weeks to send me your records

Will you be a Super Scientist this year? The deadline for sending in your records is 28 March. If you send me your weather and flower records (if they have opened) then you will be a Super Scientist! All Super Scientists will receive a Certificate and a fabulous Super Scientist pencil. You will also have the chance to win a Nature Activity trip or some seeds to grow your own Sunflowers!

Why not send me your drawings for the Daffodil Drawing Competition? The deadline is also 28 March. For this competition I will be looking for botanical illustrations – these are pictures of plants drawn in a scientific way. Please send me your lovely drawings, but I would also like them to have clear labels to show the different parts of the Daffodil. You can follow this link to see the winners and runners up from last year’s competition. Winners will get a bird watching kit with mini binoculars for their class, runners up will get flower seeds to grow!

My plants in pots have still not flowered, but over at St Fagans National History Museum the crocuses growing in their garden look beautiful. The bees like them too, as you can see in the photo! Can you see that the bumblebee has yellow pollen all over its head and body? When it flies off to a different crocus it will pass the pollen on – this is how flowers are fertilised!

Your questions, my answers:

Raglan VC Primary: Still no sign of the flowers this week! We are having some good weather. Prof P: Don’t worry Raglan School, mine haven’t flowered yet either. Hopefully the good weather will help our plants to flower.

Cutteslowe Primary School: Monday 17th - school closed, no heating or hot water. Prof P: Brrrr that sounds very chilly.

Manor Road Primary School (Lancashire): One of are crocus bulbs are starting to flower. Prof P: Fantastic news Manor Road, Congratulations!

Chatelherault Primary School: Wk 10: Most of our plants have started to too grow. It has raining a lot and some snow. Prof P: We didn’t have any snow at all in Cardiff this year, but we did have lots of rain.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: It has been so exciting this week as the buds all suddenly started to appear and on Friday some crocus flowers opened! The daffodils have suddenly grown and we know it won't be long before they too flower. They just love the sunshine! Prof P: Hooray! It’s such a lovely feeling to see your flowers open isn’t it?

Greyfriars RC Primary School: S - ten of our crocuses have budded. Prof P: Great news S. at Greyfriars, I’m sure the other crocuses won’t be far behind.

Dallas Road Community Primary School: Super Fun!!! Prof P: I’m so glad you think so Dallas Road! Science IS Super Fun!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

The 1st flower records for Scotland!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 7 March 2014
A host of golden daffodils

Congratulations to Ladywell Primary School for sending in the first flower records for Scotland! Lakeside Primary School in Wales have also sent in their first flower records – their first crocus and first daffodil opened in the same week! Great work bulb buddies.

Three weeks to go… The deadline for sending in your weather and flower records is Friday 28 March, so there are just three weeks to go!

If you have been keeping records but haven’t sent them to me yet then please send them soon – all your weather and flower records are really important to me! Every record you send in will make the Spring Bulbs Investigation better and more accurate.

Don’t worry if your flowers haven’t opened yet, a lot can happen in three weeks, especially if the sun shines!

Would you like to do a Super Scientific Investigation with your plants? I have put together some great ideas for experiments you can do in your school! Can you trick your crocus? Can your daffodil move? Click here to have a look: Professor Plant’s investigation ideas. As well as exciting experiments you will also find my favorite Spring Poem here! It is about daffodils and this is the first verse:

 

Daffodils

I wander’d lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

 

Beautiful! Have you ever tried to write a poem about Spring? Or about your favourite flower? Why not give it a go?

Your questions, my answers:

Ladywell Primary School: We have had our computer system upgraded in school and it has been difficult for us to send weekly weather reports because we lost a lot of data which was stored on our apple mac and which we cant convert to PC. However we have been taking temperatures and it has not really been cold and we have had a lot of rain. Some of our plants didn't grow very well but our first daffodil opened today 25th February and it is 28 cm tall. We have another one about to open and some others not far away. We hope this is ok with you and we will send more information soon. Prof P: Sorry to hear you have had computer trouble Ladywell School, don’t worry, I completely understand. Thanks very much for sending your first flower record! Keep up the good work and send in your other flower records when they open.

Lakeside Primary: Daffodil comment: Only one is open and the one that has opened has only got half a pot of compost, we think it was knocked over and some soil lost so perhaps less soil has led to quicker flowering, but why? Prof P: Great question Lakeside! Do you have any ideas? This is my theory: A bulb closer to the surface may flower sooner because it warms up quicker and has less soil to push through when it starts to grow. So why don’t we plant them all close to the surface? Well, if there is a very cold winter the frost can damage bulbs that are too close to the surface, and then they may not grow at all.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: We all brought our wellies into school this week so that we can go out and look at our bulbs whatever the weather. We went to check on them all on Friday and measured how tall the leaves were, and started recording them in a table like we had been doing in maths. We hope to do this every week now then we can make a graph of the results. Still no sign of flowers yet! Prof P: What a fantastic idea! I love making graphs, they are a great way to see what the numbers are telling me. You must be very dedicated scientists to bring your wellies in to school so you can measure your leaves. Well done, I am very impressed!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

February 2014

Signs of Spring

Posted by Catalena Angele on 28 February 2014
My tallest daffodil is 80mm tall.
My crocus is only 30mm tall.
Daffodils and crocuses blooming in Bute Park, Cardiff.

The sun is shining through my window here in Cardiff and it feels like Spring has arrived! My own plants are not ready to flower yet, my tallest daffodil is 80mm tall and my crocus is still only 30mm tall, but I am sure they will like the sunshine! I took a photo this morning of daffodils and crocuses blooming in Bute Park, Cardiff, aren’t they beautiful?

Which schools have had their first flowers?

Ysgol Glan Cleddau in Wales has reported their first crocus has opened, and Archbishop Hutton's Primary School in England have reported that their first daffodil has opened! Congratulations and well done for sending in your records.

Rougemont Junior School in Wales sent me this message: Well Professor Plant great excitement here at Rougemont School ... our MYSTERY BULBS have started to flower! They look very healthy, shorter in stem than the other Daffodil bulbs that we planted too. We think they could be Narcissus maybe Tete a tete? Will send a photo soon.

Prof. P: That is very exciting Rougemont School, and well done for investigating what kind of Narcissus they might be – Great work! I look forward to seeing your photos.

And Kilmaron Special School in Scotland said: THIS IS AN OBSERVATION OF LAST YEARS BULBS. We have been monitoring last years crocus and daffodil bulbs to see if older bulbs flower before newly planted bulbs. After our 1/2 term holiday we came back to find the crocus bulbs planted in the pots from last year had opened while this years crocus bulbs look to be about 7-10 days behind in their flowering. We are expecting to post this years results towards the end of next week.

Prof. P: This is really excellent monitoring and investigating Kilmaron! I am very impressed. You are right that older bulbs usually flower sooner than new baby bulbs, one reason for this is that they have had an extra year to grow and store up food.

I wonder where flowers will open next? You can see where flowers have opened so far by looking at this map. If your flowers haven’t opened yet then watch them closely as they may open very soon!

Remember to send me you flower records as soon as your flowers open. To remind yourself what to do, please use my PowerPoint presentation how to keep flower records, and read the What and when to record page on my website.

TOP TIPS:

  1. Every pupil in the class can send in their flower record! All the data that is sent in is used to create an average flowering date for each school. Watch the crocus chart and daffodil chart to see the tables change as the data comes in. It is really important that each pupil sends in their record - so the website can calculate the average flowering date for your school.
  2. Daffodils tilt their heads downwards just before opening. This prevents them from filling with rain after they open.
  3. You need to all send in your flower records to win the Super Scientist Competition!

Your questions, my answers:

Ysgol Terrig: It snowed heavily on Monday morning and stopped about lunch time. Our bulbs are starting to grow :) Prof P: I’m glad your bulbs are growing, did you go out to play in the snow?

Raglan VC Primary: We missed Tuesday because it was raining cat's and dog's, and we had bike training. Prof P: I love that saying! Can you imagine what it would be like if it really did rain cats and dogs? How would we measure that in our rain gauge?

Chatelherault Primary School: Sorry we did not record information on Thursday because we were away all day at a school trip. We were excited to see little green shoots in some of the plants. Prof P: Thanks for letting me know Chatelherault, I hope you had fun on your school trip.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: The plants are growing well and it's wonderful seeing them grow up. The mystery bulbs are really a mystery. from A and A :) Prof P: I hope your mystery will soon be solved Greyfriars!

Arkholme CE Primary School: Unfortunately the plant pots are standing in water this week. Let's hope next week is drier. The mystery bulbs are growing better than the others. Flower buds just appearing. From H. Prof P: I am sure your plants will survive the rain Arkholme, keep watching those flower buds!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

 

Rain, rain and more rain

Posted by Catalena Angele on 21 February 2014
Met Office Map showing rainfall in the U.K. in January 2014

What a very wet and rainy January we had bulb buddies! It felt like it rained nearly every day! But how much rain did we really have compared to average?

Weather Scientists at the Met Office have created this map of the U.K. to show how much rain we had in January. You can have a closer look by following this link.

How did they calculate average rainfall? The Met Office Scientists have been keeping weather records for a very long time! They added up how much rain fell in January for 30 years (from 1981 to 2010) then divided by 30 to calculate how much rain fell on average each year.

Can you see the two different shades of dark blue? Rainfall in these areas was between two and three times the average for January. Can you see the black areas in the south of England and in eastern Scotland? Rainfall in these areas was more than three times the average for January!

Top tip for using this map:

  • 100% of average means that the rain was the same as average.
  • 200% of average means that there was twice as much rain as average.

Can you find where you live on the map? What colour is the map where you live? How much rain fell in your area? Is it more than average? Or less than average? You may want to ask your teacher to help you answer these questions!

Your questions, my answers:

Gladestry C.I.W. School: Our school was closed on Thursday because of a power cut so our head teacher recorded the results that day. Prof P: We done to your head teacher! I am very glad your head teacher is helping you with your investigation.

St Mellons Church in Wales Primary School: Hello Professor Plant. It has been so windy this week that our thermometer has blown off the wall and broken. We have been using the car thermometer. L, J and L-b. Prof P: Hello L, J and L-b at St Mellons School! I am very sorry to hear that your thermometer is broken, I will email your teacher and arrange to send you a new one. Well done for your quick thinking in using the car thermometer.

Bleasdale CE Primary School: It is very cold and wet. Prof P: I agree BleasdaleSchool!

Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau: Yn anffodus mae ein thermometr wedi torri ar ol cael ei chwythu gan y gwynt mawr yn ystod yr wythnos. Athro’r Ardd: Trueni mawr i glywed hyn Ysgol Gynradd Dolgellau. Bydda i’n e-bostio eich athro i drefnu anfon thermomedr newydd atoch chi.

Manor Road Primary School (Lancashire): on Wednesday there was a red weather warning but luckily the plants stayed in place. Prof P: I’m very happy to hear that your plants are okay!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: It is very rainy here but we are not flooded. Prof P: I am very glad to hear that Stanford! What colour is the rainfall map is your area?

Burscough Bridge Methodist School: The heavy gales have caused the rainfall measurements to be unreadable as the measuring vessel was continually disrupted and blown over. Prof P: Gosh it must have been very stormy. Thanks for letting me know, keep up the good work!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

1st flower records for England and Wales!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 14 February 2014
Crocuses growing in the ground near National Museum Cardiff are already flowering.
Daffodils growing in the ground near National Museum Cardiff. They are much taller than my daffodils in pots!

Fantastic news bulb buddies, we have our first flower records!

Carnforth North Road Primary School in Lancashire, England were the first school to send in flower records. Their first crocus opened on the 4 February.

Raglan VC Primary School in Monmouthshire, Wales were the first Welsh school to send in flower records. Their first crocus opened on 7 February.

Well done to both these schools for sending in your flower records!

Archbishop Hutton's Primary School in England have also reported that the crocuses that they have planted in the ground have started to flower. Plants in the ground often flower sooner than ones in pots, has anyone else noticed this?

These flower records are much earlier than last year, when the first crocuses were reported on the 1 March. Why do you think this might be?

If we look at the results from the Spring Bulbs Project in previous years, flowering has been earlier in years with higher rainfall, warmer temperatures and more hours of sunshine. Why not have a think about what the weather has been like where you live? Do you think this year’s weather will help your flowers to grow?

Your questions, my answers:

Ysgol Terrig: Our bulbs are now growing above the soil. Prof P: Fantastic new Ysgol Terrig, hopefully it won’t be long until you start to see flowers.

Glyncollen Primary School: we are very exited because are bulbs are going to open soon. next week we are going to measure them. Prof P: Great investigating Glyncollen, have fun with your measuring.

Manor Road Primary School (Lancashire): It rained a lot and it was very cold and windy. It has not been minus yet. Prof P: I haven’t recorded a minus temperature in Cardiff either.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: We have had alot of rain recently but the bulbs continue to grow bigger and bigger. Prof P: It certainly has been very very rainy, I hope you haven’t had any flooding.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: Me and D. are watering the plants really well. We enjoyed it alot. D: I am really enjoying the bulbs. My one is called xdox and pop. It was supposed to be xbox and pop. Thank you enjoyed this week. Prof P: What funny names for your plants! Very imaginative.

Freuchie Primary School: The children were really excited on Monday 27th January when they realised that 40mm of water had been collected over the weekend! Prof P: Wow - that really is a lot of rain!

Woodplumpton St. Anne's Primary School: We are very excited because the first shoots are beginning to appear. It has been very wet but so far the temperature has not dropped below zero. We wonder if this is unusual. Prof P: Great question Woodplumpton! I have had a look back over our weather data for previous years and it looks like this is not that unusual. The average daytime temperature for the month has only dropped below zero once in the 8 years we have been running the Spring Bulbs investigation. This was in December 2011 when there was heavy snow. I do think it has been less cold this January than in previous years. I look forward to receiving the weather data from all the schools so I can compare all the data in my Spring Bulbs Report!

Newport Primary School: Horrible wet weather most of the week. Prof P: The trouble with the rain is that it gets in the way of playtime doesn’t it?

Manor Road Primary School (Lancashire): The weather has been cold, wet and windy this week. We have spotted our first shoots peeping through in our pots though. Prof P: It seems like your bulbs don’t mind the wet weather too much.

Chatelherault Primary School: Bad news some people have been pulling out our bulbs but some are growing. And we have had a lot of rain and sun. Prof P: Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that someone has disturbed your bulbs. I hope that the ones that are left will be okay. Sun and rain are the perfect combination to make them grow!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant

January 2014

Little Tiny Shoots

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 29 January 2014
Tiny daffodil shoot – 1cm tall.
Last years bulbs - growing much taller.

Hi bulb buddies

How are your bulbs getting on? Remember to watch them closely as from January onwards you may start to see little green shoots pushing up through the soil – it’s very exciting when they first appear! I was so happy when I went outside this week and saw these little tiny shoots in my plant pots – they are so lovely!

Archbishop Hutton's Primary School sent me this message: A. and J. came running to tell me that our first crocuses have appeared over the weekend and we have taken some photos of them.

That’s fantastic news! Well done A. and J.! I am really glad you are so excited about your plants. I would love to see your photos, maybe you could email them to me?

I hope you are all enjoying your investigation bulb buddies. When your plants start to peep through the soil, why don’t you take some photos too? If you email them to me I will put them on this blog.

 

WHAT TO DO NEXT…

  • Keep up the great work sending in your weather reports.
  • Watch for your first shoots to arrive.
  • Keep watching every day as they grow taller.
  • When you flowers open - celebrate!! Then record the date and how high the plant is.
  • Send me your Flower Records on the website.

Please use my Power Point presentation to find out how to keep flower records.

 

Your questions, my answers:

Ysgol Bro Eirwg: Blwyddyn Newydd Dda Athro’r Ardd! Ar ôl y gwyliau roedd y casglydd glaw yn llawn, felly methu cymryd darlleniad cywir. Arthro’r Ardd: Blwyddyn Newydd Dda Ysgol Bro Eirwg! Diolch am roi gwybod i fi am eich problemau mesur glaw, bydda i’n nodi hyn. Peidiwch â phoeni, digwyddodd hyn i lawer o ysgolion oherwydd iddi fwrw cymaint o law dros y gwyliau.

Cawthorne's Endowed Primary School: Im sorry we missed Friday we still want to go to Wales!!! Please wish us luck in Manchester. Prof P: Wishing you lots and lots of luck with your Spring bulbs Cawthorne School! Just wanted to let you know that if you are an English School and you win the Super Scientist Prize, we will arrange a day out for you in England instead of you travelling to Wales. It will still be a Super fun day, I promise.

Woodplumpton St. Anne's Primary School: sorry we forgot to take readings on two days - our teacher was not in school to remind us. There was a lot of rain over the holidays! We were surprised the temperatures were as high as they were. It felt colder. We talked about wind chill. Prof P: You are doing a great job and I am very pleased to hear you have talked about wind chill, it can make us feel VERY cold, can't it? Brrrrr.

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: When we came back from our Christmas break the rainfall gauge was overflowing as nobody had been able to empty it over the holidays. The ground is getting very wet and muddy and we have to be careful collecting the information. Prof P: Be careful in the mud! We don't want any accidents, were you wearing your school shoes or your wellies?

Raglan VC Primary: Extreme rainfall on Wednesday evening. Prof P: There has been some very extreme weather recently Raglan, you are right!

Llanishen Fach C.P School: No rainfall measurement for Monday as rain gauge was full from holiday. Very high measurement for Friday rainfall - gauge was emptied on Weds and no rainfall Thursday during day. Prof P: Excellent weather reporting Llanishen Fach.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Monday we were off. We have noticed that the bulbs have started to sprout and are growing nicely. Prof P: Fantastic news!! Thanks for letting me know I hope you enjoy watching them grow!

Greyfriars RC Primary School: it was 50mm because that was all over the holidays. C: this is exciting and i dont know whats gonna happen. R: it was fun watering the plants with C. Prof P: Well done C and R, its great to hear you are working together and having fun.

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: School was closed on Monday sorry professor plant. Prof P: That's okay Ysgol Nant Y Coed, keep up the good work!

John Cross CE Primary School: we had some problems because sheep got on to our field and knocked over the rain collector. Prof P: What cheeky sheep! Maybe they were interested in your investigation and came over to have a closer look.

 

Stormy Winter

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 17 January 2014
Google Maps image of Aberystwyth, Wales.
Environment Agency Flood Warning map show areas in Aberystwyth that can suffer from flooding.

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?