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SCAN

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

April 2013

Easter in the Tŷ Gwyrdd - Corkboards and tomato seeds.

Posted by Hywel Couch on 15 April 2013
Ty Gwyrdd in the snow earlier this year.
Tomato Plant starting to sprout
Happy cork board makers!

Another busy Easter fortnight has been and gone, one which saw over 4000 people visit the Tŷ Gwyrdd at St Fagans. Between the 25th of March and the 4th of April we ran a range of workshops from upcycling corkboards to planting tomoato seeds via an April Fools day quiz. 

One of our workshops, Grow Now, Eat Later, was designed as a way to encourage visitors to think about growing their own food. There was a chance for families to plant a few tomato seeds to take home with them. Hopefully, over the coming months, with the right kind of nurturing, these seeds will grow into healthy tomato plants and will eventually produce a crop of delicious tomatoes. I’ll let you know how my own attempts fare! 

For 2 days we were joined by Wood for the Trees Wales who held an Up-Cycling Workshop in the Tŷ Gwyrdd. This involved creating notice boards from old picture frames and cork tiles. This was an extremely popular activity with all who visited, in fact we used up every single picture frame and every scrap of cork tile! If you are interested in similar workshops, visit Wood for the Trees Wales’ Facebook page for more info! 

As Easter Monday fell on April the 1st, we thought it was only right to hold an event for April Fools day. We created an quiz around the house so that visitors could test themselves to find out if they were Eco Cool or indeed an April Fool. Luckily it turned out most of our visitors were indeed Eco Cool… with only a few exceptions. After completing the quiz there was a chance to make badge to show off your eco credentials to friends and family. 

As part of the Making History Project, the use of the Tŷ Gwyrdd will be changing. As the main visitor entrance is being upgraded, the Tŷ Gwyrdd will form part of a temporary entrance to St Fagans. 

Over the years, we’ve had a fantastic time running numerous workshops in the Tŷ Gwyrdd and meeting literally thousands of wonderful poeple. Thanks to the many, many people who have helped us achieve this. Rest assured, lots of our workshops will continue, albeit in different locations throughout St Fagans Museum. Watch this space!

Lots more of your comments

Posted by Catalena Angele on 9 April 2013
A member of the Gardening Club at Stanford in the Vale Primary School measuring his daffodil.
A member of the Gardening Club at Stanford in the Vale Primary School measuring some more daffodils.
Crocuses growing at Stanford in the Vale Primary School.

Thankyou very much to the Gardening Club at Stanford in the Vale School for sending me in these lovely photos of pupils and their daffodils! You look very scientific measuring your daffodils!

Wow! This blog looks quite long again! I just really wanted to reply to lots more of your wonderful comments from before the Easter hols…

Your weather comments:

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Two crocuses have opened up today! Our last day of term! Prof P: Great news! I hope more have opened when you get back to school.

Henllys CIW Primary: All children have taken their plants home for the Easter holidays. We had our first crocus flower open yesterday hopefully everyone will keep an eye on their plants during the holidays and record when they open. Prof P: I’m glad you could take your plants home, I look forward to receiving your flower records.

Westwood CP School: No readings on Friday - school closed due to snow. No flowers open before Easter Break. Teacher took readings for last 2 weeks to send from home. Prof P: Thanks for the update, do you have some flowers now Westwood?

SS Philip and James Primary School: We can't believe this is our last week of measuring and sending in our weather data. Thank you, goodbye and Happy Easter!
From the Super Scientists at Phil and Jim! Prof P: Thank you too Phil & Jim Team Super Scientists!

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): Most of our crocus bulbs have opened but, sadly, not our daffodil bulbs. We have left our pots at school over the Easter holidays because the eco committee are planning to plant them around the school later. Hopefully, there will be some beautiful daffodil flowers when we go back? Happy Easter! Prof P: That sounds like a lovely idea St Joseph’s. I like the sound of your eco committee, they sound great!

Coppull Parish Primary School: We are all very disappointed as so far we have no flowers. We think we will get maybe 2 or 3, because only one pot is showing any signs of growth. Prof P: I hope they flower eventually Coppull Parish.

Stepping Stones Short Stay School: School finished today on Thursday 28th for the Easter holidays, so we have no records for Friday 29th. Today the first crocus that we have been watching opened fully, at last! Prof P: I’m very pleased for you!

Manor Primary School: Friday 29th: School was not open due to being Good Friday. Happy Easter all. School is back on Monday 15th April. All the pots have shoots but nothing is open yet. Prof P: Thank you for the update Manor Primary! Happy Easter to you too.

Newport Primary School: Week 12:Really cold all this week with snow every day. Week 13: A balmy 5 degrees today. Prof P: Brrr! I have seen on the TV how snowy it has been in Scotland.

Milford Haven Junior School: The quadrangle garden was flooded on Friday due to heavy rainfall at night. Prof P: Did anyone get wet feet?

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: to pp, unfortunately this is our last week doing professor plant. I am here to thank you for joining in our school. nothing is really wrong so, happy easter from ysgol porth y felin. Prof P: Well done bulb buddies! I have enjoyed doing this experiment with you, thanks for your help.

Wormit Primary School: We go on holiday today for our Easter Break. Our crocuses have not flowered yet because we think it has been too cold. We are glad that you have extended the date for recording their flowering dates! We will keep an eye on them over the Easter break- P7 and Mrs Wright :) Prof P: Fingers crossed that your flowers open before the next deadline. Happy holidays!

Balcurvie Primary School: This is our last weather entry as we are off school for the Easter holidays tomorrow. Yeah! Prof P: I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Greyfriars RC Primary School: we are off school on Friday so today is our last day at school and were off school tomorrow so this is our last weather report for now. The bulbs have grown a lot and they are all in bud. We're taking them home for the holiday. We will record flowering dates. They are getting taller and are getting ready to bloom mine is looking awesome we are very excited about our bulbs. Prof P: Excellent work Greyfriars!

Glyncollen Primary School: Thank you for the bulbs. We are amazed at how tall our crocus grew. We are very happy as the daffodils are the national emblem of our country Wales. We have had a wonderful time doing the investigation. Our crocuses have grown well. We are very sad that everything has now finished. Bye bye from year 4 Prof P: The daffodil is such a beautiful sunny flower to have as the national emblem of Wales isn’t it Glyncollen? I love it.

Thorneyholme RC Primary School: Yo Pro P!!! We have had a lot of snow so unfortunately our bulbs are taking a long time to grow. HAPPY EASTER!!!! Thanks for letting us participate in this project. It has been EPIC!!!!!! Hopefully our bulbs will have grown over the Easter holidays. Thanks and bye bye. Thorneyholme. :)  Prof P: I am so glad you have enjoyed the project! Happy Easter to you too.

St Mary's Catholic Primary School: Dear Prof Plant, Our school was closed due to heavy snowfall overnight 21st-22nd March. Our crocus bulbs had just begun to open! and we were very excited and looking forward to taking our pots home for the Easter holidays. Sadly because of the closure the pots remain at school!!! Prof P: I’m sorry that you couldn’t take your plants home, but don’t worry, maybe they will wait until you get back to school and then flower?

Britannia Community Primary School: Still no flowers and very cold! Prof P: Stay wrapped up warm Britannia bulb buddies, and keep watching!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: Today is the last day of term so we're all taking our bulbs home. All the daffodils have opened or are in bud. We'll record when they flower at home. We've really enjoyed taking part in the project and hope the data we've sent will be useful. Prof P: The data you send in will be VERY useful Ysgol Nant y Coed, thanks for all your hard work.

Many thanks

Prof P

Happy Easter!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 4 April 2013
Happy Easter bulb buddies!
Easter chicks
Easter chicks!

Thankyou so much for all your weather records and for the flower records you have sent so far!

Thankyou for all the great comments you have sent too! I have had so many comments in the last two weeks that I haven’t had time to blog them all, so I thought I would do a special blog this week with lots more of your comments.

Whose flowers have opened this week?

St Robert's R.C. Primary School, Rogiet Primary School, Glyncollen Primary School and Brynhyfryd Junior School in Wales, SS Philip and James Primary School in England and Balcurvie Primary School in Scotland have all reported that their flowers have opened! Great job! Well done and thank you for sending in your records.

Your flower comments:

SS Philip and James Primary School: The crocuses needed some sun for them to open so that we could see the anthers and define them as 'flowering'. Prof P: You are quite right. The sun is shining here in Cardiff today, is it sunny where you are?

Balcurvie Primary School: Mine was the first crocus to flower and just in time for the holidays! Prof P: Hooray, that’s great news!

St. Mary's RC Primary School (Lancashire): Grown to 490mm Planted On The 12th Dec 2012. Prof P: Wow that is a tall daffodil!

Hywel Da Primary School: All daffodils open during the week of 18th to 22nd March. Prof P: Thanks for your report Hywel Da.

Archbishop Hutton's Primary School: On Monday 11th March when we came into school there was about 15 crocuses which had flowered over the weekend. Prof P: That must have been a pretty sight!

Oakfield Primary School: This is our first daffodil to flower called twix. (18.03.2013) Prof P: What a great name!

Newburgh Primary School: It's our first flower and its called 'Craze Crocus'! (18.03.2013) Prof P: That’s a great name too!

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: Flowers are very late opening. Daffodils have not opened yet. Prof P: I hope they flower for you soon.

Rogiet Primary School: Our crocus plants are very small we thought they weren't going to flower but today we found a very small one! It is only 9cm high. Prof P: Well done Rogiet for spotting it!

Magor Church in Wales Primary: Daffodils have not flowered yet. (13.03.2013) Prof P: Thank you for that very valuable record, maybe they will flower soon.

Ysgol Bodafon: It is a beautiful daffodil flower. There are 5 heads of the crocus flowers. Prof P: I think daffodils are very beautiful too.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: We haven't had much rain for 3 weeks but have been watering the bulbs. Our watering can leaked all over the floor. We now have a new watering can! Prof P: Oops! Well done for looking after your bulbs so well.

Your weather comments:

Glyncollen Primary School: Thank you for putting our message on your blog. We brought the crocus into class and tried your experiment. It was very cold outside and our crocus hadn't opened but when they came into the warmth they opened. When we took them back out they closed up again. We have got a lot to do this week. We have to research what the mystery bulb is, although they have nearly opened. We have to measure the final height of both flowers and send you photos. We have also got to send you labelled drawings of our daffodils. Our teacher says we deserve a holiday after all our hard work.Yr.4 Glyncollen. Prof P: Wow Glyncollen, you really have been working super hard – your teacher is right, you do deserve a holiday, and luckily it is Easter break! Well done for doing the crocus experiment – I am really pleased that it worked for you.

St Athan Primary: not too sure of rain readings for this week as the gauge has been tampered with over night during the last two weeks. We are sure it's not the pupils during school time as it's been checked prior to staff leaving sorry about that. The children are upset about their part of the experiment being inaccurate despite my assurance that these things happen sometimes! Prof P: I am very sorry that someone has been tampering with your rain gauge. If you need a new one for the project next year I can send one. Please don’t be upset St Athan pupils, I know that you have all been working very hard. I am very grateful for all the records you have sent in, you are all super scientists!

Darran Park Primary: Our crocuses have flowered this week, but as of yet the daffodils have not opened. They have been slow in growing. We are hoping that they will be ready to flower when we come back to school. We are on holiday as from today, for two weeks. HAPPY EASTER TO YOU ALL .from year 5 children in Darran Park Primary. Prof P: Happy Easter to you too year 5!

Stepping Stones Short Stay School: heavy rainfall over the weekend before Monday 18th, therefore the high measure by Monday afternoon. Heavy snow early on Friday 23rd, some melting by 2:30PM, measuring 3mm. Prof P: Excellent weather reporting Stepping Stones.

Tynewater Primary School: None of our flowers are out yet and we are on holiday for two weeks now for Easter. I am going to move our potted bulbs into a sunnier spot (in front of a south facing wall) for the holidays and hope that they are flowering by the time we get back on the 8th April. Do you want us to let you know what happens? Prof P: Yes please do let me know what happens!

Ysgol Y Ffridd: Yn anffodus toes yr un o'n blodau ni wedi tyfu. Athro’r Ardd: Mae’n flin gen i glywed hynny Ysgol Y Ffridd, ond nawr mae ganddoch chi dair wythnos arall i anfon eich cofnodion blodau. Gobeithio y bydd rhai o’ch blodau chi’n tyfu yn y tair wythnos nesaf. Da iawn chi am eich holl waith a daliwch ati i wylio’ch planhigion!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Dear Professor, Another week of strange, cold weather, snow at the beginning of the week, bitter cold winds, then today blue skies in the morning, which then has started to rain! I have sent the children home with their daffodil pots, and I have asked them to record the day the flower opens. Happy Easter to everyone and lets hope we do get some sunny weather over the holidays! Regards Stanford Gardening Club Prof P: It’s great that the children have taken their plants home! I hope you have some Easter sunshine in Oxfordshire to help them open.

Sofrydd Primary School: there have been snow showers through out this week. Prof P: It has been a very snowy March in some parts of Wales!

Ysgol Gynradd Talybont: This year we moved the thermometer to a different part of the garden nearer to the plant pots and it was directly in the afternoon sun, so we do not think it is a true reflection of the temperature. Prof P: Hmm, well done for thinking about your experiment so scientifically Ysgol Gynradd Talybont, I am very impressed.Maybe that wall IS a bit warmer than the rest of your garden, but it does sound like you have found a nice sunny spot for your plants to grow!

St Nicholas Primary School: We have daffodil flowers and our couple of crocuses that weren't eaten by squirrels have flowered! Prof P: What cheeky squirrels!! I suppose they must have been very hungry. I like squirrels a lot but they are not very good scientists!

Many thanks

Prof P

March 2013

Well done bulb buddies!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 26 March 2013
My crocuses have finally flowered and my daffodils have opened too!
Prof Plant's daffodil
Prof Plant's crocus

Well done to everyone who has sent in weather and flower records this week! Because flowering is so late this year we are extending the deadline for Flower Records to Friday 19 April. Hopefully this will give some of your plants a bit more time to grow!

The deadline for Weather Records is still the end of this week – so please send them in by Friday 29 March. Please also send me your pictures for the drawing competition by Friday 29 March too.

Thank you so much for all your hard work and for helping me with this very important investigation! Everyone who has sent in records will receive a Super Scientist Certificate and a fabulous Super Scientist red pencil! The school that sent in the most Spring Bulbs weather data will also win a Nature-Activity trip!

I will announce the winner on the 22 April, and the runners-up will get lovely prizes too. I will send certificates and pencils to schools on 6 May and will send the results of the Spring Bulbs investigation at the end of May.

You can take your plants home for holidays if you like, or keep watching them in school. If your flowers have not opened by the deadline please record this on the Flower record form and send it in. Every year we have some bulbs that do not flower. If this happens to your bulb it can feel a bit sad, but this is very important scientific information too and you will still receive your certificate and pencil, of course!

Whose flowers have opened this week?

Hywel Da Primary School, Ysgol Gynradd Talybont, Coed-y-Lan Primary, Darran Park Primary¸St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) and Henllys CIW Primary in Wales, Stanford in the Vale Primary School, Archbishop Hutton's Primary School, St. Mary's RC Primary School (Lancashire) and St Nicholas Primary School in England, have all reported that their flowers have opened! Congratulations and thank you for sending your records.

Did you know?

  • Snow is not unusual in March or April. In fact, it is more likely to snow at Easter than it is at Christmas!

I got this fact from Derek the weatherman! Derek says that this week may be cold with easterly winds but it may turn a bit milder by Good Friday.

Do you fancy going for a walk in the woods to look for wild spring flowers? Why not have a look at the Woodland Trust website to see what signs of Spring you can spot - from catkins and tree blossom to hearing a cuckoo or spotting a bumble bee.

Your questions, my answers:

Tynewater Primary School: We've had quite a lot of snow this which is still lying although beginning to melt. Our bulbs are barely showing through the earth - even the ones in the pots. We are on holiday for the next two weeks and if the bulbs are not showing any progress we will move them where they get a bit more sun than they do at the moment. Sorry again that we are irregular with our data. We are still keeping the information. Prof P: Thanks for the fantastic update TynewaterSchool, I hope that the new flower record deadline will give your flowers a little more time to grow.

Glyncollen Primary School: Nearly all our daffodils are open. Our crocuses have also opened. We still don't know what our mystery bulbs are. We hope we don't get any snow! Prof P: Wonderful news! I bet they look beautiful!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: A mixture of cold winds, rain and a hopeful spring day, which turned to rain! Stanford Gardening Club. Prof P: Great weather reporting Stanford in the Vale!

Newport Primary School: It snowed at the beginning of this week and was really cold especially in the morning. The wind was very chilly. By the end of the week it warmed up a wee bit. Prof P: You are very dedicated scientists to keep sending your weather reports when it’s so cold and snowy - well done Newport Primary.I hope you all have nice warm coats on when you go outside to record the weather!

Oakfield Primary School: What do you think about this week’s rainfall? Prof P: We had a lot of rain on Friday in Cardiff, didn’t we Oakfield? My rain gauge was quite full too.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: crocuses are starting to grow. Prof P: I am very glad, please keep sending in your records Greyfriars, you are doing a great job.

Newburgh Primary School: Our first crocus has flowered! We recorded this at the end of the day on Friday so we'll send details on Monday. Prof P: Hooray! And thank you for sending your crocus record – you can see it on the map. If you zoom in and click on the flower it will say the name of your school!

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): With only a week to go before the end of term, we are very keen for our bulbs to flower. We are keeping an extremely close eye on our pots and are ready to photograph the bulbs at the first sign of a flower! Prof P: Fingers crossed for you St Joseph’s. Please do send me your photos, even if your flowers open after the deadline.

Many thanks

Prof P

1 week to go...

Posted by Catalena Angele on 21 March 2013
2013 crocus results — Only ten schools have reported crocus flowers so far this year.
2012 crocus results — Look how many schools crocuses had flowered by this time last year!
Professor Plant

There is now only one recording week left to go until the end of the Spring Bulbs project! This means only one week until the deadline for sending in your records!

Whose flowers have opened this week?

In England RAF Benson Primary School is the first English school to send in flower records! In Scotland Newburgh Primary School have now had flowers and in Wales Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn, Magor Church in Wales Primary, Ysgol Bodafon, Rogiet Primary School and Oakfield Primary School have all had flowers. Well done and thank you for sending your results.

How are your plants getting on? Compared to last year our flowers are very late indeed!

By this time last year crocuses had flowered in 27 schools, but so far this year only ten schools have reported that their crocuses have opened!

By this time last year 26 schools had sent daffodil records, but so far this year we have only had daffodils opening at one school!

What do you think might be the cause? Many of you sent me comments about the cold weather and snow we had in February and your weather records show that we have not had much rain recently. When you have all sent in your weather records I will look for clues to explain why our flowers are late…

Weather Scientists at the Met Office say that average winter temperatures in the UK have been ‘mild’ this year – this means that winter has not been that cold compared to winters in the past. They also say that in January and February the UK had less rain than usual. I wonder if your weather records will agree?

Interesting Facts:

  • The scientific study of the weather is called Meteorology and scientists who study the weather are called Meteorologists!
  • When does spring start? When Meteorologists record the weather they say that spring begins on 1 March and ends on 31 May. But many other people say that the start of spring is the spring equinox on 20 March – this week!

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

Your questions, my answers:

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: Some pupils have 6 crocuses in one bulb. Prof P: Gosh that is unusual!

St Mary's Catholic Primary School: Our flowers are being very shy and staying out of sight! Prof P: That’s very sweet! Hopefully they will feel a bit braver soon and show their faces!

Greyfriars RC Primary School: We are having fun are you? Prof P: I am so glad! Yes I am having fun with my bulbs too, thanks for asking!

Newport Primary School: Weather just got colder this week. Crocus bulbs are through but there are none flowering just now. Prof P: Good work Newport Primary, flowering is very late indeed this year.

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): We are disappointed that our bulbs have not flowered yet but we can see that some of them are growing well and are nearly ready to flower. Hopefully we will have some interesting pictures to send you next week. Prof P: I hope so too St Joseph’s! I would love to see your pictures.

Gladestry C.I.W. School: went to Cardiff on a school trip on thurs Prof P: I hope you had fun in Cardiff.

Glyncollen Primary School: Our daffodils and crocuses have opened. We will send you photos this week. Prof P: Hooray! I look forward to seeing your photos.

Coppull Parish Primary School: Sorry for not doing the weather on Monday. Prof P: That’s okay Coppull Parish, thanks for letting me know and keep up the good work.

Bwlchgwyn C P School: we have 30 shoots. Prof P: That’s great news!

Thorneyholme RC Primary School: Hi p.p on Friday we got 220mm of rain. Prof P: That really is a lot of rain!

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: To p.p we didn't have a record on thursday because of a school trip, and we’ve started measuring the tallest plant which is now 21.5cm tall. Prof P: Did you have fun on your school trip? Good measuring Ysgol Porth Y Felin.

Many thanks

Prof P

The Final Countdown!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 7 March 2013
Super Scientist Certificate — Will it have your name on it?
Super Scientist Pencil
Professor Plant recording the weather with a Super Scientist Pencil!

Hi bulb buddies,

Time is ticking on and all your weather reports and flower records need to be sent in by Friday 29 March. This means there are only three weeks left to send in you data!

Don’t worry if your flowers have not opened yet, three weeks is a still a long time. Based on the results from previous years most of your flowers will have opened by the end of March.

Every pupil whose school has sent in records will be awarded a Super Scientist Certificate like the one in the picture! But there’s more… each of you will also get a very special prize… a Super Scientist pencil! – perfect for recording the results of your experiments. So don’t miss out, remember to send in your records!

Whose flowers have opened this week?

In last weeks blog Ysgol Nant Y Coed was the first school in Wales to report that flowers had opened and this week lots more children at that school have reported flowering too! Gosh Ysgol Nant Y Coed, your flowers are doing very well. I wonder if the sun has been shining more in Llandudno?

Greyfriars RC Primary School in St Andrews, Scotland has also reported crocus flowering and Milford Haven Junior School in Wales has sent in records of a crocus and a daffodil flowering! Well done to both schools.

When your daffodils open remember to get drawing! You can send me your pictures and enter the Daffodil Drawing Competition. I am looking for beautiful pictures but they must also have clear labels which show the different parts of the Daffodil. You can look here to see some wonderful examples of winners’ drawings from previous years.

Your questions, my answers:

Rhydypenau Primary School: We had rain over the weekend, that is why our gauge was full. Prof P: Thank you for the explanation Rhydypenau, that's really helpful!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed: Some of the crocus bulbs have flowered so we're sending that information now too. Prof P: Fantastic news! Thanks for your flowering records.

SS Philip and James Primary School: We really enjoyed doing it and remembered to do it every day, we hope that we can do it again soon. Phil+Jim bulb team Prof P: I am so pleased that you are enjoying it so much – I love recording the weather too!

Henllys CIW Primary: still no flowers. Prof P: It's exciting to see your flowers open, but your report that they have not opened is very valuable scientific information too! It could tell us a lot about how cold it has been this winter or how much sunshine we have had.

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth): We have noticed that our plants continue to grow but we are keeping a very close eye on them to see which one will flower first - we can't wait! Prof P: I feel the same every morning when I look at my plants too.

Greyfriars RC Primary School: 11 daffodils are in bud. A's crocus is the only one growing but all the other daffodils but A's, why is A's daffodil not growing? Prof P: This is a very good question! I’m sorry that your daffodil is not growing A, you haven’t done anything wrong! I am glad your crocus is growing instead. Sadly we do have a small number of bulbs every year that do not grow, it happened to some of mine last year. The reason it happens is unclear. When a daffodil doesn't make a flower gardeners say that the plant has gone 'blind' - as it has no flower head.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin: we had our holidays on the 11 - 15 week so we'll skip a week. everythings ok there hasn't been much rain and the temperature has been a little high!
from porth y felin. Prof P: Many thanks!

Kilmaron Special School: The school was on holiday on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday we had very heavy snow and although the rain gauge only had 3mm in it there was almost 6cm of snow by 2pm. The gauge is in quite a sheltered place as we had problems with a pupil seeking it out and emptying it. Prof P: Good idea to move your rain gauge to keep it safe.

Glyncollen Primary School: We hope our flowers open this week as well. Prof P: Fingers crossed!

Kilmaron Special School: Still no signs of our crocus bulbs although the ones planted years ago in our other raised beds are blooming and the ones in the grass next to our raised bed are almost out. Prof P: Keep watching them Kilmaron!

Many thanks

Prof P

The 1st flower records for Scotland and Wales!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 5 March 2013
The flower bud on my crocus is starting to look purple, so maybe it will open soon.
I can see the flower buds on my daffodils but they are still green.

Congratulations to Tulliallan Primary School for sending in the very first Spring Bulbs flower records of the year! Tulliallan’s first crocus and daffodil opened only a day apart, with their crocus flowering on 17 January and their first daffodil flowering on 18 January.

As Scotland is further north than England and Wales they generally have colder weather and more snow in winter. This usually means that plants flower later. Last year flowers opened earlier in Wales and England, so it is quite a surprise that our first flower record this year is from Scotland! But that is the wonderful thing about being a scientist – experiments can often have surprising results!

The second school to send in flower records was Ysgol Nant Y Coed in Wales. Three children’s crocuses opened on the same day on 1 March – St David’s Day! These were the first records for Wales – well done Ysgol Nant Y Coed!

I wonder where flowers will open next?

When your flowers open please send me your flower data, you can see where flowers have opened by looking at this map

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.

I would also really love to see photos of your flowers. If you have photos please ask your teacher to email them to me!

My plants here in Cardiff haven’t flowered yet. The bud on one of my crocuses is starting to look a bit purple, so maybe it won’t be long. I can see the flower buds on my daffodils too but they are still green.

Your questions, my answers:

St Nicholas Primary School rain gauge stolen. Prof P: Sorry to hear that St Nicholas Primary. I have put a new one into the post for you, I hope it arrives soon.

Ysgol Y Ffridd Glawiad Dydd Llun yn llawn ers y gwyliau. Athro'r Ardd: Mae'n rhaid ei bod hi wedi bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn yn yr ysgol dros y gwyliau! Diolch am roi gwybod i fi.

Milford Haven Junior School Temp in playground was much colder because of the wind chill factor. Prof P: Brrrr! I hope you were all wrapped up warm when you went outside to play.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin to pp we have a problem with one of the plants. It has creamy browny little things in the pot that look like mini shell pastas. We don't know what they are. ysgol porth y felin. Prof P: Gosh, they sound curious. I wonder if they could be the brownish leaves that protect the plant just before the shoots start to grow? Maybe you could take a photo and ask your teacher to send it to me? I might know what they are if I saw them!

Ysgol Nant Y Coed We have buds on the crocus and daffodils now but none of them have opened yet. The mystery bulb has grown the biggest! Prof P: That’s great news! Keep an eye on them and let me know as soon as they open.

Darran Park Primary Mystery plant has grown quite well the rest of the bulbs are slowly growing. Prof P: Thanks for your plant update Darran Park Primary.

Glyncollen Primary School Many thanks for our new rain gauge. You also sent us a new thermometer but on a slip of paper in the box it said St. Mary's. We were wondering if it was meant for us or should we send it back to you? Can you please let us know. The leaves on our flowers are growing well. Bye for now - Yr.4 Prof P: Oops! I sent out two rain gauges on the same day and things must have got mixed up. Sorry Glyncollen. I have emailed your teacher about the thermometer – thanks for letting me know about the mix up.

Greyfriars RC Primary School Dear Professor Plant, we are a bit confused because only one crocus is flowering and only one daffodil is flowering. Prof P: Congratulations Greyfriars School! You are now the second Scottish School to have flowers! You now need to enter you flower data on to the website to make it OFFICIAL! Remember: You can enter flower data as soon the very first flower opens. You record the date it opened and the height of the tallest part of your plant. Then as each new flower opens you can enter its data on the website too – you don’t have to wait until they are all open. Plants grow at different rates – some grow quickly, some take longer to grow - just like children!  I am sure your other flowers will 'catch up' soon.

Many thanks

Prof P

February 2013

Climate Week 4-10 March 2013

Posted by Catalena Angele on 26 February 2013
Many top scientists agree that pollution levels are contributing to global warming

Hello bulb buddies!

Next week is National Climate Week – a good time to think about climate change, how it affects us and how we can help to take care of the planet.

For the last 150 years scientists in many parts of the world have been measuring temperature and rainfall, just like you are now in your Spring Bulbs investigations! The scientists have seen that temperatures are rising all over the world and that rainfall patterns are changing too.

Warmer weather and more rain might help your crocuses and daffodils to grow… but global warming also means more extreme weather events, such as heavy snow, storms, flooding and droughts!

There have been lots of floods and more snow in the UK in recent years. Last year the Met Office announced that 2012 was the second wettest year on record in the UK and the wettest ever in England.

Many top scientists agree that pollution levels are contributing to global warming, so what can we do to help?

Be energy – efficient! If we use less energy we create less pollution. How? Simple things we do every day can save lots of energy at home or at school. For example: Turning off the TV or computer when you are not using it saves lots of electricity!

Can you think of some other things that you could do to save energy? Maybe you could talk about this in class? You could also have a look at this Global Warming presentation – it has some other ideas for saving energy.

If you are interested in other things you can do for Climate Week then you can have a look the Climate Week website.

Your questions, my answers:

Thorneyholme RC Primary School PP, We were off on Wednesday afternoon, and our mystery blubs are growing.  Prof P: Can you guess what they are yet Thorneyholme or are they still a mystery?

Lakeside Primary Sorry about all the non recorded dates.  Prof P: That’s okay! Sometimes I have to miss a day recording too. Keep up the good work.

Ysgol Capelulo We have not got any flowers yet :(  Prof P: Don’t be sad Ysgol Capelulo, my plants haven’t got flowers yet either… I am sure they will come soon.

RAF Benson Primary School Some our daffodils and crocuses have started growing.  Prof P: That’s great news!

Newport Primary School It has been quite good weather here this week with no rain and some sunshine but the last couple of days have been really cold and quite dull. On Sunday 17th we had an almost spring day and we were all able to get out and have a good time as it was really sunny and felt quite warm.  Prof P: Excellent weather reporting NewportPrimary School! Really detailed, thank you! It has been very cold here in Cardiff too.

Balcurvie Primary School Our big rainfall on Monday was after the half term holiday when it snowed heavily! Great fun for us but not for our poor wee bulbs! Prof P: Sounds like you have been having some extreme weather in Scotland! I am glad you have been enjoying it Balcurvie.

Many thanks

Professor Plant

Happy Half Term

Posted by Catalena Angele on 19 February 2013
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!

I hope you had a nice half term break!

I wonder if you had fun outside during half term? When I am out and about in Cardiff I always look to see if there are any flowers growing like mine… have you noticed any growing near you? If you are playing in your garden, going to the park or walking to school you can still be a Super Scientist – here are some questions to help you. Happy investigating!

Can you see any other flowers growing? Can you spot any daffodils or crocuses? Are they bigger or smaller than your plants? Have they started flowering yet?

Kilmaron Special School have sent me a message to say they have noticed something interesting in their school playground…

Kilmaron Special School All our daffodils in pots are now sprouting and for the first time the children are seeing a couple of daffodils in the ground poking through. There’s still no sign of our crocus bulbs. We have daffodils planted up the side of our drive and in our sensory playground and they are taller than our Edina Trust sprouts. We were wondering if it’s because they’re a different type but won’t know until they flower.

Great investigating Kilmaron Special School! Often daffodils in the ground come up quicker than ones in pots; I have wondered why this is too! You are quite right; some varieties of daffodil do grow faster. Another reason could be that plants in the ground are better protected from cold weather than ones in pots. If our bulbs got colder they may grow a little slower! One other possibility is that the daffodils in you playground may have been planted a few years ago. Baby bulbs like ours grow more slowly in their first year, but they will flower again every spring and you may find they grow quicker next year.

Your questions, my answers:

Coppull Parish Primary School I'm worried that we've done something wrong with our bulbs. You see crocuses and daffodils are sending up shoots in our neighbourhood; but none of ours are peeping through at all. Prof P: Don't worry Coppull Parish School! As I've explained above bulbs in pots often grow slower. I hope you will have some growth very soon, keep sending me updates and let me know how your bulbs get on.

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) We are very excited because we have started to notice that some of our bulbs have started to sprout - we can't wait for them to flower. It is half term for us next week so we will be interested to see how our bulbs have grown when we return to school on 18th February! Prof P: I hope you all had a nice break, your bulbs might have grown a lot when you get back!

Darran Park Primary We have growth in all of our pots. Some pots contain more than 1 shoot. They seem to be growing quickly now. The mystery pot is showing lots of growth. We are on half term next week so won't be able to send in any records. Prof P: The mystery bulbs are very exciting aren’t they?

Henllys CIW Primary Some crocus shoots are coming up. Prof P: Thanks for your report Henllys CIW Primary, it won’t be too long now until they flower.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin To pp the plants are again all ok they’ve grown a lot since last Friday you can see the temperature has been quite high and there hasn’t been much water. From Ysgol Porth Y Felin. Prof P: I’m glad your plants are okay, excellent weather reporting too.

Milford Haven Junior School They started to sprout and it’s getting warmer. Prof P: Great news Milford Haven! My bulbs are sprouting too, I can see their leaves but I can’t see any flowers yet.

Rogiet Primary School Dear Professor Plant and Baby Bulb, Some of our bulbs have started to appear we hope to see some more after half term. We are looking forward to finding out what our mystery bulb might be. From Year 4. Prof P: HelloRogiet Primary School, I can’t wait to see what my mystery bulbs will look like too.

Ysgol Nant Y Coed The spring bulbs haven't flowered yet but they’re growing. The mystery bulbs are growing the highest. Prof P: I love a good mystery! Do you?

Ysgol Bodafon The weather is getting warmer. Prof P:  You are quite right Ysgol Bodafon, hopefully this will help our plants to flower soon.

Many thanks

Professor Plant

What a lot of weather!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 12 February 2013
Daffodil shoots now 7cm tall
Crocus shoots now 7cm tall – you can see the colours of the leaves
Crocus shoot 4cm tall

What mixed weather reports you have sent me over the last few weeks! Some schools had lots of snow but others had none at all! Well done to all of you for sending in your weather station records despite the frosty weather.

Some snowy comments …

We had reports of snow from lots of schools…St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Bwlchgwyn C P School, Glyncollen Primary School, Stanford in the Vale Primary School, Thorneyholme RC Primary School, Coppull Parish Primary School, Freuchie Primary School, Balcurvie Primary School, Gladestry C.I.W. School and RAF Benson Primary School all reported that they had snow.

Some schools, including Manor Primary School, St Joseph's Primary School, Henllys CIW Primary,  Ysgol Nant Y Coed, Rhydypenau Primary School and Rogiet Primary School told me that their schools were closed due to snow!

However some schools had very little or no snow. Thanks Stepping Stones Short Stay School and Milford Haven Junior School for your reports.

Since the snow many schools have also reported high winds, storms and lots of rain, and as I look out of my window today the sun is shining – what varied weather over a few short weeks! The shoots on my tallest daffodil and crocus bulbs are now 7cm tall! How tall are your shoots?

Top Tip in frosty weather: If you have snow or ice in your rain gauge, bring it into the classroom to melt and then record it on your sheet. Don’t forget to tip the water away after it has melted and then put your rain gauge back outside!

Your questions, my answers:

St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) Our school was closed last Friday because of snow so we couldn't get in to check on our freezing bulbs. We have noticed, however, that one of our bulbs has started growing whilst the others are snug underneath the compost in their pots. We tried to think about why this might have happened and wondered whether it is because that particular bulb was planted by you, Prof. Plant and maybe you have encouraged it to grow!?    We are pleased to see that the weather has got a bit warmer and are hoping that this means that our bulbs will start to grow. We are very keen to see them flowering!  Prof P: Thanks St Joseph’s! Well, I am very green fingered! It’s very exciting waiting for your flowers to arrive isn’t it?

Rogiet Primary School The bulb pots were full of snow this week, we were worried they would die but Mrs Carter said they would be all right!  Prof P: Don’t worry, Mrs Carter is right, they are very hardy little plants so I’m sure they will be okay.

Ysgol Nant Y Coed We are sorry for sending the records late because school was closed because of the snow last Friday.  Prof P: No problem! Thank you for sending them in when you could.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School Wow... what a bitter cold week, and all the snow we have had! All our bulbs are completely covered in snow... and more snow is expected tonight! Monday's snow/rainfall was frozen, so we brought the recordings inside and allowed to melt! (We hope this was the correct thing to do!) :-)  Prof P: Well done Stanford in the Vale that was exactly the right thing to do!

Gladestry C.I.W. School We have started measuring the few bulbs that have come out. The daffodils and mystery bulbs have come out; we think the mystery bulbs are snowdrops, as they have grown very fast.  Prof P: That’s a very good guess!Keep watching them and let me know if your guess is right.

Balcurvie Primary School One of the extra bulbs that we planted in a pot and left it in the classroom has began to sprout! We were all very excited. We have also had a very wet week!  Prof P: That is exciting Balcurvie! I hope you enjoy watching it grow. I wonder when your outdoor bulbs will catch up?

SS Philip and James Primary School We thought it went well except we forgot to pour out the water once so we counted the amount of water added on the next day. We enjoy doing it, Phil and Jim Team.  Prof P: That’s okay, thanks for letting me know and keep up the good work. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

Ysgol Y Ffridd Dim Record Dydd Iau oherwydd ysgol wedi cau (Dim Dwr yn yr ysgol).  Prof P:  Athro’r Ardd: Diolch am y wybodaeth gan Ysgol Y Ffridd. Gobeithio bod y d?r wedi trwsio erbyn hyn.

Darran Park Primary 42 of the bulbs have sprouted.  Prof P:  Gosh that’s a lot! Well done Darran Park Primary.

Ysgol Porth Y Felin To pp, plants are all ok the temperature rised alot on Tuesday! there was a storm on Saturday night so there was loads of rain on Monday. Happy planting!!!  Prof P: Great reporting Ysgol Porth Y Felin, hopefully all that rain will help your plants to grow.

Rhydypenau Primary School A very interesting week of weather!  Prof P: I agree!

Many thanks,

Prof. P

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