Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales


Hello Bulb Buddies!

Today is the last day of weather data collection and the deadline for entering all of your data onto the National Museum Wales website! If you are having any trouble then please email me or leave comments when entering your data and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

If you have entered all of your weather data and the first flowering dates for your school then you will be awarded Super Scientist certificates from National Museum Wales and the Edina Trust. These are awarded in recognition of the skills you have developed in completion of the Spring Bulbs for Schools project. I would like to thank you all for taking part.

Well I am sad that this year’s project is coming to an end I am excited to start digging into the data to see if there are any patterns and trends and to compare this year’s results to previous years! I will send my findings to your school and post the report online by mid-May!

I hope that you have all enjoyed the project. Now that your data capture is complete you can analyse your records and compare your findings to those of other schools using the Map section of the website. You can then compare this to previous years by looking at last year’s report. I wonder if you will be able to predict the findings of this year’s report?

Remember, there are plenty of ways to develop your science skills. If you have enjoyed this project you could continue keeping weather records and share your findings on the Met Office WOW website. There are also plenty of science experiments to be found on education sites like the MET Office and BBC Bitesize.

If your plants haven’t flowered yet then you will still need to enter your flowering date on the National Museum Wales website. If your plant hasn’t flowered by the end of term then you could take it home for the holidays and log the date online when it does flower. Be sure to take your user name and password home with you too so that you can access the website!

Some of you reported that your flowers didn’t grow. I’m sorry to hear this because I know it is disappointing when an experiment doesn’t go as planned. This doesn’t mean that the experiment wasn’t a success! It is just as important and interesting to document when things don’t happen as when they do. For this reason it is important that you still log your findings on the NMW website. To do this log onto the ‘flower records’ section of the website and select ‘did not flower’ from the menu.

Watch this space for announcements on which schools are awarded Super Scientist certificates and which win a class Nature Trip!!

Thank you for all your hard work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

Comments and responses:

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: We made a bar chart of how high the crocus plants they are growing. Well they are tall. From F to professor plant. Prof P: Fantastic! Can you send me a picture of your graph? Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies.

Stanford in the Vale Gardening Club: Another week of recordings, we have had a mixture of sunny, cold and windy weather here, but still little rain! We became true scientists today watching the solar eclipse using buckets of water as a reflection. Our grounds are looking beautiful with the daffodils all in flower, swaying in the wind, and bright yellow in colour with the sun shining down on them! Pof P: What a lovely picture you paint of the daffodils! And what a fantastic way to have studied the eclipse! I didn’t think of using water, we were using a reflection method but with colanders and paper at the Museum. Keep up the good work Super Scientists.

Tongwynlais Primary School: My daffodil has still not grown. I think it has died Prof P: I’m sorry to hear that your plant hasn’t grown. Thank you for logging the information on the website, it is very important to the investigation. You really are a Super Scientist.

Coleg Powys: Sorry I sent the first measurement incorrectly. I thought it was in cm. The second measurement I have submitted is the correct one. Prof P: Thank you for spotting the mistake and rectifying it. I will delete the first entry. You are not the only one to make this mistake and we will add measurement information to the data entry page for next year!

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: All the crocus flowers opened this week except for mine! We have been busy measuring them. I hope mine will open soon, it is still quite small. Prof P: I’m glad to hear your plants have flowered and don’t worry I’m sure the last one won’t be long now!

Rivington Foundation Primary School: It was the highest its been on Wednesday and Thursday and on Friday we were on a school trip. Prof P: Wow Rivington Primary, your temperatures were high for Wednesday and Thursday! 30°c! Your thermometer must have been in direct sunlight and it must have been a very nice day! I hope you enjoyed the weather and your school trip.

Ysgol Clocaenog: Wedi cynhesu yma wythnos yma. Prof P: Helo Ysgol Clocaenog. Rwyf yn hapus i glywed bod y tywydd yn gwella!

Bickerstaffe CE Primary School: Daffodils in the pots have been a little later than the ones planted in the ground. We were surprised by this! We are going to select 2 pots that are at a similar stage and take one of them inside to see if it speeds up. We won't be able to keep the watering the same though - have you any suggestions? We thought about putting an 'umbrella' over the outdoor pot and not watering the one indoors? Professor P: Ooo this sounds like an exciting experiment Bickerstaffe Primary! Let me know how you get on and what your findings are! As for watering the plants, you really are thinking like Super Scientists by trying to keep all variables the same except for the one you are monitoring. This is very important to maintaining fair experiments. In this case, I wouldn’t worry about watering them exactly the same. You can keep them roughly the same by looking at how moist or dry the soil is in each pot and watering them accordingly. I think you will see a difference in the plants very quickly if your classroom is nice and warm!  

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: At last, my crocus finally flowered. It was the last one. From E. Prof P: I’m glad to hear all of your plants have flowered! Thank you for logging your flowering dates and heights.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Another dry week, since doing this very important investigation, we have noticed we have had very little rain this year. We would like to "Thank You" for allowing us to take part in this study, and we have really enjoyed finding out about the rain fall and taking daily temperature recordings, we spent a lovely afternoon eating ice-cream and drawing our daffodils ready to be judged! This week we have experienced sunshine, especially in the mornings, with winds picking up around lunch time! Stanford would like to wish you all a happy Easter. And we hope to take part in this investigation next year, as we are becoming experts in this field! Prof P: Hello Stanford in the Vale Primary, I should be thanking you for taking part in the project and for all your hard work! I’m glad to hear that you have enjoyed the project and that you will be applying for next year. I look forward to seeing your pictures if you are able to send them in, but the competition itself is not running this year! I will still post any pictures I receive on Twitter and on the Museum Blog. Happy Easter!

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: Nearly all our daffodils have flowered now. There is just one bud showing but 2 do not seem to have buds. The mystery plants are growing really well. I think they are daffodils but they are smaller than our daffodils. A and F. Prof P: Hello Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary. I’m glad to hear the mystery bulbs are growing, you are right, they are a different variety of daffodil! It’s strange that two of your daffodils don’t have buds. Could you send pictures to me? If these plants don’t flower then you can still log the details and height on the NMW website. But I’d wait a bit, they might surprise you!

Rivington Foundation Primary School: We had our first 2 flowers flower today one in the ground and one in the pot but we still have a lot more to go though. We think it took such a long time to flower because we have so many trees blocking out some of the sunlight. Prof P: Hi Rivington Foundation Primary, if your plants haven’t flowered before the holidays please take them home with you and log their flowering dates on the NMW website. If the trees were shading your plants from the sun this will have had an effect on their growth. Well done for thinking about what effects the environment is having on your plants - you really are Super Scientists.  

Ysgol Bro Eirwg: Bylbiau cudd! Rydyn ni'n credu mae cannin pedr bach sydd gennym ni! Prof P: Dda iawn Ysgol Eirwg. Maent yn amrywiaeth wahanol o gennin Pedr!

Coppull Parish Primary School: Yesterday we had strong winds. Unfortunately a wooden pallet blew onto our daffodil plot and damaged some of them before they flowered. Prof P: Hello Coppull Parish Primary. I’m sorry to hear that your plants have been damaged. If they don’t look like they will flower you can still log their heights on the Museum website and select ‘did not flower’ from the menu.

Ysgol Tal y Bont: At the end of the project we found 2 bulbs did not produce any flowers and 1 bulb produced a double flower. Prof P: Hi Ysgol Tal Y Bont. It’s interesting that some of your plants didn’t flower and exciting that one produced a double flower! Would you be able in send in pictures?

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: Thank you for letting us take the temperature and rainfall readings. We are going to miss doing it. Prof P: Hello Our Lady of the Peace Primary School. You can always apply to take part next year and continue developing the skills you have learnt from the project. You could also continue to take weather records and share them on the MET Office WOW website. Thank you for taking part and for all your hard work.

Last year Staff from the Departments of Natural Sciences, and Learning, Participation and Interpretation took their I Spy…Nature themed pop-up museum out into the community. This year we have been delivering I Spy…Nature related workshops throughout March as part of the I Spy…Nature Exhibition outreach programme. Workshops at National Museum Cardiff allowed members of the public to carry out fieldwork within the museum, bringing the outside in! Visitors were able to explore the miniature world of British Slugs and Snails, go pond dipping, explore a rocky shore (utilising our brand new portable 3D Rocky shore) and go worm charming with our OPAL Community Science officer. During the middle part of March, staff ran a series of school workshops both at National Museum Cardiff and within a local primary school, where pupils could explore the seafloor, Fossils and Minerals before trying their hand at scientific illustration with a local artist.  The aim of these sessions was to inspire children to explore their natural environment and also to give them a chance to experience the work that museum scientists do. For British Science and Engineering Week, staff held an I Spy…Nature Open day in the main Hall at National Museum Cardiff, with a plethora of specimens from our collections and even a giant lobster, fly and squirrel!

 For more information on the I Spy…Nature activities see our Storify Story.

Our design inspiration
Our design inspiration

The youth forum in National Museum Cardiff has been working on lots of different projects, but RIGHT NOW they are putting together a publication to tie in with the upcoming contemporary ceramics exhibition Fragile?. This publication is going to be alternative guide to the exhibition and will contain interviews with artists along with some superb articles looking at ceramics, vinyl, death and murder.

We have had some help from lots of museum staff along with interview and writing tips from Emma Geliot (editor of CCQ magazine) and layout and design work planning with Liz Price from Chipper Designs.

We hope it's going to be all ready for the opening on April 18th, but there's still a lot of work ahead! it's just like being on Press Gang (90s tv reference...)

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Well, you have been busy! A further 78 flowering records have been entered this week bringing us to a total of 175 flowers!

For those of you still waiting for your flowers to bloom here are some helpful tips:

  1. Your plants have flowered when you can see all of their petals, without the outer casing that protects them while they are developing (see the picture to the right).
  2. Remember to measure in mm!
  3. Measure from the top rim of your plant pot to the highest point of your flower.
  4. Remember to record the date when you enter your flowering record on the National Museum Wales website!
  5. Please leave comments when you enter your records, this is your chance to tell me what you’ve liked or disliked about the project!
  6. Please send pictures! I have been able to share a few pictures posted by schools on Twitter. If your school doesn’t use Twitter maybe your teacher could email pictures to me!

There isn’t long to go now, only two more weeks of collecting and entering weather data!

Remember, the 27th of March is the deadline for entering all of your weather data. You must do this to achieve your Super Scientist certificates and be in for a chance of winning a museum nature trip!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies

Professor Plant

Your comments:

The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School: We were very excited this week as there were lots of buds on our crocuses. The weather has been getting warmer and today the first crocus flowers opened in the sunshine and we had to measure them carefully, H and J. Prof P: Well done H and J! I hope you have enjoyed studying the development of your plants. There are other experiments you can do that demonstrate how your flowers respond to light and heat. I will send these to your teacher but you can also find them on the website under ‘Professor Plant’s investigation ideas’. Keep up the good work!

Rivington Foundation Primary School: On Monday we had snow! And on Thursday we were on a school trip. Prof P: Well Rivington Foundation Primary School, you’ve had quite an exciting week! And you still managed to document your weather records, thank you very much!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Still no sign of bulbs in pots flowering yet, we think the ones in the ground are doing better, as the roots have more space to grow, unlike the pots which have restricted space! It’s lovely and sunny here today, with a good sunny forecast for the weekend. When we return to school on Monday we should hopefully start to see our bulbs flowering. Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary, I’m pleased to hear that you are observing other plants and discussing the effects of environment on growth and development. I hope the sun over the weekend spurs on your plants, it shouldn’t be long now so watch them closely!

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: The bulb's still have not came out yet but one of them is almost out. Prof P: It shouldn’t be long now Our Lady of the Peace Primary! Watch the flower buds carefully to see how they open. The spathe will begin to split lengthways as the bud grows! If your teacher has a camera you might be able to take pictures that show the different stages of the bud flowering!

Thorn Primary School: We are very sorry but we were unable to submit plants data this week as there was building work taking place at school and we could not safely get to the thermometer and rain collector. We will be fine to collect our data this week. Prof P: Thank you for letting me know Thorn Primary School, and not to worry! I look forward to seeing your data next week.

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: My name is T and my flower was first to open. It was outside when it opened but when we brought it inside it opened even more. We were amazed. Even our teacher was amazed. Prof P: Hi T. I’m glad that you have been studying your plants so closely, they are fascinating things! Did you discuss why the flower reacted to being moved inside? I suspect your classroom was a lot warmer than the playground!!

Swiss Valley School: Hello how do we record the mystery bulbs please? Prof P: Hi Swiss Valley School. You can record the mystery bulbs flowering dates for your own records in the class room, but there is no need to record them on the NMW website. Schools that are taking part in the Edina Trust extension projects were given an extra 20 daffodil bulbs to plant in the ground, and those schools are asked to document the flowering dates for these on the Edina Trust website. This is so that they can compare the flowering dates of those in the ground to those in pots and think of reasons why these might be different. Have you noticed differences in the development of your mystery bulbs to your bulbs in pots? Can you think of reasons for this?

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: We enjoyed measuring them. Prof P: I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the project Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn! Keep up the good work.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: All our crocus have flowered and they are looking so pretty. What a lovely week of warmer weather, and finally the rain came today, we are so in need of more rain.....we looked at the weather data as a group and noticed Oxfordshire have had little rain this year! Prof P: Hi Stanford in the Vale Primary. What a lovely post, and it’s nice to see a positive spin on rain! I’m glad that you are using the resources on the map to study readings from other schools! You can also use the Met Office WOW website to look at readings in other areas.

Hello Bulb Buddies,

I hope you all had a fantastic St David’s Day yesterday!

St David’s Day (Dydd Gwyl Dewi) is a national holiday in Wales that celebrates St David (Dewi Sant), the patron Saint of Wales. This is a time when the history and traditions of Wales are celebrated. Traditional foods are prepared such as cawl/ lobscows and welshcakes, and traditional dress and Welsh emblems are worn. The Welsh emblems adorned on St David’s day include the leek (which is a symbol of St David) and the Daffodil. It is interesting that the Welsh word for Leek (Cennin) and Daffodil (Cennin Pedr) are very similar!

I thought it would be interesting for the schools in England and Scotland to see how important the Daffodil is in Wales. Did you celebrate St David’s Day? If not, are there other days that you do celebrate? You could let me know about these in the ‘comments’ section when you record this week’s weather data!

Have a look at the pictures attached!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant