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Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Sustainability

March 2013

Well done bulb buddies!

Posted by Catalena Angele on 26 March 2013

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My crocuses have finally flowered and my daffodils have opened too!

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Prof Plant's daffodil

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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

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2013 crocus results — Only ten schools have reported crocus flowers so far this year.

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2012 crocus results — Look how many schools crocuses had flowered by this time last year!

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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

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Super Scientist Certificate — Will it have your name on it?

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Super Scientist Pencil

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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

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The flower bud on my crocus is starting to look purple, so maybe it will open soon.

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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

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