Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Science at the beach

It was the same day as the aquarium trip.  We may be home, but I'm still on vacation mode.

We took J to his first NorCal beach experience (we don't go that often since this Vegas girl can't do cold beaches).

Science you can do on the beach:

-- Guess how far the wave will come. We guessed based on the water line.

We guessed wrong:


-- Walk along the beach:

Compare foot sizes, step width, different walking patterns (bring a measuring device or an impromptu stick).  Whose foot is bigger?  Which is right/left?  How do your footprints change with the way you walk?  Then watch it all wash away with the waves.

-- Search for sea creatures, critters, fun birds, etc.  Why do they look the way they do?  What do they eat?  What eats them?  How are they affected by the waves or other sea animals?

It was nice of them to both pose

Other things you can do at the beach:

  • Talk about tides and their association with the moon.  There are high tides, where the water comes up high on the beach, and low tides, exposing different parts of the beaches and often creatures and seashells.  The tides are due to the interaction between the earth spinning and the gravitational forces of the moon and a little bit of the sun.  If you stay long enough during your visit, you can see the differences in tides.
  • Build sandcastles and other structures.  Can they withstand the waves?
  • Compare how you run on the sand to how you run on the sidewalk?  Which one is easier?  Which one is more difficult?
  • Fly a kite.  Which direction is the wind blowing?  How high can you make it go?
  • Hold a scavenger hunt.  What's the most interesting thing you can find?
  • Plan ahead and do a treasure hunt.  Make and follow a map.
  • Clean up the beach and talk about keeping the beaches clean so the sea animals can be happy and not swim in trash.
Hope your beach trip is also full of science goodness.

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