September – Rock Flipping

September 9 is Rock flipping day (2) (3). In today's class we will make observations of what we find under rocks and logs in the yard. Behold the world of insects!  Bring a notepad, pencil and camera to document what we see under rocks. This is an exercise in properly collecting data and taking sample surveys of populations.

Chiang Mai, Thailand has one of the worlds largest private insect collections.

UPDATE – write up


Cicada 17 year cycle – Prime Numbers

Recently in the news there is talk of the 17 year cycle cidada. Why 17 years? Seems like a long time. The reason is prime numbers. Watch the video for the explination.

Here are some other news articles and some culture around cicadas

Cicadas take over Staten Island – NY Times

17 Year Cicada Mystery – NY Times

The Japanese love bugs. In the summer time you can buy pet beetles (2) at the local hardware store. Long ago a famous poet named Basho traveled through Japan and worte many haikus about the world around him. One of those is about the cicada. It is carved in a rock at Yamadera. Basho spent some time in this town and temple.

Japanese Romanji English Translation
Cicada poem by Basho




shizuke saya

iwa nishimi iru

semi no koe

purely leisure

permeating the rock

the cicada's sound

Fun with Gravity

This month we will be studying gravity!

Please please . . .

RSVP!  We need supplies for this month's experiment and if you don't tell me you are coming we may not have enough supplies.  Conversely – if you tell me you are coming and then don't show up – then I'll have over-purchased (and that's no fun).

Bring a hardcover book about the size of a piece of paper – nothing fancy – this is an experiment involving gravity.

Thick rubber bands – only if you have them around.

Please bring a dollar, if you can, to cover supply costs.

We will be hosting class outside, so please dress accordingly.

Have Fun! Be Safe! Learn Lots!