You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Field trip to the US Geological Survey

I want to start off by saying that this was one of the coolest field trips we've been on. It was very hands on and interactive. The kids all loved it and kept talking about how much fun they were having.

We started off watching a Bill Nye video about earthquakes. Tectonic Plates. They said that a lot during the video. I think all the kids now know what Tectonic Plates are.
We moved on to the hands on room from there. The kids eyes lit up when they walked into the room. There was so much very cool stuff in there, and they could touch practically everything.

Ella working hard with her mylar sheet and stylus on the light table...the way cartographers used to make maps.

Super cool thing here. They had a fake stream set up with a little pool area the kids could stand in. They got to pretend to be hydrologists and measure the stream current.

There's a thingy attached to the bottom of the silver pole that turns with the stream's current. Each turn creates a clicking sound in the earphones. The kids had to count the clicks (there's some sort of formula to then calculate the stream's current which helps scientists measure the amount of erosion taking place).

Hank took his job very seriously

Ella wasn't too sure about standing in the current so the tour guide held onto her.

Checking out some rocks under the microscope

Shane took this picture of Ella Bella

The infamous dinosaur fossil...One day I'll be able to go on a field trip (or just leave my house in general) without some sort of heart attack inducing event happening. One day.

So, you see below all these adorable kids sitting around this stone that happens to have two dinosaur footprints in it. Apparently the footprints were discovered in a quarry in Maryland. Pretty cool stuff and probably pretty expensive to replace if some little kid accidentally broke it somehow.
The big kids moved on to look at the next cool thing . Shane was getting a little bored so we were walking around looking at other stuff. I was only a couple of feet away from him...

I turned around just in time to see him step over the rope. Trip. Fall onto the dinosaur fossil. And then the metal pole fell and crashed, loudly, onto the middle of the rock.

My first thought was that the pole cracked this irreplaceable fossil and I was going to have to start selling body parts on eBay to pay for the damages.

After I regained consciousness, the tour guide assured me the fossil was ok and I could keep my kidneys and liver. whew!

The building is clearly an older building- it has built in ashtrays in the lobby. Shane thought they were potties and wanted to sit on them. Yes, that's my boy. :)

I definitely recommend a field trip to the US Geological Survey. Very cool. Very fun. (and they give teachers a shopping bag filled with cool stuff- a couple of posters, a calendar with science experiments, post cards and more).

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