Schoolyard Science – Making it Through Winter

Schoolyard Science – Making it Through Winter

How would you choose to get through the winter: just go to sleep (hibernate), tough it out (adapt), or get outta here (migrate)? That’s the question we posed to our 4th grade School Yard Scientists this month.

We decided to give each one a try. We tried seeing if we could get our heart rates super low to reach torpor, but it turns out 4th graders have a hard time getting into that hibernation coma-like state. Plus, we agreed we’d get hungry. We tried migrating with the always-popular Great Migration Outdoor Obstacle course. While flapping our wings like birds, we tried to get past a variety of barriers, including skyscrapers, polluted lakes, windstorms, and telephone wires. We agreed migration was fun, but it’s a big gamble. We also played a game or two about how animals might adapt to stick it out in winter.

All in all, we decided that human adaptations like warm coats and hot chocolate were pretty good ways to deal with the coming cold. In January, we’ll test our adaptability as we spend time outside!

First published in December 2018

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