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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time Flies...

It is amazing how quickly time goes by when you are having fun or have a lot to cover in a short amount of time.  Today we came to Wildlife with several tasks that needed to be met.  We wanted to talk about the following:

  • Waterfowl
  • Habitat Management Techniques
  • Review of plants
  • Wildlife Techniques

We did manage to make all of this happen and even go outside to discover these plant species in nature, but we were working fast and furious to make it happen.  It helped that we were in the same location as Robotics so we did not need to worry about travel time in between today.

We jumped ahead in our plan and reviewed the plant leaves collected over the last few weeks.  This gave time for some technical issues to be worked out.  The group did a great job of identifying the leaves.  I was so glad to hear them calling out the answers.  We do need a little more work on the animal preferences.  I think we will play a game next week.  A little competition is always a good way to get the group motivated.

Sean gave his talk on waterfowl.  He did a great job telling about the different types of puddle ducks, diving ducks, whistling ducks and geese.  I was very glad to hear that he remembered all that we learned over the last week as we prepared for this presentation, especially since we did this a week before planned to help out our 4H friends.  Here is a website we found about waterfowl identification:

The habitat scenario questions were discussed.  I need to work on improving these questions for the next time.  It is so hard to create these scenarios to match the techniques.  I would really like to have some real case scenarios.

We then had some review of wildlife techniques that may be on the contest.  It is always so hard to determine what the judges might pick for this category.  I just take from past years of contests and hope for the best.  There is just too much diversity in the range of information.  Next week will specifically discuss the deer techniques that help with aging.  I am hoping we can find some animal parts to really have a hands on approach to this part of our practice.

We finished in time hunt around the back of the building for specimens. There were quite a few varieties that we had not discussed earlier in our review.  Great job finding me a Vaseygrass specimen and Croton, along with many others.

We finished just in time to clear our mess aside for the Robotics project to begin.  Tonight they talked about coordinate grids for X, Y, and Z.  This will later help when they begin programming their robots.

They were given a game that turned out to be a lot like Connect Four.  The object was to spin a game wheel that had different coordinates.  These coordinates allowed the team to place a token on the coordinate associated to the tic-tac-toe board.  The team with four in a row won the game!

The group also learned about various types of arms.  They were given a challenge to make an arm that would move in a direct path associated with the coordinate grid.  Then the arm needed to be able to pick up a weighted object.  Tonight is was about designing the arm, knowing the different supplies we have on hand.  The groups got very intense when it came to designing the arm.  I think they like this project!  We will see what they come up with in the four groups.

We ended the night with a buzz!  We met with Robert to obtain our observation bee hive.  We will be taking this to the local festival throughout the weekend.  Looking forward to the opportunity to 'make the best better!'

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