The Science of Winter

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Now that the first day of winter is just around the corner, I have found myself standing at my picture window gazing longingly outside and wondering what I can do to encourage participation with nature despite the cold.  And how can I stimulate inquiry into the science of winter?  What are the sciences of winter anyway?!

chickadeeatfeederThere were the obvious interactions–feeding the birds-that’s an easy one and can lead you into a study of birds, their habits, migration patterns, aviation, and so much more.  But I drew a blank, so I did what I always do–I did some research.  I looked in our science and nature activity books, I looked it up online–and what I found I should have realized from the start, but sometimes you just don’t see what’s right in front of you.

Exploring winter could involve investigations into:

  • ice and snow
  • the three states of water
  • the water cycle
  • winter storms
  • animal/plant survival methods
  • icebergs and glaciers
  • avalanches
  • the winter solstice

This is by no means an exhaustive list–just some ideas to get you started, and who knows where an investigation into any one of these topics might lead you.

I’ve put together this Squid-lens: Kids Investigate Winter, which provides a multitude of links to online resources (including links to reference-sources, activities, experiments, and mythology), suggested items on Amazon, even recipes for feeding the birds.  Of coarse, there are plenty of science-studies you can investigate that don’t relate so directly with nature–I’ve listed some ideas on the lens to help with the not-so-obvious.  So if you find yourself wondering as I did–check out the latest squid-lens by the Scientific Homeschool and allow your family’s natural curiosities to flourish into a winter investigation.

And always stay critical!!

About Samantha Burns

Sam(antha) Burns is a farmer and beekeeper at the Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm in Maine. She has spent more than 20 years gardening and writing, has kept bees for more than a decade, and worked 4 years in the Call Center at Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Sam uses methods of regenerative agriculture and bee-friendly farming on her 53-acre farm, and is a passionate advocate for wildlife conservation─especially pollinators. In her spare time she enjoys writing, and tormenting her 2 teenaged sons with her banjo-playing!

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