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Posted On: 28 Feb

Adams Elementary is our Spotlight School of the Week

Adams Elementary School

GRADE: 1st
PROGRAM: Living Lab
Scientist: Maddie

Today, I had the privilege of going to Adams Elementary School in Cary, NC! I was greeted by friendly staff who showed me right to the first graders I would be teaching that day. As a group, we did the program “Living Lab” which explores all things living such as plants and animals. The kids in the 1st grade at Adams Elementary School were excited, energized, and asked lots of  interesting questions that made the program even better. We learned all about what plants and animals need in order to survive in their habitats. We experimented with building our own habitats, we learned about how to keep animals habitats clean by recycling, and even got to hold the world’s best recyclers… earthworms!! The students LOVED holding the squirmy earthworms and even got to take one home with them as a pet!!! We learned about predators, specifically owls! We looked through real owl pellets, which is the bones and fur of the food owls eat! The kids were so brave when picking up bones and fur with their forceps, just like real biologists! The kids also got to look out some real predators! I introduced the kids to Sammy the Scorpion and Rosie the Rose Haired Tarantula! The kids were scared but intrigued at the same time. Some even wanted to pet them! The two predators we DID get to pet were Bandit the Leopard Gecko and Monty the Ball Python! Most of all, the 1st graders I saw were brave enough to feel how smooth a ball pythons scales are! Fun fact: reptile scales are made out of the same material that our fingernails and hair is made up of…. Keratin! We had so much fun looking at the animals that we made habitats to take home with us at the end of the program. In our habitats was soil, grass seeds, a lima bean, and an earthworm! The students took these home with all their new knowledge on how to keep plants and animals alive. I had such an awesome day teaching the 1st grade classes at Adams Elementary School! Bravest group of 1st grader biologists I’ve got to work with in a long time!

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Posted On: 23 Feb

Astronomy: Did you know how NASA names their Mars Rovers??


This artist’s rendition depicts NASA’s Mars 2020 rover studying its surroundings. Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July or August 2020 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has a class assignment for corporations, nonprofits and educational organizations involved in science and space exploration: partner with the agency to inspire future engineers and scientists by sponsoring a contest to name the next rover to venture to the Red Planet.

The contest will allow U.S. students in grades K-12 to propose a name for NASA’s next Mars rover (currently being built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California) and write an essay about their choice. The partner will work with NASA to conduct the contest during the 2019 academic year.

Click here to learn more about the Mars Rover 2020.

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