- Enjoy this updated post from October, 2012.
Elementary science projects are not just for kids. Good ones have something for everyone aged infant to one hundred! In autumn, your nearest deciduous tree has a lot to teach.
Make that tree into a cool science project. In fall, it’s experiencing the “Get-Off-Me Season.”
That’s what botanist Peter Raven calls it. In this 2009 NPR story, he explains how trees push off their leaves when no longer needed.
To learn this science in nature, try the following:
- Listen to the 4-minute NPR story (transcript and pictures are below it).
- Take children outside for a walk. Observe trees in different stages of “pushing.” Talk during the walk.
- Collect and display fallen leaves. Include a branch with some leaves still attached.
- Ask children to write a story using what they learned about science in nature.
Science ideas like this one show how science in nature is available for all, both at home and in school. This topic teaches listening, observation, discussion, evaluating, and creating–all skills that we reinforce in every grade.
Plus, any cool science project that involves a word like abscission is bound to be memorable.