Label: Earth Day 2012

April 9, 2012

 


If you’re a new reader of this blog, you may not have seen this popular quiz. Take it to test your "green IQ"!

1. WATER: USE IT, DON’T ABUSE IT

a)   I don’t buy water in plastic bottles. Water from the tap is just fine, and I don’t want to put more non-biodegradable plastic into landfills.

b)   I turn off the water until after I’ve finished brushing my teeth, and wash all the dishes in one sinkful of soapy water, rather than running water the whole time I’m washing the dishes.

c)   I have cut my soda consumption down by more than half. I like water better, anyway.

 

2. ELECTRICITY: BEING SMART ABOUT THE POWER THAT I USE

a) I have replaced all the incandescent bulbs in my house with compact fluorescent bulbs.

b) We are using less energy by keeping our house two degrees warmer in the summer and two degrees cooler in the winter.

c) I unplug appliances when they are not in use for long periods of time. If they’re plugged and even when they are not turned on, they still consume electricity.

 

3. TRANSPORTATION: CONSERVING ON THE ROAD

a) I walk or bike rather than be driven whenever I can, and try to combine errands into one trip.

b) I am writing to my local government to ask them to design car-free zones and parks that would let people get places by walking, cycling, or driving those cute, tiny electric vehicles.

c) Next time my family buys a car, we want to pick a model that gets good gas mileage, and therefore uses less fuel.

 

4. FOOD: THINKING ABOUT THE COST OF WHAT I EAT

a) I don’t like vegetables, so I just don’t eat any. You’re not responsible for greenhouse gases generated by growing food that you don’t eat!

b) I only buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season so they are not flown in from tropical climates. And I try to buy produce that is grown locally, which further reduces the carbon footprint.

c) Our family has "meatless Monday" every week.

 

 

 

 

ANSWERS

1.   While all these things help, "c" is the best answer. The main ingredient of soft drinks is water - so the big soda companies use massive amounts of water on a global basis. And, cutting down on soda consumption is good for your body, too!

 

2.   "b" is the best answer. Electric power generation is a big source of greenhouse gases - the average home contributes more to global warming than the average car. The worst appliances are air conditioners, which use up to 1/6th of the electricity in the U.S.

 

3.   All good answers, but "c" is the most important thing all Americans can do. By using existing technology to produce vehicles that go farther on a gallon of gas and emit less carbon dioxide pollution, Americans can save billions of dollars, reduce global warming pollution, and slash our dependence on oil.

 

4.   You may be surprised to learn that the most effective choice is "c". Raising animals for food generates more emissions than all of the world’s transportation combined. And for all of you who answered "a"....eat your vegetables, they’re good for you!

 


Classes can enter Seymour Simon’s YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES contest! Tell Seymour what your class is doing to help take care of the Earth, and you will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE Skype session with Seymour Simon. Click here for all the details about the YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES contest.

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Conservation, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 7, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you see the full moon last night? The Native American Oto people call the April moon the "Little Frog Croak" moon, and I think that is a perfect name for this time of year.

Have you heard the "spring peepers" singing yet? If you are anywhere near a pond or wetlands on a warm spring night, you will hear their thousands of tiny calls. The male frogs have awoken from their winter hibernation and are looking for a mate near a pond where they can lay their eggs. Within a matter of weeks, we’ll start to see swimming tadpoles who will eventually develop legs and become full grown frogs.

The Oto people recognize this life cycle, with its call that signals the hope of spring to all of us, by naming the April moon after these tiny frogs. 

 

P.S. Have you noticed an extremely bright star in the sky these last few weeks? That is not a star - it is the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. These are great days for skywatching!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: Astronomy, moon, Earth Day 2012, Frogs, Sky Watching   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 6, 2012

 

 

Did you know that classes can enter Seymour Simon’s YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES contest? A class can comment on any one of Seymour’s blog entries between now and April 22, 2012 (Earth Day). When you write your comment, tell Seymour what your class is doing to help take care of the Earth. Every time a class writes a comment, you will be entered into a drawing to win a FREE Skype session with Seymour Simon. You can enter as many times as you like, so start thinking about what your class can do and get those entries in!

 

 

 

 

Click here for all the details about the YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES contest.

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: School Visits, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 4, 2012

Good morning, and welcome to Writing Wednesday, where every week there is a new opportunity to publish your creative writing on the Seymour Science blog. This week, we are asking you to read an excerpt from Seymour Simon’s new book BUTTERFLIES, and explain in your own words what he is saying and how he uses details to express his idea more powerfully.

 


From BUTTERFLIES, by Seymour Simon:

     Throughout human history butterflies and moths have been the subject of stories, myths, poetry, art, drama and dance in many cultures. The Hopi Native Americans perform a ceremonial dance in homage to the butterfly. An Irish saying goes: "May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find your shoulder to light on, to bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow, and beyond." For many of us, butterflies are symbols of the wild loveliness and wonder of nature.

 


Your assignment: Write a paragraph or two explaining the main idea that Seymour is trying to express on this page. Use your own words to express his theme. And, give examples of telling details that he uses to support his theme.

When you are finished writing, click on the yellow "Comments" at the bottom of this post to enter your writing!

 


Note to Educators: Today’s Writing Wednesday exercise is designed to use in support of CCSS Reading Anchor Standard #2: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

 

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: Writing Wednesday, Animals, Butterflies, New Books, Common Core, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 3, 2012

Here’s a photograph that makes me think of the beauty and wonder of Earth. This rabbit is munching on snowdrops, which are usually one of the first flowers to appear in the spring - often even poking their heads through the snow!

A snow drop plant looks like three drops of milk hanging from a stem, which is where the flower gets its Latin name Galanthus, meaning "milk-white flowers."

 

 

Photo: Patrick Pieul/EPA


 

 


Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by sharing your own photographs! Take a digital photo showing an Earth treasure around your school or home that makes you appreciate our planet. Click on “Send Us Photos/Video” (in the yellow bar at the top of every page) and follow the instructions to upload it to the website. We will publish your Earth Day photos and videos on Seymour’s blog, and each person or class that uploads a photo will be entered into the drawing to win a personally autographed book from Seymour Simon!   

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(24) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 2, 2012

In today’s Science News, we have this photograph of baby turtles making their way into the ocean after their release during a campaign to save sea turtles in Aceh Besar, Indonesia. Hatching baby turtles have always been in danger from predators who snatch them while they are heading for the safety of the water, but now they are facing extinction due to the action of the most powerful predator of all - human poachers who kill them for their meat, fat, shells and eggs. 

Now, conservationists are educating the public about the importance of helping these baby turtles to make it to the safety of the water. They hope that with knowledge and the support from the public, sea turtles will eventually be able to come off the endangered list.

 

Photo: Heri Juanda / AP


Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by commenting on blog stories like this one, and telling Seymour about YOUR Earth Day Promises! How are you going to make a difference for the Earth? What will you do to make it be Earth Day / every day? Each time you leave a comment between today and April 22, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free, personally autographed book from Seymour Simon. So get started by clicking "comments" below, and tell us about Your Earth Day Promises!

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(30) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Conservation, Earth Day 2012, Sea Turtles   •  Permalink (link to this article)

April 1, 2012

Today is April 1, and we are beginning our celebration of Earth Day with a report of the discovery of a new species on our planet! A chameleon small enough to perch on the head of a match has been discovered on a tiny island off Madagascar. It is called a "Brookesia micra" chameleon, and it is believed to be the smallest species ever found. This tiny reptile is just six-tenths of an inch (16 millimeters) long, and even with its tail fully extended, it only measures 1.1 inches (29 millimeters).

Chameleons (even ones as small as this one) are particularly well-adapted for catching the insects that make up most of their diet. They have feet like parrots, with two toes facing forward and two facing backward, so that they can grab onto branches and climb easily. Each of their eyes moves on its own, so they can see all around them as they hunt for insects. And when they spot an insect, they shoot their long tongues out of their mouths at lightning speed, enabling them to catch fast-moving prey.

Photo: Joern Koehler / Reuters


Be part of Seymour Simon’s celebration of Earth Day 2012 by commenting on blog stories like this one, and telling Seymour about YOUR Earth Day Promises! How are you going to make a difference for the Earth? What will you do to make it be Earth Day / every day? Each time you leave a comment between today and April 22, you will be entered into a drawing to win a free, personally autographed book from Seymour Simon. So get started by clicking "comments" below, and tell us about Your Earth Day Promises!

 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(13) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Earth Day 2012, lizards   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 30, 2012

We’re going to celebrate Earth Day for the entire month of April here on the Seymour Science blog. Our team will be writing lots of articles about our home planet - showing the beauty of nature, plants and animals, talking about how we can help our environment, and what kids can do to make a difference.

When you comment on our stories, we want you to share Your Earth Day Promises. What will you do, not just on Earth Day but every day, to help protect our environment? How have you changed your behavior because of what you have learned about taking care of our planet Earth? What beauty do you see around you that inspires you to love Earth?

 

Here is how you enter the EARTH DAY PROMISES CONTEST:

1.    Read Seymour Simon’s blog every day in the month of April. Click on the yellow "comments" button at the bottom of each story and tell us your Earth Day Promise, and why it was inspired by the story.

2.    You can write your Earth Day Promises on your own, or your class can write comments as a group. Class entries should tell one thing that the class is doing to honor our planet for Earth Day. (example: recycling all the paper used in class).

3.    Each time you write a comment, your name is entered into the drawing for a prize. You may comment and enter as many times as you wish between April 1 and April 22 (Earth Day).

4.    Or, you can enter by taking part in Seymour Simon’s EARTH DAY PHOTO CONTEST. Take a digital photo showing an Earth treasure around your school or home that makes you appreciate our planet. (examples: Clouds, trees, animals, etc.). Click on "Send us Photos/Video" (in the yellow bar at the top of every page) and follow the instructions to upload it to the website. We will publish your Earth Day photos and videos on Seymour’s blog, and each person who uploads a photo or video will be entered into the drawing to win an autographed book.

5.    VERY IMPORTANT!!: Each time your write a comment, you must tell us the following:

a.    Your name (first name and last initial only).

b.    An email address if you have one.

c.     The name of your teacher and the name of your school.

d.    What town and state you live in.

We will keep this information private (we will not publish it on the website), but if we do not know who you are, we will not be able to contact you if your name is chosen in the prize drawing! 

PRIZES:  

 

1. Everyone who writes a comment will be entered into a drawing to win a personally autographed copy of EARTH: OUR PLANET IN SPACE.

 

 

 

2.    Each person who uploads a photograph or video will be entered into a drawing to win a personally autographed copy of BUTTERFLIES.

 


3.    Every class that participates will be entered into a drawing to win a free, 45-minute Skype session with Seymour Simon.

 

4.    Everyone who participates and gives us an email address will receive a free, downloadable certificate, signed by Seymour Simon, which commemorates their participation in SEYMOUR SIMON’S YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES event.

 

Seymour Simon’s YOUR EARTH DAY PROMISES CONTEST starts on Sunday, April 1, so come, read, write and tell us how you are going to make a difference for our planet Earth!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(61) Comments  •   Labels: Butterflies, Contests, Earth, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 27, 2012

April is almost here. It is one of my favorite months, because it is the month that we celebrate Earth. If you are a regular reader of the Seymour Science blog, you know that April is the month that we all share our Earth Day Promises, about how we will care for our environment and make our planet a better and healthier place.

This year we’re running a contest, with multiple prizes that can be won by students from any school, in any country, in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.

Each day from April 1 until April 22, we will give you a chance to write your comments about how you are helping the Earth. There will be prizes for individuals who enter, as well as for classes that enter as a group. And, we are going to have a special Earth Day Photo Contest for those of you who want to upload a photo of an Earth treasure that makes you appreciate our planet.

The prizes will range from personally autographed books to a free classroom Skype session. Stay tuned this week for more information about how you can enter and what you can win.

And start thinking about your Earth Day promises, because starting next Sunday, April 1, you can share them with the world!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: Kids Write, Conservation, Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

March 26, 2012

Earth Day is a topic that comes up often as I travel the country, speaking in schools to thousands of children. Our planet Earth is so big and the subject so vast, that you might think that kids are overwhelmed. "What does this mean to me?" Or, "Why should I bother about Earth Day?" you might think that kids wonder. You will be surprised at what they really do say.

In anticipation of Earth Day last year, I posted an invitation to kids on my blog. I wrote: "How are you contributing to the Billion Acts of Green? Tell us how you are celebrating Earth Day." And I promised to publish each child’s writing to inspire other readers to do the same.

We often get a dozen or so responses to one of my blog postings. But last year’s invitation to be a vocal participant and advocate on Earth Day drew almost 300 responses from around the country. Here are some of the promises made by elementary students who have specific strategies for making a difference.

"Our class is going green. We are recycling all our old papers."

 

"I ride my bike or the bus to school to keep the air cleaner by not using our car."

 

"My carbon footprint was 13.5 (not so good). To reduce my carbon footprint I will reduce, reuse and recycle."

 

"My brother and I go out and pick up all the litter that people throw in a creek near us. There are lots of fish and frogs so when we are finished I look back and feel great."

 

"I love trees and that’s why I don’t waste paper. I recycle and encourage others to care about our world like a mother would care for her newborn."

 

"I usually refuse to use plastic silverware and cups."

 

"I learned that it takes one step at a time and if we start now the Earth will get better sooner. If we don’t start…..who will?

 

I have a favorite Native American proverb that suggests why we, as adults, should take our lead from the children as we celebrate Earth Day:

Treat the Earth well.

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,

we borrow it from our children.

 

Earth Day is April 22, 2012.  I hope to get even more students involved in reusing, recycling, learning and writing about what they can do to help our Earth’s environment. Click here to find out how your students can participate!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: Earth Day 2012   •  Permalink (link to this article)

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