Monday, October 1, 2012

Snakey Science fun!

This past summer, we found the book Awesome Snake Science in a science museum gift shop, and with a budding herpetologist, it seemed a natural for a homeschool co-op. Since we have since acquired a pet snake, we decided this would a good chance to do some science and share our special friend, Wadjet the corn snake, with some of our homeschool friends.

To prepare for the activities, we picked a few from the book, and created record sheets, which were put in a folder for each child to create their own record book.

We started out making our own see-through snakes. We used canvas snakes from Oriental trading, and, using diagrams printed from online, turned them into "Zombie Snakes", which showed the skeleton on one side and the various organs on the other, learning a little about snake anatomy.

We then met and touched Wadjet, and learned a little about corn snakes.

We used Jello and pineapple juice to see the effect that anticoagulants in snake venom have on blood, and tried to cut off the flow of blood through a straw "Artery" (and discovered constricting is harder than it looks!)

We then went "herping", indoors style. We looked for hiding snakes all over the house (this was supposed to be in the yard, but it was raining), and recorded our data as to where we found each snake, what it was doing, and our estimates on size. We then collected and measured our snakes to see how accurate we were.

Afterwards, we watched Wadjet constrict and eat a (frozen/thawed) mouse.

We used the Deck of Snakes  and selected a snake pattern. We then built these out of legos. We challenged our parents to see if they could match the snake cards to our lego snakes. We also created our own snakey lego creations.

Finally, we had a Snake cake, with "rattlesnake venom" (Pineapple juice) to drink.