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Life science in the spring

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

 At Gordon, life science is not something that students study in a lab.

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That is: they do study it in a lab...

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...but they also encounter nature directly, all across the campus.

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Those four actual real life robin’s eggs were created by an actual real life robin last week.

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The little family is perched in the Kindergarten playground.

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The Kindergarteners have taken responsibility for protecting the nest.

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Their efforts have paid off.

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Three eggs have hatched, one remains as of Thursday afternoon.

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Gordon is so fertile this time of year that it can seem positively tropical.

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That’s good news for science teachers who are dedicated to hands-on instruction.

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This seventh grade math and science teacher came down to the Early Childhood wing to compare their tadpoles’ progress against that of the tadpoles in her classroom.

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While there, she checked out the extraordinary achievement of an ordinary pair of captive butterflies.

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These Painted Ladies had managed to come full circle in their life cycle, mating and bringing forth hundreds of tiny young caterpillars.

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Several hundred, very tiny, very young and hungry caterpillars—a specialist from the upper grades was called in to turn this infestation into a lesson.

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The butterflies live on sugar water.

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Their caterpillar offspring, however, eat only a few specific plants.

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The only examples available were thistles, found growing in a patch near an obscure service entrance to the campus.

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Students took turns nudging the babies out of their makeshift nest with a soft paintbrush...

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and brushing them onto the plants that would be their new homes.

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