Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ah weekends! Shall I ever get enough?

We had such an enriching weekend in Beirut!  We started with a family science activity to help build a strong understanding of the scientific method and foster an interest in the world around them.  Each kid had a small notepad to serve as their science journal.  I had packed bread and sliced turkey to serve as bait, a few clear jars, and other general use adventure items.  Off we went to our nearby and dearly loved Corniche to explore.  We were hoping for some fish, but the tides were wrong for that. 

Our first subject was a jelly fish.  I am fairly confident that it was already dead, but trying to tell the difference between a living and dead jelly fish is not something I can do beyond the level of: "Is it moving at this particular second?"

We recorded this is in our science journals. 

Based on our observations, we concluded that Jellyfish do not have bones, and if it was taken out of the water, it would likely squish down flat.  All-in-all, we decided not to test this hypothesis due to risk to the subject, and poisoning risk to the assistant (me).

Next, we explored the plentiful tide pools.  To set a baseline, we careful observed the natural environment, to try and determine what we could infer about the creates from the resources they needed. 


Some patience brought us to be able to spot a couple of very small hermit crabs.  Time for a lesson on camoflage!

I had hoped to be able to catch a larger-size reef crab, but no luck.  Based on our observations, crabs of this species can not be effectively lured into colanders by slices of turkey. 

Publication of these results is pending peer review. =)

We did find a sea snail, and observed that it moves so slowly, seaweed can grow on its back.  We hypothesized that a creature with many legs (the crab) would be likely to be faster than a creature with one leg (the snail).

Next trip, I shall show them that this observation doesn't scale (millipedes).

It was a really fun way to get out, explore our natural world and learn the scientific method.

As an aside, most of the pictures on this post were actually taken by my oldest daughter (6).  The pictures we parents took didn't come out very well.


  1. I love it! I can attest that reef crabs are REALLY hard to catch and seem very suspicious of there suroundings- I don't know why :) I once managed to catch one with the help od several other people herding it towards me. it was lovely with blue claws.

  2. Sounds like you all had a great time! You were able to find so many different critters to observe. Excellent photography Star!