I should start this month's blog by addressing the elephant in the room...
(Theme for November = Elephants)
..that is, as one of my pupils pointed out last week, that the 'wetland' - in our wetland project - is virtually non-existant. "You can't have a wetland project without a wetland!". But, to wax lyrical for a second, supposing the elephant, or elephants are just late? Elephants with names such as Barbara, Conor, Doris, Ewan and Fleur. Or maybe the first elephant went somewhere else and didn't come to us?
I suddenly realised how we could integrate learning all about elephants with our wetland project! Questions such as; Could an elephant survive in the wetland? For how long? How many elephant's high is the Oak tree? Would elephant dung improve the nutrient levels in the soil? Would there be more midges? The mind boggles...
Okay enough about elephants I hear you say but just one last joke to finish.
What do you call an elephant that doesn't matter? An irrelephant!
After a dry October, we have had the driest November (with a few days to go which are also forecast dry) in the last 5 years. Hence the no-wetland-in-the-wetland-project piece above! It is only when you see data as on the table below that you realise just how good we have had it the last number of weeks. October had half the rain of June while November only beats June by 1mm!
A few other interesting stats from Met Éireann monthly data are that November was:
The arrival of November brought us a definite wintery feel. The days ever shortening, clocks going back an hour and the frosty mornings.
Yet once the frost cleared the days still had a lovely autumn feel. Our Oak is really starting to look bare these days.
The news came at the start of the month that our project was accepted at the RDS primary Science Fair at Mary Immaculate College on Saturday January 21st 2017. We applied for this back in September as we thought it would be interesting to share our unique project with other schools and also that the children would have the experience of presenting at their project stand. We are looking forward to seeing all that the Science Fair has to offer in what is sure to be an exciting day up in Mary I.
What have we done during the past month?
Since getting accepted for the Science Fair we have begun to think how we could make our display stand more appealing to students / adults from other schools. Suggestions such as putting the drone on display, a slideshow playing on an iPad were made. The children also suggested making a model of the wetland. We thought about this and decided to give it a go. Not as easy as it sounds!
We very quickly realised that the only way we could make a model was by using scale. So using an aerial photograph, and our contours which we recently finished, we began our model this week.
Sketching the contours onto the base of the model.
We hope to have a scale model of the Bishop's Wetland, Corbally Road & part of Scoil Íde so that it is easier to explain our project to people at the Science Fair. It is exciting to see how it turns out in the end when trees, buildings and colour is added. Will post photos to the mapping page when finished.
Looking ahead, December promises to be a busy month. Weather-wise we are likely to get the first of our winter storms. (First storm arrived on 7th November 2015). Going on past averages the weather will also surely be much wetter than the previous two months but as we have seen so far averages are often misleading when viewed in the short term.
More to come in December.