Tiny Bubbles host Tiny Creatures

This week begins our look at plankton.    The boy’s affected an attitude that they were a tad uninterested.  Then the drawings and watercolors from Earnst Haeckel (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/haeckel.html) appeared and became an addition to our walls above the math shelf.  The boys began to perk up.  The geometric shapes, the detail all spoke to them.

AV began to research the various branches of plankton finding out how tiny and how large these organisms may become.

JV found the diatoms fascinating. He marveled how they were three dimensional geometric shapes he recognized (rhomboids) and studied ones which were much more complex.

Diatomea

Diatomea

Copepoda (zooplankton)

Copepoda (zoo plankton)

JV was presented with a super dodecahedron and challenged to find the area of the calcified “shell” part of this mythical but plausible diatom.

60 isosceles triangles later and it was time: base multiplied by height divided by two – all in millimeters.

Tomorrow he’ll put the piece all together into a brilliant star shape.  Not bad for a geometry piece to his very full half-day’s work – Latin, typing, summary paragraph on survival of species in the ocean.

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2 Comments

Filed under AV, Biology, Geometry, JV, Mathematics, Science

2 responses to “Tiny Bubbles host Tiny Creatures

  1. Grandma Vice

    I can see where Diatomea and Copepoda would grab their interest, cool shapes!!

  2. This reminds of the summers I spent working for the DNR, hunched over a microscope sorting and counting plankton with a bogorov tray. You should consider getting or making one and have them sort some things. See http://www.paleolab.ca/wwwguide/methods.htm.

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