Soil and Water Minibeasts - Summary of Station Activities Available.
There are usually nine stations, each containing one or more of the activities listed below.
Children look at lenses that have the appearance of some minibeast eyes. They work out whether what they see through the lens is the same as what the minibeast see.
·Centipedes and Millipedes
Students identify the difference between a centipede and a millipede using magnifying glasses.
·Soil Minibeasts in compost and a non-composted soil sample (difference in biodiversity)
Children look at a chart and identify live minibeasts in a compost and a non-composted sample. In the time available they try to discover as much as possible about them.
They work out whether there are more or less minibeasts in the compost sample compared to the non-composted sample.
·Snails and Slugs
Students use magnifying glass to look at how a slug and snail move. They also look at their tentacles/feelers and work out what they are used for.
Students look for the worms in the soil sample and examine them using a magnifying glass. They decide whether worms are important or not and why.
Many animals use camouflage so that they cannot be seen. Various invertebrates are used to demonstrate camouflage.
Students work out the composition of a soil sample.
·Acids, Bases and pH
pH is a measure of how acid or alkaline water is. Children use cabbage juice as an indicator to test whether provided water samples are acid or basic.
When analysing water samples it is very important to be able to accurately measure volumes. Children use different methods to measure volumes of water.
Brineshrimp come from salt lakes. Brineshrimp can remain dormant as cysts for many years in dried salt lakes until it rains when they hatch out. Children observe cysts and brineshrimp under a dissecting microscope.
Children look at live different marine invertebrates and work out how they eat move and survive.
Children look at the breathing apparatus of the inhabitants of some pond samples and work out that some invertebrates breathe by means of a snorkel (siphon).
Minibeasts require certain water conditions to live in. Temperature is important. Students use a thermometer to measure temperatures of the water samples.
Children use a hydrometer (actually measures the density) to measure the salinity of water samples.
·Pond Water Minibeasts
Children look for a number of live water minibeasts in a pond sample.
Children get the opportunity to get a closer look at some minibeasts using the video microscope.
·Tolerance of pond minibeasts to good or poor water quality
Children take it in turns to use a magnetic fishing rod to match the picture of aquatic invertebrates with its name. They determine whether it might be found in good or poor water quality conditions.