SCIENCE FOR THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM
By - Lula Way
Nebraska State Teachers College
Wayne, Nebraska
1947

Editor's note

The purpose of reprinting Lula Way's K-8 science curriculum is to share a view of pre sputnik era science education and the incredible vision Lula had for teaching children natural science. Her ideas represent a vision for education that began hundreds of years earlier and is still evolving today. An educational philosophy, that cares for children, understands the true nature of science, recognizes the way children are introduced to ideas and do science during their educational experiences has a profound affect on their passion for learning, view of science, love of nature and desire to care for the Earth and its inhabitants. This is the heart of the curriculum and the reason I want to share it. It is important we realize education in America and in this particular instance, science education, was not always taught with a text book recitation only methodology. There have always been teachers like Lula Way who walk against the current and provide students with a real education. This is to celebrate them.

Some activities are outdated and others use materials that are not safe to use in a classroom. It is the historical value of the activities for which they are included. If you are looking for activities to use with children today, then there are better activities which can be found at other sources.

I have reproduced her book by using the exact wording from an original document. I have added formating, mostly to the headings, to style it for an electronic media. I have also not reproduced the few line drawings which were included in the original document. I feel the text is sufficient for the purpose of this article, without the drawings. The few times a drawing might add clarification, I have added some text along with a label for the omitted sketch. Otherwise the information below is true to the original.

 

SCIENCE FOR THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM
By - Lula Way, 1947

FOREWORD

A sound belief in the vastness and. the aptness of the new science program and the known appeal which this type of instruction has to children of all ages has led to this mimeographed, copy of "Science for the Elementary Classroom."

These procedures are not mere ideas. They have been tried, and found not wanting in science appeal for youngsters.

May your use of this material be as successful as its use has been for me in both rural areas and in systems where close gradation is done.

Lula Way:Rural Teacher (Gratiot County: Michigan) and Elementary Supervisor (Nebraska State Teachers College: Wayne, Nebraska)

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS [page numbers in the original book]

How to Set Up a Science Atmosphere ................. 1
Recommended Procedures .................................. 2
Basic Materials for a Science Program ............... 4
Recommended Books for the Teacher ................ 5
Recommended Books for Class Use .................... 6
A Useful Curriculum Set Up ................................ 7
How to Conduct a Successful Field Trip .............. 8
Barometers ...................................................... 9, 10
Weather Materials ............................................... 10
Insect Killing Jars ................................................ 11
Insect Drying Boards ........................................... 11
Insect Display Cases ............................................ 12
Insect Nets ........................................................... 12
Bug-Go-Rounds ............................................. 13, 14
Spatter Painting of Loaves ................................... 14
Ink Printing of Leaves .......................................... 15
Photo Prints of Leaves .......................................... 15
Leaf Casts .............................................................. 16
Bark Casts ............................................................. 16
Vegetable or Fruit Casts ....................................... 17
Magnetism ............................................................ 17
Rock Testing ......................................................... 18
Rock Casts ............................................................ 18
Furry Lamp Rugs ........................................... 18, 19
Animal Track Casts .............................................. 19
Preservation of Small Specimens ........................ 19
Terrariums ........................................................... 20
Aquariums ........................................................... 20
Egg Displays ......................................................... 21
Hydrogen Balloons .............................................. 21
Electricity in Simple Forms ........................... 21, 22

HOW TO SET UP A SCIENCE ATMOSPHERE IN YOUR ROOM

Expensive equipment is to be desired but expensive equipment is not always to be had. This plain spoken fact has been one great determining factor in the dearth of science materials and science teaching in the elementary grades. Yet by representative trials in many situations we know that expensive equipment is not essential to a good science program for the elementary school.

Put imagination and initiative in place of expensive equipment and you
are well on your way to becoming a successful teacher for elementary children. Equip yourself with those two indispensibles, add some children whose curiosity is not already too "brow beaten", and in a few months you would not change their good behavior, their eagerness to learn, their avowed satisfaction for all the fine looking, expensive science rooms, whose display cases are always locked. And, given that same eagerness throughout elementary education, you will not find the evident dislike for secondary science nor the screamings of secondary teachers of science who say, "They," meaning the high school students, "don't know what it's all about.”

Now for how to begin: First you need a given place to have your science things. Set aside one section of the room, preferably a corner where two walls can form two spaces for bulletin boards and against which orange crates can be placed. Make the remaining sides to form a hollow square or oblong from orange crates set double - back to back. This will give shelves inside the hollow for shelving supplies and shelves outside for display places for materials collected.

On the tops of one or more orange crates place fireproof material such as asbestos shingles. You can probably get them cut to the correct size from your nearest lumber company. On this fireproof place and on this place only can fire or matches be used.

The remaining orange crates should. be covered, with pressed wood, ply wood, or "beaver" board, whichever is most accessible. This will give a smooth, reasonably solid space on which the children can perform their activities and experiments.

Then as children collect things from time to time, you will need to encourage a meaningful arrangement to all the things they bring. Begin with two great divisions - LIVING and NON-LIVING. You will want to leave more room for living things than for non-living. In time you will subdivide NON-LIVING into Rocks and Minerals. Subdivide LIVING into Plants and Animals. Redivide Plants into seed bearing and non-seed-bearing, and Animals into microscopic, worms, reptiles, fish, insects, birds, and mammals.

As these divisions are made, be sure plenty of situations arise wherein discussion can be directed to a complete understanding as to why each is in its special place.

When an item worthy of admission to the science comer is brought, give the child who brings it a label on which he is to give the correct information called for.

Name of item   ________________________
Collected by   _________________________
Date   ______________________________

This simple precaution will save hard feelings when and if the children wish to take their collections home and offers no small amount of incentive to bring other things as well.

RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES

At the outset each teacher who uses this book should first realize that science does not lend itself easily or well to the question and answer type of teachings. It does not lend itself to textbook teaching alone. Science is a basic "feel and touch" subject, therefore, what the child can feel and, touch will be of far greater value than studying meaningless words from a text. Promptly, let me hasten to say, do not be conceited enough to believe that you can teach science well without books. Most of us as elementary teachers are not science majors; thus we need more books. Elementary science has one great main purpose - to bring the child to the realization that all nature is full of wonderful and beautiful things which man in and of himself cannot surpass. If we teach technical things with feeling, all right; "but if we teach technical things and leave feelings out, then we shall find ourselves living meaningless lives devoid of the beauty and simplicity which must surely come if life is to be more than a more livelihood jaunt. Inspire the child to feel and touch; then inquire concerning what he has felt and. touched; then read; then classify; then display; then express his findings. Let's put it this way:

Since it is a known premise that most youngsters dislike science in, High school, let us inquire concerning the reasons. Talk with the youngsters. They feel their teachers are "sticklers" for "big names"; they are "too fussy" about papers. If those are reasons why science is not liked, then let us, as elementary teachers, begin to help even our youngest children find a methodical yet self satisfying means for expressing his scientific findings. Thus the "What we use," "What we did," and "What happened" method of reporting his findings will lead to logical thinking and avoid some of the "fussy" feeling when he arrives in secondary science classes. If we teach the child that science work is to be done in manuscript form, we can avoid his later distaste for "printing" as the general science students in high school call it.

"The science students have neither respect nor regard for the truth," say their instructors. How can. they when even the elemental laws upon which so much of scientific truth is based and which high school teachers have a right to expect the student to know already is entirely vague in his mind?
We spend much time teaching from books when right at hand is a million-dollar laboratory! Let us concern ourselves with these four measuring sticks when we consider a unit in science,

Is it

  1. Sincere
  2. Suitable
  3. Simple
  4. Scientific

If it is truly all four of these, then the child will be an eager learner in any one of a thousand or more interesting and educational ventures in the field of natural science.

In the units mentioned, I have tried to show how one thing will lead to another, and it is my hope that every teacher will use this table only as a guide, not a course to be followed doggedly.

BASIC MATERIALS FOR A SCIENCE PROGRAM

  1. A place to keep science things
  2. A piece of asbestos
  3. An alcohol lamp either purchased or school made
  4. Matches in a tightly covered glass IS, Odd pieces of glass container
  5. Several test tubes either purchased or school made from small olive bottles
  6. Several sizes of beakers purchased or made from tumblers or tin cans slightly bent to make a suitable pouring lip
  7. Hosiery boxes
  8. Several orange crates
  9. Broom sticks
  10. Assortment of nails
  11. Hammer
  12. Rip saw
  13. Coping saw and blades
  14. Tri square to assure 90° corners
  15. Cotton batting
  16. Moth crystals or balls
  17. Kraft tape 2 inches wide
  18. Odd pieces of glass
  19. Glass cutter
  20. Various sizes of tin cans
  21. Odd pieces of Celotex or like material
  22. Cyanide either in pure potassium cyanide (white) form or in pest killing form (black)
  23. Sawdust
  24. Various sizes of jars with tight fitting lids
  25. Old paint brushes
  26. Old curtain rods
  27. Small supply green or black printer's ink from your news printing office
  28. Kerosene
  29. Denatured alcohol
  30. Several old. tooth "brushes
  31. Pins
  32. Good. supply of Plaster-of-Paris (cheap grade)
  33. Small "bottle hydrochloric acid (diluted 1 to 4)
  34. Several zinc jar covers
  35. Several small rubber "balloons
  36. Several large gallon or two gallon glass containers such as paste jars glass containers such as paste jars or "battery jars
  37. Yarn
  38. 0, 1/0, 2/0 sandpaper
  39. One gallon formaldehyde for animal preservation

Other materials will be needed only as specified in the individual experiments. As you will notice, most of these thirty-nine articles are available without a price tag attached. Have the children bring the needed materials. They can be stored inside the hollow square; then materials will be handy when they are needed.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR THE TEACHER

Comstock, Anna B., Handbook of Nature Study. Ithaca, New York: Comstock Publishing Co., 1945 edition. $5.00. - An excellent book for identification of things children bring. The book also contains human interest stories concerning each plant or animal, rock or mineral mentioned. A "must have" for every elementary teacher.

Craig, Gerald S., Science for the Elementary Teacher. New York: Ginn and Co., 1945. $3.50. - Craig explains all the elemental laws of nature and explains the simple experiments which can be done. Very good material but slightly technical. Definitely a second choice for the teacher’s library.

Croxton, W. C., Science In the Elementary. School. Kew York; McGraw Hill, 1937. - This book has a wonderful calendar of science events which, if given due consideration, would offer sufficient material for science teaching throughout an entire year.

Association for Childhood Education, "Science for the Very Young Child," Washington, P.O.: Association for Childhood Education, 1936. - A pamphlet which places the activities of science on tho first grade level. Good. material for primary teachers.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR CLASS USE

Jaques, H. E., The How to Know Series, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Jaques Publishing Co., 1940"1945. - This series includes books on; Insects. Trees, Birds, and Mammals. - The books are ready reference material for identification and classification, They are compact, yet very effective,

Blough, Q. O., Parker, et. al. Basic Science Series, Evanston, 111.: Bow Peter son Co., 1940-1947. - The series includes thirty-five different titles on such subjects as Reptiles, Balance in Nature, Ask the Weather Man, Animal Babies, Birds Protective Coloration. They are but a few of the ungraded series. Each book is built either for lower or upper elementary. By a careful selection of those 35 cent booklets one could cover a wide range of teaching with a relatively small outlay of money.

The "Class Use" books ought to be in the science corner available to any child who cares to "find out" about something. Aside from these "Class
Use" books there should be sets of books to be used as reading material in class. There are many such books. Almost every book company has its series, all of which have their good. and bad points. Some of the outstanding are:

Most book companies pride themselves on good science texts, but there is no such thing as a good elementary text. Elementary science should, grow from needs, and the needs of one section of the country may be entirely irrelevant in another section. If we wish to do good science teaching we will teach from some study form such as the one outlined herein which allows for flexibility and not be pinned to a prescribed course of study which does not allow for some choice. We will not read a text. We will be users of many texts. Science will mean experiencing and not become a matter of page by page, question and answer kind of subject.

A USEFUL CURRICULUM SET-UP - Flexible and Usable

General Divisions

Spring

Fall

Winter

SAMPLE DIVISION OF LABOR FOR THREE UNITS

Name of Unit and Grade Level

Insects

Leaves

Weather

HOW TO CONDUCT A SUCCESSFUL FIELD TRIP

Use the field, trip for one of three purposes:

  1. to motivate or stimulate interest in a given topic,
  2. to culminate what has already been studied,
  3. as a collecting trip,

If the trip is to motivate, then "be sure ahead of the appointed, time that what you expect to teach is there. There is much wasted, class time used in "going to see if." If the trip is for motivation purposes, then not much need be said prior to the time of the trip except to give directions concerning clothing and to be sure permission slips are in, properly signed, if you intend to leave the immediate vicinity of the school ground.. Use some such form as this;


_________________________ has my permission
to go on the school field trip scheduled. For
__________________
Month        Day     Year
_______________________
Signature of Parent

Somehow instill in the children the fact that nature is never rowdy and that she will not show off in her best style in the presence of rowdies. Be still. Look and feel and touch, (if you can without disturbing the specimen) but do not run or yell.

Go "Buddy fashion". Each child, has someone else to watch and. be watched by. This eliminates many possible accidents and takes care of the strays.

If the work is to culminate what has already been studied, then there should, be some sort of work sheet prepared ahead of time which he fills in from observations made enroute. Here again, go "Buddy fashion". Require observation "but do not require sketches. Encourage sketches, for herein is born a liking for the artistic greatness of the out-of-doors. Who knows, you may develop another Audubon.

If the trip is a collecting trip, then equip each "Buddy pair" with the necessary articles for successfully collecting what you set out to "catch" or "get" and allow them to use such methods as are both sanitary and safe to do so.

In any case, insist upon First Aid equipment - always. It is better to have carried it and not needed it than to have needed it when it was not to be had.

[Activities]

A HORSEHAIR BAROMETER

What we used:

What we did:

Saw the pieces, sand them so that all rough edges are gone. Nail the 12" piece to the 3" x 3" piece like this; Picture joined at 90 degree angle
Cat a slit in one side of the 3" x 1 1/2" piece thus; Picture slit half way on the bottom of the long side at 90 degrees toward the center of the board. Now nail this to the top of the 12" piece. Tie a pin to the top and bottom of the horsehair. Suspend it from the top through the slit to within 3/4" of the bottom of the barometer.

What happened:

A horsehair, as are all hair, is hollow. In stormy or low pressure times the pressure outside the hair will be greater than the pressure inside. This will cause the hair to curl before storms. In fair or high pressure times the pressure outside and inside will be the same. The hair will be straight. Thus we have a fairly accurate barometer.

A BAROMETER

What we used:

An old fashioned, light bulb with a tip on the end, and. some colored, anti-freeze

What we did:

Put the bulb into the anti-freeze holding it with one hand and clipping: off the tip end of the bulb with old scissors with the other hand. Let the antifreeze suck into the bulb until it is full. Suspend the bulb "by a string from a convenient place to observe it from time to time.
What happened:
When it is going to rain or storm, the air pressure will be heavy and will push a little drop out of the bulb. When it is going to be fair, the air pressure outside will be as great as the pressure inside, thus a drop will not form. This makes a fine barometer,

A HYGROMETER

What we used:

A doll cut from paper and placed in a standard ready for use. Dozens of dresses cut from white material. Cobalt chloride, water, and a quart jar partly filled with water.

What we did:

Each morning dip a dress in cobalt chloride. Let it dry in out-door atmosphere air.

What happened:

If the dress turns blue, the humidity is low. If the dress turns, pink the humidity is high.

A WEATHER CHART

What we used:

A thermometer, A chart, A weather vane, Some crayons, The cloud pictures

What we did:

Each morning we read the thermometer, found the wind direction, and observed the clouds. We followed the government weather bureau's key and made a chart.

What happened:

At the end of the month we will have a complete weather record for our city.

A KILLING JAR

What we used:

A glass jar with a tight lid, Sawdust, Plaster-of-Paris, Cyanide poison, Water

What we did:

Put sawdust in the jar. Have our teacher put some cyanide in the jar, Mix some Plaster-of-Paris and. water until it is like paste. Pour it over the sawdust. When it has hardened put the lid on and then put a POISON label on it,

What we have:

A good place to kill insects.

A DRYING-BOARD

What we used:

An orange crate, A lid to a glass jar, Some nails, A killing jar

What we did:

Cut four wedges shaped like this: [sketch of a wedge 1/2" on high side 1/8” on low side and 4” long.] Use one end of an orange crate. Cut two pieces four inches wide and seven inches long. Nail the wedges to the end. Nail the two pieces to the wedges. Nail the jar lid to the orange crate end for a pin tray. Glue the killing jar beside it.

What we have:

This is a good board to pin down the insects while they dry.
[Sketch of - how the four wedges, two pieces of orange crate end, killing jar, jar lid for pins are arranged.]

INSECT DISPLAY CASES

What we used:

Hosiery boxes, Cotton, Kraft gunned tape, Pins, Glass, Labels for insects already collected, Moth "balls or crystals, Paint

What we did:

Crush a moth ball and put a few flakes in each corner of the bottom section of the box. Place enough cotton on top of the moth crystals to come flush with the top. Place the insects on the cotton with the proper label beside each insect.
Mark a rectangle inside the cover which is one inch smaller than the cover on each side. Cut the rectangle out with a sharp blade. Place a glass, exactly the size of the box top, inside the cover. Tape it in securely with Kraft tape. Place this glass-windowed cover over the bottom section, and tape the entire box closed.

What happened:

This, when attractively painted, makes a suitable display case for all types of insects.

INSECT NETS

What we used:

Broom stick, Wire hanger, Mosquito netting or flour sack, Fine wire or strong string

What we did:

Bend the hanger into a circle, with the hook straightened to make a straight handle. Sew the sack to the hanger. Bore a hole into the end of the broomstick slightly smaller than the size of the wire in the hanger. Force the wire into this hole and fasten it again by cross wrapping it with fine wire or strong string.

What happened:

This makes an excellent means for catching insects.

BUG-GO-ROUND

What we used:

What We did:

In the large tin can cut three holes the size of the three smaller cans like this;

[Sketch of of three small cans attached to the larger can with a hole on the side to insert a broom.]

Fasten the cans by wiring the prongs to the large can or by soldering them. Fasten sockets in tops of cans "a" and "b". Join the wires from the two lights and make cord long enough to fit into will socket. If no electricity is available, fasten two flash lights in place of light bulbs. In can "c" cut a hole slightly smaller than the magnifying glass. Let the prongs hold. the glass like this:

[Sketch of a circle like cut out, however, the cut is made in a manner that left three rectangular tabs from the edge of the circle toward the center of the circle about one-third of the way. The tabs being able to bend over and hold the glass]
Cover the ice cream drum with glossy white paper. Mount insects with pins through the drum. Put the broom stick through the ice cream drum and. tape it so it will not turn unless the entire drum turns. Put the broom stick through hole in the large tin can. Center this hole so the stick will turn freely,
Mount the Bug-Go-Round in a box with a hollowed place just large enough to cradle it.

What happened:

When the lights are flashed on, as you look through the magnifying glass and turn the broom stick handle, you will see giant highly-colored insects.

LEAF SPATTER PRINTS

What we used:

What we did:

Arrange the leaf on a 9 x 12 sheet of construction paper. (If shoe polish is used, use dark-colored construction paper.) Fasten the leaf to the paper with pins. Hold a piece of screen about four inches above the paper and gently rub the tooth "brush which has "been dipped in ink across it. Move it "back and forth across the screen until tho entire surface is spattered,

What happened:

After the ink has dried and the original leaf has "been removed, there will "be an accurate reproduction of the leaf.

INK PRINTS

What we used:

printer's ink, A piece of glass, A smooth glass jar, Newspaper, White construction paper, Leaves

What we did:

Put some ink on the glass. Roll it out thin with the glass jar. Lay the leaf down on the glass so the veins are toward the ink. Cover it with a quarter of a page of newspaper. Rub carefully until you can feel the veins of the leaf. Throw that piece of paper into the waste basket. Take up the leaf and place it on white construction paper. Cover it with another piece of newspaper. Rub again. Lift off the leaf and label the imprint correctly.

What happened:

The exact imprint of a leaf is left on the construction paper. This print can be kept much more easily than the actual leaf.

PHOTO PRINTS OF LEAVES

What we used:

A package or tube of M.Q. developer
Three pans (enameled)
A board such as an end of an orange crate
A piece of glass about the same size
Sheets of contact photographic paper
Acid fixer and leaves

What we did:

Mix the chemicals according to the directions on the tubes. Place the developer in Pan 1, the water in Pan 2, and the fixer in Pan 3. These should be in a dark place. Still in a dark place, put a piece of contact paper on the board, glossy side up. Place the leaf on it as neatly as you can feel it. Place the glass on top. Now turn on the light and count slowly to 25 or take to the sunlight and count to 7. Return to the dark place and put the sheet of contact paper in Pan 1 and rock it gently. When through the dark you can see the whiteness quite distinctly, then rinse it in Pan 2. Then put it in Pan 3 and allow it to stay there for 10 or 15 minutes. Wash the print for equal time in water again and hang up by clothespins to dry. Mount in frames for pictures or in mounts of wood for museum displays. Label the leaf correctly.

What happened:

We have a black and white print of the leaf, and we have learned the first principles of photographic development.

LEAF CASTS

What you used:

Plaster-of-Paris, Clay, Vaseline, Cardboard, Leaves

What we did:

Smooth the surface of some clay so it will lie quite a bit larger than the leaf. The clay should "be about 1/2" thick. Make a cardboard "collar" around the clay. Press the leaf down firmly against the clay with the veins up. Mix Plaster-of-Paris and pour the mixture into the clay mold. Let it slake. When it is cool, peel away the clay. Paint the leaf. Scratch the name into tho Plaster-of-Paris.

What happened:

This makes a very attractive way to preserve the exact likeness of a leaf.

BARK CASTS

What we used:

A good sample of bark, Clay, Vaseline, Plaster-of-Paris

What we did:

Smooth and shape the clay to be longer and wider than the bark sample by several inches. Have it about an inch thick. Rub the bark lightly with Vaseline and push it evenly and hard into the clay until it has made a deep print. Carefully remove the bark. Box the clay in with a rim of cardboard. Mix the Plaster-of-Paris and pour the mixture over the print. Just before it slakes put a clip in the center top to be a hanger for the plaque. When it is thoroughly dry peel away the clay. Paint tho bark as nearly the color of the original as possible. Scratch the name of the bark below the imprint.

What happened:

After the imprint is properly painted, this plaque will be easier to keep than the actual bark. It will not crumble.

VEGETABLE OR FRUIT CASTS

What we used:

A solid. vegetable or piece of fruit, such as carrot or apple, Paint

What we did:

Smooth off a lump of clay to a size larger than the vegetable or fruit and about three inches thick. Press the vegetable or,fruit deeply into the clay. When the impression is made, carefully remove the vegetable or fruit. Enclose the clay in a cardboard form about one inch higher than the clay. Mix Plaster-of"Paris and pour it into the form. Allow the mixture to slake before removing clay. Paint in natural color.

What happened:

This makes a suitable and artistic representation of perishable fruits and vegetables.

A MAGNET HAS POLES

What we used:

A bar magnet, Some iron filings, A sheet of paper

What we did:

We sprinkled some iron filings on a sheet of paper, Then we put the paper over a bar magnet and slowly moved the paper.

What happened:

When the iron filings get close enough to the magnet some of the filings will point north, and a little south of the middle the filings will start to point south. This shows that iron filings do point toward both poles.

HOW TO MAKE A COMPASS

What we used:

Steel needle, Magnet, Piece of silk thread, A frame to hold the needle suspended by a thread

What we did:

Make a frame of wood, Rub the needle in slow, even, one-way strokes until it will pick up a nail. Tie the silk thread to the needle and then let it hang down from the frame.

What happened:

The point that was rubbed will always point north. We can mark the other end with ink to show which end has been rubbed.

HOW TO TEST ROCKS

What we used:

Many kinds of rocks, Hydrochloric acid, An eye dropper, Running water

What we did:

Put a few drops of hydrochloric acid on each stone.

What happened:

If the acid bubbled the stone was made by water acting on soil.
If it bubbled only a little, it is meta. If the acid did not bubble, the stone was made by fire acting on soil.

HOW TO MAKE ROCK CASTS FOR, DISPLAY

What we used:

Plaster-of-Paris, Box the correct size for a mold, Water, Spoon, Dish, A rock to mount

What we did:

Mix the Plaster-pf-Paris. Pour it in the mold that has been made ready. Just before it slakes,.set the rock down into the mold. Let it slake. Take off tho mold. Cut a slanting swath across the front of the•mold. Smooth it. Carve or scratch the name of the rock on this slanting surface.

What happened:

When the Plaster-of-Paris slakes, it holds the rock in place and leaves a good surface on which to label each rock.

A SQUIRREL LAMP RUG

What we used:

A carefully skinned-out squirrel hide, Borax, Modeling clay, Felt, Moth balls, Thread

What we did:

While the hide is still damp rub all the under side with borax until you can feel it rubbing below, the top layer. Then let it stand covered with borax until the hide begins to dry at the edges. Make a clay model of tho head and insert it in place while the clay is still pliable. Cut the upper and lower jaws with a coping saw and insert them in the clay while the clay is still moist. Stitch the hide to felt and just before finishing pour in a generous amount of powdered, moth "balls* Trim the felt to conform to the outline of the squirrel,

What happened:

The borax sufficiently tans the hide to hold the hair in place. The moth balls keep moths and larvae away, and the whole hide makes an. attractive table rug on which to place a lamp.

ANIMAL TRACK CASTS

What we used:

Plaster-of-Paris, A strip of cardboard, Some fresh animal track impressions

What we did:

Find some well-made fresh tracks. Make a frame to surround the track, just slightly larger than the track. Mix enough Plaster-of-Paris to fill the frame. Make it quite thick. Pour into the frame. Allow it to set until slaked,

What happened:

When this frame is removed and the dirt is "brushed away, there is an exact reproduction of a foot print in the Plaster-of~Paris,

PRESERVATION OF SMALL SPECIMENS

What we used:

A jar that can "be tightly sealed
A small animal to preserve ,
A supply of formaldehyde
A piece of glass about 2" wide and not quite as high as the jar

What we did:

Clean the specimen of all loose dirt. Clean the jar. Fasten the specimen to the glass strip lay a fine thread in several places. Place this glass strip with the animal tied to it in the jar. Fill the jar with formaldehyde and seal. Label correctly.

What happened:

This will preserve small animals for several years. Good for snakes, toads» frogs, ground squirrels, chipmunk, bats, etc.

HOW TO MAKE A TERRARIUM

What we used:

A glass container, Some coarse gravel, Some rich dirt, Some "broken pottery, Some Plaster-of-Paris, Few small» pretty stones, Some easily grown foliage plants, Some moss, Some animals that are amphibian in nature

What we did:

Place the broken pottery on the bottom of the glass container. Cover this with coarse gravel. Place the rich dirt on next. Make some uneven places on the surface. Find a shallow container about the size to look well in one of the hollows you have made in the dirt. Pour enough Plaster-of-Paris mixed to the thickness of gravy into this container and mold it so the slope to the rim is gradual. Place this in the dirt so the edges are even with the dirt. Plant the foliage plants. Cover the remainder with moss. Put in the pretty stones to make the scene more beautiful. Last of all put in a frog, a toad, a salamander. Cover the terrarium with a piece of glass. Give the animal tiny bits of food about-every third day.

What happened:

The animal life balances, the plant life so both will live without additional air unless the dirt or water is made foul smelling by putting in too much food.

H0W TO MAKE AN AQUARIUM

What we used:

A one gallon (or larger) glass container, Some fine sand, Some" plant life and fish or tadpoles, Some snails, Stones or broken pieces of crockery

What we did:

Clean the glass container, such as a large paste jar, a battery jar or a regular glass rectangular aquaria. Put several pieces of broken crockery or two good-sized stones in the bottom of the container. Cover it with a layer of clean and freshly washed sand. Put the stem of the water plants deeply into the sand. Allow these plants to stand for two days or until the water is very clear* Put in one fish for each gallon of water or several tadpoles (not more than six). Allow the aquarium to stand uncovered for a day or two. Then cover with a clear piece of glass. Watch carefully. If bubbles appear, add more plants. If they still appear, take out some animal life. When a balance has been achieved, add several snails to keep the container clean.

What happened:

By balancing the aquarium the fish and snails will breathe IN what
the plants breathe OUT* This will make frequent water changes unnecessary.

BLOWING AN EGG

What we used:

An egg, a pin, Plaster of "Paris

What we did:

Prick a hole in the egg shell on both top and. Bottom. Blow hard through one hole until all the inside is out. Make a paper funnel and pour enough Plaster-of-Paris mixture in to fill the egg. Mount it on a Plaster-of-Paris base, Label it properly.

What happened:

This made a solid mounting for bird eggs.

A BALLOON FILLED WITH HYDROGEN GAS

What we used:

HCL or H2SO4, Bottle with a small neck, A zinc can top, Balloon

What we did:

Cut a zinc top into small pieces. Put these pieces into the small-necked bottle. Pour in the HCL, add some water. Shake the bottle. Put the balloon over the neck of the bottle, While the balloon is filling with gas, write a letter on very thin paper,

What happened:

After the letter was tied to the balloon it floated up into the air because it was lighter than air. T7o hope. to get an answer to our letter from some far-away state.

ELECTRIC MAP

What we used:

A dry cell, Plenty of covered copper wire, A drill and some pliers, Copper rivets, A board of convenient size to accommodate the map you wish to use, A buzzer which requires not more than four volts

What we did:

Suppose we have chosen cities of Nebraska for our map. Along the side name the cities. On the map locate where these cities are by placing a rivet there. Run a wire on the back of the map to its proper name along the side. Run a. wire from the dry cell through the buzzer leaving a foot or two of extra wire. From the other post run another wire several feet long.

What happened:

When the end. of one wire is placed on a rivet and. the other end, is placed, on the correct city, the buzzer will buzz. This completes an electric circuit. On any other than the correct answer the circuit will not be complete, thus no buzz.

ELECTRO MAGNET

What we used:

A dry cell battery, A nail, Some copper wire

What we did:

Attach one end of a piece of copper wire to a post of the battery, wrap it, in one direction only around the wire and attach the other end of the wire to the other post on the battery.

What happened:

This completed circuit will produce magnetism enough to pick up many metal pieces whose base is iron.
CAUTION: Remove one wire as soon as you finish using it or the battery will lose its power.