Family Science

Shifting Seasons

by rockprogram on Nov. 7th, 2013 No Comments

California Poppies Outside The Academy

Have you noticed the change in the air? The days are becoming shorter, the nights are growing longer, and the air is crisp and chilly. Autumn is upon us!
As the seasons change, so do many plants and animals. Some of these changes are obvious: a honking flock of geese migrating south for winter might catch our attention, or the leaves on a deciduous tree will change from green, to gold, to red, to gone. However, some changes are much more subtle, and are well worth keeping an eye out for. There are many ways to explore the changing seasons, both at the Academy of Sciences and at home. With your family (and perhaps a jacket!), try watching autumn in some new ways.

Watch the Sunset at Home

We know the days are getting shorter, but by how much? Step outside with your family and watch the sunset while or peek through the window and write down your observations. Using a watch, keep track of how much earlier the sun is setting each day. If you have a thermometer handy, you can also record how the temperature is changing. Compare your answers by clicking on California and selecting your city, and see how close your observations are.

How Will our Living Roof Change?

Our Living Roof is a great place to watch the seasons change. If you have visited during the spring or summer, you might immediately notice a difference. Make predictions about how this roof will change as we get closer to winter. Which species will tolerate the cold, wet winter? Which ones will fade away until spring? Ask a docent stationed on the roof or visit the Naturalist Center to learn more about the species that live there.

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