Friday, 30 January 2015

Learning about the Eye

We are continuing to learn about the nervous system focusing now on the five senses.  First we have been learning about the eye and found out it is part of the peripheral nervous system

we watched several you tube videos and looked at several books that went over the parts of the eye and how it works

I brought out the lenses I have used in the past to remind the kids what a convex and concave lens are and discuss the reasons why people might need glasses

We pulled out our old pin hole camera and reviewed how it works and why it works this way and how it is similar to the eye

Next we took a look at a book of optical illusions and discussed why our eye might see things differently 

can you find the dog

the two profile faces

Kids had fun with this 

Next we watched several videos on how to dissect a Cow's eye.

Then I pulled out our cow's eye and we got started

kids examining the eye

Firedrake got brave this time and wanted to cut off the fat and muscle surrounding the eye

she found the optic nerve

cutting the cornea of, it was tougher in texture than we thought it would be!

examining the lens and iris...the only difference between a human iris and a cows iris is the cow iris is more oval in shape while a human iris is round

and taking it apart

MarioFan examining the lens... it was quite hard 
the kids used the cow's lens as a magnifying glass and despite it being a little cloudy it did work!

Next we extracted the vitreous humor the clear gel from the eye and located the retina the cream color  on top of the clear gel

the retina is attached to the optic nerve.  the human eye is black at the back of the eye to help with light absorption but a cow's eye has Tactum which makes their eyes shine at night which is the same for is the mostly blue/green multi color background in the eye

Kids labels all the parts of the eye
Showing Dad and explaining all the parts of the eye.  My husband is a little queasy when it comes to the dissections but he hides it pretty well for the kids:)

We are moving on to learning about the other senses, hearing, taste, touch and smell.  I will post some of the experiments we do for these senses soon!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Making felt dolls

My mother is very creative and crafty and I like to think I get some of my creativity from her!  During our last visit my mother taught me how to make felt dolls!  I have seen other bloggers/crafters making these and have always thought they were super cute!  This doll combines wet felting with dry felting techniques.  I am sure there are other ways to do it but this is the method we used.
we used quilting batting in which to felt the wool onto 

We used a toilet paper roll as our guide for size of skirt
Using a felting needle we felted the colored wool onto the quilt batting

Felt the two sides together or you can sew them together if you perfer

In order to make the head take a small bowl and put three drops of liquid soap in warm water

dip small pieces of wool into the water

wrap around your fingers a few times 

start to roll the strands into a ball keep adding wet wool and adding on until you get the head size you want.  This is the messy process

I forgot to take pictures of how to make the arms but you wet wrap wool around  craft bendable chenille sticks and add it below the head adding wet wool to make a neck as the picture above bundle the top of the skirt and stitch it through the wool several times to hold it into place

Next add a shirt, this can be done in so many ways but I here I chose to make a wrap over shawl as a top

Now to add hair, simply needle felt on color wool for hair and style it

I chose to make the hair long and turn it into a bun but twisting the long wool and then wrapping it around

Using a needle I felted it securely to the head

Almost to accessorize!

I added a small star ear ring as a brooch to the shawl and flower to her hair
This is the doll my mother made for me and got me interested in learning to make some for myself!  So pretty! 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Touring a Football Stadium

We had the opportunity to tour the Edward Jones Dome which is the foot ball stadium for the St Louis Rams.  There is some concerns locally that the Rams might be moving back to LA if the city doesn't build them a newer stadium!  The kids and I have never attended a live football game although we occasionally see it on TV.  Most of the time I have no clue what is going on and that is just fine by me:)!
We met up with a local homeschooling group.  I didn't realize the stadium is actually owned by the St louis convention center and the St Louis Rams only use it for games about 10 or 12 a year.  The team doesn't even practice in this stadium!

The season is over so they are getting ready to remove the artificial turf and return the floor to its original condition concrete!

The tour guide started the tour at the very top of the stadium which holds approx 66,000 people

here we are standing in the press box which can hold about 300 press and while the game is on there are phones, computers, tv's and various other electronic devices that the press core needs to do their job.  We were told outside their box is usually free food and drinks for the press to enjoy while watching the game!
In order to access this area and other restrictive areas of the arena  the above passes and badges needed to be displayed!

At the next level we were taken to a is the only suite that is available to rent throughout the season.  All other suites are rented usually with a three year contract.  We were told it was expensive to rent

Included in the suite was sitting area, food, large televisions

outside the glass door where chairs for the party to sit in to watch the game if they prefer

the view from the suite sits...not bad!

This stadium has suite almost completely around the stadium...the one we visited was one of the largest but we were told they were pretty much all the same except for the owner's suite...which we couldn't see!

Next we went down the the floor of the stadium and were told we were the last tour for this season to see the actual artificial turf as it was being packed away...When this part of the arena is not being used for football it is used for other events such as car exhibits

Here is the rolled up turf from the sidelines

and they are stored directly underneath the the kids are standing on the storage room for the turf

Kids got to feel the turf and walk on it.  I am amazed how hard that surface is!  I have a slightly greater respect for the football players as tackling on this must HURT!

We were given a few minutes to take pictures on the field...many of the kids chose to run the distance of the football field!

Next we were taken into the players locker room

The players must bring their name tag to place above their area for every game!  

There are four locker rooms in the stadium but this is the nicest and only one decorated with Ram memorabilia 

This is the canopy that is used to get the players from their locker room to the field without the public seeing them inside the arena

the showers and ice baths and whirl pool bath

room used for massages and injuries 

This is another locker room in the stadium used by visiting teams 

they don't even get chairs with cushions:)

after the tour the kids were given a Ram flag and towel as souvenirs
We had a great day out and learned interesting facts about the stadium.  Might even have to try to make a live game before the Rams move if that is what they decide to do in 2016.  I do know the city of St. Louis is trying to figure out a way to keep them here though!