Friday, May 29, 2015


Keren Sharon
Assistant Professor
University of Michigan, Department of Astronomy

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Nature Walk [I can't get all my videos to work, don't know why, uuuggghhh]

I  got out our microscope this morning and we used it to look at a few things from around the house: yarn, some coins, cat hair, etc.

Then we went to Dicken Woods by our house on an expedition to find some samples to look at under the microscope. I took two pictures and then my battery died. The first is some water from a little pond in the woods, and the second is the brown-orange water in the mushroom.

We also collected some leaves, flowers. Everything was kept in plastic bags or glass baby food jars. Pond water is on the left, mushroom water on the right. Ella and Daniel used big eye-droppers to collect the water. They really enjoyed it.
The mushroom water was interesting because it smelled bad, the the pond water because we could see little creatures swimming around in it (the creatures are still alive this morning and my phone is recharged so I took these pictures this morning). They're probably 1-2mm long.

The kids looked through the eyepiece of microscope and I later found that the microscope has a camera attached, so we were able to record what we say. Google says they are 'ostracods', a kind of crustacean. They are filter-feeders.

Ella drew what she saw:

Here was a bigger one. If you look closely you can see heartbeat (I think) in some of the frames. Wikipedia says ostracods don't have hearts, so if this is a heart, it must be something else, maybe an insect larva? We will need to investigate this further.

Finally, we looked at the mushroom water. We tried all different magnifications and finally found that we had to turn the power all the way up (1000x) to see something interesting. It's a good thing we can make movies:

Daniel wasn't too impressed but Ella thought it was pretty cool. I'm not sure how big these little things are, but they are probably single-celled organisms like paramecia or something else with a flagellum that propels it. Each little one seems to be going in a preferred direction for at least a little bit, so I don't think it's just random motion. I wasn't able to see much on the highest magnification, but this will be an area of future research.

After the last movie, the kids went downstairs to play and I stayed upstairs and played with the microscope some more. Today we will google some more to see what else we can learn about what we saw.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Recital 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015


Sent from my iPhone


Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Taco night!