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Creation and the Jewish Bible

By |2017-08-23T21:56:08+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

God creates the Sun and the Moon, in a medieval European painting Many of the Jewish people in West Asia believed that at the beginning of time God created order out of Chaos. This is what is written in the beginning of the Bible, in the book called Genesis. Jewish ideas about the beginning of the [...]

Plants in India – What grew there?

By |2017-07-20T07:23:08+00:00July 20th, 2017|Environment, India|

An Indian man selling mangoes When people first came to India, about 60,000 BC, they found some plants that they already knew about, like figs and onions. There were also a lot of new plants, and people soon began to experiment with these new foods. One new food was sugar cane, which you chewed to get the soft [...]

Silurian period – Fish get jaws

By |2018-04-19T11:29:11+00:00June 25th, 2017|Biology, Geology|

Silurian period: Trout swimming When was the Silurian period? The beginning of the Silurian period was about 443 million years ago. Some environmental problem at the end of the Ordovician period (probably ice ages) killed most of the plants and animals on Earth. The creatures that survived this extinction were the ones that [...]

Proterozoic Eon – eukaryotes to worms

By |2018-04-21T11:56:39+00:00June 24th, 2017|Biology, Geology|

Two and a half billion years ago, the Archaean Eon ended and the Proterozoic Eon began. Trillions of prokaryote cells lived in Earth's oceans. Some of these cells could photosynthesize their energy from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. These photosynthesizing cells pooped out a lot of oxygen. By about 2.3 billion years ago, the iron [...]

Ancient Egyptian plants – papyrus and palm trees

By |2017-06-13T12:32:17+00:00June 13th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, Environment|

Date palms The plants that grew in ancient Egypt were very different from plants that grow in America or Britain. The lotus and the papyrus plants, for instance, were (and are) very common in Egypt. Papyrus is a kind of reed which grows in wetlands along the banks of the Nile River. Date [...]

Plant food – a nitrogen project – Chemistry

By |2018-04-16T17:46:39+00:00June 1st, 2017|Chemistry|

A jug of nitrogen fertilizer It's pretty easy to see just how much a plant needs nitrogen to grow. Just take any two plants (they could be small house plants, or plants growing outside) and sprinkle a nitrogen-based plant food over one of them, and not the other one. Follow the directions on [...]

What is a vascular system? Plant biology

By |2018-04-13T23:51:51+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Veins in a leaf About 600 million years ago, the first plant cells evolved to be different from animal cells, and from earlier prokaryote cells, because they had a stiff cell wall made of molecules of carbon and oxygen, with some other elements like hydrogen, nitrogen, and calcium as well. In plants, the [...]

What are conifers? Pine trees, gymnosperms

By |2018-04-21T11:56:36+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Spruce tree - a type of gymnosperm and conifer Near the end of the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, the land on Earth got a lot drier than it had been before. It was drier because plate tectonics was bringing all of the land together into one big continent, Pangaea. Plants that [...]

Collecting pine cones – Gymnosperms project

By |2018-04-16T10:35:31+00:00May 30th, 2017|Biology|

Squirrel eats pine seeds from a cone Go take a walk outside in the fall and collect pine cones on the ground. How many different kinds of pine cones can you find? Can you figure out which tree makes which kind of pine cone? Sit quietly near a pine tree and watch squirrels [...]