Continent Studies: Antarctica – Creating a Research Lab

antarctic-button

One of the things I really wanted to do during our Antarctica study was make an Antarctica Research Laboratory.  Our house is not huge and really does not have unlimited areas in which I could create one.  Although I had only just finished the hallway I decided that under the stairs was the perfect place for our laboratory.  In my head I plotted and planned but knew I probably wouldn’t actually execute these plans until it snowed.  London and its suburbs never gets a huge amount of snow but we do almost always receive at least one obligatory snow flurry each year.  This year that day happened to be yesterday.  Fortunately, I was full of energy and more than up for the job of rearranging our hallway, again (!).  And you know?  I was quite pleased with the result:

DSC_0360lab

  • We already had the hooks that the girls used for their coats.  We used these to hang their lab coats and goggles (Daddy’s old white shirts would do just as well):

Ribbet collagelab1

  • There was also a handy nail just above where the lab coats hung.  On this I hung a black board sign saying ‘Antarctica Research Lab’:

Ribbet collagelab2

  •  We also had a handy white board for recording purposes just behind the door:

DSC_0403Antarcticlab

  • I brought in our living room table to use as the lab bench:

DSC_0339lab

  • And then filled every nook and cranny with every little bit of science equipment we owned:

Ribbet collagelab3

We included:

  • a tape measure and rulers to measure depth of snow, length of ice blocks, height of penguins etc.
  • a compass for any intrepid explorers who wish to brave the sub zero Antarctic temperatures
  • binoculars to be able to study penguins at a great distance
  • a magnifying glass for examining specimens
  • a scale to weigh pieces of ice, specimens, penguins and for comparative studies.
  • Conical flasks, beakers, pipettes, turkey basters, test tubes
  • Thermometer for testing inside and outside temperatures
  • And basically anything else I had floating around that might have been considered even vaguely scientific…

Then we added our scientists:

DSC_0381lab

And boy did they have fun:

Ribbet collagelab5

….mixing and stirring; pipetting and turkey basting:

Ribbet collagelab4

….preparing slides, and viewing them under the microscope:

Ribbet collagelab6

Who knew an Antarctica Research Lab could hold such treasures?

DSC_0382lab

After they had played to their hearts content, they happily joined me in some Antarctic themed snow experiments, on which I shall be posting tomorrow.

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