Continent Studies: Antarctica – Creating a Research Lab


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:


  • 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:


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


  • 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:


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?


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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