Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This morning, after reading chapter three of our Lost in the Cave story, we did a couple of activities to simulate bat sonar and echolocation.
The first activity challenged students to located an object using sound. Two people held a box lid and gently rolled a marble from end to end. A third person, with eyes tightly closed, tried to pick the marble up using their finger tips. Sounds easy, but it wasn't! Each child in class got a turn to try their skills as a bat.
The second activity demonstrated how bats use their echolocation to tell distance as well as location. We found a wall and used masking tape to mark 1 meter, 2 meters and 3 meters away. We rolled the ball at an even speed, and counted how long it took to hit the wall from each distance. We did this five times at each distance and averaged the five (luckily, we've been working on this skill in math class). Then, each child had a chance to be spun around and then placed at one of the distances (eyes tightly closed again). We rolled the ball and the child had to predict where they were - at the 1-, 2- or 3- meter mark. This was really fun, and had children excitedly planning more bat-like challenges.
We will get to meet bats up close and personal on Friday, January 29th, when the Organization for Bat Conservation will be visiting us with bats from all over the world.