S: Seasons of Change
FC: Sky Ranch Scrapbook | By Varenya Shrikant
1: Introduction | Sky Ranch is an educational camp open to families and schools. Our school, Town Center Elementary, visited Sky Ranch for 3 days! This scrapbook describes our visit there.
2: Limnology | Limnology was one of the classes we took at Sky Ranch. Limnology is the study of freshwater. To start off, we went to Sky Pond, which is, well, a pond at Sky Ranch. We had to decide whether Sky Pond was healthy or not. So we jotted down the temperature, color, sounds, smells, and signs of life of Sky Pond. | Here is a pic of a pond... unfortunately, Sky Pond was murkier and way more dirty than this one! | Resource: FlickR CC
3: Next, we had to grab a partner. We were to get nets and find macroinvertebrates (tadpoles, mayfly nymphs, etc.). Everyone came back with something: stoneflies, dobsonflies, riffle beetles, and even water spiders! | Some of the creepy insects at Sky Pond! | Resource: FlickR CC
4: After Sky Pond, we learned about the Water Cycle. To understand the cycle, we played a game. I got a partner to play with, and we chose a station. Then, I rolled one of the dice that were provided. The dice said, "Glacier". So we proceeded to the glacier station. When we rolled the dice at the glacier station, the dice said, "Glacier". | We even got to pet turtles. They were so cute!
5: See next page for picture of the Water Cycle! | We stayed at the glacier, ocean, and cloud stations the longest. This meant that glaciers, oceans, and clouds held water for the longest time. You see, in our game everyone was a little water molecule going from place to place (condensing, evaporating, etc.).
6: Spring is Here | Resource: Enchanted Learning.com
7: Some pics of Limnology class!
9: Expeditions | Another class we had was Expeditions. In this class, we went on many hikes. We also learned about animals and their eating habits. A carnivorous animal, such as a tiger, eats only meat. A herbivore, such as a deer, eats only plants. An omnivore, such as many humans, eat both plants and meat. Another thing we learned was invertebrates and vertebrates. Invertebrates don't have backbones, while vertebrates do. | Resource: FlickR CC | A spinal cord!
10: Hamburgers.... yum! This is what carnivores eat. | Vegetables....mmm! This is what herbivores eat. | Remember: omnivores eat both veggies AND meat! | Resource: FlickR CC
11: Decomposition is when decomposers, such as fungi, break down plants and animals to get the nutrients from them. Then, those nutrients become part of the soil and help it grow. For example, when a banana on the ground rots, its nutrients are dissolved into the soil and helps plants grow. Our class saw leaves that had gotten decomposed over time. In one exhibit, the leaves were normal looking. In the 1 year exhibit, the leaves had gotten fully decomposed and were little, tiny bits. Apart from leaf decomposition, we learned what a niche is. | The wonders of leaf decompositon! | Resource: FlickR CC
12: A niche is a hobby or an animal's job in an environment. For example, a ladybug's niche is to eat aphids. Aphids are little insects that suck the juices out of plants. Farmers love ladybugs, because they help protect their crops. Environmental impact happens when something in the environment is changed, or impacted. For example, a path that many people walk over could become worn, causing an environmental impact. | Resource: FlickR CC | A worn path. Hmm... looks old!
13: Next, we learned about... gulp.... alligators! Our class talked about their physical structures. We also talked about their functions, or the purpose of the structure. Alligators have sharp teeth for ripping and tearing flesh (ew!). They also have eyes on the sides. The location of their eyes help them look forward and to the side, so they can see everything. | Resource: FlickR CC | Oooo.... scary alligator!
14: Some pics of Expeditions Class!
18: Forces in Nature | Our next class was Forces in Nature. First, we built a rocket. Each one of us was assigned to build a specific rocket. My group was assigned to build the Long Range Rocket. This rocket had to travel 50 meters or beyond. We had limited time, so we got to work immediately. One person built the body of the rocket while I built the cone. We wanted our rocket to go really far, so I built a narrow cone. | Blast off!
19: After a while, we started testing our rockets. There was one team that was assigned to build a rocket that would explode as soon as it was shot. That team did a really good job because their rocket exploded with a loud boom! Our rocket, the Lightning Bolt, went only 24 meters! I think our rocket would have gone further if we had built a narrower body. This project reminded me of the alka-seltzer rockets that we had created back in Coppell.
20: The best part of Forces in Nature was the zipline. Volunteers like teachers and chaperones got on the zipline and we first measured their speed. The object of this project was to make the person go faster and slower. The first time, our chaperone's speed was 8.67 meters per second. Now we had to make him go faster. We all remembered something we had learned back in our school: the more mass, the heavier the person, the faster it goes. So we had our chaperone carry a bag of rocks, sticks and bricks. When he had finished, we checked back with our camp counselor to see what his speed was.
21: It was 9.24 meters per second! So the rocks had made him go faster. Next, our chaperone had to go slower.. One of the materials that were provided was a tarp. We knew that if the chaperone were to hold the tarp while he was flying, the tarp would act as a parachute and slow him down. After the test, we discovered our chaperone went 5.66 meters per second! We also learned about friction and gravity. Gravity pulls you down and friction holds you back. | Friction | Gravity
22: Apart from friction and gravity, we learned about kinetic energy and potential energy. Kinetic energy (KE) is the energy that an objects has due to its motion. For example, if a tennis ball is thrown in the air, it has the greatest KE the moment it leaves your hand. Potential energy (PE), on the other hand, is the energy an object has because of its condition. If a ball is thrown in the air, it has the greatest PE is when it is at the top of its bounce. | Greatest KE | Greatest PE
23: Resource: Google images (cotf.edu)
24: The picture on the previous page was about the Rock Cycle. In the rock cycle, there are 3 different types of rocks: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Igneous rocks form when lava hardens and cools. Metamorphic rocks form when enough heat and pressure is added. Sedimentary rocks form when sediments cement together. We had learned this at school. When we were taking nature walks around Sky Ranch, I discovered that most of the rocks were sedimentary.
25: The next thing our class talked about was energy sources. Renewable energy sources are energy sources that can be renewed, or used again and again. Some energy sources are: 1. Fossil Fuels 2. Windmills (wind) 3. Solar Energy (Sun) 4. Hydroelectric Energy (tidal energy/water) 5. Biofuels 6. Geothermal Energy
28: Challenges | Challenges was one of my favorite classes because though it involved thinking, we played many fun games. Challenges was a class that was all about teamwork and cooperation. Our class had to work together as a group and solve challenges. We had to have a strategy ready and consider every one's ideas. One of the games we played was called "Long Words". (Okay, it really wasn't called that but I don't know what it is called!) In this game our camp counselor, David, told us the rules: 1. I will give you 16 letters. You must spell one really long word.
29: 2. All the letters must be used. 3. I will only repeat the directions 3 times. After David gave us the directions, we got to work. First, we had no idea what to do, so we put them in random order. That didn't seem to work (duh!). Then, a person came up with the idea that maybe David handed out the letters to us in a certain order and they spelled the long word. Everyone got in the order that they were handed the cards out in, but that word wasn't real. After we racked our brains thinking for a solution, a girl came up with an idea.
30: Her idea was that since David wanted us to spell one really big word, he probably wanted us to spell the phrase, "one really big word". We all thought about it and gave it a try. The letters fit perfectly! We had finally gotten it correct. So you see, considering other's ideas are important. If we hadn't listened to that certain person's idea, we wouldn't have gotten it right. Some things our group really needed to work on was not shouting out and paying attention. These things help us in our daily lives.
31: Some pics of us at Challenges!
33: Day at the Beach
34: Rec Time | Rec. Time was the best part of Sky Ranch! Rec Time was a period of 2 hours after our classes and meals. There were many places to go to. We could go to the Crazy Pool, Party Pool, Water Slides, Sky Cafe, the gift shop, the Jumping Pillow, sports fields, or the Activity Center. In the Party Pool, there was a water trapeze. In this trapeze, you hold on to it and it swings you about 10 ft in the air and drops you in 9 ft of water. I have to admit: it was scary at first, but when I went on it, I loved it! The Crazy Pool had a water slide that takes you into 10 ft deep water. It was amazing! Apart from that, there were other waterslides. One of the slides was 3 stories tall! It even had a drop which was surprising. We had to sit on mats and go down
35: the slides. The Sky Cafe was really tasty, too! I tried their cheese fries and milkshake. The milkshake was HEAVENLY! I love chocolate. Overall, Rec Time was fun and relaxing.
36: Party Pool!
37: Crazy Pool!
38: Water Slides!
39: Campfire | On the second night of Sky Ranch, we had a campfire! Over the days, each cabin was coming up with a skit to present to the others. Our cabin's skit was that there was a patient in a doctor's office that had the sneezes. When she was standing in line, the person next to her got the sneezes, too. She also had muscle spasms. The person next to HER got sneezes, muscle spasms, and the twitches. The next person had the sneezes, muscle spasms, twitches, AND hiccups. This went on and on. One person had to go to bathroom really bad, and when the doctor asked what her bladder size was, she replied: "a raisin!" Other skits were hilarious, too. Even the camp counselors, Kadeem and Christian, had a skit to present.
40: Campfire was really fun and a nice way to celebrate our last night at Sky Ranch.
46: Overall, Sky Ranch was an amazing place and I am really glad I got this opportunity to go there. We all really enjoyed it!