Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pond Viewers

Recently our homeschool nature club got together and made POND VIEWERS.  Oh, these were super fun and super duper easy to boot!

What is a pond viewer?  Well quite simply its a device used to view a small sample of pond or lake water (remember to always watch your child closely and never leave them alone when around water!).  When you use a pond viewer you can immediately view whatever organisms might be dancing about in the water.  The good... and the not so good.

First off, the needed supplies.
  • A large can (a coffee can works great -- #10-- or a large metal juice can). 
  • Duct Tape
  • Clear Plastic Wrap
  • Rubber band
  • Scissors
  • Can opener
  • A pond or lake

First, remove both ends from the can. Clean the can well. Try to make sure that there are no sharp edges that will cu you or the child.  If there is, take some tape and carefully tape the edge. 

Step 1:  Cut two pieces of plastic wrap larger than the can.  Piece one will be snuggly placed on one open end (much as you would cover a bowl) and then place the second piece over the first piece.  Two pieces are to help ensure that no snags cause a pond viewer failure in mid view.

Step 2:  Use a rubber band to help secure the plastic wrap on your pond viewer.  Next duct tape around the plastic wrap. making sure its taut.  You may need to help the child with this part of the project.

 Step 3:  Make sure all the plastic wrap is secure and then get ready to view!  DONOT use your pond viewer to scope water.  To use your pond viewer, dip the plastic wrap covered end down into the water and look through the other end.

How and why it works:  Because your can is actually in the water and below the surface of the water it's easier to see what's going on below the surface.  The plastic creates a window in which you can view the critters in the water.  Think of it like snorkeling or wearing goggles in the water.  The plastic is smooth and, I am told, it kind of pushes the water away.  One thing I know for sure, the kids loved using them!  .

What kinds of things can you find living in the water of your pond?

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