science museum of virginia
The morning began with a quick dash for coffee at the local Starbucks. After some light conversation about our personal teaching positions we headed out at approximately 8:30 am. We met with Kaitlyn and Chris from the SCA at the National Park, for the second day, to continue our monitoring of the pristine streams found in Prince William County.
(Or, “another day, another macroinvertebrate”)
We loaded up and headed off deep into the wilds of… Alexandria.
Traffic wasn’t too bad! We made decent time getting to the Cameron Run, a 4th order stream in an industrial area with a LOT of human impacts. Think runoff and flooding, channelization, sewage and pollutants (ick.) But many of our fishies and bugs are resilient: even in these rather cruddy conditions, some organisms thrive.
Welllll.... mostly business.
400 years ago lead was harnessed to wood and thus pencils were born! Today, most pencils are made of graphite surrounded by a wooden shell. The average pencil can draw a line for about 35 miles! If you're not drawing 35 mile long lines you could be writing words, about 45,000 words is the average life span of a graphite pencil.
The Human Heart is pretty amazing! It's the power house of our circulatory system. One muscle with four chambers that pumps about 1900 gallons of blood every single day! That's pretty impressive considering that this vital organ only weighs about 10 ounces. Don't let size fool you though, the heart's work goes a long way, literally! The average adult human circulatory system can actually reach about 60,000 miles.
Painter, inventor, scientist, and all around smart guy, Leonardo Da Vinci, once said: "The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art."
Now is a great time for science. New inventions, discoveries, and groundbreaking research are constantly improving the quality of our lives. Women scientists have contributed greatly to our understanding of the world. Marie Curie helped us understand the very nature of the atom and radioactivity. Grace Hopper helped unlock the power of computers. Sally Ride and Mae Jemison helped us to understand the cosmos.
This Earth Day, I could pass along “green” tips on how to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint, but I will save that for another time. Instead, let me make a suggestion: go OUTSIDE this weekend! Take your dog for a walk, plant a vegetable garden, play outdoor games with your children, visit a local park, take a hike and look for wildlife, or just sit in the sun and appreciate its warmth (with appropriate sunscreen, of course).