Thursday, March 01, 2007

Weather Science and Sunday Papers

Today Joshua and I went through the Weather Science kit that he'd got for his birthday last year. The kit is really good - made by Lagoon Games.

We made a barometer, using a half balloon (supplied) stretched over the open neck of a jam jar, to which we taped a straw. This straw is then lined up to be horizontal with the "0" on a measuring marker (supplied) which we taped to an ice cream tub lid. This can then be placed outside, and you can watch to see if the air pressure rises or falls.

The kit supplied a ready made thermometer, and a glass tube to which we had to attach a sticky measuring marker. Joshua then cut out the pieces of the sun dial - ok, not to do with weather as such, but a nice addition to the set.

Making the anemeter (I think I've spelt that wrong!) was fun. All the bits were supplied. Four pieces of oblong wood were attached using rubber bands to two cardboard crosses, to make a large cross. At the end of each piece we secured a polystyrene cup. One of these cups had an orange sticker put on it - this was to be our counter cup. A thin dowling rod was then put into the end of a thicker rod, slip over the plastic bead, and then the cross piece put on top.

We took it out into the garden to test - only the wind was strong enough to blow the cups off! We did get a reading though.

We've still got to make the wind direction bit tomorrow. The kit also included a book to record your observations in, and a sheet explaining the types of clouds and other sky "weather" (eg rainbows, fog) that you may get.

One addition that I did, was to use our sky chart. Basically, get a whole load of grey and blue colour chart strips from your local DIY store (the sort you get for the dulex colours etc). Secure them together. Take the bundle out into the garden and hold up against the sky, and then record which colour the sky corresponds to. It makes a nice addition to your readings.

Late morning I had my GP checkup, and all is well with baby Jonathan, with all checks, measurements etc spot on.

In the afternoon we had two families round; Laura with the 2 year old twins, and Mish with her 9 year old son. We also had the photographer for the piece for the Sunday Express come around. I insisted that we had no table shots, so we all went out into the garden. He took some photos of the boys using the weather stuff we had made, then some posed shots on the slide, and a very "von trapp" arrangement around our garden seat... for the purposes of the pictures it appeared I adopted Mish's son! He also took some of the twins exploring the garden. Oh, and some awful ones of Roarke and I, with the wind blowing our hair in our faces (Roarke looked like albert einstein!). I can't decide which one I want him to use! Worryingly, he said if it becomes a "spread" they could use several!

Beginning to wish I hadn't told people about it...

More media stuff, as I received an email from the BBC looking for a family to be interviewed on BBC London on Sunday. So tune in around 9.45am to the Eddie Nestar show to listen to the family who kindly volunteered to take part.

Not all families are able to get involved with the media, whether it is because they are "unknown" and don't want to risk that, or for other personal reasons. That's why it is so brilliant when other families ARE able to take part, and do so, because they are helping to raise the profile for all of us, and therefore helping out those who might well want to do something but are not in a position to. I really grateful to the families over the past weeks who have, either through things I've been involved with, or the many others up and down the country who have been in contact with their local press, and who have put themselves "out there".

Getting down off my soap box now... sorry!

Where was I? Oh yes, after the guy went (asking me at the door "is it always like this?"), we all had a great time and the afternoon passed really quickly.

I'm still feeling under the weather (hey, my excuse for the naff photos!), so need to pack myself off early to bed. Not sure if Yahoo has a problem today because instead of the 400+ emails I usually get, I've only had 50! Logging into some of the groups I'm on, it seems that only the occasional email is getting through. Not sure what that is all about, but very odd. Just hope it doesn't mean I wake up to thousands in the morning!


Lin said...

The weather kit looks great fun (and the 'under the weather pun to go with it made me giggle!)

We don't normally buy the Express but will look out for it on Sunday just to see all you guys in it. ;-)

darlingdaughter said...

We will look out for the Express on Sunday. Thanks for putting yourself out there for us all. My kids have only been home since July but had I known about HE before then they would never have gone to school. I am sure that what you are doing makes all the difference for families who are considering HE but are unsure where to turn!