Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Exploring Connecticut Through Little Passports

Ready for our next virtual adventure through Little Passports? This time it's the state of Connecticut! Trevor started by building the model of an anchor. 


As shown on the cover of the Little Passports State Journal, Connecticut is one of the best places to see colorful fall foliage. The science activity explores why leaves change color in the fall. To conduct the experiment, Trevor harvested green leaves from the crepe myrtle in our front yard. He tore them into tiny pieces and put them in a glass with rubbing alcohol. He covered the glass with plastic wrap, set it in a bowl of hot water, and left it for 30 minutes. While we waited, we learned about common deciduous and evergreen trees in Connecticut through a clever version of a word search.

After 30 minutes, the rubbing alcohol had turned dark green. At this point, he cut a strip from a coffee filter and set the filter on top of the glass. The strip hung down, immersed in the liquid.


As the liquid traveled up the filter strip, we were able to see shades of green with hints of yellow, the pigments that are present in the leaves. 


After an hour, we were able to see all of the pigments in the crepe myrtle leaves. It's mostly green. I want to redo the experiment with different species to see how their pigmentation differs. 


We learned about the unusual Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. It is one of the largest buildings in the world dedicated to preserving books, designed with no windows and marble panels on the outer walls that deflect direct sunlight. It is 6 stories tall, has a 50' tall basement, and stores over 500,000 books and millions of manuscripts. The Gutenberg Bible and Audubon's Birds of America are on permanent exhibition. So cool!

Next we learned about the Hartford Courant, published continuously since 1764, making it one of the oldest newspapers in the US. We did a hidden picture puzzle about Mystic Seaport, then solved a different puzzle to reveal the names of three famous historic buildings in Connecticut. We read about important events in Connecticut's history.

The Trash Museum, part of a recycling plant in Hartford, was the inspiration for a crossword puzzle about recyclable items. For example, did you know that plastic water bottles are turned into carpet and fleece sweaters? Trevor was fascinated by an activity about Webster's Dictionary and the successful spelling changes Noah Webster introduced to American English. Of course, we both enjoyed decoding the failed words even more! Next, Trevor did a dot-to-dot based on the vintage car parade held annually in Lime Rock. We learned about the Connecticut Hamburger and discovered a must-visit place when we eventually travel to Connecticut.

The recipe is inspired by one of Connecticut's nicknames. No, not the Constitution State. The Nutmeg State! You can see Trevor grating fresh nutmeg to put into the cookies he's making. 


They puffed up far more than I would have expected and much more than the picture in the State Journal shows, but no matter. They were delicious!


Trevor and I had a great time together exploring Connecticut through Little Passports. We're both eager for our next virtual adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool!! I am loving the idea of a recycle museum!!!!!!!!!

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