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Tulip Garden Update: October 11, 2002

Today's Report Includes:

The First Journey North Gardens Have Been Planted!

Official Journey North Gardens
In last month's report, we were waiting for the first gardens of the year to be planted. And the word was heard across the globe! Students from Alaska to Finland set out to plant their Official Journey North Gardens.

So far 21 gardens have been planted!

Here are some of the gardener's comments:

10/08/02 Aspen, CO (39.12N, -106.8W) “Our 2nd grade class planted 50 bulbs --- Our elevation is 8000 feet above sea level - we have been getting frost every night and are expecting snow this weekend.” Denise Vetromile’s Second Grade Class at Aspen Elementary

10/01/102 Hartland, VT (45.02N, -72.09W) “Nineteen third graders planted one tulip each following the method and one experimental bulb that did not go in the ground with the point facing up. We used a raised garden bed. The air and soil were both 64 degrees F. We used a coordinate grid and everybody had their own box. We had fun. We made predictions of when our tulips would bloom.” Ginny White’s Third Graders at Hartland Elementary School

09/26/102 Kalispel, MT (48.08N, -113.7E) “Our two fourth grade classes planted 46 tulips. We will use this project to promote scientific inquiry among the students. We are also looking forward to the math, geography, internet use, etc. to show our students that science is fun!” Jean Paschke’s Forth Graders at Cornelius Hedges Elementary

09/06/102 Utsjoki, Finland (69.90 N, 26.00 E) “Our florist informed us to plant the bulbs quite early so that they'll have time to root before the cold winter. So we did it in good time, on September 6, 2002. The tulip beds on both sides of the school building seem to be a good place. We look forward to seeing them blooming next year, too!” Utsjoen saamelaislukio School

10/04/102 Lakota, ND (45.02N, -98.34W) “This is our 4th year of participating in the JN project. We are as excited as ever! Our senior citizen helper came to school to help us again.” Shirley Ferguson’s First Graders at Lakota Elementary

Chalk One Up in Dainville
The Koch's homeschool, planted their tulip bulbs in the chunky, chalky soil of their French garden in Dainville (50.0N, 2.0E), on Sept. 30. As part of their project they’re recording the experiment electronically with digital images. They recently sent Journey North these words and pictures (view on the JN Web site).

“We bought our bulbs from the Netherlands via Paris in a garden store near Notre Dame Cathedral! Jonathan and Stephen prepared the soil. We have an abundance of naturally occurring chalk chunks as you can see by the white pieces around the tulip bulb in the ground. We pulled out the rocks in the bucket in about 2 minutes. We took advantage of the sunny weather to complete the project, choosing a site that is very typical of the flower beds in this area of our village. Of course, the situation will be different in the protected inner courtyard gardens you typically find in Europe, or on the balconies of the apartments that the majority of people live in.”

Jonathan and Stephen
Lots of rocks
Chunky chalk

Choosing a site with good soil is important to consider when planting your tulips. How will all that chalk in the soil affect the French tulips? Study up on soil components and then answer this:

Challenge Question #3:
“What is soil chalk and how does it affect the properties of the garden soil? Will it be helpful or harmful for tulips growing in it?”

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Predicting the Arrival of Spring
When do guesses become predictions? What factors cause spring to happen in one place before another? Get out your thinking caps and start thinking about spring’s arrival around the world.
In the 1950s, Edwin Way Teale took a 17,000 mile journey following the wave of spring across North America. As a conclusion he wrote, “Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about 15 miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a hundred feet a day.” How long do you predict it will take the spring of 2003 to show across the world?

Try This!
Participate in the BIG prediction! When will tulips bloom in 13 “Original” gardens? Each year data are collected at these same "Original" gardens, so that students can compare spring's pace from one year to the next.
How do you start such a project? We have made the work easier for you by providing research questions, pre-made charts, and easy to read maps.

Bulbs on Top of Bulbs! Experimental Design
A simple bulb in the palm of your hand can stimulate all kinds of ideas for curious students. What if you planted your tulips upside down? Or 10 inches underground instead of 7, as the planting instructions specify? Or one on top of the other? What would happen if you didn't plant your garden exactly according to the instructions?
Designing your own experiments in addition to the official Journey North garden is one way you can hope to find some answers in the spring. View this mini-video clip to help you get excited about designing an experiment that will answer your own challenging question next spring.
Experimental Designs
Watch It Now
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(This mini-video is designed to run on the software, Windows Media Player. If your browser isn’t showing you this video you will need install Windows Media Player, free software.)

Try This!

Did you generate a big list of “What Ifs?” Share your best experimental ideas with this question:

Challenge Question #4:
“Fill in the blank: What would happen if…?”

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

How to Map Fall Data
We recommend marking the location of each garden on your map using color-coding labels. (The "Avery" brand 1/4 inch size works well.) Write the date each garden was planted on the face of the label. Next spring, you can record the date the tulips emerge and the date they bloom at the same site by covering each label with a new one.

Doesn't this make you wonder?

Challenge Question #5:
"Do you think the date that tulips are planted this fall will affect the date that they emerge and bloom next spring? Why or why not? How could you test this?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

Valentine Predicts Red Tulips in Dainville First!
In our first update we asked, “Will the tulips bloom first in the Koch’s new garden in Dainville, or their home town of Tremont, Illinois?”
Valentine Elementary in Valentine, Nebraska responded with their prediction that the tulips in Dainville will bloom first, before their hometown’s school garden in Tremont, IL.

How did you come to your prediction? Here are some helpful ideas for comparing two places when making predictions:

  • Study the maps and describe the land and water masses that surround each place.
  • Compare how the two continents are similar and different in their geography and list ways this might affect the climate?
  • Visit the Journey North archives for information from previous year’s records.

Responding to Challenge Question #2 -Taking the Challenge
Lakota Elementary Students

This year Mrs. Ferguson’s First Graders are taking the Micro-Climate challenge! These gardeners have enjoyed playing with Mother Nature in years past by fooling their tulips into emerging early. She writes,

“I think one of the greatest advantages of this program is having my kids constantly aware of where North Dakota is in relation to the rest of the states! (Remember we are just 1st graders!) Watching the maps from week to week is intriguing for them. Typically we are extremely early to report our emergence and blooming (Now I know it's because our tulip bulbs are planted on the south side of a brick building!) but it's fun to report our data sometimes weeks ahead of more southern reporting stations.”

This year her students will plant their official tulip garden according to the International Plant Study protocol. Won’t they be surprised to compare the two gardens!

How to Report to Journey North

Don't forget to report when you have PLANTED your Journey North Garden

As soon as you plant YOUR garden, be sure to let us know! In next month's update, we expect to have many garden locations to report to you.

Simply press the "Owl" button to report from your site. (From the same button, you can also "Go to the Sightings Database" and read comments from all gardeners.

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Question

IMPORTANT: Answer only ONE question in each e-mail message.

1. Address an e-mail message to: jn-challenge-tulip@learner.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #3 (or #4, or #5)
3. In the body of the message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Tulip Garden Update Will be Posted on November 8, 2002.

Copyright 2002 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.
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