Tulip Garden Update: February 12, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

First to Break Ground in 1999
The first tulips of 1999 have emerged! But before you look, guess whose garden you think was first. The award for the fastest-growing tulips goes to.....

How Long Does it Take a Tulip to Grow?
Look at the dates each of the following gardens was planted, and when the tulips emerged. Then count how many days it took for them to grow:

 Location of Garden Date Planted Date Emerged # Days Orlando, FL 01/02/99 01/12/99 St. Petersburg, FL 01/04/99 01/27/99 Woodlands, TX 01/08/99 01/27/99 Sacramento, CA 01/04/99 01/26/99 Albany, OR 10/23/98 01/26/99 NewportTay, Scotland 10/30/98 02/08/99

Challenge Question #6
"What do you think is causing the number of days to vary so much? Name an underlying factor that you think affects how long it takes for tulips to grow. How could you measure this factor in each garden, so the gardens can be compared? (In your answer, give examples from this year's gardens to show why counting days isn't helpful.)

Note to Teachers
In preparation for the February 26 update, dig in now and learn about "Growing Degree Days"!

Tip From the Fastest-growing Garden in the Land
As you now know, the garden of Ms. Bashinski's 6th grade students in Orlando, FL is ahead of us all this spring. Here's their suggestion for your class, when your tulips finally begin to grow:

"My students were trying to count the number of bulbs that had emerged. We have them planted in an area about six feet by four feet. Every group got a different total ranging from 26 to 32. I thought this was the perfect time to introduce grids as a way to accurately measure data. We used string to make a grid across our garden and each group had one or two sections to scout out for emerged tulips. They found it far easier to be exact when they had a smaller, well defined area. We took a picture of our garden with the grid, labeled the sections and recorded the final count of emerged tulips. Now each group can check their own area daily and update our count. It sure works for us!"
Wendy Bashinski, Lockhart Middle School, Orlando, FL (bashinw@ocps.k12.fl.us)
Comparing Spring 1999 vs 1998
El Nino was in the news last year, and stories of how it affected weather across North America--and around the world. As measured by Journey North gardens, how does Spring, 1999 compare to Spring, 1998? This map shows where tulips had emerged both years.

And as of February 12 each year:

• 1999: 29 gardens have emerged of 320 planted (9.06%)
• 1998: 47 gardens have emerged of 275 planted (17.09%)

Challenge Question #7
"Using the map and the data above, how would you describe similarities and differences between the two years?"

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions