Tulip Garden Update: February 26, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Thomasville Tulips are the First to Bloom!
"We thought they would bloom in March," said the proud Alabama students. "The weather here is unusually warm." Journey North Gardeners in Mississippi, California, and Florida were next to report this welcome sign of spring. And according to students at 30 other sites, the growing season of 1999 is now well underway. Tulips have emerged in a total of 59 gardens, and here's where they are:

Today's Tulip Garden Data

The Green Wave of Spring
After mapping today's data, how far would you say the wave of spring has advanced? Imagine drawing this wave at different stages over the next months as spring moves across the continent. Such a line is called an "isopleth". ("Isopleth: A line on a map connecting points at which a given variable has a specified, constant value".)

Using this spring's tulip data, draw the wave (an isopleth) at regular time intervals to show spring's advance. The "given variable" could be "tulipsemerged" and your "constant value" could be a certain date. For example, you might choose each Monday's date as the date you'll draw your line. All gardens in which tulips have emerged as of that Monday would be included. You would draw your line by connecting the dots where tulips have emerged. Each week you would draw another line until the wave of spring has advanced across the entire region.

Finally, at the end of the season, you could measure the distances between the waves and determine out how you would complete this sentence:

"Spring advances at the average rate of xx miles per day."

Spring's Journey NORTH?
As you look where tulips have begun to grow, you may be surprised. How would you answer this question?

Challenge Question #8
"Does spring truly move northward? Using today's data, describe the pattern you see. Explain what direction(s) spring is moving, and why you think this is so."

Spring Fever
Tulips, Temperatures, and the Arrival of Spring
As described in the Spring Fever lesson, you can actually measure the
amount of heat it takes for your tulips grow and bloom. This heat is

Challenge Question #9
"How is growing tulips similar to baking a cake?"

Tulips are Tasty!
A word to the wise, from the students at Citrus Elementary in Vero Beach, FL:

"After our tulips emerged, many of the young plants got eaten or damaged by animals. We believe some rabbits helped themselves to our garden!"

Let's hope it's only rabbits. Last year the tulips in Ms. Shepner's class
garden in Sterling, Alaska, were eaten by a moose! Luckily, you can keep most vegetarian visitors out with a simple wire mesh fence, about 1 foot tall. Watch your garden carefully and be ready to protect your tulips if necessary.

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions