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Tulip Garden Update: March 29, 1999

Today's Report Includes:

Spring Marches into Canada
Spring's Journey North as of March 29, 1999

Spring has advanced quickly during the past two weeks, bringing tulips to the surface in 85 new gardens since our March 12 update! According to the latest reports, tulips are now blooming in 14 new gardens.

Today's Tulip Garden Data

The season brought excitement when it finally crossed north of the U.S. border and reached Ms. Conroy's students in Trenton, Ontario(44.00 N, -77.58 W):

"The grade 4-5 class at St. Peters School welcome with joy our Journey North tulips which are up in our little garden-yahoo!!! There is still snow in the schoolyard where the plow had been dumping it, but spring is definitely breaking out in Trenton!"

Students Across the Continent Puzzled by Observation
Again and again, many students had the same surprise this spring:
  • 03/19/99 Ferrisburgh, VT
    "When we pushed aside the snow around the tulip garden, we saw that the tulips have emerged. They are a few inches tall!"
  • 03/19/99 Newton, NH
    "After a 'no-school' day on Monday, due to a Northeaster, we had about a foot of snow on the ground covering up our one emerged tulip. On Friday, March 19th, after the snow had all melted, our entire garden of tulips had emerged."
  • 03/18/99 Sugar Grove, IL
    "We had a big March snowstorm, but when the snow melted, the tulips had emerged."
  • 03/12/99 Chaska, MN
    "Two days ago we received 16 inches of snow. The following days have melted away at least 8 of those and have revealed the emerging tulips."
  • 03/12/99 Woonsocket, RI
    "When the snow melted and we checked our bulbs, there were 8 peeking out at us through the ground."
  • 03/18/99 Canton, OH
    "Two days ago when we checked our tulip garden, they were still covered with 6 inches of snow. Yesterday, our high temperature reached 60 degrees F. With all the snow melted, we can see the bulbs emerging! A question we have is: Could they have emerged when they were covered with snow?"

What is going on here? Could tulips that were buried under the cold, cold snow have been growing? After all, you were told in the Spring Fever lesson that tulips don't grow at all when temperatures are freezing.

Challenge Question # 12
"Do you think tulips which are buried under the cold, cold snow could be growing? How do you explain this puzzling observation?"

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

Help New Jersey Students Solve Mystery
Questions were raised by students Mr. Barbi's students in Ridgewood, NJ after another unusual observation:

"Our tulips emerged much later this year than last year. The interesting observation we have made is the following: We planted tulips in three different locations around our building. Our Journey North tulips emerged the latest. (The "Journey North" garden was planted according to the official instructions.) Location A is located near the building facing north and location B is located in a protected center courtyard. Both locations emerged a full 15 days earlier than our Journey North location." (fbarbi@ridgewood.k12.nj.us)

Challenge Question # 13
"Why do you think test Gardens A & B emerged 15 days earlier than the Journey North garden? What additional information would you like to ask these students about their 3 gardens? Also, what reasons might explain why the official JN tulips emerged much later this year than they did last year?"

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

Which Comes First, the Tulips or the Leaves?
Leaf OutLeaf-out should occur sometime after your tulips emerge--but before they bloom. Is this true where you live?

Here's an observation that only takes an instant to make: Look out the window and see if "leaf-out" has occurred. We define "leaf-out" as the moment the leaves on a tree are as large as a quarter. (This is also when the leaves are big enough to make full shade under the tree.) We hope to hear from at least 85 garden sites soon!

Predicting the Arrival of Spring
Is spring moving as you predicted it would? Look back at the ideas you had last fall when the question was asked in this lesson:

Have you changed your mind? Write your thoughts in your journal sometime before our next update. We'll summarize news from the 13 "official" Journey North gardens on April 9.

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions

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 #12
(or Challenge Question # 13)
3. In the body of EACH message, answer ONE of the questions above.

The Next Tulip Garden Update Will be Posted on April 9, 1999.

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