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  • Writer's pictureJoe Taylor

Science Night at Echo Hill Elementary

Do you remember doing captivating, interactive science experiments at your elementary school? And did you do these after dinner, at school?! These kids did!

Students hear stories of close encounters with bats.

Students at Echo Hill Elementary attended their annual Echo Hill Science Night to get an extra dose of experience and education on a number of science topics. Students ranged from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, and were given the opportunity to attend up to four different science sessions. Paw Control led sessions aimed at what we know best -- critters!

For this year's Science Night we chose bats, and focused in on the topic of "bat vision," or more formally known as echolocation. How do you help kids ranging from five-years-old to ten-years-old understand a bat's primary navigational sensory experience? By asking students to "step into" the life of a bat.

Kids experience "bat vision" using a sound cannon.

Students took turns holding and aiming a sound cannon (the light blue tube) that emitted a rapid-fire, high-pitch, pulsating tone at a mosquito (represented by a large tote lid) to listen for small variances in the sound as the tone either hit or missed the mosquito. Some students could make the distinction right away, other found it more difficult, but we all agreed that bats are much better at this than we are. If you would like to learn more about echolocation, check out articles by Discover Wildlife or Arizona State University's Ask a Biologist.

One other demonstration we explored was the sound pitch produced by bats. To get a feel for the differences in sound pitch (measuring frequency), listen to the following sounds. Students and parents raised their hands if they could hear these sounds. You try it!

What did you notice about the last two sounds?

When students are highly involved in science activities they more readily understand and enjoy the science topics that are targeted. Kudos to Echo Hill Elementary for investing the time to offer a Science Night. Do you have a critter topic that you would like to see at a Science Night? Do you know of another school that would like to have Paw Control come present a critter activity? Contact us, we would like to talk!

Joe Taylor, M.S. Science Education, B.S. Biology, is a full time nuisance wildlife control operator in Eastern Iowa, and owner of Paw Control, LLC. Follow him on Twitter: @pawcontroller at LinkedIn, or the Paw Control blog:


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