Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

With spring beginning on March 20, it's time to think about some spring science activities. The following are just a few of the possibilities. For more ideas and information on the advance of spring across the US, visit Journey North.


Plants

Keep a record of when different kinds of plants begin to flower. Plant some cool weather crops such as peas and cabbage. Tap some maple trees and make maple syrup. Record when different trees leaf out. What is the date your school first cuts the grass and how high is the grass when mowing is thought necessary? How does this first cut date compare with previous years?

Animals

Keep a record of when you hear various birds singing, when the spring peepers and other frogs begin to call. When do the first robins show up around your school? When do the first red-winged blackbirds appear? When does the first mosquito put in an appearance? When do you see the first woodchuck, opossum and skunk either alive or dead on the road? When do you see the first mourning cloak butterfly? When do earthworms first put in an appearance? What is the weather like when they appear?

Sky and Weather Phenomena

Look up why spring begins at a specific date and time. Make a record of the first thunder heard this spring. Is there a weather front passing through when the first thunder is heard and, if yes, what kind of front? Graph daily high temperatures. When does the Big Dipper first appear with the open side of its bowl towards the horizon in the early evening sky? When does the ice disappear from local bodies of water? When does the last snow fall? When does the last snow melt from the ground? When is the last frost?

For more ideas of what to look for in different seasons, see Phenology (Phenology is the study of seasonal changes).

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