May 26th, 2024

Science Smarts: Taking our science outdoors

By Patty Rooks on April 27, 2024.

As the weather continues to improve and it feels like spring is approaching, I think it is time to get outside and do some science. I like to do this experiment several times a year as it ALWAYS changes. You just never know what you may discover. Let’s get started!

*Remember to ask an adult before doing this experiment.


– Outdoor area to study like your backyard

– Magnifying glass

– Flashlight

– Hula hoop

– Science notebook

– Pencil


1. Go to the outdoor area you have chosen and lay the hoola hoop out.

2. Take some notes on what you observe.

3. Sit down and watch what comes into the hoola hoop.

4. Use the magnifying glass to get up and close to see what kind of life is living there.

5. Try shining the flashlight on one area to see if some new “life” emerges.

6. Try coming back at different times of the day or night to see what is living in this ecosystem.

7. Make sure you write all of your observations down in your science notebook.

What is going on?

In this experiment you are investigating an ecosystem. The ecosystem of your backyard or park. This may seem like a strange thing to do, but scientist do this all the time (well not in your backyard likely) but they will study ecosystems in the ocean, or forest even on the moon. It is much to difficult to study the entire area, so scientists choose a small representative sample to see what is happening and make future predications about that particular ecosystem.

Patty Rooks, senior scientific consultant PRAXIS, “Connecting Science To The Community.” Contact Praxis at,, Tweet or follow us @PraxisMedHat, or friend us on Facebook. Address: 12 826 11th Street SE, Medicine Hat, AB, T1A 1T7 Phone: 403-527-5365, email:

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