Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland
ffutures

Spawn

Had to get some pond weed for an experiment today, so went out to the garden and discovered that over the last few days the pond has been visited by the annual invasion of frogs and toads which use it as their spawning ground. I have no idea where they all come from - once the tadpoles are out we never seem to see them around, so there must be some secret lurking places in the neighbourhood. Made it very difficult to find some good weed that wasn't covered with slime, and when I got to work I found that I'd missed a couple of strands of toad spawn. So the class was interrupted by frequent cries of "eww" and "urgh" as the kids tried to work around it. It looks like they didn't do it much harm, and it'll go back in the pond tonight when I get home.

Reminds me of a story I heard many years ago. In the 1960s a lot of British schools introduced Nuffield Science, one of the first hands-on science courses which assumed that nearly every lesson would involve practical work. Early on the teachers weren't really sure how to make this work, and one was trying a lesson on waves which involved a dozen ripple tanks (large flat trays with a centimetre or so depth of water) and groups of kids working in near darkness. So he told the kids that they were to study waves and suggested a few things they could try, sat down, and waited to see what would happen. There was a long puzzled silence, then from the back of the room he heard some excited noises. "It works!", he thought, and went down the room to see what was happening.

And found that some of the kids had taken newts from an aquarium and were racing them in one of the ripple tanks.

So it goes...
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