A snow storm moved over Salida last night. We woke up to snow on the ground and cold temperatures, not a fun day to be outside. We were lucky to have great weather last week when we collected samples in the river!

We discussed what made good habitats for the goldfish that the students took home last week. Vanessa’s fish survived all week, and Ellis’ fish made it until that morning. Some other students’ fish didn’t live the first day.

Today’s session was our main science day, when we ran a variety of experiments to see if aquatic insects can choose their habitat, and if so, what habitat they prefer. We used brine shrimp for this purpose, as it was easier for students to observe behavior with a sample of 30-50 shrimps. Our volunteers collected some insects from the river earlier in the day, and a few students repeated the behavior tests with river bugs too.

We combined everybody’s test results and the students were able to fairly accurately describe what kind of habitat the brine shrimp were adapted to. What a cool thing — get a critter you know nothing about (other than you can buy it dried at Walmart), do a number of tests, and then describe where it might live in nature!

With 45 minutes left in the session, the students were introduced to tying flies — we talked about how to set up a vise, how to insert the hook, start the thread. All are very excited for the real tying session next week!