Chirping on the Great Lawn

Dr. Bailey’s Animal Behavior Class Brings Joy to Campus with Baby Chicks!

Guest Post by Carley Kukk ’19

Last week in my Animal Behavior class, we set out to imprint newly-born chicks. The chicks spent 2 nights with each student whether that be in our dorms or houses. Since chicks are attracted to movement and the color red, we tied a red bandana around our ankles once the chicks were adjusted to the sound of our voices. I tried to spend as much time as I could with my chick, Carter, so I held him while doing homework or in any possible moment.

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Chicks can imprint on something else after 4 hours, so it is crucial during the initial 32 hours to spend time working with them. I set up an obstacle course around my dorm room and had him jump over pillows and pens while following me. The harder the obstacle course, the stronger imprint because the chick will be focusing on you more. It was hard not to accidentally step on him! You would be surprised how fast their tiny legs can move.

At the end of the two days, Dr. Bailey held a class-wide relay race to determine the chick with the strongest imprint. My chick may have won with a time of 11 seconds… (humble brag).

Ultimately over the course of the 2 days, I was able to learn first hand about filial imprinting. I even made a new friend… 🙂 

Welcome Back!

Another Year, Another Great Set of Blog Posts!

Welcome back to Andover! I am sure for a lot of you, it has been a great summer, but it is time to get back into the swing of things!

We have a lot of great things planned for you this year! Be sure to check out one (or more!) of our amazing Science classes this year!

If you are enjoying your Science class or have a Science-related independent project and would like to write one (or more!) blog post – let Ms. Andersen know at randersen@andover.edu! It can even count as your work duty… (!!!!!)

Have a great year!

Happy Spring (Term)!

Today’s Vernal Equinox also brings the start of the Spring Term at Phillips Academy

This morning, Monday, March 20th, at 6:29am marks the vernal equinox and the official arrival of Spring. Though, it does not look very spring-like outside the Gelb Science Center.

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During the vernal equinox, “the sun’s most direct rays cross over from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere. During this process, the sun is shining directly over the earth’s equator, bathing the earth’s northern and southern hemispheres in nearly an equal amount of sunlight.

Instead of a tilt away from or toward the sun, the Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun during an equinox. During the equinox, both day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each all over the world.

Good news for those [of us] in the northern hemisphere: Daylight continues to grow longer until the summer solstice, which occurs on Wednesday, June 21. The opposite occurs in the southern hemisphere, where daylight continues to grow shorter toward their winter solstice on the same day.”*

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Go Outside and Explore the New England Autumn

Nature in New England has so much to offer, especially in the Autumn when the leaves start to change. You don’t have to go far to witness the beauty of this event.

According to an article from the US Department of Agriculture, “A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions – lots of sugar and lots of light – spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson.”

This seems to describe the weather we have been experiencing, so watch out for more color changing trees!

You can find the article on color changing here: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/pubs/leaves/leaves.shtm