-Welcome to
DISCOVERY LAB  2000


Series #1
What's Bugging You?
The Science of Observation

I love bugs!


Let's see what this lab has to discover! 
Use the mouse and click on the red arrow.

Forward

 

 

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       "Hi, guys," Steve shouted to his friends Tom and Alex, as he walked toward them playing in the park. "Are you ready to go over to my house and work on our project?"
Hi guys! I bet I know what Steve wants us to do.  

 

 

skateboard

Oh no, I think we're going to have to do some work.


Back

I wonder what kind of project the boys have to do.  Let's tag along to Steve's house and maybe we'll find out.

Forward

 

 

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When Steve and his friends entered his dad's workshop,  they couldn't believe their eyes!  
Hundreds of tiny red bugs were everywhere!


Oh my?

A lot of bugs.

WOW!

"Whoa, Steve, what are all these bugs?  Are they part of our project?" Alex exclaimed.

WHOA!

Back

What are these bugs invading the workshop? 

Forward

 

 

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I have no idea!

Why do you think all those bugs are in Steve's workshop?   

I have no idea!

Type your prediction as to why the bugs invaded the workshop in the box below.
Use the mouse and point in the box. Click the mouse to get the cursor. Type in your answer and then click on DONE.

 


Back

Let's stick around a while longer.  Maybe we can help the boys solve their mystery.

Forward

 

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These bugs are friendly little things.

"I've never seen anything like this before!" Steve exclaimed as several bugs crawled across his shirt.  Perhaps Professor Mill Ennium at Discovery Lab can help.  Let's get some of Mom's jelly jars and take some of these bugs with us."


Let me out of here!

The boys quickly gathered specimens and rushed off to Discovery Lab.


Back

I'm curious about this Discovery Lab.  
Let's tag along with the boys!

Forward

 

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Welcome to Discovery Lab
Come in for a visit.


Lab Assistant
for a Day
Sign in below.


Type your name in the box below.



Back

Wow, you get to help Professor Mill Ennium in the lab today!

Forward

 

 

 

 
Professsor Mill Ennium

Professor Mill Ennium greeted them, "Well, hello, boys. What brings you to Discovery Lab  today?"


Steve

"Hello Professor, we've brought some bugs for you to identify," Steve replied.
"What are they and why did hundreds of them invade my dad's workshop?"

Tom Alex

Back

Professor Mill Ennium seems like a nice person.  I wonder if he'll be able to identify those bugs.

Forward
 








 


 
"Steve, you know I'm not going to answer that question.  Remember, here at Discovery Lab we help you answer your own questions.  First, we'll prepare a few specimens to examine, the professor replied.   It is so hard to focus a microscope.


 

Back

 The professor is going to make us find the answer for ourselves.  That must be why its called Discovery Lab!

Forward




 

 
notebook "The Lab Assistant of the Day is here to help with our observations.  It is the lab assistant's job to observe carefully, help answer questions, and list the characteristics of the bugs," Professor Ennium explained.  

Professor The professor looked around the room. "I see some puzzled looks on your faces." 

Back

Maybe we get to practice observation skills next.

Forward




_

 
 Professor

Let me take a minute to explain how scientists observe.  Take a good look at Steve.   You are looking for his observable characteristics.  What do you see?" 


Alex

Alex stared at Steve.  "Let's see," he replied. "He has on a red shirt,  blue jeans, and black tennis shoes.  Oh, he also has red hair and his cap is on backwards."

Steve

 Back

Are you getting this?  I see some other characteristics Alex hasn't mentioned.

Forward


 

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Tom

Tom chimed in, "He's a boy, he's taller than me, and he's very smart."


"Those are very good observations, boys."  Then Professor Ennium spoke to Tom, "I know Steve is smart, but if someone walked past Steve on the street could they see how smart he is?"

Professor

Tom

"Well, no," Tom thoughtfully replied.  He thought some more and then exclaimed, "Oh, I get it! Observable characteristics are what we see when we look at something."


Back

No one mentioned that he has two eyes, two ears, and one nose.  I bet you see a few more characteristics!

Forward




"I think everyone understands.  Let's use those observation skills and examine the characteristics of the bugs,"   Professor Ennium stated as he directed them to a lab table.

The professor looks strange through the hand lens.

"First, we'll use a hand lens to observe one of your bugs more closely."

Click on the hand lens
hand lens


Back  

Did you look at the bugs under the hand lens?  If you didn't click on the hand lens above.

Forward


 

 
Professor

The professor explained to the group,   "We need to build a list of the characteristics as we discover them.  They will be our clues to identifying our specimen."

Choose the characteristics from the list below.  You may go back and check again if you don't remember. 

Possible Characteristics

Click each blue button that correctly identifies a
characteristic of the bug.

Bug bluedot  Reddish orange/black spots
bluedot  Black with red spots
bluedot Two body sections
bluedot Three body sections

Back

I'm glad this back button is here in case we get confused.

Forward




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Electronic encyclopedias are a great tool!

"Our lab assistant is doing a great job listing the characteristics of the bugs." Professor Ennium bragged as he guided them to their next observations.   "Let's take a look at this bug under the hand lens again." 


Bug under a hand lens.

Count the legs on the bug.

How many pairs of legs
does this bug have?

Find its antennae.

How many antennae
does this bug have?
 


Back

I think I've studied these characteristics before!

Forward







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Professor

Professor Ennium praised the group, "You are doing a fine job! Let's get this next group of characteristics into the computer."


 

Choose the characteristics we've discovered
from the list below.

  Bug

Click each blue button that correctly identifies a characteristic of the bug.

bluedot  Eight legs
bluedot  Three pairs of legs
bluedot  Six antennae
bluedot  One pair of antennae 

Back

I bet there are a few more characteristics.

Forward





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"Professor, these bugs were flying around the workshop, but where are their wings?"  Tom questioned.

I'm thinking like a scientist.

hands

Tom let one of the tiny bugs crawl on his hand. "I know they should have wings, but I only see a shiny, hard shell." 


Back

I   wonder how the professor will show us the wings.

Forward




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"Now you are thinking like a scientist, Tom,"
the professor said.  
"This is an illustration of the bug's wings.  Examine the picture and read the caption  carefully."


   bugs wings
The front or fore wings, called elytra, are hard and useless for flying.  They protect the under or hind wings that are used in flight.

This bug has pairs of wings.

The fore wings the hind wings.

Which pair of wings is used for flight?


Back

These bugs have unusual wings.  The hard shell-like fore wings are useless for flying, but protect the other wings!

Forward







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Choose the wing characteristics from the list below.

Possible Characteristics

Click each blue button that correctly identifies a
characteristic of the bug.

bluedot  One pair of wings
bluedot  Two pairs of wings
bluedot  Hard, shell-like fore wings
bluedot  No wings


Back

What else can we find out about these bugs?

Forward

 

 

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I remember studying these characteristics in science class.

Alex gazed across the lab, deep in thought.  "Professor, I remember studying about these characteristics in our insect unit.  I think our bug is a kind of insect."


Alex pulled one of the professor's insect books from the shelf and began his search. "But Professor, there are millions of insects!  This is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  How will we ever identify our bugs?"

What a job!

Back

I just knew we'd have an answer to our question.  Identifying these bugs is not an easy job.

Forward


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wpeC2.jpg (3935 bytes)

Yes, there are a lot of insects.   Scientists have a complicated system to identify and classify plants and animals. They not only examine an organism's size and shape, but they also examine its behavior and its habitat to help identify it."


Professor Ennium bragged on the group, "You've done a great job with your observations.  I think we have enough information for our computer to analyze.  It can narrow our search."

Red with black spots
Three body sections
Three pairs of legs
One pair of antennae
Two pairs of wings
Hard, shell-like fore wings

Back 

Now that these last characteristics are in the computer maybe, we'll solve this mystery.

 Forward



 

 


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The group watches the computer monitor.

The group eagerly watched the computer monitor for their answer.

The group watches the computer monitor.

Back

I'm excited! We should discover what these bugs are soon!

Forward

      




              -

 
Rhinoceros beetle Pincher Blister beetle beetle
beetle

Beetles

Scarab beetle
Ladybird beetle beetle in flight Pincher beetle   beetle

wpeA5.jpg (3519 bytes)

Can you use the characteristics we have observed and find the boy's bug in the group of beetles above? 
When you discover it, click on the picture.


Back 

Look at all those colorful beetles! 

Forward




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During the winter months, the adults find shelter
in hedges, under rocks and bark, or in protected places such as buildings or houses.

House

From the paragraph above, what new characteristic have we discovered?

bluedotLadybugs seek shelter during the winter months.
bluedotLadybugs build tunnels underground.
bluedotLadybugs live in the fields during the winter.

Back

Can you imagine how long it takes a scientist to gather all the information on one bug?

Forward






 

 

"Good job group, the professor bragged. Your observations helped you determine what kind  of bugs you found, but we haven't answered the other question.  Why were hundreds of the bugs in the workshop? Think about all you have learned. 
Can you infer why the ladybugs were in the workshop?" 

Professor

From the information you learned about ladybugs, why do you think they invaded Steve's workshop?


Back Scientists really have to think about all they observe and study! Forward

 

 

 

 
Steve

"That was very interesting, professor.
I learn something new each time I visit Discovery Lab," Steve said.


"I'm glad we could figure out
what was bugging you, the professor replied.  You have developed some great observational skills.  Recording and analyzing observations is the
key to any project."  

Professor

Steve

"Oh professor, we got so excited about the ladybugs that I almost forgot we were going to work on a science project for school.  Do you think we could do something with beetles?"  Steve asked.

Back

Project?  I forgot the boys were about to work on a project!

Forward






 

 

"I think we could figure something out,  the professor smiled.  First, we'll need to do some research."

The boys groaned as they followed the professor into the library.

Professor

Check out the other lessons Discovery Lab has to offer by clicking on the picture of the ladybug feasting on aphids.

I'm a helpful insect.

       That was fun. 
I think I'll visit Discovery Lab again!