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Shell Study

Activity

Form and Function

Shell Study: Learn about the function of turtle/ tortoise shells and how they are different from other animal shells, like hermit crabs. Gather your family and friends to have a competition to see who can find/create the strongest turtle shell using the natural resources around you. The final product must be hollow and shaped like a turtle shell. You can test their strength in any way you’d like, but we recommend dropping an object on the shells from increasing heights to see which one lasts the longest without breaking.
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Science Seed

A turtle/ tortoise’s shell, or carapace, serves many purposes. It functions as a shield attached to the animal’s body, protecting them from predators and weather. The shell’s color and patterns provide camouflage, allowing them to hide in their habitat. To help them swim better, turtle shells are usually flatter than the high, domed shells of tortoises. Their shells contain over 50 bones on their inner surface, including the ribs and spinal column, that grow with them as they age!
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earn Badges

Badges can be earned through hands-on experiences within each of the 16 branches of science, or “Science Slices.” You can earn a badge in each branch of science by doing four activities in these categories. We also encourage participants to keep a Nature Journal to record their memories, and to express themselves creatively through writing or drawing after each activity. We recommend that each child (and parent if they’d like) write or draw in a journal after each activity, with expectations of your children that match their age (the goal is self-expression, not perfection).

Explore the Detroit Libraries

Use this map to help you guide your way through the Detroit Libraries as you complete activities.

The Ecologist School Pocket Guide: Detroit Libraries Edition is a project by Families in Nature to help our community learn more about the ecosystems around them, while getting outside into nature together! This booklet has 64 lessons across 16 different branches of science to help you play, learn and volunteer in the park as a family!

Special thanks to the National Recreation and Park Associations’ Resilient Park Access Grant that allowed the creation of expanded natural areas in parks throughout Detroit and made Nature Exploration Backpacks available for checkout at Detroit libraries. Many thanks to the partners involved including City of Detroit General Services Department, Detroit Outdoors, Sierra Club Inspiring Connections Outdoors, The Greening of Detroit, NRPA, Detroit Public Libraries, Families in Nature and the Nature Pocket Community Advisory Committee.

Take these guides, and explore some near-by nature in a park near you:

District 1: Stoepel No. 1

District 2: Sawyer Playground

District 3: Jayne Field

 

District 4: Skinner Playfield

District 5: Bishop Park

District 6: Romanowski Park

District 7: Stein Playfield

join Families in Nature

It is our vision to inspire all families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists. Becoming a member of Families in Nature will give your family the opportunity to have adventures in nature, experience field science, develop as youth conservation leaders, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Memberships are free for everyone.

Who are we?

Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.
Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.
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