July 2021 Newsletter

July 2021 Newsletter

August 17, 2021 Off By editor

Junior Field Naturalists SA

Newsletter – July 2021

Hi Junior Field Naturalists, 

July’s Delayed Meeting 

When: Tuesday 10 August, 7.00pm, in the Gym of the Bellevue Heights Primary School Topic: AUSTRALIAN NATIVE ANIMALS Presenters: Educators from Animals Anonymous

Overview: You’re going to meet some adorable native animals!

Animals Anonymous is a mobile team of wildlife demonstrators and environmental educators who provide presentations with a diverse range of friendly Australian native animals. Their aim is to raise awareness about our Australian wildlife and the reason it is so important to conserve the local ecosystems and habitat around us. 

Meet a baby saltwater crocodile, a monitor, a gecko, a frogmouth, two pythons, a bettong and a squirrel glider.

It will be a fantastic experience not to be missed!

Thanks to Field Naturalists Society of SA

Our upcoming meeting with native animals is sponsored by the Field Naturalists Society of SA. Our Club extends our thanks and appreciation to the Society for this substantial support, as well as their financial contribution towards the cost of our  insurance this year, which is our largest annual expense.

Program of Talks and Activities

Below is our current schedule of dates for 2021. We will be including more activities as the year progresses, so this list will be updated as we lock in additional dates and programs.

Monthly meetings are held at 7pm in the Bellevue Heights Primary School Gym.

Have a particular topic or field trip you would like us to include? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do to make it happen.


31 August  –  Rosalie and Robert Lawrence: WILD ORCHIDS

Sunday 29 August: BIRD BANDING (Frahns Farm, Monarto)

Saturday 4 September: WILD ORCHID FIELD TRIP

21 September  –  Paul “Starman” Curnow: THE PLANETS

26 October  –  tba


Parents attend meetings and field trips with their children and are responsible for their supervision. 

Which Orange Circle is Bigger?

National Science Week is almost here!

Here is just a small sample of the huge range of exciting events coming up in National

Science Week. Don’t forget – in SA, Science Week runs for almost the whole of August!

Check out www.scienceweek.net.au for further information.

Donut Shooting Robots                                               

When: Sat 14 Aug, 11am – 4pm  

Where: Adelaide Showground, Wayville

Cost: Free

More Info: https://www.roboroos.org.au

Feed your competitive spirit and thirst for scientific and engineering knowledge. Participate in robot competitions (enter your robot); workshops (demystifying robots for adults and how to build a robot in 9 complicated

steps); and interactive robot-driving in an expo-type setting.  Workshops will run throughout the day – one stream for adults and one for students.               

Space School for Kids                                                 

When: Sat 14 Aug & Sat 21 Aug, 10am – 2pm

Where: Adelaide Planetarium, Mawson Lakes

Cost: $15 per child  

More Info: https://www.unisa.edu.au/connect/galleriesmuseumsandcentres/adelaideplanetarium/

Four-hour fun-filled space sessions for kids aged between 7-

12 years. Attendees will join highly experienced astronomers to learn about the stars and make a constellation. In the Planetarium they can marvel at the immense scale of

the universe and observe the breathtaking beauty of the night skies projected on the eightmetre domed ceiling, as well as watching a full dome movie. Then they will create their own Solar System. 

Drainpipe Dragsters 

When: Sun 22 Aug, 12.30pm – 2pm

Where: Dock 2, Port Adelaide  

Cost: $20

More Info: heard.14.au@gmail.com

Suitable for ages 6 to 12. Participants will assemble small model vehicles from supplied kits, then race their vehicles on the multi-

lane PVC-pipe dragstrip. Each vehicle will carry a numbered flag and, after participants have had several practice races, numbers will be drawn from a hat to select the competing vehicles for each race. Participants will take their vehicles home to enjoy on any flat surface.

Dinner with Dinosaurs                                      

When: Sun 29 Aug, 1.30pm – 4.30pm  

Where: Adelaide Botanic Garden

Cost: Free

More Info: https://heapsgood.com.au

A family-friendly theatrical production that explores the concept of plant adaptation & sustainability in an everchanging world, live at the Adelaide Botanic Garden. This  performance features renowned singing palaeontologist character, Professor Flint, supported by performers from the Australian Classical Youth Ballet. Additional activities  include Dig a Dino and Animals Anonymous. It will look at the plants of the prehistoric world, as experienced through the eyes and tastebuds of the creatures that devoured them! Several palaeontologists will be on hand to provide additional information to members of the public. Professor Flint will also conduct a live-streamed tour of relevant parts of the Garden.

Interesting Jellyfish Facts

From sciencekids.co.nz

  • Jellyfish live in the sea and are found in all oceans.
  • Some jellyfish live in fresh water.
  • Jellyfish look a little like umbrellas.
  • Jellyfish can be large and brightly coloured.
  • They can often be transparent (see-through) or translucent (semi-translucent).
  • Some can be very hard to see, nearly invisible to the human eye.
  • Although the word is mentioned in their name, jellyfish are not fish.
  • A group of jellyfish is called a ‘bloom’, ‘swarm’ or ‘smack’. 
  • Large blooms can feature over 100,000 jellyfish.
  • Jellyfish don’t have brains.
  • Jellyfish use their tentacles to sting. Most are harmless to humans but stings from some species, such as the box jellyfish, can be very painful and sometimes fatal.
  • Box jellyfish are almost transparent (see-through).
  • Jellyfish eat plankton. Some sea turtles eat jellyfish. 

Have fun with science


You will need: 

  • Plastic cup  
  • String
  • Wet paper towels
  • Tool to punch a hole in the bottom of the cup
  • Paper clip

What to do:

  1. Drill or punch a hole in the centre of the bottom of the cup. The hole needs to be big enough to put the string through.
  2. Tie one end of the string to the paper clip.
  3. Push the other end of the string through the hole in the bottom of the cup. The paper clip will stop the string from pulling all the way through.
  4. Hold your Duck In A Cup in one hand. This will allow the string to dangle beneath the cup.
  5. Wrap the wet paper towel around the string and pull down firmly in sharp little movements.
  6. Your Duck In A Cup should start quaking!

What’s happening?

The string vibrates as you pull the wet paper towel down. While these vibrations are usually almost undetectable, the cup amplifies the sound, making a loud and distinct duck quacking sound.

Our Amazing Sun 

from sciencekids.co.nz

  • The Sun is a star found at the centre of the Solar System.
  • It makes up around 99.86% of the Solar System’s mass.
  • At around 1,392,000 kilometres wide, the Sun’s diameter is about 110 times wider than Earth’s.
  • Around 74% of the Sun’s mass is made up of hydrogen. Helium makes up around 24% while heavier elements such as oxygen, carbon, iron and neon make up the remaining percentage.
  • Light from the Sun reaches Earth in around 8 minutes.
  • The Sun’s surface temperature is around 5,500 degrees Celsius, so pack plenty of sunscreen if you plan on visiting (remembering that the average distance from the Sun to the Earth is around 150 million kilometres).
  • The Sun’s core is around 13,600,000 degrees Celsius!
  • The Sun generates huge amounts of energy by combining hydrogen nuclei into helium. This process is called nuclear fusion.
  • Because of the Sun’s huge influence on Earth, many early cultures saw the Sun as a deity or god. For example, ancient Egyptians had a sun god called Ra, while in Aztec mythology there is a sun god named Tonatiuh.

The Sun produces a solar wind which contains charged particles

such as electrons and protons. They escape the Sun’s intense gravity because of their high kinetic energy and the high temperature of the Sun’s corona (a type of plasma atmosphere that extends into space).

Planets with strong magnetic fields (such as Earth) manage to

deflect most of these charged particles as they approach. 

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth.

Did you know … ? 

  • There may be 1,000 spider eggs in an egg sac the size of a pea.
  • No matter how much fly spray you use – you will not kill a Funnel Web spider. You will only make it very angry! They can hold their breath for 72 hours straight if needed, which makes such sprays useless.
  • If our Sun was just 2.5cm in diameter, the nearest star would be 716 km away.
  • There are more tigers kept privately as pets than there are left in the wild.
  • Even when a snake has its eyes closed, it can still see through its eyelids.