What sorts of things do you think of putting in a cookie? Here are some ideas. Draw a circle around the ones that could be in a cookie.
Now, write down any other ideas of things you might find in a cookie.
Look back at both lists, and put a star next to anything you think you could identify, just by looking and pulling apart (not eating!) a cookie that has already been baked.
Now here is your chance to see how well you do. Get a "Discovery Cookie" from the facilitator. Break the cookie apart carefully to see what types of things you can identify in the cookie. On a piece of paper, make a list of the things you can identify, and glue a small piece of each next to the word. Try to count how many of each kind of item you can find. What is the most common ingredient? What is the least common? See if you can make a list of what you think makes up the most of the cookie to what makes up the least. Compare it with your classmates, and see if all cookies have equal amounts of ingredients. If you have a balance, you can weigh the whole cookie, as well as all you can find of any particular ingredient. If you organize the ingredients by weight, do you get the same results as when you counted pieces? Why or why not?
Do you think you would like to eat this cookie? If so, ask the facilitator if you can have another cookie to eat!
Did you know that scientists sometimes cut apart other things to find out what is inside? Sometimes they look at the insides of a plant or animal. Other times, they cut apart the animal's droppings (scat). Do you think a person could learn anything by looking inside scat? Here is a list of things. Circle the ones you think scientists might find if they looked at an animal's scat.
Can you think of anything else you might find in scat? Choose a specific kind of animal, find out what it eats, and see if you can figure out what a scientist might find in its scat
Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.
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