Week 2: Learn Math and Science with the Slug Bug Challenge
Do you worry about how much time your kids spend in the car? You can make that time count by teaching them a little math and science while running errands and driving carpools.
This activity is easy to set up, it’s a lot of fun for the whole family, and it can be very educational at the same time.
1. Print out a Slug Bug Activity Sheet from The Trip Clip Website
2. Make a Prediction
Have each family member who is going to participate make a prediction about which color will be seen the most often, and which will be seen the least often. You’ll need to decide on how long you want to run the experiment – I recommend one week. Write down all the predictions on the back of the page so no one can cheat!
As an added bonus, you can talk about how the scientific method works.
3. Keep it Handy
Keep a hard writing surface and pen or pencil in the car, along with your Slug Bug Activity Sheet. A small clipboard works great, like this one from The Trip Clip!
4. Record Data
For one week, watch for slug bugs on the road as you run errands, drive the carpool, go to school, etc. Each time you see a slug bug, fill in another box to record the sighting.
5. Check the Results
At the end of the week, look at the data to find out which color slug bug is the most common, and which is the least common. See which family members guessed correctly!
For a true science experiment (and to keep the fun going) you can run this experiment multiple times and see if the results change. If they do, talk about why. Did your routes change? Was one week long enough to get an accurate sampling? Were there different people in the car who were better at spotting the bugs?
6. Make it Global
For added fun, ask a friend in another part of the country to do the same thing, and then compare notes. Are the same colors popular in different parts of the country?
Not only will your whole family have fun watching for slug bugs, your kids will learn:
- How to make predictions and record data for an experiment. SCIENCE!
- Simple graphing skills: MATH!
- Geographical differences: SOCIAL STUDIES!
If you have fun with this, or have any added suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about it!