Suncoast Science Center partners with Emma Booker Elementary School for out-of-this-world experiment in learning.
Was it a bird? A plane? It was neither, but it did resemble a scene out of the Orson Welles book "War of the Worlds" when students arrived for classes Monday morning at Emma Booker Elementary School.
Waiting for them was a meteor-sized rock that appeared to have crash landed on campus and mock NASA scientists — played by Suncoast Science Center officials — investigating the scene. The boulder had burn marks indicating its entry through the atmosphere and appeared to have skidded across the lawn.
"The kids were very curious about this and they asked a lot of questions to the 'NASA scientists' whom Suncoast Science Center had asked for help," said Ping Faulhaber, Suncoast Science Center executive director. "The teachers did not know about this, and many of them thought it was real."
The administration was in on the educational hoax as part of a partnership with Suncoast Science Center. The objective of the exercise was to invite students to ask ponder the what, where, when, why and how the meteor made it to their campus.
How do you spell m-i-s-t-a-k-e?
History column 1, Observer 0.
The Jan. 7 history column featured a spelling quiz that ran in a 1975 issue of the Pelican Press. It included spelling errors that slipped through the editing process the previous year. We were pretty much inviting a typo. Sure enough, in the answer key, we butchered the spelling of Brussels sprouts with "Burssels Sprouts."
Kudos to all you eagle-eyed readers who caught the error.
A piece of Selby
Budding gardeners lined up at the gates to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Jan. 7, to purchase the bromeliads used in the 25-foot tree. The tree was up for a month to coincide with the holidays and the Lights In Bloom exhibit. For $2 to $6 residents were able to purchase a bromeliad to add to their gardens.
The tree displayed Neoregelia bromeliads in five colors: Sheba; royal burgundy; donger; petra; malbec.
Resident Gail Dempsey purchased $16 worth of bromeliads to add to her garden at home.
"I'm always looking for a new variety and these are different," Dempsey said. "Almost nothing can give me more pleasure than these plants. "