Activity Book 7: Intermediate Level

Best suited for ages 11 to 15

  1. Indoor Air Word Search
  2. What’s Up, Doc? Understanding Good Health
  3. Biodiversity Quiz
  4. Collecting Algae
  5. Word Search href="
  6. Canadian Skies Crossword Puzzle
  7. Energy-Smart Choices
  8. Answer Key

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Indoor Air Word Search

Health Canada

Find these hidden words related to indoor air pollutants! The words could be up, down, left or right so look carefully! Then use the leftover letters to spell out the Secret.

Indoor Air Word Search

ASTHMA
BARBEQUES
CARBON MONOXIDE
COMBUSTION
COUGHING
DUST
FRESH AIR
HEALTH
HOME
INDOOR AIR
IRRITATION
MITES
MOULD
NITROGEN DIOXIDE
POLLEN
POLLUTION
SMOG
SMOKE
SNEEZING
STOVE
TOBACCO
VENTILATION
WHEEZING

Secret: __ __ __ __ __ __ __ + __ __ __ __

 

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What’s Up, Doc? Understanding Good Health

National Research Council Canada

Practically everyone becomes ill... sooner or later. Few people have perfect health. In fact, it is possible for you to be slightly ill and be totally unaware of your condition. This means that contagious diseases can be passed from one unsuspecting person to another.

One way to characterize diseases is to group them according to their principle cause. For example,

  1. Diseases which are genetically inherited.
  2. Diseases which are related to dietary deficiencies.
  3. Diseases which are induced by environmental conditions (physical and chemical).
  4. Diseases which are caused by viruses and bacteria.

Your Personal Doctor-on-call

Each of us has within our bodies the best medical team ever assembled - on-call 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. This is the body's natural immune system. Like all medical teams, this team works best when it is properly nourished and well rested.
Look after your body and it will look after you!

A strong immune system is the body's first, and best, line of defence in preventing and recovering from diseases that you might acquire.

Vaccinations are simply a method of "teaching" your immune system to recognize harmful and dangerous viruses and bacteria.

Creepy Things - Ugh!

Unseen and usually unnoticed are the microorganisms which inhabit every nook and cranny of our environment from the highest mountains to the depths of the deepest oceans.

The majority of these microorganisms are benign, meaning they are not harmful. In fact, many of them are beneficial; they are the primary recyclers of organic material in our environment. A few are pathogenic; that is, they cause disease.

I Feel Awful... Groan...

Sometimes, perhaps when you have a bad cough or sore throat, your doctor will take a small cotton ball and swab it (wipe it gently) on your tongue or cheek.

The cotton ball is sealed in a sterile bottle and then it is sent to a lab so that the cause of your sore throat can be determined.

What happens at the lab?

In this activity we will culture microorganisms just as the doctor's lab cultures the microorganisms on the cotton swab from your mouth.

Investigation

Students will be given an opportunity to probe their environment for microorganisms and to cultivate colonies of the microorganisms that they find there.

Note: It may take 2-3 weeks to cultivate visible colonies of microorganisms.

Materials Needed

  1. 1 new potato
  2. 5 or 6 small resealable plastic bags (or similar air-tight, sealable, transparent containers)
  3. a supply of cotton swabs or cotton balls
  4. marker pen
  5. tongs

Procedure

Step 1

To begin this activity you will need a few hard, new potatoes, free from bruises or mold.

Step 2

Wash the skins thoroughly in hot soapy water to remove soil and loose debris on the outer surface of the potato.

Step 3

Select one potato and cut off 6 or 7 thin slices (about 5mm thick).

Step 4

Select a fresh, clean cotton swab (or cotton ball). Do not allow it to touch anything except the item to be tested. For the first test, swab the surface of a shoe sole, then as quickly as possible proceed to step 5.

Step 5

Rub the cotton swab (or cotton ball) over the surface of the potato. This will inoculate the cut surface of the potato slice with the bacteria that you have collected on the cotton swab. Try to do this as quickly as possible to minimize the possibly of contaminating your samples with airborne bacteria.

Step 6

Once a sample has been inoculated, quickly seal it into the plastic bag. Label the bag for identification.

Repeat the process for several other items. These might include a doorknob, the palm of your hand, your breath, the floor, the sides of a pen or pencil, or other objects of your choice.

Step 7

Set up your samples in a warm undisturbed location where you can make regular observations.

Observations and Conclusions

  1. Make a chart in which to record your observations.
  2. Make daily sketches showing the appearance of each potato sample once the microorganisms appear to be growing. (You may want to use a magnifying glass to examine the sealed potato slices).
  3. Each of your samples likely contains numerous kinds of bacteria. Based on your observations which source appeared to have the most active kinds of bacteria?
  4. What conclusions can you draw about the apparent abundance of bacteria in your environment?

Discussion

  1. List some of the ways our body protects us from illnesses that might be caused by contact with the microorganisms in our environment. Hint: Think about the body's natural defences against infections, such as tears, saliva, certain blood cells, stomach secretions, and skin.
  2. Suggest some ways we can help our natural defences keep us healthy. Hint: Think about things like proper hand washing, personal hygiene, rest, nutritious diet, etc.
  3. Did you know that scientists at Canada's National Research Council are exploring ways we can use natural compounds that are found in many of the foods we eat to treat and prevent diseases?

Note: Dispose of the samples in a sealed plastic garbage bag. DO NOT open the resealable plastic bags.

Extended Activities

1. Ask your parents/guardians or teacher to help you make a list of the diseases for which you have been given a vaccination.
2. Make a list of diseases which fall in each of the following categories:
i. Diseases which are genetically inherited.
ii. Diseases which are related to dietary deficiencies.
iii. Diseases which are induced by environmental conditions (physical and chemical).
iv. Diseases which are caused by viruses and bacteria.
3. Design an experiment to test the effectiveness of various kinds of household cleaning and anti-bacterial agents. You might test various kinds of soap, mouthwash, toothpaste, and hand cleaners.

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Biodiversity Quiz

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth. It is a record of the differences among all living things and how they interact with the environment as well as each other. Agricultural biodiversity affects farming, the environment and Canada's economy.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada maintains the largest collections of fungi, insects and plants in Canada. The identification of pests and weeds, along with their natural enemies, is an essential step in protecting our agricultural resources and the environment.

Take the quiz and test your knowledge of Canada's agricultural biodiversity!

Part 1 - Discover our treasures

1. Taxonomy is...
A. the science of classifying organisms
B. the method used to figure out your taxes
C. the study of ecology
D. the techniques used by taxidermists

2. The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes in Ottawa, Ontario contains how many specimens?
A. 1 million
B. 10 million
C. 16 million
D. 160 million

3. The oldest insects in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's insect collection are:
A. 6 months old
B. 50 years old
C. 400 years old
D. 75 million years old

4. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has a large mycology collection and our mycologists study fungi. Which of the following are fungi:
A. mushrooms
B. yeasts
C. moulds
D. all of the above

5. While there are about a million different kinds of fungi, what percentage has been identified by scientists?
A. 10%
B. 20%
C. 90%
D. 100%

Part 2 - Enter our vaults

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has plant and seed collections. These are similar to libraries because every plant and seed has been named, catalogued and cross-referenced. Staff identify, collect, preserve and share seeds and plant parts with scientists all over the world.

1. In Canada's gene banks, genetic plant material is stored as:
A. seeds
B. live plants
C. tissue culture
D. all of the above

2. Who can use a gene bank?
A. Anyone who is wearing jeans
B. Anyone in the world with a valid use
C. Only scientists or plant breeders
D. Only farmers

3. What type of scientist would work at a gene bank?
A. Botanist
B. Taxonomist
C. Geneticist
D. All of the above

4. The lifespan of a seed varies from a few years to centuries. To maintain optimum preservation, the gene bank keeps a storage facility in Saskatchewan at what temperature.
A. 30° Celsius
B. 4° Celsius
C. -20° Celsius
D. -70° Celsius

5. Some countries are often responsible for a specific plant variety. Canada is responsible for the world collection of:
A. Barley and oat
B. Wheat and rye
C. Tomato and cucumber
D. Apple and pear

Part 3 - Farmers and biodiversity

Because Canadian agriculture is relatively new, most of our crops originated from areas outside of Canada. Canadian crop breeders adapt plant varieties so they can grow in our cold climate. Over the years, scientists have boosted biodiversity greatly by developing new crops for domestic use and export markets.

1. Crops that are native to Canada are:
A. strawberry, blueberry and cranberry
B. tomato, potato and corn
C. wheat, rye and oats
D. apple, pear and peach

2. Which crop is grown in every province in Canada?
A. Apples
B. Strawberries
C. Potatoes
D. All of the above

3. How many years does it usually take to develop a new tree fruit variety such as apple, pear or peach?
A. 5 years
B. 10 years
C. 25 years
D. 50 years

4. Since 1901 our Shelterbelt Centre in Saskatchewan has distributed how many trees to Canadian farmers on the prairies?
A. 60 thousand
B. 600 thousand
C. 6 million
D. 600 million

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Collecting Algae

National Research Council Canada

Some consider algae to be a "slimy nuisance" or just "pond scum." But look closer and you'll see that algae (singular "alga") represent one of the most diverse forms of life on Earth, coming in a near infinite variety of shapes, sizes and geometric designs. The term "algae" is used to describe primitive plant-like organisms and is often given to unrelated groups that use photosynthesis or appear similar in shape or form. Algae are the base of the food chain -- they convert nutrients to organic matter that other organisms eat.

Purpose

Discover what native species of algae grow in your backyard.

Materials and Equipment

  • 1 small microscope
  • 1 dip net (common at pet food supply stores) or a fine-mesh kitchen strainer
  • 1 pair scissors
  • A pond or marsh near you home or school

Instructions

  1. Use the net or strainer to carefully collect algae from the water's surface. Be sure to look in all habitats in the water such as the edge of stones, aquatic plants and floating objects. A small sample can harbour a myriad of life forms, including aquatic micro-animals.
  2. Algae often form mats on the water's surface. If necessary, use the scissors to obtain a small sample easily.
  3. If the material you collect is muddy, let it sit for a few hours before observing it.
  4. Spread your sample thinly on a slide and place a cover slip on top. Most algal forms are easily seen at a magnification of 10x or 15x.
  5. To photograph algae, use a simple compact digital camera, which can capture a clear image when held up to the eyepiece lens of the microscope.
  6. Do not keep algal samples for more than a few days as grazing micro-animals can decimate them. Also, their chemistry will change and, unless you refrigerate them, truly foul odors can develop.

(This activity was submitted by science teacher Michael Léveillé of St-Laurent Academy Elementary and Junior High in Ottawa.)

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Word Search

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Try to find all the words in the list at the bottom of the page! If you don't understand a word, ask your parents or a teacher what the word means and they can help you learn the words!

Word Search

CHARS
Field
Environment
Experiments
Entomology
Wind
Biomass
Science
Research
Monitor
Arctic
Botany
Hydro
Geology
Technology
Maintenance
Data
Polar
Alternative
Solar

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Canadian Skies Crossword Puzzle

National Research Council Canada

Canadian Skies Crossword Puzzle

Across

2. A yellow dwarf star at the centre of our solar system, it accounts for 99.8% of our solar system's mass.

4. This describes the motion of spinning on an axis or centre, like a top.

6. These people rely on electromagnetic radiation detected by different types of telescopes to determine the location, composition, temperature, motions and magnetism of celestial objects.

9. This planet is the home of some of the fastest windstorms anywhere in the Solar System, with winds often reaching speeds of 2000 km/h.

11. Every December, meteors appear to spray out of this constellation. This event is called the "Geminid meteor shower."

12. This planet is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

Down

1. This planet weights more than twice as much as all the other planets of our solar system combined.

3. An area in the sky where people have looked up and seen a pattern that is helpful in finding our way around the night sky.

5. The Milky Way a spiral disk containing several hundred billion stars is one of these.

7. An event in which the shadow of one celestial body falls on another celestial body.

8. This beautiful light show of red and green glowing overhead is caused by the interaction of solar materials with the Earth's atmosphere.

10. This planet was named after the Roman god of war, due to its blood-red colour.

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Energy-Smart Choices

Natural Resources Canada

Did you Know?

Composting is a way to recycle, and it's good for planet Earth.
You can do something good for the environment and lessen the negative effects of climate change by planting a tree or conserving water.
Energy efficiency and cars:

  • Ask you parents if they carpool.
  • No idling, please it uses more fossil fuel.
  • Hybrid cars help with energy conservation.

Energy-Smart Choices

Words:

  • Composting
  • Recycle
  • Earth
  • Environment
  • Climate
  • Tree
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Efficiency
  • Carpool
  • Idling
  • Fossil
  • Hybrid
  • Conservation

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Answer Key

Indoor Air Word Search
Secret: Breathe Easy

Biodiversity Quiz

Part 1 - Discover our treasures

1. Taxonomy is...
A. The science of classifying organisms. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists are world-class experts on identifying plants, insects, mites, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and plant viruses.

2. The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes in Ottawa, Ontario contains how many specimens?
C. 16 million. Although there are larger insect collections, ours is considered one of the best collections in the world in terms of size, different species and expertise of our staff. Our entomologists share information with scientists around the world.

3. The oldest insects in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's insect collection are:
D. 75 million years old. In addition to some extinct species, we also have a large collection of fossil insects that were preserved in tree amber. These fossils are mostly prehistoric flies, beetles and bees.

4. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has a large mycology collection and our mycologists study fungi. Which of the following are fungi:
D. All of the above....and much more including mildew, puffballs, morels and truffles. The grocery store offers a variety of edible mushrooms to eat. Yeast is needed to make bread, wine and beer. Good moulds are used to make delicious blue cheeses.

5. While there are about a million different kinds of fungi, what percentage has been identified by scientists?
A. 10%. As with insects, scientists around the world have just scratched the surface when it comes to naming all the microscopic organisms on our planet. There's still lots of work to do for budding scientists.

Part 2 - Enter our vaults

1. In Canada's gene banks, genetic plant material is stored as:
D. all of the above. Tissue culture means we can grow a whole plant from a small piece of plant material. This is done in a lab in a controlled, disease-free environment.

2. Who can use a gene bank?
B. Anyone in the world with a valid use. Scientists from all over the world ask to borrow and trade packets of seeds and plants. The biggest users are plant breeders and researchers, but medical researchers and educators are also welcome.

3. What type of scientist would work at a gene bank?
D. All of the above. While lots of scientists work at these research centres, the technicians, managers, office workers and students make significant contributions as well.

4. The lifespan of a seed varies from a few years to centuries. To maintain optimum preservation, the gene bank keeps a storage facility in Saskatchewan at what temperature.
C. - 20° Celsius. For long-term storage, seeds are preserved in special envelopes at -20°C in a large walk-in vault. Seeds are evaluated for viability and dried to optimum moisture content.

5. Some countries are often responsible for a specific plant variety. Canada is responsible for the world collection of:
A. Barley and oat. Barley and oats are extremely valuable crops both in Canada and around the world. Consumers around the world make oats into nutritious granola bars and use barley to make tasty beer.

Part 3 - Farmers and biodiversity

1. Crops that are native to Canada are:
A. Strawberry, blueberry and cranberry. Our Aboriginal Peoples found these sweet treats and they are still popular today as a healthy food source.

2. Which crop is grown in every province and territory in Canada?
D. All of the above. The Government of Canada has invested into crop research for farmers over the last 125 years. Our scientists need to develop crops that sprout, grow, mature and produce a bountiful crop in about 100 days.

3. How many years does it usually take to develop a new tree fruit variety such as apple, pear or peach?
C. 25 years. New orchards are developed so they can resist pests, diseases and environmental stresses such as drought. Many trees are bred to be short so that fruit pickers don't hurt themselves climbing on high ladders.

4. Since 1901 our Shelterbelt Centre in Saskatchewan has distributed how many trees to Canadian farmers on the prairies?
D. 600 million trees. Trees are an excellent resource for farmers. Shelterbelts protect the land from wind and soil erosion. Trees also provide shade for livestock in the summer as well as create a habitat for birds and smaller critters.

Word Search

Word Search

Canadian Skies Crossword Puzzle

Canadian Skies Crossword Puzzle

Energy-Smart Choices

Energy-Smart Choices

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