Windy questions

Today we explored questions about wind. We know that wind exists from the evidence of our senses and observing the world around us. Today, scientists can explain what wind is. Poets and artists can portray wind – one of our class described wind as “rivers of air”!

In the past winds were explained differently and many cultures, such as the Romans, thought that the winds were caused by gods and so they gave names to the different gods of the winds.

The five groups in the class looked at some of the names of the wind gods and found different ways of deciding which wind god they would like their group to be named after. (It was interesting to observe the methods that the groups used and how they managed to resolve any differences, our politicians might learn from them!)

These are the names that the groups chose:

Notus – the Greek god of the south wind associated with the dry hot wind of late summer which was thought to bring the storms of late summer and early autumn, and was feared as a destroyer of crops.

Hydro – not a god of ancient mythology but the god of wind from an open-world, online action role playing game! This shows how our ancient mythologies can be taken and adapted and recreated to meet our modern day requirements!

La’a Maomao – the Hawaiian god of wind, also the god of forgiveness

Feng Po Po – the Chinese goddess of the wind who rules over storms and moisture. Known as Madame Wind she is often shown as an old lady riding on a tiger’s back.

Logi – Logi was actually the Norse / Germanic god of fire, brother to Kari, the god of wind. But it seems that the brothers shared their roles!

Feng Po Po

How do trees travel?

On Wednesday afternoon 4H explored the question “How do trees travel?” They did this first by looking at the sycamore tree and especially at its specialist seeds called Samaras.

After carefully studying some Samaras we drew some pictures to try and capture the essential parts of the seeds and their wings

We next made our own helicopter seeds out of paper. We tested these indoors and compared their flight with the flight of Samaras.

We then took both of them outside to investigate the effect of the wind on their flight.

Videos by Shrutika

We discovered that both the seed and the paper helicopter were caught by the wind and could travel a considerable distance, many times further than our height. Our conclusion to our original question was that trees do travel, some of them by means of the wind. However, the rate of travel would be very slow because, even though a seed might be carried quite a distance by the wind, a seed would take many years to grow into a mature tree and produce more seeds which could then take their next step on their travels.