We’ve been following along with science teachers Mark, Stacie and their two children as they tour across the US and Canada exploring and teaching along the way. They’ve been to Hoover Dam, and Lowell Observatory! Now we’re catching up with them at Saguaro National Park, the Biosphere 2, Kitt Peak, Joshua Tree National Park, the Salton Sea and Sequoia National Park!
Saguaro National Park
Tucson, Arizona is home to the nation’s largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.
The Biosphere 2 was a privately funded experiment to see if humans could truly live in a closed environment for a year. Now in science we learn about open, closed and isolated systems. Open systems allow energy and matter to move freely while a closed system traps all matter, preventing it from moving. This is what Biosphere 2 did. All water, air and dirt was contained within the building with the energy of the sun powering the system. Isolated systems exist in theory, but we also learn in science that energy is difficult to contain and moves from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration (2nd law of thermodynamics).
The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in California’s Imperial and Coachella valleys.
Sequoia National Park
The park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, the largest tree on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park's General Grant Grove, home to the General Grant tree among other giant sequoias.
For more videos and to follow along visit https://www.scienceroadtrip.ca/