Things to Know About Our Fifty States: Part One

All aboard Students! Everyone on this train? We are going across this country to visit every state and find at least two important things about each state!
So, have your tablets and cameras ready as we take this trip across the North American continent. You will not want to miss a thing! All of the states have something interesting they are known for.

Our first state is Alabama. One of our southern states. It is known for its NASA facilities, auto manufacturing and its iron and steel products. It was the birthplace of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Our next stop is Alaska. It is our largest state. It is known for it’s beautiful scenery with the Aurora Borealis. It is usually the only place in the USA where the Northern Lights can be seen. It also supplies oil to the mainland. The mainland of Alaska has only one time zone which causes northwest Alaska to experience two sunsets in one day each year. It is also the only state in the nation to experience 24 hours of daylight and 24 hours of night! At their closest point, Alaska and Russia are only three miles apart!

We move on to one of our desert states known as Arizona. Home to the Grand Canyon. It is one of the richest mineral zones and grows vegetables and fruit for our country. It has the most solar observatories in the United States.

Now it’s time for Arkansas. It’s known for its parks, caves and hot springs. It is our largest producer of poultry, dairy goods, and bauxite.

Next, we will visit California! It’s our golden state! Known for its gold, music, movies, wine, food, amusement parks and beautiful sequoia trees. It has the second largest city in the USA and also the state with the largest population.

On to Colorado. It is a beautiful mountainous state! Gold and uranium were once mined and supplied to the United States. Denver houses the US Mint.

Next, to Connecticut a state to the north. It has the largest maritime museum in the world. It was one of the original thirteen colonies and it is home to the oldest public library. It is home to the first frisbee, hamburger, Polaroid Land Camera, insurance company, FM radio station, and the arsenal for the thirteen colonies.

Down to Delaware! It is another one of the thirteen colonies. Home of the Nemours Foundation started by Alfred Du Pont, the inventor of the first combustion locomotive, the state has only three counties and the only state without National Parks or Monuments.

Now to Sunny Florida! Home to large citrus and avocado crops, amusement parks, car racing, NASA space program, water sports, tropical warm weather, and alligators. The oldest city in the USA is located here.

It’s up to Georgia, another southern state and the last of the thirteen colonies! It is known for its sweet peaches, pecans, peanuts, cotton, hogs, automobile manufacturing, southern fried chicken and soul food. Home to Martin Luther King, Coke, and Girl Scouts.

We will have to board a ship to take that trip to our fiftieth state Hawaii. It is the last state to be added to the union and the only set of islands. Known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, and scenery. It also gives us those sweet pineapples, coffee, cocoa and vanilla beans. Home to Pearl Harbor and the World War II museum, the only royal palace and tropical rainforest in the US. It has taught us how to surf, given us the largest volcano on earth and honors a royal monarchy.

We will now take our ship back to the mainland and board the train to Idaho. It’s known for its potatoes, water rafting, fishing, winter sports and more than 72 kinds of precious and semi-precious gemstones are mined there. Idaho has the deepest river gorge in North America.

Now traveling over to Illinois, Illinois had the first “skyscraper”, back then it was a building over ten floors. Now it has the tallest building in North America in Chicago. It had the first aquarium and is home to the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico. Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution abolishing slavery.

Moving on to Indiana, where the first professional baseball game was played! Ninety percent of the world’s popcorn comes from Indiana. It is the home state of “The King of Pop”, Michael Jackson and his family. It is also known for its covered bridges. Speaking of building, it has provided the limestone blocks that were used on the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Pentagon, the US Mint and many other building in Washington DC.

Next, we are headed to Iowa. It is the only state with two borders that are rivers. It is the largest producer of pork, corn, eggs, and ethanol in the USA. The first female lawyer to practice in the United States was from Iowa. Fenton Place Elevator is the world’s steepest and shortest railway. It is also home to Quaker Oats, the largest cereal company in the world. Iowa is also known for its camper and motorhome production in Winnebago.

We will now stop in Kansas for a short break. It is famous for beer, wheat, and private aircraft production. Home of the designers of the helicopter, Amelia Earhart-the first licensed female pilot, Pizza Hut, and the inventor of the dial telephone. It also has the windiest city in the USA!

Our next stop is Kentucky. Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby, Mammoth Cave-the longest cave in the world and the US gold reserve, Fort Knox. It was the first state to observe Mother’s Day and has the only US city built in a meteor crater. It is also the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, the key leaders in the Civil War.

Moving deep down south to Louisiana. It is known for its cotton fields, oil, and gas refinery and production, giving us jazz music, the French Quarter, Mardi Gras and spicy cajun cooking! It also holds some world records. The Superdome in New Orleans is the largest steel-constructed room unobstructed by posts in the world. Its capital building is the tallest in the USA. It also has the longest bridge over water in the world. Louisiana has the Crawfish and the Frog Capitals of the world.

Next, we will be stopping in Maine, the only state with one state at its border. It is the blueberry capital of the world. Maine is the biggest harvester of lobsters in the USA. It is home to the smallest lighthouse in the USA and the largest globe in the world.

We are on our way to Maryland! Maryland is home to the first school and the first dental school in the USA. It is home to the sailing capital of the world. It is also home to the production of the first umbrellas in the USA and Babe Ruth and Edgar Allen Poe. Maryland is home to the first railroad station.

Now pulling into the station in Massachusetts, one of the original thirteen colonies! It’s known for its cranberries, toll house chocolate cookies, cod fishing and Boston Cream Pie. It is known for having the first subway system. It is where the first basketball game was played and home to the basketball hall of fame. It is home to the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane!

All aboard! We are on our way to Michigan! It’s the home of the car capital, the largest cement plant, the largest limestone quarry, the largest registered Holstein dairy herd, and the largest producer of magic supplies in the world! It is home to the first university in the USA. Michigan is the cereal capital of the world and home to the first soda pop. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world and has the world’s only floating post office! Michigan is also known for its cherries and the ‘Motown Sound” of the sixties and seventies!

We have to keep this train moving, so we are almost at our next stop, Minnesota! It is the land of more than 10,000 lakes, the source of the Mississippi River, the largest shopping mall in the USA, the largest skyway system in the world and the 3M company-makers of scotch tape and post-its notes. It’s home to the Milky Way, Snickers and 3 Musketeers candy bars! Minnesota is also home to the first bus service in the USA and the first supercomputer in the world. It is also where the first pacemaker was invented and placed on a patient and the place of the first open heart surgery. It is also the home of the musician Prince and actress Judy Garland.

Our next stop will be Mississippi! It is the home of the first teddy bear! The birthplace of the blues music and one of four cities sanctioned to host the International Ballet Competition. It is also where the first lung transplant was performed. It is also the catfish, cotton and pecan capital of the world.Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, Morgan Freeman, and Walter Payton- the first football player to have his picture on a box of Wheaties cereal.

We are stopping now in the state of Missouri. It has the tallest man-made national monument in the USA. It has the largest beer producing plant in the United States. It also was the first to host the Olympic Games in the United States. Missouri is the home of the “Live Music Show Capital of the World” and the first public kindergarten in the United States. It is also home of the first ice cream and waffle cone, cotton candy and Dr. Pepper.

Now we are moving west to Montana, the largest landlocked state in the USA! Montana is the only state whose constitution recognizes the cultural heritage of the Native Americans and is committed to the preservation of their cultural integrity.It is also home to Yellowstone National Park and the geyser called “Old Faithful”. Montana is known for its gold and the sapphire from the state is the only gem from the US to be included in the Crown Jewels of England.

Next stop on this trip is Nebraska. It is home to the largest indoor rainforest and the largest hand planted forest in the USA. Nebraska is also home to the largest Mammoth fossil in the world. It is also where Kool-Aid started, the world’s largest railroad classification yard where railcars are repaired and serviced, and the birthplace of billionaire Warren Buffett.

Now we have arrived at Nevada. It is the largest gold and silver producing state in the USA. The federal government owns 85% of the land in Nevada. It has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world. It has more mountain ranges than any other state! It has the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US. It was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibiting the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on his or her “race, color or previous condition of servitude.” Nevada is also the driest state in the nation and it also has the most hot springs. It is home to half of America’s wild horses and burros.

Now we will be stopping in New Hampshire. It was the first of the thirteen colonies to declare independence from Great Britain. The first successful planting of the potato was made in New Hampshire. The first alarm clock was invented in the state. It is also the only state that does not require by law for adult drivers to wear seatbelts while driving. New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of all the coastal states in the nation.

Our next stop is New Jersey. New Jersey has the most diners in the world and the most shopping malls in one area in the world. It is the only state that has had every one of its counties deemed “urban” as defined by the Census Bureau. It is the most densely populated state in the USA. New Jersey was the first state to sign the Bill of Rights. It was also the place of the first professional basketball game. New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other state. Thomas Edison created most of his inventions in New Jersey. It is against the law for drivers to self-serve themselves gasoline. It is the only state the have full-service gasoline stations!

We are on our way to New Mexico! It has the highest and oldest state capital in the nation. Microsoft was founded in the state. It has the largest Latino population in the USA. New Mexico has the largest hot air balloon convention.

Next, we will be in New York, home to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, and the largest city in the USA! It has the longest toll road, the first steam boat, and the oldest chartered city. It was the first state to require license plates on automobiles! It was the home to the first railroad with a locomotive engine. It has also been the birthplace of the most governors in the USA. New York is home to the most visited waterfall in the world.

We’re on our way down south to North Carolina. The first airplane was successfully flown from there by Wilbur and Orville Wright. The first English colony in America was in North Carolina. The first English child born in America was born in North Carolina. The state is the largest producer of sweet potatoes, tobacco, furniture, bricks and textiles in the nation. It also has the highest waterfall and tallest dam in the Eastern USA. The state is the home of Pepsi Cola and Krispy Kreme Doughnut.

We now will be making our way to North Dakota. It is the largest producer of spring wheat, durum wheat, sunflower seeds, oats, barley, lentils, honey, edible beans, canola, and flaxseed in the United States. North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the nation. It is home to more wildlife refuges than any other state. It is home to the largest buffalo statue and the inventor of the roll film camera.

Our next stop will take some days to travel so we will continue next week with great things to know about our fifty states!

References:

http://www.50states.com
http://www.funfacts.co

The Digestion Waterworks Vacation

It’s vacation time, but the Cumberland kids,can’t start their vacation until they

complete their summer learning assignment: How do mammals digest their food?

“Are you dressed and ready for your new assignment? I’m sure you will find this a

really great way to start your summer vacation.” said Mr. Burp.

Everyone entered the Digestion Waterworks Waterpark at the giant mouth. ”All goggles

on Everyone into a raft and hold on tight. We are going to follow digestion from the

beginning to the end!”,shouted Mr. Burp.

“We’re ready Mr. Burp!”,shouted Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan.

“Why is this one moving up, down and side to side with water shooting everywhere?”,

asked Lisa.

“Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing and saliva or what you call spit. Saliva

wets and begins to break down the food that is ripped and mashed by the teeth when

there is chewing. When the process is complete, the tongue pushes the food down the

tube called the esophagus(ee-sof-uh-gus)—and here we gooooo!!! AHHHH!!!”,screamed

Mr. Burp.

“The first stop is the stomach where more liquids called acids,enzymes hormones and

water are added to the food to break it down even further.”,said Mr.Burp.

“This feels like a big washing machine!,said Wan.

“Some foods are quickly processed and stored in the liver for later use. The liver

is a warehouse and a filter. It stores packets of food that are processed into sugar

for the body and collects the parts that cannot be used by the body for disposal

later. The rest goes to the small intestine.”, said Mr. Burp.

“Uh-Oh! Now it’s drain time!”,said Wan.

“Wheeee!”,squealed Lisa.

“We are now entering the small intestines it is twenty two feet long in humans.”,

explained Mr. Burp.

“Most of your food is absorbed in the small intestines.”,stated Mr.Burp.

“Hey, this is like passing through a carwash! We keep passing through those fringe

curtains!”,yelled Jon.

“Those things you call “fringe curtains are called villi(vill-eye) in the small

intestine. The liquid food now passes through the villi into the bloodstream to the

muscles and tissues by the red blood cells.”, yelled Mr. Burp.

“Whoa! Where are we now?, asked Mateo.

“It sure is dark! Watch that curve!”, yelled Lisa.

“You are now in the large intestine. This is where some of the water you drink and

water from the food you eat is collected and absorbed by the body.”,explained Mr.

Burp.

“It’s the real waterworks of the body!”,said Mateo.

“Yes. You are right, Mateo!”,said Mr. Burp. “It is also where the solid waste is

processed for disposal. The water from the large intestine is used to form stool or

feces(fee-sees) that is passed out of the body through the anus(A-nus).”

“Here we go!” yelled Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan as their raft shot out into a large

pool of fresh water. Wan said,”And now we are in a large toilet bowl waiting to be

flushed away!”

“That’s right, Wan!”,said Mr. Burp.”And that‘s how we digest food. Are you ready

for your summer vacation?”

“YEAH!”, shouted Jon, Lisa, Mateo and Wan.

References

http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works
http://www.kidshealth.org/en/kids/digestive-system.html
http://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-do-you-digest-food

The Cave of the Ear

“Wow, Mr. Burp! Another learning adventure? We have our cave exploring equipment ready to go. The spelunking gear is ready!”, said Jon.

“Yes, today, away we go into the ear and look at how it works!”, said Mr. Burp.”Is everyone attached to your tethers? We don’t want to lose anybody.”

“Yes Mr. Burp!” the group said.

“We will start with the auricle. The outer ear that directs sound. Headlights on as we go deep into the ear!” whispered Mr. Burp.

“Hey! There’s this sticky, slippery stuff on the bottom! I can hardly keep from falling!”, cried Lisa.

“That’s cerumen or what you call ear wax. It keeps insects and dirt from collecting on the eardrum or the tympanic membrane.”, explained Mr. Burp.

“There’s hair all around here on the top, the walls and the bottom. It’s like walking through a carwash!” said Jon.

“The hair helps push the wax and dirt out of the ear canal.”, said Mr. Burp.”Sometimes it builds up and needs a doctor to help move it out, Wan”.

“That is the tympanic membrane, also known as the eardrum. See it move as we talk?, asked Mr. Burp.

“What’s that on the other side of it?”,asked Jon.

“That is what is called the middle ear. We will explore further. Normally we would not be able to pass through the tympanic membrane, but we will today. Step through this hole.”, said Mr. Burp.

“When the tympanic membrane vibrates or shakes, it makes the three bones of the middle ear move. The bone next to tympanic membrane is the malleus or hammer, which strikes the incus or anvil which shakes the stapes or stirrup. The stirrup vibrates the hairs in the vestibule of the cochlea.”, said Mr. Burp.

“That big snail looking thing is the cochlea?”, asked Lisa.

“Yes.”, said Mr. Burp.”The cochlea is the beginning of the inner ear. There are many hairs in the liquid inside the cochlea that move the auditory nerve which goes to the brain and is recognized as sound.”

“What’s that big tunnel at the bottom of the middle ear under the bones?”, asked Mateo.

“That is called the eustachian (you-stay-shun) tube. It keeps the middle ear dry and maintains the air pressure so that the tympanic membrane and the bones of the ear vibrate without any problems.”, said Mr.Burp.

“Where does it end?”, asked Wan.

“Well, this is how we will leave, so let’s find out!”, said Mr. Burp. “Hold on to your tethers as we slowly descend! When you yawn, this tube opens to let a small amount of air in. It’s that “pop” you hear when flying on an airplane. The air it lets in keeps the middle ear bones dry and keeps the tympanic membrane from rupturing.”

“Weeeeee!”, said Lisa. “That was a straight drop with no curves.”

“Correction. That was a slightly slanted drop without curves.”, said Mr. Burp.

“We are in the mouth!”, said Jon.

“What happens when someone can’t hear?”, asked Mateo.

“It can have three causes or a mixture,” explained Mr. Burp. “The tympanic membrane can be torn as it was when we entered the middle ear, or the bones can become gooey and sticky and won’t vibrate.This is what happens with a cold, allergies or an ear infection. They also will not vibrate if they are under water. This usually happens with allergies or a torn tympanic membrane.”

“If the nerve is damaged,which can be from a virus, medications, or head injury, then the sound is still not transferred to the brain and sometimes there may be a combination of all three!”, stated Mr. Burp.

“Wow! You almost have to be a mechanic to repair the ear!”, said Jon.

“I guess that’s what you would call the doctor that works on the ear. The doctor for the ear is called an otolaryngologist (Oh-toe-laren-goll-oh-jest). Commonly known as the ear-nose and throat doctor.” said Mr. Burp. “They don’t like it when you put things in the ear canal. It is hard to retrieve them when they get stuck and they can cause a lot of damage to the ear by punching holes in the tympanic membrane and breaking the bones of the middle ear. It is not easy to make those repairs. There are very few replacement parts.”

“So we should take care of our ears like we take care of our cars.”, said Lisa.

“Yes.”, said Mr. Burp. “ We need to also keep them protected from loud noises. It damages the hairs in the cochlea. You don’t want to have to use hearing aids before you are 30 years old.”

“Well, this ends today’s adventure. Get ready for the next one, gang!”, said Mr. Burp. “Goodbye!”

“Goodbye Mr. Burp!”, said the gang.”See you next time!”

References

http://www.asha.org
http://www.mayoclinic.org
http://www.healthyhearing.com