Thursday, December 11, 2014

Innovators/8 Physics Review Unit Assessment

Our study of Newtonian physics has finally reached an end.  The Laws of motion , gravity and energy conservation are some of the overarching topics that we have covered.  The need to now and go back to review and prepare for the assessment is at hand.  Recently you have been given a review guide to help prepare you for the assessment.  Use the playlist attached to help you also prepare for the exam.  It will consist of 12 "events" that will require you to observe and explain using the laws and equations that we have learned and practiced in class.  Study Hard!

Physics Review Playlist   

STEM/7 Pandemic Board Game Tutorial

Our Study of bacteria and virus has lead us to discover how these infectious agents can affect us as a species and how we can prevent our good friends from getting sick.  But what would happen if there was a world wide pandemic?  This has happened in the past and there has been terrible consequences for all those involved.  We now will look at how these pandemics can spread around the world and just how fast and deadly they can be by playing the board game entitled Pandemic.  Above is a tutorial on how to play the game.  Please watch the video and be ready to play and discuss how this game mimics a real Pandemic.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Innovators/6 Geologic time period prediction

The Second major time period of the Earth witnessed various changes to the primitive land and the diversifying seas.  As the surface of the land began to become more inhabitable, the invasion of plants and invertebrates began.  As these organisms crept out of the water, some of these organisms still had life needing ties to their recent pasts in the water.  The number of of species that were now present on the Earth rose dramatically.  This period of specie enrichment was known as the "Cambrian Explosion".  Creatures that were never seen before flourished in the seas.  This however was for a "short" geologic time period as the greatest mass extinction to ever occur on Earth happened at the end of this period.  Up to 90% of all life on the planet was thought to have eliminated by an event that we have already discussed.  As this time period ends, you are challenged to develop a name that would encompass all that we have learned and discovered about this great age of diversity.  You are also needed to predict what the next major geologic time period will have in store for the Earth.  The "reset button" has been pushed so what would it have looked like?  Use scientific thinking and some imagination to help visualize the next great geologic time period.     

Monday, December 1, 2014

Innovators 6/7/8 December Nature Connection

The year is near its end and the winter season is knocking on the door.  all but the last leaves of fall are now on the ground and nature is adjusting to the coming cold short days and long winter nights.  This is the start of a stretch of time where we are connected to the outside world less yet there is still a lot of "nature" to explore and observe.  The cold clear nights make for great star gazing and the leaf-less trees is idea for watching birds as they go about their daily routine.  The area in which we live is full of wonder and mystery no matter what season or time of year it is.

December Nature Connection Assignments

  • My nature Notes pg 269 (2 a week total of 8)
  • Picture of the Month  pg 271
  • It's holiday Time pg 272-273
  • Exploring Nature pg 274-275  
    • Take a long walk outdoors on a sunny day
  • The Winter Solstice pg 276-277

Friday, November 21, 2014

Innovators/6 Geologic Time Prediction/Name the Age

The study of geologic time and the organisms that have inhabited the Earth in the past is very interesting and diverse.  The first major time period had you and your lab partner observing and comparing the variety of life that existed in the oceans.  Your team also looked at the drastic differences of the environments based on the climate on both land and in the oceans.  Based on your studies, what formal title would you give to this geologic age of the Earth?  Base your decision on all the information that you have gathered.  After your decision and supporting argument is made for your choice, you must then predict what the next age of the Earth will be like.  Think about the types of plant and animal life that may start to evolve from these initial inhabitants of the Earth.  Predict the climate and the possibility of the continental brake-up of Pangea.  Make sure you can support your claim.

Innovators/7 The great waste of food in America

As we continue to discuss one of our undercurrent topics this year, food and gardening, the topic of waste often comes up in discussion.  The need for all of us to waste less food is necessary to help curb the immense amount of waste.  A recent NPR report discusses this issue in great detail.  As you listen to the story comment on your own family's experience with food waste.  Also, listen for tips on how to help curb food waste in your own household.  Discuss possible actions you may take to help your family be more food conscious.

To end food waste, change need to begin at home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Innovators/6 Catapult Challenge
The engineering design process consists of six steps: ask, imagine, plan, create, experiment, and improve.  You’ve been asked to build a cost-efficient catapult to complete a certain task.  Since class on Tuesday, you should have been imagining and brainstorming ideas for your catapult.  To supplement this step, watch the videos below.  These should help get your wheels turning faster as far as design and strategy.

Do some background research of your own and keep thinking about ideas to bring into class and begin sketching.  Your research and brainstorming along with these videos compose the “imagine” step of engineering design.  Be prepared by class time on Thursday to start the “planning” phase.

Timeline for Catapult Challenge:

  • finish research/brainstorming
  • sketch design ideas (BACK UP WITH REASONING!)
  • model but do not start gluing anything
  • before class ends, decide on one design for your group
  • complete blueprint for team design (WITH REASONING)
  • build catapult
  • if catapult is finished, begin testing
  • continue testing - make modifications if needed
  • prepare for competition