Friday, March 20, 2015

The other day there was a new moon and a solar eclipse.  The Full moon will arrive in the week or two.  When a full moon occurs do you feel weird? It is often said that there is a rise in crimes and babies being born on or around a full moon.  Is this really true?  From a scientific point of view does "Full-Moon Madness" actually occur?  The recent article that you read explains how science can be used to disprove this idea that the moon has sway over our emotions and actions.  What proof is there to back up the idea that this just is not true, and why must one also not just dismiss "something" as impossible without first "looking into it"?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Innovators/7 Aquaponics

As we continue to move beyond the traditional gardening methods, we must look at the ideas of hydro-and aquaponics.  These two alternatives provide gardeners the opportunity to create interesting designs and the ability to produce a large amount of produce in a small footprint.  The additional benefit of possible raising fish for food production is one of the attractive aspects of aquaponics.  Use the link provided to gain insight on how to set-up and establish an aquaponics system.  Use you new found knowledge to help aid you in designing a viable aquaponics system for our expanding garden project 

Off grid aquaponics system

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Innovators/7 Histology and Cellualr Respirtion Discussions

Our study of Histology and Cellular Respiration is finally underway, we have a lot to cover in a short amount of time.  The nature of cellular respiration is essential to life and there are also other benefits besides of course being alive that we can gain from this process... sauerkraut!!  We will look at one of the processes of cellular processes, fermentation and how this process can be used to make some very healthy that benefits from this process.  Our study will also look at how cell division leads to growth and the importance of cellular reproduction.  The playlists attached offer unique opportunities for you to engage in the background information of these and other topics that centers around these two topics of histology and cellular respiration.

Cellular Respiration Playlist 

Cellular Division Playlist

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Innovators/6 Rock Madness

The month of March brings about many changes and challenges.  The arrival of spring is evident as the days move towards the end of the month.  One of the great challenges of March is the prediction of the NCAA's basketball brackets for the college tournaments.  The competition is always fierce and the thrill and excitement of watching your predictions come to fruition is one of joy and often sorrow as the proverbial "Cinderella" team can cause havoc in the bracket.  We can enjoy this game of friendly competition as well, except our teams will be constituted of rocks!  Welcome to March Rock Madness, you will determine the field of 20 rocks that will compete for title of "the king of rock".  The competition will be based on the characteristics of  each rock and how they fare against one another.  The characteristics that will be considered in the competition include the following;

  • Type of rock
  • Melting point
  • Hardness
  • Luster
  • Cleavage/Fracture
  • Color 
  • Availability
  • Man's use of the rock
Geological Characteristics Playlist
Good luck and may the best rock...roll!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Innovators 6/7/8 March Nature Connections

Spring is slowly trying to make its way into the outdoors.  IT has been a snowy and cold winter season but the time for growth and rebirth is already beginning to take shape.  The month of March was named by the Romans after Mars, the god of war and also of vegetation, which is fitting as this was the month that soldiers went to battle and farmers began planting.  The saying "March come in like a lion and out like a lamb" refers to the constellations Leo the Lion and Aries the Ram- both prominent in the March Sky.  This is the month to begin looking for signs of new plant life.  Go outside and listen to the chatter of birds, feel the first warm breezes, smell the damp earth, and know that here and now, all is right. 

Nature Connection Assignments

  • Nature Notes pg 123 (2 a week for a total of 8)
  • March Picture of the Month pg 125
  • Welcoming the Equinox pg 126-127 (Read for understanding)
  • Drawing what you see: Birds pg 130-131
  • Nature at the End of a Leash pg 132-133
Nature Connection Downloads 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

STEM/8 Three Stage Planetary Launch Challenge

Space exploration requires engineers to plan and develop machines and devices that perform specific tasks to complete the goal of the mission.  This includes, the launching of the rocket with a payload (rover, telescope etc.), the actual journey to the destination (planet, moon, orbital placement) then decent or destination.  This simplified explanation of a space mission can be engineered and modeled using the design process.  Your goal is to design a 3 part mission that will, launch your rocket (a launch mechanism), move your rocket to the destination (orbit transfer mechanism) and finally place the rocket in orbit around the destination (a gravity well).  With these objectives, your team must plan, design, build, test and redesign and test where needed to meet the three objectives.  A part of the design process, you will need to complete blueprints that shows your planing and design strategies as well as documentation of the continued process of design (video documentary). 

The three objectives focuses on the physics principles of motion, gravity and energy.  One of the most difficult aspects of space travel and exploration is the departure from Earth.

Objective #1
  The amount of energy needed to overcome the grips of Earth's gravity is an engineering feat in itself.  your team must develop a unique design that will harness the energy and power needed to propel your "rocket" into space. 

Objective #2
Once in space, there are various obstacles to overcome from an engineering and scientific perspective.  The development of a orbital transfer system will simulate the obstacles that all space craft must experience.  The laws of motion are essential to the understanding how space travel can be accomplished.  Newton's third law of motion  explains the basic motion motion of a rocket as it travels from the Earth into space and beyond. 

Objective #3
When landing a rover on a planet or moon, the payload must first establish an orbit around the destination to help with the landing of the craft.  The design and development of a gravity well will simulate the effects of gravity on an object.  Stellar bodies such as stars, planets moons and even asteroids possess enough mass to generate a gravitational pull on objects near by. 

The design of your project is unique to your teams ideas and build.  You may use various materials to complete the build, however the device must be safe to use and easy to set up and reproduce your results.  All documentation must be present the day of the reveal.

Monday, February 2, 2015

STEM 6/The T-Rex Debate... Predator or Scavenger?

Jack Horner, the famous dinosaur paleontologist, developed a hypothesis that stated that the mighty T-Rex was not the agile predator that we all paint it out to be, but instead a scavenger like a vulture.  His hypothesis is based on scientific study and evidence that he and his team found in the field while digging up T-Rex skeletons at the Hell Creek dig site.  Based on the video and information presented, what is your conclusion about the nature of the T-Rex?  Was it a predator or a scavenger.  Explain and support your answer.