Tuesday, May 20, 2014

STEM/6 Two new vampires have been sighted...and they are scary!

Recently we have been hunting vampires (electric ones that is) and we have found some pretty surprising examples of vampire electronics.  But now two new vampires have been discovered and they may have been invited into your house!!  Read the article on the new Xbox One and Playstation 4.  Discuss their usage and how that can contribute to an increase in electric bills.  Also if you have spotted one of these vampires in your home, how are you going to keep it's electric sucking hunger in check?

Xbox One & Playstation 4... Vampires?   

Monday, May 19, 2014

STEM/6 Eco-Footprint Action Plan

Your goal with this project is to creat an action plan to reduce you and your family's eco-footprint. 
Step #1 Calculate your eco foot-print (http://www.myfootprint.org/)
Step # 2 Determine areas of your eco-footprint that are large (i.e. water usage, travel etc.)
Step # 3 Research methods to help decrease your eco-footprint in these areas.
Step # 4 Develop An ACTION PLAN (visual representation /poster board) of how you can make changes.
Step # 5 Carry out ACTION PLAN to promte eco-awareness
Step # 6 Document ACTION PLAN using class blog, posting pictures etc.

You will document your changes and success based on your action plan (poster board).  You can shoot video, post comments and/or pictures to show that you and your family are carrying out your purposed plan.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

STEM/8 How did you come into the world??? And has it affected your health

We are all brought into this world through the process of birth.  Many of us were born naturally (vaginal birth) and others of us were born through the process of cesarean (C-section).  A recent study has found that there may be a link between they way you were born and your overall health at an early age.  This study is very interesting because this study can shed light on a lot of childhood issues concerning health and sickness.  The passage that you will read is an excerpt from the book entitled Missing Microbes, by Martin J. Blaser.  In the passage, he links the bacteria that is present in the mother to a baby's health.  It is interesting to note that there is different bacteria exposure based on they way you were born.  Read the passage, and then talk to your parents about your birth and your early health  to see if there is any similarity or validation based on the findings.

Missing Microbes Excerpt

Monday, April 28, 2014

STEM/8 Ken and Barbie take the plunge!!!

It's very important to understand the nature and laws of physics!  Everything that we as a species does is in essences dependent on the laws of physics.  A lot of what we enjoys as activity and sport is grounded in the laws of motion, momentum and gravity.  One particular activity/sport that is physics dependent is bungee-jumping.  The need to understand free fall (gravity), momentum, acceleration, elasticity, potential and kinetic energy is vital to the safety of all people involved.  Your task is to have Barbie or Ken, take the plunge and bungee jump off the back stair well.  It will be very important to the safety and well being of the participants (Barbie & Ken) that you have done the proper calculations to ensure a safe and exciting jump.  The goal is to have your Barbie or Ken, come closest to the bottom step without injuring (touching the stairs) themselves.  A successful attempt will meet all the requirements that were assigned in the lab.  Happy jumping!!

Bungee Jumping

STEM/6 When radio was king!

The radio, its invention allowed the world to hear the talents, stories and news of people from around the country and the world.  Tye radio become and instant success and many homes had a radio that was the center piece of the family's evening entertainment.  The original signals were AM with the introduction of FM in the later 20th century.  FM/AM, what do these letters mean?  how are they different as radio signals?  You are going to need to find out what the significance of these radio waves are and how the radio actually works.  Include in your description of either AM or FM radio, wave function, amplitude, frequency, vibration, medium and pitch.  Be able to defend your radio band (AM/FM) and argue why it is the best band to use.

Monday, April 14, 2014

STEM 6/7/8 A rare opportunity... in more ways than one!!!

Tonight is the first of four (also known as the tetrad)  eclipses that will occur this year. This total lunar eclipse as known as the "blood moon" will be visible in the United States starting at 12:53 am eastern time.  The moon will align up at just the right angle to create a total lunar eclipse.  At the height of the eclipse, the moon turn an eerie blood red color as the sunlight is bent around the Earth.  To see the "blood red" moon you must be outside between 3:00 am - 4:30 am.  Now just as rare as this opportunity is, you are also able to get extra credit in science by taking pictures of the total lunar eclipse.  Date, time and location must be sighted to receive extra credit!!  Also look for Mars in the sky not far behind moon.  It too has a reddish tint.  Good luck   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

STEM/8 Your Inner Fish

If we think back on our previous studies of geologic history and the advancement of life on Earth, we can remember that organisms advanced onto land and adapted to their surroundings.  This process of adaptation and evolution has continued over the millions of years that life has flourish on Earth.  We also focused on the unique aspects of life and looked at the importance of inheritance, genes and DNA.  We learned that the DNA of all living organisms consists of coded genes that are expressed to produce a phenotype that personifies the genotype.  The relationships that exist between various organisms is uncanny and thoroughly supports the theory of evolution and the speciation of life on Earth.  A new PBS series; "Your Inner Fish", looks at the human body and how it has evolved to be a very unique and interesting machine.  The series takes into account our interconnectedness to other organisms both past and present.  Watch the series and comment on the validity and scientific research and its presentation of the facts.     

Your Inner Fish Episode 1