Today was the final day to work on construction during class! That's not to say the completed product must be turned in tomorrow morning; No, final judging will take place Monday during school, prior to the Discovery Grand Prix for parents interested in attending at 6:00 P.M. Tomorrow and Friday we will be working on our written Lab Reports, so students need to be sure to bring their fully charge laptops, Science notebooks, and any data or observations collected during the course of this project.
Any students that are not yet finished with the final construction phase need to think about how they might Proactively address the situation. Mr. Franklin arrives before 7:00 A.M., and students may report early to his room to work on their projects. 7th graders, additionally, may work during lunch. Finally, anyone is welcome to stay after school, however this week Mr. Franklin has obligations at 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (Academic Team Tryouts and Robotics/S.T.L.P meeting).
No new homework has been assigned for tonight to allow those students who still need to put the finishing touches on their projects to do so. Additionally, students should gather together and organize all of their data and information from this project and be prepared to write about it tomorrow. Finally, I have advised each class that they might expect a Pop Quiz over Mechanical Advantage, Pulleys, Springs, and other Simple Machines in the coming days, so students might want to take the opportunity to review. (Hint, hint.)
Once again, students are working to finish building their Mousetrap Powered Vehicles (MPV's). Tomorrow is the last day of class to work on construction. Students will be allowed to take their Engineering Projects home with them to complete, if need be, as well as to come in early (7:00 A.M.), work through lunch, or stay late after school (until 3:00 P.M.). Next Monday in class, we will test them, as well as hold our Discovery Grand Prix in the evening for parents.
Students, if your Mousetrap Vehicle is missing any essential components, tomorrow is your last chance to bring them! I have repeatedly stated in class over the past three weeks that you need to regard the gathering of your necessary outside materials to be a standing homework assignment! We are finally down to the wire, and if there's something you consider "essential" to your plan and design and we don't have at school, you're quickly going to find yourself in a difficult spot tomorrow. It may be time to consider falling back to Plan B.
Parents, to be clear, no outside materials are required. Many students have chosen to use CD's or DVD's as wheels, and those needed to be brought from home. Similarly, others wanted to use metal wire coat hangers as axles. Those too need to be provided. However, a large amount of basic building materials were purchased by Mr. Franklin, so an efficient, fully-functioning vehicle can be assembled from what we have in class - no outside resources, necessary. Still, lots of students had imaginative ideas of things they wanted to incorporate, or set their eyes on expensive "premium" materials, and those would need to be purchased or brought from home. Tomorrow would be the last day to bring them in to class.
HOMEWORK: Tonight, return to http://ExploreLearning.com to investigate one of the final components of our Mousetrap Cars, the spring. Investigate how different springs have differing spring constants, and complete the 5 Assessment Questions underneath the activity. If you need a re-take of tonight's or yesterday's homework, you need to show Mr. Franklin your completed Lab Worksheet. If you need additional copies, they can be downloaded and printed from here:
Today we continued working on construction of our Mousetrap Vehicle prototypes. Wednesday will be the final class day for construction. The vehicles will be tested next Monday and Thursday and Friday of this week we will be working on writing our final Lab Reports. Please bring in any materials you still need to complete your car! We are especially running short on hot glue sticks, wire coat hangers, and the physical mousetraps themselves. (We've already gone through the 60 Mr. Franklin purchased for the project -- they only cost a dollar or two are Wal-Mart.)
HOMEWORK: Investigate the Mechanical Advantage of Pulleys at http://ExploreLearning.com. Complete the accompanying Lab Sheet and then answer the 5 Assessment Questions directly below. (Note that you will need to use Internet Explorer or Firefox, but not Edge or Chrome. Also, you will need to have Adobe Shockwave player installed on your machine. Directions are available on http://Edmodo.com)
Today, at the start of class, students discussed and completed a comparison Matrix examining physical properties, intensive and extensive, of the three primary states of matter. 6th grade recorded their Phase Change flowchart notes (included in yesterday's blog post) in their Science Journals.
Then, we returned to conducting Science Fair Project conferences, with students utilizing web resources to review and self-assess proficiency. Today the focus was on Phase Changes, or changes in States of Matter.
6th and 7th grade were provided a brief review packet to help guide and structure their online learning WebQuest. (Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Comparison Matrix -- The completed packet is due at the start of class tomorrow.)
8th graders conducted a virtual lab experiment (found here) measuring the temperature (or average kinetic molecular energy, a.k.a., thermal energy) of a pure substance while it was exposed to exothermic or endothermic processes (a.k.a., heating or cooling) over time. (For the purposes of the this lab experiment, time was artificially accelerated.) They recorded and then graphed their data to look for patterns or anomalies. (These graphs should be completed for homework.) Tomorrow, we will combine and analyze our results to draw a conclusion about the behavior of pure substances during Phase Changes.
HOMEWORK: 6th & 7th Grade - Complete WebQuest Review Packet; 8th Grade - Complete Phase Change Graphs; EVERYONE - Work on Science Fair!
Class started today with everyone taking our school-wide Leader in Me Survey.
Then, students kept their computers out to access a whole host of online digital resources with which to review the fundamentals of the States of Matter, while Mr. Franklin conducted one-on-one conferences with students about Science Fair.
Science Fair is due Nov. 5th, in 2 weeks and 1 day.
Students were asked to self-assess and then review each resource, taking the Practice Quizzes as they worked. Then, at the end of class tomorrow, we will have an actual Quiz over States of Matter and Phase Changes (or transitions between states of matter).
7th and 8th Graders took notes in their Science Journals, drawing a flowchart diagram similar to the two found below:
6th graders, near the end of class, had special guest speakers from The Center for Women and Families to discuss the dangers of bullying and domestic abuse. As a result, missed part of the Edgenuity time, and will need to complete that hour of Edgenuity for homework.
HOMEWORK: 1 hour of Edgenuity (minimum of 1 completed assignment)
Today we reviewed the Big Ideas from our Lab last week exploring Physical Properties; mass, volume, and density, in particular. We also reviewed the method for measuring the volume of an irregular object: water displacement. (Water Displacement Practice Homework was Due: Questions 1-12 + Page 1)
Then we will practiced those skills, plus took it a step further by causing a physical change to a substance and then re-examining those properties to see how (and if) they were affected. (Post-Lab Analysis/Conclusion/Reflection - 10 Questions - Due at Start of Class Tomorrow)
We discovered that no matter how we bent, cut, broke, flattened, or shaped the amorphous solid, changing it's mass and it's volume in the process, it's density remarkably stayed the same! That means that density is a characteristic property (one which can be used to identify an unknown substance) and what's known as an intensive property, meaning it stays the same even if the size of the sample changes.
Next week, we'll be conducting a Lab investigation into chemical properties, and we'll once again observe the effects of changing a sample size.
KEY TERMS & CONCEPTS:
HOMEWORK: Post-Lab Analysis/Conclusion/Reflection - 10 Questions - Due at Start of Class Tomorrow
• “I can INTERPRET graphs of speed and acceleration.”
• “I can IDENTIFY different types of energy and DESCRIBE its transformation from one type into another.”
• “I can EXPLAIN the Law of Conservation of Energy.”
Energy Transformations Practice
Students next investigated how changes to one population within an ecosystem can affect all other organisms within the food web [Link]. We compared the relative numbers of organisms within each Trophic Level, and noticed a decrease in population as you progress higher up the food chain.
We then explored this idea further by completing a data table drawn from this Online Lab Investigation. We calculated the ratio of energy between each Trophic Level, and found those ratios to be about 10%, on average.
We afterwards read a brief article that introduced the Energy Pyramid, a model which conveniently illustrates these observation, and we were formally introduced to The 10% Rule, which we had just derived on our own.
Next, we constructed our own, tangible Energy Pyramids from paper, being sure to label each Trophic Level with appropriate terminology.
Lastly, in most classes, we were able to review the day's lesson with a BrainPop Summary video and a 10-question Check-for-Understanding Quiz.
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