Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Awesome Opossums and Enigma Day!

If you would like all of the photos from Enigma Day, click on this link.

The day started calmly when we had Mrs. Kim Strauss come to present a distance learning program through Texas Parks and Wildlife. "Urban Encounter: Awesome Opossums" taught us the many different characteristics and adaptations of our Texas Opossum. The favorite presentation was with Talking Tom and Talking Ben's News Program.What an awesome app for the iPad! Thanks, Kim!
Enigma Day is a culminating activity in which the students share their PowerPoint presentations on the researched Enigma, such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bermuda Triangle, Marfa Lights or Atlantis! While parents are viewing their child's project they can also participate in several Mystery Science Activities in the CSI Science Lab!

Student Scientists mixed their own shaker cup of Slime to take home. Mixing of a PVA solution and a linking solution (Borax) forms the slime! Our superintendent, Mr. Sam Bell, even tried mixing his own batch of Slime.

Another polymer activity was Gravi Goo. This mysterious substance seems to pour by itself. Some slipped away onto the floor which one of the visitors pointed out that must be how it got its name.:-)
It was great to see Mrs. Schwartz!

My son, Kyle, spent his lunch hour here at the lab. He was the Boo Bubble Scientist. The bubbles are formed from Carbon Dioxide Gas from dry ice and Joy dish soap. All you need is a Boo Bubble maker , water, soap, dry ice and Kyle. Mrs. Brinkmeyer liked Boo Bubbles, and she was pretty fond of the Gravi-Goo.

This is a lesson in sound. The hex nut makes a eerie sound when it spins inside the balloon. Mr. Ogg and Mr. Harrell check out the lab experiments!

Pearl Swirl makes a "rheoscope" which allows us to see the movement of currents. It is a nice model for abstract things we can't see such as ocean current, atmospheric movements and more.

Students traced the area of small polymer body parts to determine their size before we place them into water. They updated their Table of Contents and we will wait to see how the brain, nose, ear and hand grow in water over time.

This was a favorite experiment. Fill water in a large bucket. Add dry ice. Mix Joy dish soap and use a piece of t-shirt to drag across the top rim of the bucket to form a bubble. The carbon dioxide forms a giant bubble on top of the bucket. Watch it pop to form a cool fog! Thanks, Mr. Shields for stopping by!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ode to an Oyster Grade 6

The sixth grade CSI students read Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter" and then wrote their own stanza to the poem. In this classic poem, the Carpenter and the Walrus trick the oysters into taking a walk with them only to find that they are going to be eaten. The students wrote their own ending to the poem, keeping with the poems rhythm and rhyme.

Recording of the Walrus and the Carpenter

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Crow and the Pitcher and MORE Science!

We followed up last year's 4th grade lesson, The Pitcher and the Crow, with Scientific Design Part 2. Instead of the students designing parachutes, they designed paper bridges to hold as many pennies or weights as possible. They could only use one piece of paper and must keep the "span" of their bridge at 4 inches. We had some amazing bridges! The student scientists were surprised when they hypothesized that only about 20 pennies could be held on the paper bridge. As they folded the paper into different shapes, they were surprised to see that many bridges held over 200 pennies and some held almost 400 pennies.


We found that the bridges holding the most pennies had some sort of triangular design in their folds.


This cup is not touching the books. It is being held by the paper.


Lots of bridges, lots of designs!

Mollie's journaling was awesome. She sketched and numbered each design. Mattie had a way of really drawing her designs accurately, too.
Mollie's journaling:

The Crow and the Pitcher and Science

One of my favorite things to do as a teacher is to incorporate literature into a lesson. We did this whenever we could in math, science or social studies when I was in the regular classroom. This week's lesson included the book "The Crow and the Pitcher" originally written by Aesop and interpreted by Stephanie Gwyn Brown.
While reading the book, the students predict how to solve "Crow's" problem. He is dying of thirst and finds a pitcher of water with the neck too narrow, the water too low, and his beak not long enough to reach! Students draw and write about solutions to Crow's problem and we share. Then, Crow decides to give up "in despair". As we turn the page, an idea comes into Crow's bird brain and he decides to pick up pebbles to drop into the pitcher and raise the water level. So, we try Crow's solution with our own pebbles and pitchers and found out that it works.
As it turns out, Crow's hard work paid off and the moral of the story is revealed:


Christina asked if she could write that in her journal:
Way to go Christina!!!

We discussed "displacement" of water then moved on to our own scientific design.

The students were assigned to build a parachute which would slow down the fall of a plastic figure. They could only use one or all of the following: one piece of notebook paper, one plastic sandwich bag, and/or one paper lunch bag, one meter of string.

We had some designs that worked well and others not so good! We talked about the forces involved in parachuting: acceleration, air resistance, gravity - and labeled diagrams in our journals.


Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Kmiec

Mrs. Cook and Mrs. Kmiec
First Lego League Competition 2014

About US

Mrs. Sarah Cook and Mrs. Janis Kmiec are the lead investigators at CSI. Mrs. Cook manages the lab lessons as well as the Science Curriculum for BISD. Mrs. Kmiec leads the technology lab investigations. Both teachers love making CSI fun, exciting, and full of learning for their students.