Caribbean Vacation? How about Caribbean Conservation!Posted by Craig Knebel
Twenty-four 7th and 8th grade students traveled over spring break with Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Knebel and our Spanish teachers, Ms. DeAngelis and Ms. Fernandez, to work and vacation with the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies or Fundemar in Bayahibe, Dominican Republic. As Ecotourists, our students learned about and worked towards coral reef restoration and marine mammal conservation. As global citizens, our students met community members affected by the loss of the reef and learned how to make crafts and projects to help rid the reef of invasive species. They snorkeled in bleached out and not bleached out reefs to compare the levels of biodiversity – the difference was striking. Other highlights included a cultural exchange with Dominican youth, visiting the six hundred year old first capital of the the Americas and exploring underground limestone aquifers. Oh yes, practicing speaking Spanish, beach time, bargaining in souvenir shops and a whitewater raft trip were also on the itinerary.
Fourth Graders at the Science FairPosted by Carlene Gordon
At the onset, the words SCIENCE FAIR may spark feelings of excitement, frenzy, confusion, or even dread. This is a very daunting task we place before our fourth graders. “Choose a scientific topic, construct a central question and a hypothesis, create a demonstration or experiment to prove (or disprove) your hypothesis, research the science behind your topic, write a conclusion and, finally, present your findings to fellow students, teachers, family and friends.”
At Unquowa, fourth grade is the initiation year of our annual Science Fair. We take this task and break it down into steps. Weeks are spent at school and at home preparing students for the big day. As we progress, students gain the confidence of knowing how to approach a large assignment and how to organize their work within a timeline. Excitement and enthusiasm build as our fourth graders develop into knowledgeable scientists in their chosen field of study. The day of the Science Fair this year brought with it our newly polished, confident and accomplished fourth grade scientists. Congratulations to all on a job very well done!
Do You Hear That?Posted by Lloyd Mitchell
Sixth grade continues to explore robotics! To gain a better understanding of how sound waves travel and are measured, we first used an app for measuring the room’s sound in decibels. We then used our robots to see how various different sounds are measured so that we could understand how to program the robots to successfully follow sound commands. Our initial trial run ended in a robo crash, but trial 2 proved successful! We are about to begin our culminating activity in our robotics unit – students will use their new sensor skills to program the robots to tackle a real world problem with automation. We look forward to seeing the results of our hard work!
Transferring Energy With A Disturbance – A Fun Disturbance For 8th & 2nd GradesPosted by Craig Knebel
The 8th grade is studying waves in science and learned that the scientific definition of a physical wave is a “disturbance that transfers energy through a medium.” In lab, the 8th graders researched the two main kinds of physical waves: transverse and longitudinal. They were then assigned the task of transferring energy in a slinky down the stairs. The excited disturbance of the 8th graders outside their classroom, led to some cooperative learning with the second grade…and several races!
Explosive Learning going on in 8th gradePosted by Craig Knebel
A friend told me recently that the only graduation speech he attended in the last 20 years that he can recall had a prize winning scientist advise everyone to grab something reactive and blow it up, to see how fun science can be. Well, the 8th grade at Unquowa was studying the reactive metals in column one of the periodic table, so why not test the book learning and drop Sodium into water and see if it indeed blows up. It does.
Winging It In Fourth GradePosted by Carlene Gordon
Our fourth grade scientists are currently studying the design process within a unit on technology and design. Students are learning that engineers often make models within the design process to evaluate design and make decisions. Our students were tasked with creating paper airplanes as models with varying wing designs. Students then took their planes for a test flight to see which wing design carried the plane farther. Results were evaluated and students formed a conclusion as to the best wing design for their applications.