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!
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.
A Morning with Corey Flintoff!Posted by Vincent O'Hara
When Ms. Lauer told us that Corey Flintoff, NPR’s former international correspondent based in Moscow, would be coming to our school to speak with the seventh and eighth grade humanities classes we did little to mask our exuberance. Mr. Flintoff discussed the propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation used by the Kremlin during his time stationed there. Our classes prepared by delving into the history, government and international relations of Russia with the goal of understanding the tumultuous relationship between our governments. Furthermore, the seventh and eighth graders learned about how propaganda is used by all people to persuade or create bias.
Much of Mr. Flintoff’s presentation focused on the Malaysian Airlines flight that went down in Ukraine in 2014, and how the Russian government handled accusations that they were responsible for the tragedy. Mr. Flintoff’s experience searching for the truth was a dramatic, and at times an unsettling narrative. However, our students were mature, composed and intellectually engaged. They asked insightful questions about other stories Mr. Flintoff had written – chasing Somali pirates with the French Navy, reporting alongside US troops in Iraq, and covering the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
We couldn’t have been more proud watching our students in action, making conversation with Mr. Flintoff, a recognized and celebrated radio reporter. What a great experience!
We the People…Posted by Debbie Leidlein
We have been studying the Constitution and government in eighth grade humanities. In a recent lesson students were asked to rewrite the Preamble in their own words. Having pondered over every single word and phrase both individually and in pairs, the entire class came up with the following version:
“We the citizens of the United States, in order to construct an impeccable nation, institute fairness and equality, guarantee internal peace, defend the country as a whole against foreign attacks, advocate for public health and happiness, ensure the rights of freedom for ourselves and future generations, do decree and form this Constitution.”
Why Are Wheels Round?Posted by Ann Palm
During our transportation unit the PreK-4 students experimented with wheels. The children discovered wheels make things move more easily. Although our car did move with both square and oval wheels, the car with round wheels moved best and traveled the farthest. After the experiment the children had fun using different leveled ramps to race cars. They discovered the steeper the ramp the faster the car would go. It was a fun afternoon and learning experience!