24 December 2007

Friday was our annual holiday field trip. We went to the Lansing skating rink and to the mall to see a movie. I hope everyone enjoys their break and time with friends and family.

20 December 2007

After today's test we began watching The Story of Stuff. I think it ties in well with the season because it links human health and the environment to many of the products we receive this time of year. This will take a fast internet connection to view.

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

19 December 2007

Today in Tri-Sci we extracted DNA from spinach leaves using detergent, meat tenderizer and rubbing alcohol. Above are some action photos of the process.

12 December 2007

Day 3 of the egg diffusion lab showed us that the distilled water had diffused into the egg, causing it to become extremely plump. Nobody had an egg that broke however!! Last year we had 3 or 4 casualties. Tomorrow we will see what happens after they spend the night in corn syrup.

11 December 2007

Today was Day 2 of the egg diffusion lab. Our eggs sat in vinegar for 24 hours. As someone pointed out in the comment section, the acid in the vinegar completely dissolved the outer shell, exposing the membrane. Because our eggs were larger than yesterday, we can conclude that some of the vinegar diffused into the egg. Tonight they will sit in distilled water for another 24 hours.

10 December 2007

Today we started the diffusion through a membrane lab using eggs. Today's step involved measuring circumference and mass of an egg and submerging it in vinegar. What do you think will happen overnight??

09 December 2007

Friday night, 7th and 8th grade Tri-Sci members traveled to Cornell for a catered dinner by Ithaca Bakery. The purpose of the dinner was to get to know a variety of successful female scientists from Cornell University, Lockheed Martin, and Welch-Allyn. The girls were allowed to ask them any questions they wanted like how much they make, their personal lives, and job descriptions.

03 December 2007

Today we played the EduWare race game to help review for tomorrow's test on Cells. Hopefully everyone enjoyed this method of review. The Groton science department won this at this years STANYS conference as we squared off against 10 other schools. We owe many thanks to the EduWare company and owner, Bill Stevens.

29 November 2007

On Wednesday 5 December from 7-9pm, the high school science and art clubs will be hosting a screening of Sigur Ros's new documentary, "Heima", in room 302. This film highlights the band's unique sound as they travel around their native Iceland performing free shows. This will be open to students and families in grades 6-12. The trailer can be viewed here. Also, check out 3/4 of the way down on this site! I've been featuring this band's music in class from time to time.

28 November 2007

Today some great cell projects trickled in. Is that a pumpkin cell model to the right??? That may have to receive the 1st 100 for being compostable! Remember, all projects were due today and lose 5 pts each day they are late.

Today I mentioned a great contest you guys could enter if you like to take pictures and/or write short essays. There is a lot of talent in this 7th grade and it'd be nice to see someone walk away, a winner. All of the information is above and feel free to bother me if you need help or ideas.

27 November 2007

Today was the last of our guest speakers. Groton graduate - Tiffany Bernhardt, a Cornell Animal Sciences major came in to talk about White-tailed deer. She did a nice job explaining their anatomy, behavior and interactions with nature. You guys have been great during these presentations and a few of the speakers told me they were very impressed with your knowledge. Keep it up.

26 November 2007

Wow! What a cool presentation today by Cornell juniors Tori Ulrich and Erica Secor. They brought in a huge array of animal skulls and other assorted bones. Below are a couple photos from today's presentation. Check out more about these presenters and Cornell's amazing program here.

21 November 2007

Every year the meaning of Thanksgiving takes on more and more importance to me. This year, I was hoping to have a class discussion on this topic but, of course, we had too much stuff going on. What has come to bother me over the past several years are individuals that take too many things for granted...people that complain of being bored when there is so much beauty in the world, accomplishments to be made, and knowledge to attain. I applaud this year's 7th grade class. Not once have I heard "I hate this school" or "Groton is poor". This is a sign that the students appreciate our school and respect their surroundings. The students are polite and I would love to see more of these positive aspects. I have compiled a short list of 20 things that I try not to take for granted...all things that I feel truly lucky for.

My health
Working with the best teachers in the area
Supportive parents
Diversity in human beings
A warm night and a sky full of stars
Groton and the surrounding area
Nature and all that lives as a part of it
A supportive principal
People that care
People that are interesting
My five senses
Running water
My optimism

If you find time, please comment to give your list. If you're too embarrassed, just post as anonymous. Have a great Thanksgiving.

-Mr. DeVoe

20 November 2007

Today we had an awesome presentation on snakes from Stephanie Barrett, a Cornell senior who eventually wants to become a doctor. Above are some photos from when she passed out her pet Ball Python.

19 November 2007

Beginning Monday during rec. students can sign up to birdwatch as part of the project feederwatch program. You will get 3 points extra credit each time you sign up. Please take advantage of this.

15 November 2007

Today we continued our discussion on the various cell organelles and their functions. If you'd like to view today's powerpoint click here to download. This will come in handy when you do your cell project.

14 November 2007

Today was Tri-Sci day. After we ate lunch we constructed a color-coded DNA double helix. If you're still interested in the field trip, make sure you get a permission slip from Mrs. Hume or myself.

12 November 2007

ANNOUNCEMENT! Friday we went over the details of our Cell Model Project. The handout can be downloaded in the side bar to the right. Please remember that you need to hand in your model ALONG WITH a key that explains what each organelle does. This is due Wednesday 28 November. DO NOT wait until the last minute.


Cell Membrane
Cell Wall (plant only)
Golgi Complex
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Lysosomes (animal only)
Chloroplast (plant only)

Here are links for plant cell and animal cell diagrams. To find more run a Google image search for "plant cell" and "animal cell"

Here is another good resource - This page has an organelle list with functions.

Also...final grades are available on the MyGradeBook parent component. Login to see where you ended up for the 1st quarter.

07 November 2007

Today we talked about the controversy surrounding drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Here are a couple resources in case you would like to write a letter to our new representative.

For Drilling:

Against Drilling:


Learn more about the Gwich 'in tribe.

If you want to write you letter to our new representative, start it out like this:
Dear Mr. Arcuri,

...and sign it with just your name. Do not include your address or phone number as I will make it clear that it is being sent from the school.

Remember, you guys have a lot of power that you don't even realize you have but it is important to include both sides of this issue. The more educated you sound on this issue, the more seriously he will take you. Please hand these in by the end of next week so I can send them to him. If you would, instead, like to send it to a newspaper, by yourself, check out the side bar of my high school science club blog.

01 November 2007

Mr. Rhoads helps CHEYENNE and CHRISSY focus in on the tiny Rotifers of today's lab. To the left you can see a micrograph of the little protists.
This winter, students in 7th grade will have the opportunity to sign up for rec. bird watching club. The middle school bird feeder has already attracted many popular species including several black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, American goldfinches, and downy woodpeckers. The students’ job will be to record which species frequent the feeders.

If anyone is willing to donate seed to the school we would be very grateful. We are seeking premium mixes of sunflower, millet, safflower, and crushed corn along with suet blocks for the woodpeckers and chickadees. Please direct any donations to Chad DeVoe – 7th grade science teacher.

Thank You,

Mr. DeVoe

29 October 2007

Here is a great website to help study for Friday's test. Please check it out and answer the questions. If you understand this website you will be in good shape for the test. The answers are at the bottom.

24 October 2007

Today was the first day of Tri-Sci, the monthly girls science club put on by Cornell's school of nanotechnology. Today we used laptops to learn more about DNA, RNA, and proteins. Hopefully you all enjoyed this first meeting. The first field trip will be coming up in December. Remember to get your sheets signed and handed in to Mr. DeVoe.
This morning I walked into class and "Boris" magically appeared in front of me. Thanks (I think) to high school junior, ERIC S. for donating his pet iguana to our class. Now Roy has a friend other than the cockroaches.

23 October 2007

Today we had our monthly character education group. This month's word was responsibility. We broke into groups to construct towers at least 5 ft tall. Our group wanted more and as you can see, they grew pretty tall.

22 October 2007

Way to go HANNAH G, OLIVIA P., ERIC P., and ASHLEY J. for checking out Cornell's Insectapalooza over the weekend! Each student got extra credit for attending.

19 October 2007

Since the weather was so warm today we toured the nature trail in search of decomposers and discussed why leaves change color in the fall. Above are pictures from first and second period. Cornell University senior, AUGUSTA M. has been working with us and accompanied us on the hike.

16 October 2007

New menu item? Nope. Mr. Gambitta brought in a crop and gizzard from a turkey so we performed an autopsy to figure out what the bird was eating the morning it was bagged. Looks like corn and some unidentified leaf. Honestly, this has a higher "yuck factor" than the disections we will do later this year. If you didn't think this was bad, you'll be fine later on.

13 October 2007

Students and Parents,

I added an extra credit opportunity under the Downloads section to the right. I will be going over this more on Monday so you know how to do it right. This will be a great way to boost up those 5 week grades if you weren't happy. Also, MyGradeBook will be updated tomorrow (Sunday).

12 October 2007

Members of 8th period work on their Teddy Bear classification lab. Students sorted out their bears by certain characteristics, much like how scientists sort out the diversity of life on Earth. I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

04 October 2007

Today we began taxonomy (classification of life). Students sorted a "cup of junk" based on certain characteristics their group agreed on. Above, several grotonsciencegeeks take on this task.

Today we also talked about Cornell's annual Insectapalooza. You'll get extra credit if you go but remember you must have proof (like a picture). Directions and maps can be found here.

28 September 2007

Mr. Weeks and his 6th grade outdoor education class have been busy constructing a shelter back in the nature area...VERY COOL. Tree bark was used for the exterior and Goldenrod was used in the inside due to its softness and abundance.