31 March 2007

Saturday a few 7th graders volunteered in the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup. Special thanks to SHYANNE W.'s mom, MICHELLE, for helping out. Today's 7th grade participants were MOLLY D., SHYANNE W., KEVIN C., JAI A., and JESSE S.

29 March 2007

Hey guys...I'll be at the play Saturday afternoon handing out drinks and baked goods during intermission with my high school science club. I just got done baking a round of brownies and cookies. Hope to see everyone there.

28 March 2007

Today we did a pulse rate activity where we graphed our resting pulse rate and the effects of exercise (with help from the William Tell Overture). SKYLER and DANIELLE are almost done!
Today was 7th grade Tri-Sci. We aged fish by "counting the rings" on their otoliths. Ages varied from 1 year to 17 years. Otoloths are very important to Ichthyologists (scientists who study fish) who are interested in studying fish populations and ecology. Our next field trip will be Sat 21 April at Cornell. We will do more marine biology activities and hear a lecture from a real marine biologist. Very Cool!

26 March 2007

Here's a cool website. I went to a lecture at SUNY Cortland last week about a group of scientists trying to bring back Puffin populations along the coast of Maine. Check out the Puffin Cam's "Best of 2006". Photo credit: John Isaac

22 March 2007

Here are the resources I promised you for help with the "Me Manuals".

Wiki - Human anatomy
Good Pictures!
Good Site

21 March 2007

Hey Guys,

I just saw an internet ad for the British nature documentary "Planet Earth" coming to the Discovery Channel this Sunday at 8pm. I showed a clip in class a couple weeks back (set to the music of Sigur ros). Try to catch this if you can...I would if I had a tv. = )

Today we did a muscle fatigue lab. JASON H. and KYLE S. "feel the burn" as they see how many squeezes they can achieve during three one-minute trials.
The 8th graders had Tri-Sci today. Here is a group shot as they moved into the marine biology portion of this year's lineup.

20 March 2007

Here is a follow-up to something we covered a couple weeks back about the decline of honeybee populations. Here we have some creatures that we depend on to live and we're killing them off at an unpreciented rate. Talk about taking something for granted. Too often do we humans forget that we depend on the vast aura of life around us for our own survival. This is just one more reason to purchase organic foods - free from pesticides.

“If bees were to disappear, man would only have a few years to live.”
-Albert Einstein
A few members of 1st period pose for a prom picture with Maude. Maude has been helping us learn more about our skeletal systems.

17 March 2007

Congratulations to KATIE G., SKYLER K., and MACK R. They were the three Groton winners of the Ithaca Sciencenter's 'Science Minutes' contest. They were 3 of only 15 area students to be selected, although all 15 could have easily come from this 7th grade. There were many excellent essays. Make sure you listen for theirs on local radio stations. Website here.

16 March 2007

Today we were in the computer lab to start our Me Manuals. I was VERY impressed to see that a lot of you even got a head start before today. Remember, the sheet I gave you has the bare minimum requirements on it. I gave it as guidance and so you know what you're getting graded on. The approach and style is up to you. I'm looking forward to grading many creative projects. You can download an extra copy on the right hand side of this page.

13 March 2007

Today we had a four station lab dealing with teeth. I was able to borrow many excellent samples from Cornell's CIBT program. They have been excellent in providing amazing labs to science teachers around the state. Above, MACK R. shows off a cow jaw while CHRIS, GEORGE, BRYAN, and KEVIN test their own bite at the food station.

12 March 2007

Today we researched the natural history and taxonomy of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopis) in preparation to a huge mammal study we'll be doing later this spring. ALEX, RILEY, FELICIA, and PETER take a break from work.

ATTENTION: Here's a little bonus for those of you that check the blog. The time required for a baby mammal to develop inside the mother is caled the gestation period. Ex. The gestation period for the white-footed mouse is between 22 and 28 days. This will help you for Wednesday's Bird/Mammal Quiz.

09 March 2007

Today before dissecting owl pellets we looked at a sheep heart and brain that Mr. Syracuse let us borrow. Next week we will get into mammals. Above, GABE, QUINNER, and BRETT get a closer look at the brain and heart. JAI's face is priceless!

07 March 2007


Tomorrow we start birds and we will soon be starting mammals. Since 5 week grades get mailed home soon, here is an opportunity to do something about your grade if you do not like it. REMEMBER, this grade does not reflect any bird watching or weekly stimuli you may have done. Here's your task: Select ONE New York State bird or mammal and write a short biography about it. Some examples may include: the Barred Owl, Cooper's Hawk, Blue Bird, Raccoon, White tailed deer, etc. It MUST be native to NY and cannot be domesticated like a horse or dog. Please include things like size, color, habitat, food preferences, reproduction habits (how many young will it have, etc), and behavior. Your paper should be between 250 and 500 words. Include a picture and DO NOT copy/paste from the internet. I will also accept powerpoints...if that's your thing. The animal diversity link and Wiki will help a lot for this project. This is due by 6 April.

05 March 2007

A few of you have expressed interest in the soon-to-be-formed, middle school compost club. Here is the information regarding this great opportunity. I hope a few of you apply. Lets encourage the 6th graders too, since they will be 7th graders next year when "Rot-in-Groton" officially starts.
Today we discussed amphibians. Later this month we should hear and see some excellent amphibian action as frogs and salamanders wake up and begin mating. The hellbender site is located here and the frog calls here.

04 March 2007

This week in science: Click here and login as a guest.

01 March 2007

Here is a video of 8th period's frog dissection. The end segment features the frog with the snake that burrowed into its body cavity. Let me know if this works. I want to iron out the problems before the really cool stuff later on.
After a short protest we got into a "killer" frog dissection today in Life Science.
KAITLYNN and FELICIA get busy with their frog.
PETER and NICK did a great job with their dissection.
This was interesting. SOMETIMES THE PREY BITE BACK - 8th period, JAI and MOLLY found a "worm" in their frog. It turned out to be a small snake that the frog tried to eat. The snake somehow managed to burrow into the frog's body cavity. It was very cool. Mr. Syracuse will be showing his high school classes tomorrow if anyone wants to track him down.