28 March 2008

Hey Everyone....Lets give it a shot!

Earth Hour started last year in Sydney, Australia, when more than 2 million people and thousands of businesses turned out their lights. Power consumption dropped more than 10 percent in that single hour, which is the equivalent of taking 48,000 cars off the road for one hour.This year, Earth Hour is going global.From 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 29 , you can take action, influence others and start a wave of change that could alter the course of climate change. Earth Hour is the World Wildlife Fund's initiative to "turn out the lights" in cities around the world for one hour to heighten awareness of the impacts of climate change and inspire individuals and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.Already, 20 cities in seven countries have joined the World Wildlife Fund as official Earth Hour partners. Across America, community groups, local businesses, and concerned individuals are joining in. Why not you?

More Information about it at Earth Hour
Just a reminder that MONDAY we will be in the LMC to continue working on our final exam projects. Please bring all of your materials directly to the LMC so you can make the best use of your time.

26 March 2008

Today in the Sisterhood of Science (S.O.S) we continued working on our solar oven pasteurizers. A couple groups have come up with very cool designs.

In class today, Bridie Farrell stopped by to discuss her experiences as a professional speed skater. Now a Cornell student, she holds 2 American records in short track speed skating and just missed the Olympic team by one place. She spoke about the human body in relation to athletics, health, and sports injuries. Bottom line: If you want to excell in sports you need to eat right and take care of your body.

20 March 2008

Today we received grade reports so everyone knows where they stand this quarter and what they owe. We also talked a little about effort in school and what many in other countries have to deal with in order to get an education. The two videos I showed are below.

Miniature Earth

10 Seconds

19 March 2008

Wow! What amazing essays from Ms. Bassette's blog. You guys make me proud. Your maturity in writing and thinking skills is profound. I wish the adults in this world thought like these 8th graders.

18 March 2008

Muscle fatigue lab today. ANDREW M. completes his 2nd of 3 one-minute trials. This was an excellent lab to discuss sources of experimental error and the role different body systems play during a physical workout.

12 March 2008

After today's quiz we inspected our Morning Glory vines and saw quite a bit of growth over the past week. Most of the seeds germinated. We also began planting iceberg lettuce as a part of the "crops-in-groton" program. These will be grown on our windowsill until they are ready to be served in the cafeteria.

11 March 2008

MIT tackles urban gridlock with foldable car idea.  Your Thoughts?  This might be a good project topic:  "Cars of the future".  Can we continue to drive cars that get under 20 miles per gallon....30?
You may recall the contest I posted awhile ago. Well, BETHANY B. decided to enter and she wrote a terrific essay about how she can do her part to save the environment. I think it's great when 7th graders get involved to help make a difference in their surroundings. Good luck to Bethany. I hope you win!
Today's task is to research a "scientific challenge" we will face during this century. 50% of your final exam grade will come from a project dealing with this challenge. you may do this any number of ways: You can make a poster like I showed in class. You could make a movie. You could set up an experiment. You could write an essay. You may do it any way you please. you will be graded on time spent on the project, creativity/neatness, and accuracy. Today should be spent filling out the back of your handout if you have not started it already.

Here is the possible topic list:

Food/Freshwater shortages
Global Warming
Extinction/Endangered Species
Human Population Explosion
The end of oil/gas
Coral Reef bleaching
Honeybee disappearance
Curing Cancer
Loss of native cultures
Cutting down forests/rainforests
Invasive Species
Genetic Engineering
Solar/Wind energy
Biological Warfare
Antibiotic/Pesticide Resistance
Medical breakthroughs
Scientific Illiteracy
Overfishing the oceans
Soil Erosion
The Human Brain
Drugs in our drinking water

Here's a story from today's news regarding the last one: http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/03/11/pharma.waterfish.ap/index.html

06 March 2008

At the beginning of class today we planted several varieties of Morning Glory. This is an annual plant and the plan is to grow several vines on a trellis in front of our window. If we have extras I'll be giving away some of the plants as prizes. Above, EMILIE plants her seed as ASHLEY looks on.

Today we closely examined the contents of several owl pellets in the lab. We witnessed a variety of small mammals that owls prefer to eat. We even found a couple small birds that were picked off by the barn owls. Here, JACOB gets a close look at a mole skull as NICK picks apart his pellet.

03 March 2008

Friday night several 7th and 8th grade members of SOS traveled to Cornell University to work with their wide variety of electron microscopes. One microscope was worth $3 Million and the other was one of only 3 such microscopes IN THE WORLD. We were extremely lucky to have this opportunity. We saw images of tobacco mosaic virus, silicone atoms, insects and learned how scientists prepare specimens before being put into the machines. At one point we viewed images that were magnified 14,000 times. Our light microscopes in the lab magnify 400 times. Lots of the research in this lab focuses on making computers faster. We even ate dinner in the room Bill Gates eats in when he visits Cornell. Special thanks to Hannah's dad, Mr. Grazul, and his lab for allowing us to go through. Also, special thanks to the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center for organizing and providing dinner.


STEPH checks out the tobacco mosaic virus.

DAPHNE, LIZ, and ASHLEY learn some cool facts about the lab from John Grazul and Fern shows them how to prep a sample.