28 April 2008

a little video from last week's lamb dissection...

25 April 2008

What an amazing week of presents. First we plant 80 trees that we got for free from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, then the 6 brand new microscopes from Senator James Seward showed up (Mmmm...new microscopes), and today we did the test run with the brand new wireless laptop cart. I hope everyone realizes how good they have it here at Groton Middle School! I must say you guys were amazing today with them. You treated the computers respectfully and did a great job on your assignments. Thanks Mr. Urda for spending so much time setting these things up to our network.

24 April 2008

Today Dr. Mary Smith from Cornell came in to do 3 necropsies on lambs that had died shortly after birth. Every year I have a handful of students that aspire to be veterinaries, and that's great!! However, it's not all about playing with cute puppies and kittens as the 20 or so students that stayed after today realized. We determined the cause of death and even saw one lamb that died of a mysterious bacterial infection that Cornell scientists are still trying to figure out. Science is amazing!! Thank you Dr. Smith for sharing this experience with us.
Today was a busy day. In addition to the after-school lamb dissection and getting the brand new laptops ready for tomorrow, my new babies came in today. Thanks to a grant from state senator James Seward, we now have 6 new microscopes and 3 new triple-beam balances! This was about a $3,000 value that he donated to our classroom. Mmmmm...new microscopes.

23 April 2008

During lunch at the monthly Sisterhood of Science meeting we continued work on the solar pasteurizer ovens. Because they will boil water below the boiling point we have to use indicator wax to figure out the temperature of the water. Here LIZ, DAPHNE, and SARA are doing just that in a warm water bath.

Happy Belated Earth Day. I wanted to do this yesterday but couldn't give up the time reserved in the computer room. Today we went outside to plant 4 species of tree. The first three: Highbush Cranberry, Wetland Rose, and Toringo Crabapple, have great wildlife value by providing fruits and berries for the critters. We planted Norway Spruce because the deer rarely eat it. We are also counting on the root systems to help eliminate erosion by the drainage ditch. I hope everyone enjoyed going outside. Above are several members of 4th period planting their trees, including LARRY and ZACH D. in the top photo.

22 April 2008

HAPPY EARTH DAY!! This is my favorite holiday of the year. To get you into the green spirit, here is a picture of our first couple Morning Glories. They began to bloom over break and they look amazing in our window. Make sure you check them out. Tomorrow we will go outside to plant several varieties of trees to help celebrate. What will you do to celebrate?

15 April 2008

Tonight at 8 and 10pm "Rot-in-Groton" and "Crops-in-Groton" will be featured on Newswatch 16.... or stream it at http://www.ictv.org. Tune in to see Mr. DeVoe embarrass himself.

11 April 2008

Yesterday after school several students in Grades 6-12 helped start Groton's first ever vegetable garden. I was so impressed with everyone's work ethic. 7th graders on hand were JUSTIN T and JASON S. Plus Viola had a bunch of 6th graders helping out in the Helping Hands group. Above JASON S. and SHELBY F. get their hands dirty. Check out the awesome Ithaca Journal writeup here. Photo credit Billie Jo Ryerson.

Today we did an activity dealing with our senses and how they are vital to survival. Above ASHLEY tests her sense of taste while JESSIE tries to identify objects based on feeling.

10 April 2008

We spent the nice day today outside in the nature trails doing an observation activity. Today's highlights included several sprouting trout lilly and two red-backed salamanders.

05 April 2008

It was a little chilly but this year's adopt-a-highway crew did an excellent job of cleaning our 1 mile stretch of S. Main St. ext. Saturday morning. We ended the task with a BBQ. Thank you LOREN, ANDY, SAM, ALEXIS, CHRIS, and ERIC.

04 April 2008

Today we started the nervous system with an activity on reaction time. Here CHRIS and JEFF demonstrate. We'll finish up this system on Monday and review for the quiz on Tuesday.

03 April 2008

We finished up the digestive/excretory system today and read one of my favorite books, "The Gas we pass". Next Wednesday we will have a quiz on the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. You may want to look through your notes and worksheets before then.

02 April 2008

Last night was the 2007-2008 inductions into National Junior Honor Society. This is a great honor. Congratulations to all and what a nice job the current members did during the ceremony. New inductees: Bethany B., Jessica C., Allison C., Keegan D., Hannah G., Mike G., Sara H., Kylene H., Chris H., Levi H., Emilie H., Ashley J., Jeff L., Adonica M., Jessica P., Samantha R., Kyle S., Steven S., Justin T., and Joel T.