26 November 2008

I was hoping to have a class discussion on Thanksgiving and what it means to everyone but, of course, I have been out of school for an educational technology conference. 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

If you find time, please comment to give your list. If you're too embarrassed, just post as anonymous or make a pen name (and tell me later). I'll give a couple extra credit points for participating (and checking the blog over break). Have a great Thanksgiving.

-Mr. DeVoe

21 November 2008

KELLY B.'s cheek cells are on the internet! Here is a fine specimen from our animal cell lab that we completed today. Onion cells vs. Cheek cells clearly shows the vast difference between plant and animal cells. We stained both with iodine to bring out some of the organelles.

19 November 2008

Today we're going to extend our study of cells by utilizing the laptop cart and internet. In your groups please run through the following exercises.

1. Click here. Select either the plant or animal cell. Go through each organelle and read the descriptions with your partner.

2. Check out this site. Read through the descriptions of each organelle and click the interactive buttons. Click the back button after each one and do the others.

3. Fill out this survey when you are completed with the above websites.

UPDATE: Check out the entries here.
I particularly liked Cameron and Paige's entry: "We learned that lysosomes look like cocoa puffs, everything looks cooler close up and the ribosomes look like popcorn. Not for real. We really learned that the golgi packages and distributes protiens to the other cell organaelles (awesomely). We also learned cytoplasm is the liquid inside the cell."

Here is some video from today's research.

18 November 2008

Today was the 8th grade Sisterhood of Science meeting. They did a number of water quality tests including pH, hardness, Nitrites, and Nitrates. Many of these tests we have been doing in class to make sure our trout aquarium is healthy. The 7th grade meets next Tuesday during lunch.
Today Oliver Schaufelberger did a wonderful presentation for us on bird migrations. If you ever get a chance you should check out Montezuma Wildlife Refuge in the springtime to see these amazing migrations. This talk was a great way to kick off Project Feederwatch which we will start after Thanksgiving break.

17 November 2008

Today Sarah Chang, a junior from Cornell, stopped by to do a presentation on endangered species. She did a great job explaining the causes for many of these species' declines including illegal hunting, habitat destruction, and pollution. Something I enjoyed learning more about was the Karner Blue Butterfly. These used to be common in this area but are now limited to a few areas in the Albany area. She also spoke of the great success story that is the Bald Eagle. I was glad to hear that many students have been to Montezuma Wildlife Refuge near Auburn and some have even seen Eagles there.

Saturday the Sisterhood of Science traveled to Taughannock Falls State Park for a guided tour of the local geology of that area. Despite the rain it was still a good time. Special thanks to the Museum of the Earth for leading the tour. The Sisterhood of Science is a special program for Groton 7th and 8th grade girls. It is run by the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center.

14 November 2008

Today we looked at onion cells under high and low power. We learned that the cells can vary from 200 to around 1000 microns long. Our low power field of view held about 100 cells. Can you imagine how many cells must be on the average large pizza with onions?? Those rings are much thicker too. We were dealing with a film that was only one cell layer thick. Remember these labs are due Monday. Please do a nice job answering the questions.

12 November 2008

Cell Organelles
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.
Here is the Powerpoint from today. The format didn't translate properly but all content should be there.

06 November 2008

Today we were fortunate enough to have Cornell student, David Zielnicki in to share his knowledge of invasive plants and animals. You guys impressed me with what you already knew. I realized part-way through the day that last year's trip to Lime Hollow probably helped you collect that previous knowledge. I hope everyone enjoyed today's class. Being educated and aware of this problem will help limit the spread in the future. We have more speakers coming this month to talk about bird migrations, turtles, and endangered species.

05 November 2008

Here are some images taken today of our brown trout. The top shows the alevin stage of development, which all of our trout are currently in. You can see the yolk sac, which is the the source of 100% of the fish's food supply right now for the next couple weeks. The bottom photo shows red blood cells traveling through capillaries, delivering oxygen and nutrients to all of the body cells.