19 December 2008

Grotonsciencegeek is evolving! For the new year comes a new look. I had to update the template of the blog due to some changes that Blogger made about a year ago. Stay tuned for a new look and new features. Please be sure to let me know if you're having trouble locating something.

Have a great Holiday season with family and friends!

18 December 2008

Wake Up, Freak Out - then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo. Here is a good video I found regarding the current climate crisis.

15 December 2008

Hi guys. I'm out until Wed. with jury duty...which is actually pretty interesting. Just a reminder that Thursday the egg diffusion labs are due and we will also have a test on cell processes. Thursday is also the Sisterhood of Science meeting at lunch. See you Wednesday.

14 December 2008

Sunday morning I spent birdwatching with local birders, Jim Barry and Ernie Spanhauer for the annual Christmas Bird Count. We saw 31 different species in 5 hours. Highlights included a Northern Shrike, a flock of Snow Buntings, several White-Winged Crossbills, and an American Kestrel.

11 December 2008

Today we saw firsthand how saltwater affects cells. After we added salt to our elodea leaf the high concentration of water within the cell membranes quickly rushed out of the cell, leaving a shrunken membrane within the cell wall skeleton. The technical word for this is osmosis. This also explains why you get thirsty after eating something salty and why Magellan's crew couldn't drink sea water during their voyage (right Mr. Filzen's students??)

10 December 2008

Here's a quick update on our trout. Here are 2 pictures at 6 weeks of development. All yolk sacs have pretty much been absorbed into the fish and most are now actively feeding on fish food from the top. The above picture is of our lone deformity. We had 5 fish die since the beginning but this one had a mutation where (from what we can decipher) the yolk sac was enclosed within the fishes belly. This skin did not recede as the yolk sac did, leaving this bubble. The bottom represents a typical healthy Brown Trout.

Day 2 of our egg diffusion lab. The vinegar has completely eaten away the egg's shell and we are now left with a membrane concealing the yolk and white. Tomorrow we will see what happens after 24 hrs in distilled water.

09 December 2008

Today, Cornell Junior, Inga Conti-Jerpe stopped by to share her expertise on turtles. She even brought in her pet Red-eared Slider. Thanks Inga for giving us your time.

08 December 2008

Today's bird watchers made an excellent observation. In addition to six different species of birds we witnessed a yellow-bellied sapsucker feasting on our suet block for nearly 10 minutes. According to the map, it is very rare to have them in this area at this time of year. This was also a first for Mr. DeVoe. He has never seen them at the school feeder nor his home feeder. All data from our feeder is submitted to Cornell at www.ebird.com.

02 December 2008

Some really good 3D cell projects have been handed in this week and many high grades were earned. I hope this helped everyone realize that cells come in a variety of shapes depending on what the cell is specialized to do. My favorite cell was probably ERIN I.'s. Her design was truly original and she did a nice job on the organelle sheet as well. My sub-par photography skills fail to capture it in it's true elegance. Good luck everyone on tomorrow's test.
Please study for tomorrow's cell test. Here is the micrograph we took yesterday of the elodea plant cell. I labeled the major visible parts. Here are the important concepts to study:
1. The organelles and functions
2. The 3 parts of the cell theory
3. The organelles found only in plant cells
4. Be able to label a plant cell

Also, cell projects were due today and they lose 5 points every day they are late. Please get yours in ASAP!