28 February 2009

Saturday the Sisterhood of Science traveled to Cornell's Duffield Hall to take part in several hands-on activites dealing with groundwater. Water as a resource will be a huge issue in the next 10-15 years. It's just hard for us to see here in the Northeast where we receive a modest annual rainfall.
Here, Cassie and Gabby try to figure out which wells were contaminated in a simulated town.
The girls studied porosity of different soil types ranging from clay to gravel.
Now that's teamwork! Thank you to the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center for organizing and arranging these opportunities for us.

26 February 2009

"The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York: 20 years of change."
Speaker: Kevin McGowan of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
SUNY Cortland Sperry Hall Rm 106
Extra Credit for those that come!

Informal reception starting at 7:00 p.m. with talk to follow, 7:15–8:15 p.m. --Kevin J. McGowan received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Zoology from the Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Florida, where he studied the social development of Florida Scrub-Jays. He came to Cornell University in 1988 as curator of the Ornithology and Mammalogy collections in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. He moved to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in 2001. He helped create the All About Birds web site and wrote the Bird Guide section. He just finished co-editing and writing much of the recently published book, The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in New York State. He is currently the coordinator for the Lab's Home Study Course in Bird Biology. He has been studying the biology and social behavior of crows around Ithaca, NY for over 20 years.

25 February 2009

Live video from today's grasshopper dissection. See below for a recorded session. Next week: the frog dissection.

Today we had our first animal dissection of the year: the Lubber Grasshopper. The following websites will be helpful in better understanding the dissection.

Virtual Dissection
Good site on grasshoppers
Wiki's entry

Here is video from 5th period:

23 February 2009

Just a reminder that the Sisterhood of Science will meet Tuesday at lunch in Mrs. Hume's class. Also, don't forget your permission slips if you plan on going to Saturday's field trip to Cornell.
Phylum: Annelida
Posted By: Jeff H
Period 8

*feeds on a wide range of materials.
-reproduces sexually.
-has a nerve system with an anterior nerve ring ganglin and a verntral nerve chord
-they crawl.
Phylum: Nematoda
Posted By: Cameron H.
Period 8

*Eat through mouths much like us
*Reproduce sexually
*Move like most worms
*Important decomposers
* Most parasites
Phylum Platyhelminthes
Posted By: SHELBY F.
Period 5

*unsegmented organism
* have three different germ layers
*can reproduce asexually and sexually
* They are controlled by "Flame Cells".
* Bilateral symmetry
*Most are monoecious
* Have oblique layers of muscle
*lack a respiratory or circulatory system
Phylum Cnidaria
Posted By: TYLER T
Period 4

* consists of sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, etc. They have two cell walls
* cinidaria is thought to have one of the longest fossil history.
* some have stinging cells zzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaapppp.
Phylum: Porifera
Posted By: Jeramy S.
Period 3

Characteristics of Sponges:
*found in salt water mostly
*filter their food
*they have asymmetry
*some are toxic

13 February 2009

Here's an important news story that everyone should read. (h/t to Mr. Syracuse.)

12 February 2009

Today was a great day in the lab as we looked at hydras and flatworms. It took us all day but we finally found a hydra that was producing an asexual bud. This one was about to break off and we had to poke it so it would mostly fit within the field of view. Below is an example of the planaria that we observed today.

11 February 2009

Happy Darwin Week!

Today's class was devoted to Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his "Origin of Species", a book that sent a tidal wave through the human understanding of how life fits together on this marvelous planet. We have to give Darwin enormous credit for standing up to popular misconceptions of his time due to the extreme pressure to do otherwise. Here are a couple great resources to learn more about Darwin and his theory of Natural Selection to explain how evolution works.

Great videos from PBS's series on evolution
Evolution 101
Tree of Life Project

Happy Birthday Chuck!

10 February 2009

Hi everyone. I have created a separate blog to document the 2,175 mile journey for the Groton Appalachian Trail Project. I officially start 3 April 2009. At that time this blog will automatically redirect to this site. In the meantime, I will update both. Please check the designated site for information regarding planning and preparing for the long trek.

06 February 2009

8th grader, Brenna H. brought in quite the find today...a 30cm (12") monster salamander. I had an idea what it was but wanted to contact the professionals. Here is what Dr. Peter Ducey from SUNY Cortland had to say:

Yes, you are correct that this is an adult mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus), a fully aquatic salamander found in many of the large lakes and river systems in this part of the country. They have been reported to be active all year, including under the ice, and are sometimes caught by people while fishing.
Today we studied the reproductive parts of several kinds of flowers and did a graphing activity on photosynthesis. Here, 1st period checks out the bouquets before class.

02 February 2009

Today Bill Foster (the science monster) came to Groton with a great activity to test feeding behavior in our young trout. At this point our trout have only seen the supplied fish food which we've sprinkled on top. We were testing whether or not the fish would instinctively recognize live daphnia as prey or not. We recorded how many were eaten in 20 second intervals and analyzed the results. Here is a video from today's lab.