30 March 2009

Today Bill Foster (the science monster) came in to talk about food preferences of our trout. This was a great lesson in aquatic entomology. These critters can be found in any stream all year long! Go check them out!
A Stonefly larva.
Mr. Giroux and Aaron M. (9th grader) came in to do fly tying demonstrations as well. After feeding the trout our live samples we tested our flies. It was amazing to see how instinctual the fish are when presented with new food that they've never seen before.

24 March 2009

Today, Greg Wheeler from ThinkWorks in Ithaca stopped by to see us work with their ThinkBlocks. We used the Thinkblocks to review the circulatory, respiratory, muscular, and skeletal systems. After students created their individual models, using key vocabulary, we linked the systems together to follow a molecule of oxygen throughout the systems. Thank you Greg and Dr. Cabrera for bringing this amazing product to Groton!
First period presented their models to the class on the document projector.

23 March 2009

This Friday we will have a checkpoint grade for the Me Manual. By the end of the period Friday you should have 4-5 pages done. You will receive a grade on this progress. As always, extra assignment sheets and charts can be downloaded on the right side.

16 March 2009

Go on over and say hi to Mr. Weeks at his new classroom blog! He's got a good post about apples and cancer.

We're getting into the human body unit and have been discussing the Me Manual project which can be downloaded over on the side. Just a warning...this project should not be attempted at the last minute. Please start chipping away at it. Below are a couple websites that I've found to be very useful. If you use them please site them as references and DO NOT copy/paste info from the internet. I can tell the difference between a doctor's writing and a 7th grader.

Site 1
Site 2
Site 3

12 March 2009

I first heard of the local infestation last month, but today's Ithaca Journal has an article highlighting an unfortunate spread of hemlock woolly adelgid. This is a small insect that kills the beautiful hemlock trees that line the local gorges and woods. Some of you may even have these trees right behind your house. Not only are they beautiful trees but they are a very important food source for many local animals. Cornell is looking for volunteers to go out and search for this so we can help stop it's spread.

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an aphid-like insect that covers itself in a fluffy white cottony wax and feeds on the sap at the base of the Hemlock's needles. This takes the nutrients from the plant and causes the needles to yellow and drop, branches to die, and eventually the tree dies in four to 10 years.

Educate Yourself.
Report any sign of woolly adelgid

11 March 2009

Since we're learning about birds, we might as well dissect owl pellets. At $3 a pellet, you wouldn't think owl puke would be so pricey! It was, however, worth it as we found skeletons from several different unfortunate mammal species. One point to note. Just because rodents are smaller than other mammals does NOT mean they have fewer bones...the bones are just tinier. Here is a link to the site containing cool videos of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

Update! Click here for amazing webcam video of Barn Owls from Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. If it's a live webcam you thirst for...click here.

08 March 2009

Ithaca Fishing Day - 17th Annual
This Saturday - March 14

Ithaca Fishing Day is an event the Chapter (Leon Chandler, #239) hosts on an annual basis. This year, it is being held on Saturday, March 14th from 9 AM to 3 PM at Boynton Middle School in Ithaca, NY. While the event is a major fundraiser for the chapter, it also uses it as an opportunity to inform & educate the community about Trout Unlimited, who we are, what we do, and why we do it.

In addition, speakers will present on relevant information about fishing and/or conservation-related topics, fly-tying demonstrations (hosted this year by Twin-Tiers Five Rivers Chapter of FFF), a casting clinic offered by Joe Cambridge and Carol Farkas, and numerous vendors (Badger Creek Fly Tying, Mad River Fly Tying, etc.). This is a major event for the Leon Chandler Chapter, and with the support they received this year, the only thing we need to make it a huge success is people and friends.It is time we all come to the aid of our fraternal chapters in NY TU when possible.

Ithaca Fishing Days
SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2009; 9 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
Route 13 North by Cayuga Lake

Sponsored by: The Leon Chandler Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Admission and Programs Free - Donations Appreciated


FREE continuous fly tying instruction by TU youth educators!
FREE continuous fly casting instruction by noted local instructors Joe Cambridge and Carol Farkas (beginning at 11:00 am)
Complete line of fly fishing materials and equipment for sale
Fishing, Community Education and Environmental Exhibits
Fish tanks of local insect species
Fly fishing discussions and lectures

Mad River Fly Tying,
Badger Creek Fly Tying,
JW Trout,
Floating Classroom Project
and more . . .

05 March 2009

Aside from some bandwidth issues at school, we successfully streamed today's dissection in 3 classes through the classroom blog. Above is some recorded video from 5th period. Oh...and that top photo....mouse! It came out of a frog's stomach 8th period. That was this year's big find! Still not as big a deal as 2 years ago though.

04 March 2009

Just in case anyone wants to get warmed up for tomorrow's frog dissection..... have at it!

Also, tomorrow at 8:20am we will have a live video streaming of the frog dissection!