23 December 2010

I have to post something Mr. Syracuse forwarded to me.  A class of 8-10 year olds did a study on bees and it got published in a major scientific journal!  It's absolutely amazing.  So, anyone up for trying to do the same with their Science Night project?  If so, read the full paper and see how they formatted their findings. It's pretty amazing stuff....even if the teacher helped a little.

Here is a video about the students:

I Scientist film from Storymakers TV on Vimeo.

16 December 2010

The current focus in Food, Land, and You is on the obesity epidemic and how to eat healthier. Today we prepared a healthy lunch of basil pesto, oven-roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella toasted on fresh bread. Dessert was a ripe pomegranate. Each serving cost around 50 cents and contained no processed foods.

13 December 2010

Today's DNA site:


Leave a comment about 3 things you learned from this site.

10 December 2010

And here you go....

Today's videos on Photosynthesis:

06 December 2010

Here is a Voicethread from the high school members of Food, Land, and You.

05 December 2010

Since Friday was my last day, I wanted to take some time to thank all of the students and Mr. DeVoe for such a great 7 weeks of student teaching. I learned so much and made some great friends along the way. I will truly miss Groton Middle School! I appreciate the goodbye cards, dances, and kind remarks, they all made me smile. GMS is a great place, and what truly makes it great are the remarkable teachers and students. Keep up the great work and I'll definitely be back to visit! I hope to stay in contact with all of you through my blog, www.hawaiiannene.blogspot.com. Have a great end to your 7th grade year!

03 December 2010

Today we removed our eggs from the corn syrup and noted the changes from yesterday.  What role did osmosis play in this transformation?

Jenna holds up her egg membrane which has lost most of its water content.
Groton 5th graders discuss the possible effects of Hydraullic Fracturing (Fracking) to harvest natural gas under the ground in Central New York:  http://gesreadsforresearch.edublogs.org/2010/11/17/fracking-whats-that/#comments

01 December 2010

Today we removed our eggs from the vinegar and recorded the new data and observations.  After measurements, we submerged the eggs in distilled water.

Jacob shows off his new membrane-bound egg.

30 November 2010

Today was day 1 of a 4 day osmosis lab. We are studying diffusion of liquids across an egg membrane. We entered initial mass and circumference data into a spreadsheet and tomorrow we will check our eggs to see what happened after spending 24hrs in vinegar. Here, Nikiah and Shania measure circumference.

29 November 2010

We are finishing up the Herbs and Spices unit in Food, Land and You. Before the break we cooked up some eggs and other great foods using herbs and spices we learned about to add an extra zest to a usually boring egg!

19 November 2010

Today we looked at plant cells under the microscopes - onion cells to be specific. Iodine was the stain we used to highlight the nucleus and cell wall. Tuesday's test will cover all organelles and their functions.

09 November 2010

Voicethread Log-in

Click your class and sign in with "first name.last name" and the password supplied in class. Once in, you should change your password. You may also upload a new avatar photo if you'd like. You may also log in from a home computer with "first name.last name"@groton.ed.voicethread.com. Your password will be the new one you created.

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Food, Land, and You

03 November 2010

Today was pond-water exploration day. Not the best time of year to look at pond-water but we made some great discoveries, nonetheless.

The best came 9th period when AUSTIN V. brought in a sample from home. Just from looking at it with my eyes, I could tell it was loaded with Volvox. Volvox is a colony of algae cells (sometimes up to 50,000 cells) that are just visable with the naked eye. This view is under 100x magnification.
Ancestors of Volvox transitioned from single cells to form multicellular colonies at least 200 million years ago, during the Triassic period.  An estimate using DNA sequences from about 45 different species of Volvox and related species suggests that the transition from single cells to undifferentiated multicellular colonies took about 35 million years.

02 November 2010

In the elementary school outside of Ms. King's class I noticed this cool poster on seed dispersal. Why would plants evolve mechanisms like this to move their seeds?

31 October 2010

Here is the website that we explored a little in class on Friday about the "micro-artist." Check it out. It is a pretty awesome example of how science can be used in other subjects like art!


25 October 2010

Today was our first "hands-on" day with the microscopes. We are in the process of familiarizing ourselves with the parts and functions of the scopes and how to create a wet-mount slide. We will have a quiz fairly soon on microscope safety and the functions of each part. Below is the virtual microscope we used in class:


21 October 2010

Our trout came today 5th period. Here, Michael takes a closer look before we dumped them into the tank.

20 October 2010

Mercedes spent some time today getting the trout tank ready for tomorrow's egg delivery. We will be receiving about 100 Brown Trout eggs to raise until May when we release them back into the wild. Mercedes tested water pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.

19 October 2010

Today after school Chris B., Tyler M., Kodie C., and Steve F. Helped build the new Middle School bird feeder. It will be placed near the track for winter bird watching. The newly-improved feeder and new binoculars were made possible through a grant from the Groton Education Fund.

This week we welcomed Miss Reynolds to class. She comes to us as a student from Cornell. She grew up in California and has come to love the Finger Lakes area. Here, she works with Dom and Ian on their dichotomous key activity. We're looking forward to a great 7 weeks, Miss Reynolds!

18 October 2010

Today I met some very enthusiastic 5th graders from Mr. D'Antonio and Ms. King's classes as we built three 4' x 10' raised beds.  These will be used to grow food for the elementary school.

After construction we filled each bed with soil that was donated by a parent.  Next spring we'll amend the soil with finished compost that is collected from lunches at the elementary and middle/high school buildings.

17 October 2010

I'm not sure if I'd want to run into a Yagerlum samus in the woods by myself.

13 October 2010

Today members of Food, Land, and You prepared about 10 Acorn and Butternut Squash for freezing. The cafeteria will serve these with brown sugar at their annual Thanksgiving lunch in Nov. These squash came from the student vegetable garden.

11 October 2010

In class we've been studying taxonomy, or the science of classifying life on the planet. Here is one activity from class.

05 October 2010

We're starting a new chapter in class to learn how scientists classify living things on the planet and how they assign scientific names. Today in class we did a quick classification activity as we organized a cup of nuts and bolts.

30 September 2010

Fig. 1 - Ice Heated to Boil Over Time
Today's lab involved taking data over a 20 minute period.  We wanted to see if the addition of salt made water boil faster.  Half of the class boiled ice and the other boiled it with the addition of a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  The graphed data is due Monday and should somewhat resemble the line graph above.  

Question:  Why the peaks and valleys before the 5 minute mark??

29 September 2010

Here are the vocabulary words for Chapter 2 that will be on Monday's quiz. These are important words that will come up throughout the year:

Asexual Reproduction
Sexual Reproduction
Be sure to check out the oven-roasted potatoes tomorrow in the cafeteria. We made them in class today using potatoes, garlic, and onions from the GCS farm.....ok, AND some dried herbs from around the world.

The potatoes were dug up by some of Ms. Fitzgerald's youth services summer day camp students and stored in the root cellar until now.

21 September 2010

Here is the site from today on metric system size and scale.


17 September 2010

Brooke shows off her experiment as she tried to figure out whether slugs prefer onions or lettuce. Today, many groups realized that slugs will generally pick foods that are dipped in Red Bull.

16 September 2010

Today we set up our experiments to gain a better understanding about what slugs prefer to eat. As you can see from the table, there were many different variables to choose from.

Dan carefully cuts his square of lettuce.

These guys can't wait to see if slugs prefer lettuce that has been "enhanced" with Red Bull. To see a list of today's experiments, click here.

15 September 2010

Today we began our observations for our inquiry investigation into the feeding preferences of slugs. Tomorrow, we will conduct a variety of experiments. In the end we will learn more about the scientific method, but more importantly - how scientists learn about the world around us.

10 September 2010

Members of 4th period get to work on the 1st lab of the year - understanding the scientific method.

09 September 2010

Members of Food, Land, and You spent some time in the garden today picking produce for the cafeteria.
Tyrone with a handful of the ~500 peppers Viola planted.
Jon samples a fresh tomato.
Here is the class before we prepped and washed today's harvest. All produce is organic and grown within 100 meters of the school's cafeteria.

08 September 2010

A future scientist at work!

Today we had great classroom discussions about science and the world around us. I loved hearing your insights! We also worked on observation skills with some flowers. Here, Abbey and Kye demonstrate what good observation skills look like.

07 September 2010

Welcome new 7th graders! I'm looking forward to a great year of science and learning. I hope you had a great 1st day getting back into the routine.

03 August 2010

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Are we all staying away from the Wii and television? I will be doing a little road trip out to New Mexico starting the 16th to rent one of those self-sufficient earthships that I showed in class. So cool...I'm going to build one one day! I'll be covering the whole trip on Twitter, if you'd like to follow me (MrDeVoe). I've been busy getting the school garden finished for the 2010-2011 school year and it is just about finished. The most recent addition was a rain barrel donated by Groton Rotary. Viola, Malcolm C., and I finished the raised bed inside of the greenhouse. This space will be used to grow spinach and lettuce for the cafeteria in late fall and early spring. They are cool-weather crops and the greenhouse should keep them warm enough even when there is snow on the ground. I laid down cardboard first and put topsoil over it so weeds cannot grow through.We have a LOT of cantaloupes! Those growing in the greenhouse have been suspended in their "hammocks" and we have another bed in the garden that is loaded with them. Stop by to check them out...just do not touch!Some elementary students during this year's science camp helped plant string beans. All of the produce will be available in the cafeteria when we return to school. We will have string beans, snap peas, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, melons, onions, summer squash, lettuce, peppers, and spinach. Every Tuesday at 7pm is garden volunteer night if you are interested in helping out. There are always weeds to pull. Enjoy the rest of break!

18 June 2010

15 June 2010

Today we wrapped up our ecology unit with a scavenger hunt in the nature area. Here, Alexis, displays her primary consumer - a red-backed salamander. REMEMBER: Thursday is our final exam and books are available to sign out if desired.