27 April 2010

I am so pleased with the variety of science night projects that you guys are working on. I realize that 2nd period is getting the short end of the stick due to the state exams but please feel free to come in during rec to use the laptops and work on your posters.

Many of you have chosen topics relating to the environment and nature. Here is a pretty depressing issue: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is an area in the Pacific Ocean where our garbage (mostly plastics) has accumulated. This is a picture of a dead albatross that died as a result of eating this waste. This is a great reminder to recycle as much garbage as you can.

Here is a picture of a turtle that got caught in a plastic soda bottle ring while it was young and developed with it stuck in place.

24 April 2010

Saturday was a great day to pick up garbage! We had an overly-
cheerful adopt-a-highway crew composed of Lynzee, Courtney, Sarah, and
Mackenzie as we cleaned our 1-mile stretch of S. Main st ext. Thanks

23 April 2010

After school, Darren and Alan stopped by to help out in the school
garden. Thanks guys! So far we have potatoes, lettuce, spinach,
garlic, and onions planted.

Today we set up our small mammal survey of the GCS woods. We measured out a 100m transect line and put traps every 10m. We are trying to figure out what type of habitat small mammals will be found in. Student volunteers will be coming in at 7:15 each morning next week to check the traps and record data. Above, members of 5th period measure out the traps and below, members of 1st period pose for a class photo on a fallen cherry tree.

21 April 2010

Today some students began planting the GCS garden. We planted a bed
of potatoes for fall harvest and then beds of lettuce and spinach for
harvest this June. All of the beds should be finished by the end of
the week.

20 April 2010

Today after school, Cross and Josh stayed after to help update our student farm. We're in the process of putting in raised beds after the amazing fence replacement from last weekend's Groton Make a Difference Day! The boys built a few of the boxes using rot-resistant wood that was donated by Mr. Perosio. Mr. Wiech and Mr. Hsu helped out as well.
New "Master Gardener" member, Courtney Coffey, helps shovel GCS compost into the garden beds. This is what your lunches look like after six months of decomposition. A healthy garden has a good mixture of soil and organic matter such as compost and/or manure.
The garden is looking great. In the end, we will have twenty-one 10' x 5' raised beds devoted to fruits and vegetables for our school cafeteria. Everyone is helping out, whether you build boxes like Cross and Josh or compost your lunch scraps in the cafeteria. We will start sowing seeds later this week.

15 April 2010

For our annual Earth Day activity, the 7th grade planted trees around the school campus as part of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's free seedlings for schools program. We planted about 100 trees of 3 native species that have high wildlife food value (mountain ash, crabapple, and highbush cranberry). Earth Day is a week away...what will YOU do?

13 April 2010

The boys have been working hard getting hundreds of 2L bottles ready for our new greenhouse. It may take a couple years and 1,000 more bottles but we will eventially have a 100% recycled/reclaimed greenhouse for Groton Science classes.

11 April 2010

Next Saturday at noon, roughly 100 Cornell students will be in Groton for a day of community service. If any middle school students want to help out, one of the areas scheduled for work is our school garden. We will be putting up the new greenhouse and redoing the garden fence. Please see me for more information.