12 December 2012

Fwd: 2013 "Living on the Ocean Planet" Video Contest for High School Students!

Any students currently enrolled in high school are eligible to submit a 1-3 minute video on this year's contest theme "A Window into Freshwater Science." This theme invokes the interconnectedness of freshwater and marine systems and includes, but is not limited to, our understanding of freshwater processes and the connection to the ocean, human impacts on freshwater ecosystems and the effects of invasive species. Prizes will be awarded to the top submissions at both the regional and national level. The 1st national place video team will receive a Kodak PlaySport to encourage future multi-media endeavors! The 1st place team's video will also premiere on the Ocean Today Kiosk!

The submission deadline is March 11, 2013.

For more information on this exciting and fun competition, please visit the NOSB website.

03 December 2012

Influencing the rate of photosynthesis in elodea.

29 November 2012

Fwd: Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12

2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest for Grades 9-12$3,500 in Cash Awards Available Entries Due: April 15, 2013

www.strategies.org/ThacherContest <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001w0TqxFODfm7mzqHAKRnKND1UXzgKkVts13huZ6yaxS5X4AwfKqc0WqRnoqpK9zJoVb_IKHpJkzgLSClZ1QXGUdblwwvtvW_V6DB-dJ8x6bmpa1PeL-bIwQm8q8rlkFknkGZBW79waEM=>  
Be part of a new generation of problem solvers
that will meet the challenges posed by a changing planet
As Hurricane Sandy began to form in October, scientists, decision-makers, and the public turned to satellites and other observing instruments to track its path, measure its intensity, and predict its impacts. Given the storms 1,000-mile span, people across the Mid-Atlantic were able to take precautions to minimize damage. After the storm, a different set of satellites (ones that observe land and oceans) provided data and imagery that, along with geospatial tools, proved crucial in assessing the devastation and determining how the coastline had changed. Everyday geospatial tools are used to make new discoveries and better understand the changing planet. With the help of satellite data and information, paleontologists increase their odds of finding the best dig sites. Scientists were not only able to provide a more accurate count of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, but they also discovered two new colonies via satellite images. A new smart phone application even combines crowdsourcing and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to create a more-accurate navigation application.
The 2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest provides high school students (grades 9-12) with the opportunity to innovatively use the latest geospatial tools, data and environmental information to research our changing planet.  The main focus of the project must be on the application of the geospatial tool(s) or data and information to study a problem related to Earth's environment.

Eligible geospatial tools and data include satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, geographic information systems (GIS) and GPS.

The top three projects earn cash awards -- $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. Individuals or teams may submit entries. In the case of team entries, the cash award will be split equally among the winning team members.
In addition to the student prizes, teachers of the winning students or teams will receive a $200
Amazon.com gift card. If participation is part of an after-school club or other activity independent of school, the student or team can identify an adult "coach" who would be eligible for this award (e.g., a parent, club leader, etc.).

Entries must be received by April 15, 2013. IGES plans to announce the winning entries by May 22, 2013.  Last year's winners analyzed floodplain models, researched the correlation between land cover and stream health in one Virginia county, and determined the results of protecting an isolated area from the introduction of invasive, non-native plants.

The Thacher Environmental Research Contest was founded in honor of former IGES board member Peter Thacher, who was a leader in promoting the use of satellite remote sensing. Thacher was former deputy executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, NASA advisor and, at the time of his death, president of the Earth Council Foundation/U.S.

For more information on the 2013 Thacher Environmental Research Contest, including a list of resources for geospatial data, please visit  
www.strategies.org/ThacherContest <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001w0TqxFODfm7mzqHAKRnKND1UXzgKkVts13huZ6yaxS5X4AwfKqc0WqRnoqpK9zJoVb_IKHpJkzgLSClZ1QXGUdblwwvtvW_V6DB-dJ8x6bmpa1PeL-bIwQm8q8rlkFknkGZBW79waEM=>
Brandi Bernoskie
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies
(703) 312-7138 (Phone)

27 November 2012

Photosynthesis/Respiration Assignment

If you choose Assignment Option 1 (Technology), here is your task.  View the following videos/websites.  Using these sources and your books, you should use a web-based tool to illustrate the relationships between Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration.  I recommend Prezi, but you could also use voicethread, WeVideo.com, Easel.ly, or something else.  You may work on these tasks on designated work days over the next couple weeks. 


02 November 2012

Voicethread Login!  Please click the link that applies to you.

Period 1

Period 3

Period 5

19 October 2012

Our baby chicks arrived today for the Groton student-run CSA. We will be providing shareholders and the cafeteria with fresh organic eggs and other farm produce. Follow @GrotonFarms on Twitter for the latest updates.

The infamous "spit lab" to test the effects of temperature and pH on the effectiveness of the enzyme salivary amylase. We learned that this enzyme definitely has optimal conditions at which it will break down complex carbohydrates.

01 October 2012

This weekend, several members of Food, Land, and You began building our 12'x8' chicken coup, which will house the hens we are purchasing for the Groton School CSA.  Our class has decided to go with Barred Rock hens because of their good temperment, hardiness in cold weather, and excellent laying ability.  With the 12 hens ordered we should produce enough eggs for our sharemembers and the school cafeteria.

21 September 2012

Introducing The Groton Student Farm!  Members of this year's elective, Food, Land, and You are busy and have big plans for this huge experiment.  Stay tuned for more details!
I had to share this awesome Prezi by Camille for her slug lab writeup.

13 September 2012


Interested in impacting your local community, while developing key employment skills?  The Sustainability Internship Program, a feature of The Sustainability Center, is gearing up for Fall placements! We are matching students from local institutions of higher education with non-profit organizations and green businesses to complete sustainability projects here in Tompkins County, specifically work that addresses one or more of the following:
  • Transportation Alternatives
  • Waste Diversion and Reduction
  • Community Engagement and Social Justice
  • Energy / Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Community Health
  • Smart Development / Green Building
  • Natural Resource Conservation
  • Sustainable Agriculture/Local Food

Check out the internships we have available at:
If you’re interested in applying, please submit your resume and a letter of inquiry, by Friday, Sept. 21st, to: Jackie@sustainabilitycentertc.org or drop off a hard copy to my attention at the Tompkins County Planning Department, 121 E. Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 (Mon - Fri, 8:30 AM - 4 PM).
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW:  During your participation as a STUDENT in the Sustainability Internship Program, we are asking that you commit to the following: 1) Participation in one Introductory Meeting / Orientation;   2) Completion of one pre- and one post-internship survey;   3) On-going communication with your host supervisor and lastly 4) Participation in a Celebration Event at the end of the semester honoring and showcasing projects completed through the program.
Haven’t heard of The Sustainability Center before? That’s because we’re new! If you’ve ever tried to navigate the spectacular sea of sustainability-focused businesses, non-profits and events in our area, perhaps you’ve been inspired, but a little overwhelmed. The Sustainability Center will help you find your way!
Our mission:  The Sustainability Center will create, in the center of the community, a physical space from which to promote community-wide sustainability efforts in Tompkins County, through public engagement, service learning, and partnership with local green businesses, non-profits and leaders in the field.
So, when can you use this new resource?! We expect to move into our temporary home in downtown Ithaca at the end of 2012! Shortly thereafter, the Center will have open hours of operation during which you can check out our sustainability gallery and programming. We’ll keep you posted as we progress.
In the meantime, we hope you’ll jump into the community and help a local non-profit or green business complete a sustainability project!!

12 September 2012

Here we are starting the traditional 1st major lab of the year...the slug lab. Students are designing their own experiments to see what types of food slugs prefer to eat.

04 September 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome to another school year!  Hopefully the summer has left you recharged and ready to start a new chapter of your life.  Below is a link to a cool article.  Please read and be ready to discuss.


06 July 2012

2012 Youth Power Summit Planning Meeting- Wed. 7/11

Wed. 7/11 from 12-2PM
Borg Warner Room, Tompkins County Public Library

We are looking for teens across Tompkins County interested in bringing together youth throughout the county for positive environmental change and sustainability. 

Join us Wed. 7/11 for a FREE LUNCH and core group meeting to start planning the 2012 Youth Power Summit for this October! At the 2011 summit, over 200 young people gathered to empower themselves to take action for clean energy, local food, and social justice in our schools and communities. 

We're also looking for young people from across Tompkins County to help us brainstorm how a youth network could support and amplify what is being done individually at various schools around the county. 

Additional initiatives as a youth network could potentially include: Anti-fracking activism, the Youth Farm Project with LACS and Southside, Hydrilla monitoring and volunteer work through the Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom, work with Get Your Green Back Tompkins, and fundraising for the BJM Fresh Foods Project. 

Please invite your friends that may be interested, especially those who attend other schools throughout the county. We want to make sure the entire geographic area of Tompkins County is represented!

K.C. Alvey
Cornell '12 Natural Resources
Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI)- Assistant Coordinator
Green Umbrella: NY Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future - State Coordinator

Like TCCPI and the Green Umbrella on Facebook!

K.C. Alvey
Cornell '12 Natural Resources
Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (TCCPI)- Assistant Coordinator
Green Umbrella: NY Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future - State Coordinator

Like TCCPI and the Green Umbrella on Facebook!

17 June 2012

Thanks to everyone for another great school year...my first at the high school. I'm looking forward to implementing some new things next year so stay tuned! Today Cali, Jenny, Camille, Alissa, and Josh came out to pound tires and get a tour of the Earthship! If you're interested in helping out keep an eye on freevilleearthship.blogspot.com or 'like' Earthship Groton on Facebook. I'll be announcing volunteer days as the summer progresses. Have a safe, relaxing summer everyone!

08 June 2012

The Groton Beekeeping Project is in full swing, thanks to freshman, Camille H. with oversight by Mr. Wiech.  The population seems active and healthy and enjoying the variety of wildflowers in and around the school's nature area.  What are we doing with the honey?  Stay tuned...

04 June 2012

Not ready for the Biology Regents Exam??  No sweat!  Come to a review session during lunch (4th period) or after school 3-4pm between now and the end of classes.  Also...be sure to check out the review sites in the right hand column of this site!

22 May 2012

After school today I met the new Groton Youth Director, Kat Clement, and 3 great 6th graders in the garden. We worked two beds and planted sweet pepper and tomato plants. Additionally, we have planted so far - lettuce, potatoes, garlic, onions, and peas.

01 May 2012

In Food, Land, and You we recently planted 4 rows of potatoes (3 varieties) and 6 rows of onions. We're approaching our region's frost-free date so we'll be out in the garden mire then!

15 April 2012

Michaela and Reid came out over break to kick off the Earthship build in Freeville. We currently have about 50 of the 700 tires pounded and leveled.

05 April 2012

Members in Food, Land, and You just finished a mini-unit on Soapmaking. We made 3 batches of coconut/Crisco-based bar soap infused with almond, eucalyptus, and wintergreen essential oils. These will cure for a few weeks before we get to give them a try.

Fwd: Tompkins County Youth for Clean Energy Future: April 17

Join us for a convergence of Tompkins County youth from every background who are passionate about clean energy, local food, and social justice in our schools and communities. This will be an opportunity to enjoy free food, network with other young people committed to social change, build a vision for Tompkins County, and support each other's work.

  • Stand together with young leaders from all backgrounds who care about taking back our political system, stopping fracking, and building the clean energy economy right here in Tompkins County
  • Get inspired by youth-led efforts that are changing schools and communities across the region
  • Brainstorm how our generation can shape the future of Tompkins County and discuss opportunities for collaboration, including planning for a county-wide Youth Power Summit in October 2012
  • Get plugged in to emerging campaigns for a just and sustainable future in Tompkins County, including Get Your GreenBack Tompkins, Building Bridges, and more!
  • Interested in going to Power Shift NY? Handle logistics and connect with others headed to Albany for Power Shift NY from April 27-29

Free food will be provided! Please come and join the conversation. Also, please forward to others who are interested. RSVP on Facebook here!

Co-sponsored by: Get Your GreenBack Tompkins, Sciencenter, Cornell Cooperative Extension- Tompkins County, Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, & The Green Umbrella: NY Youth for a Just and Sustainable Future

Questions? Contact KC Alvey <kca27@cornell.edu>, 516-592-7752, or Mike Koplinka-Loehr, 607-592-7650, < mak11@cornell.edu >

27 March 2012

Fwd: New York Youth Institute 2012

"Cultivating Innovations to Feed the World" will be the topic for the World Food Prize's essay this year for New York students grades 9-12.  You will find guidelines for writing the paper, sample papers and the registration form for the New York Youth Institute on the following website.




The New York Youth Institute will be held on September 15th at Cornell University.

Registration and papers are due Monday, September 10th


More Information:


Francine Wilson Jasper

Cornell University International Programs

Assistant Director, Professional Development Programs

622 Bradfield

Ithaca, NY  14853


Tel:  607-255-1907, Fax:  607-255-6683



26 March 2012

Here is the site we are using for the Fetal Pig dissection in class:


20 March 2012

Dillon and Chris test respiration rates in Goldfish vs. temp. of water during our latest lab.

14 March 2012

Fwd: Samsung Solve for Tomorrow

Message from Samsung:

Dear Mr. DeVoe,


First, we'd like to say congratulations on being a finalist in the 2012 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest! Out of over 1,500 applicants for the program, you were one of only 12 schools who made it to the finals.  By being a finalist, your school has won $70,000 worth of technology and software courtesy of Samsung, Microsoft, Adobe and DIRECTV.


Unfortunately, your entry did not qualify you for our grand prize.  The submissions this year truly embraced the challenge put forth and our judges were faced with an extremely difficult decision. We appreciate all of the hard work you put into these submissions as well as your efforts in furthering STEM education. We encourage you to continue to approach these subjects with the creative and innovative thinking you've demonstrated throughout the Solve for Tomorrow contest.


Again, congratulations on winning the technology package for your school. We hope you will be able to use the technology to benefit your students and further their interest in STEM. A Samsung representative will be contacting you in the coming weeks to follow-up on fulfillment of this prize.


Best Regards,


Dr. David Steel, Adam Yates and Bree Falato



Bree Falato | Corporate Communications| Samsung Electronics North America
85 Challenger Road, 9th Fl. | Ridgefield Park, N.J 07660
Work 201.229.4789 | Mobile 201-289-6704 | b.falato@samsung.com



P  Save trees! Print this e-mail only if necessary.

For more information about Samsung's Sustainability initiative, please visit www.samsung.com/green


08 March 2012

In lab we've been analyzing different samples of "urine" to diagnose several "patients" with certain disorders. Here, Zeke checks the pH of the samples.

28 February 2012

Ashlee calculates lung capacity during today's lab. A couple more weeks of human body work and onto the fetal pig lab!

14 February 2012

In lab this week, we're studying ways we can influence human heart rate. One interesting concept in the mammalian dive reflex, a response that has evolved in many mammals including humans. Heart rate plummets in response to underwater conditions to conserve oxygen. We're using Vernier Lab Quests to document this.

09 February 2012

Groton Central School is in the running for a $100,000 technology award from Samsung Electronics! Please vote for our video at the following website: www.samsung.com/solvefortomorrow Or search for "Earthship Groton" on Facebook where you will find a link to vote. Thanks for your support and remember you can vote every day for the next month!
Learn more about the Groton HoneyBee Project!

03 February 2012

There's a good article on NPR's website about the risk of Lyme Disease...caused by a bacterium spread by certain species of ticks. Our warm winter will probably result in an above-average number of ticks in our wooded areas this year so please educate yourselves. Above is a risk map. We're in a low-risk area but it's still best to check yourself after coming indoors.

02 February 2012

(5) Thursdays, February 9, 16 & 23 and March 1 & 8, 7:00-9:00pm
at First Unitarian Church of Ithaca Annex, 208 E. Buffalo St.(near Aurora), Ithaca NY

February 9: Earthships! A showing of the award-winning documentary, Garbage Warrior, will be followed by a discussion with one local couple who recently built an earthship and another who are working on one this year with Michael Reynolds (the leading earthship guru, featured in Garbage Warrior). For more about the film, visit: http://www.garbagewarrior.com/
February 16: Deep Energy Retrofits. What does it take to turn a typical home into a super-performer? Jon Harrod of Snug Planet and Ian Shapiro of Taitem Engineering will walk you through their process for making a home super energy-efficient and discuss the huge benefits that can result.

February 23: Rehabbing Old Windows. With a few simple repairs and improvements, you can make your old windows perform as well as new ones. Mark Pierce, Extension Associate with Cornell University's College of Human Ecology, is an expert in energy efficiency issues in residential buildings, and Shad Ryan is the Owner of On Balance Solutions, which specializes in vintage and historic sash rehabilitation. They will discuss the benefits of keeping your old windows and walk you through the process of fixing and tightening them up.

March 1: Affordable Green Building. Following up on last year's popular seminar, we've invited two local experts to discuss different strategies for keeping your green building projects affordable, including the decision-making process that goes into incorporating green building practices and materials that are healthy, safe, resource-efficient, and durable but that don't cost a premium. Scott Reynolds is the Director of Construction Services for Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, and Joe Laquatra is the Hazel E. Reed Human Ecology Extension Professor in Family Policy at Cornell University, whose teaching and research efforts focus on sustainable aspects of housing.

March 8: High-Efficiency Heating Systems. So, you've made your home as energy-efficient as possible and now your old boiler isn't just inefficient, it's oversized. There are a lot of options these days. We'll discuss high-efficiency biomass and fossil fuel-fired systems, mini-splits, geothermal, masonry heaters, and more, including how heat-recovery ventilation works as part of the system.
Admission: $8/seminar or $35/series. No need to preregister. 

Please visit http://ccetompkins.org/gbss to check for changes or cancellations on the day of the seminar!
For more information, contact Guillermo Metz at (607) 272-2292 or email gm52@cornell.edu.

24 January 2012

Groton Honeybee Project

GCS students (mostly Freshmen) have spearheaded a unique business plan....to mange honeybees and sell honey to the Groton community and cafeteria. Led by Camille H. And Mr Wiech, about 12 GCS students will build the boxes from scratch and harvest the wildflower honey. Come check out their presentation to the Board of Ed. on Feb 6th.  Exciting things to come!

22 January 2012

Please take a moment to fill out this quick survey if you used the iPads during their brief stay in our classroom:


10 January 2012

I just posted a new review site under the Study Resources section.  Its not too early to start reviewing for the NYS Regents Exam!  Be sure to utilize all of these options in the next couple months.