1s & 5s

February 28, 2018 at 8:50 am (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

A bit lazy on the title I know, but I’m running out of STEAM.  Get it!?  (cue crickets chirping)   Eh . . .  anyway . . . let’s take a gander at first graders who continue applying their know-how about forces, pushes, and pulls. This lesson centered on pulls with the use of weight and gravity; much like what pulls glaciers if we recount to the last post with 4th grade’s topic.  These first graders tinkered with adding and/or subtracting the amount of washers to their vehicle by connecting them via string & paperclips.  After exploration time with the vehicles and the weights, the students repeated the activity beginning with one washer, then 2, 4, 6, and 8 writing down observations between each trial as to which provided the greatest/fastest pull, and why they believed this to be true.  We’ll pick up with this activity and review our discoveries in the next post.

Gravity Pulls
Weight & Gravity

 

Moving on to 5th where our marine biologists are using bathymetric sonar technology to map the ocean floor.  NOAA’s ship, the Okeanos Explorer, uses this type of sonar which flares out onto the ocean bottom, pinging data back to the ship in a color coded scale to outline trenches, volcanoes, sunken ships, etc.  These students constructed models of the abyss and/or trenches which they are preparing for another class.  Pictures of them sampling data by use of color coded straws are models built by another 5th grade class.  The lower the straw, the deeper the coordinate.  After recording the data the next step will be to transfer the information to a color bar graph, one sheet per column (columns were from A-J).  After the bar graphs are made for each column the students will cut, and glue the data in their journals to create a three dimensional pop-up scale.  We will have pictures once this is complete, so stay tuned and until then check out the pictures and video.

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Oysters: Nature’s Natural Britta Filter

September 24, 2016 at 9:00 am (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Busy week for the Little V’s.  We’ve engulfed the concept of adapting and how certain traits allow living things to survive depending on the conditions they live in.  By doing this the young scientists created their own fictional bird, incorporating a style of beak, wings, feet, legs, and color that would suite the needs of their environment.  The outline and artwork is complete and will be displayed in the class.  We’re going to tie in some augmented reality tech to this project (which is like virtual reality).  Maybe we could have a gallery night, let me look into that.

Adding Oysters

Filtering Plankton

Oyster

 

This week we also learned about how rough it is to be a sea turtle and the measures they must take to survive.  Students role played in this game of tag as land and sea predators were out to get those selected as the sea turtles.  Turtles had to complete three rounds in the obstacle course, grabbing a food/life token each time.  However, due to the effects humans play on the environment some of those tokens (unbeknownst to the turtles) were microplastics.  When turtles consume these they either choke or disrupt their buoyancy making it difficult if not impossible to dive for food or away from predators.

Sea Turtle Survival

 

Estuaries: Detritus Feeders

Then we revisited how estuaries play a vital role in our ecosystem and local communities.  The Aquaculture Technology Department at the Carteret Community College was more than radical to allow us to borrow some tanks, a few gallons of salt water, filters, plankton, and oysters to demo how these mother earth britta’s filter.  Science fact: one oyster can filter 50 gallons of water a day.  And I thought I drank alot (of water.  Water folks.  I drink alot of water).  This was definitely a hit.  We loaded one tank with ten oysters, the other with fifty five, poured in the plankton and sat back to observe.  It was amazing to see how fast they cleared the tanks of the murky plankton paste.  Above are the scientists pantomiming detritus predators.  Can you guess which one is a fiddler crab, egret, raccoon, or red drum?

Oyster Filtration

These young minds had indepth observational insight in their journaling today.  Impressed with their outlook on today’s activity.  So what’s next?  Tons.  Literally.  We’ll be “swimming” with whales by the end of October.  Stay tuned.

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Thar She Blows

September 11, 2015 at 3:57 pm (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This week we researched the differences and similarities between ancient and modern day sperm whales (Thanks KidBiz), and we also revamped our comparing skills with the use of whole numbers and fractions for our place value unit.  So why not keep the ball rolling by comparing life size whales of different species?  The scientists spent the afternoon comparing and contrasting modern sperm whales vs narwhals, studying their traits and how they provide advantages for survival.  We are currently in the mix of creating our own bird and/or fish species and will share these in the weeks to come.

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Adaptations

August 31, 2015 at 2:25 pm (School Supplies) (, , , )

Our young scientists explored animal adaptations, focusing on the advantages they provide for each animal.  This morning we read about the necks and legs of giraffes tall and short and the advantage one might play over the other.  Today we investigated how birds, insects, and fish see, and the skin of sharks.  We will further our study throughout the week targeting whale blubber and further the study on shark skin.  Enjoy the pics and thinglink on sea turtles below.

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