Erosion Engineering

January 29, 2017 at 9:00 am (News, Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Alright stop!   Collaborate and listen.  The Little V’s are back with a brand new invention.  Vantaztic Learning has some mad skills on the mic, but even I can’t touch the brilliance that came from these young problem-solvers.  Your mind will be blown back to the 90’s to when we thought this track was solid,

Image result for vanilla ice 90s

as you listen to these clever devils collaborate.  See the thought process unfold for yourself as the scientists explain how their prototypes will slow beach erosion.

Makerspaces Engineering Erosion Project

Some background info for our readers:  The kids spent a day to design a blueprint of how their idea would look and created a write up of how it works.

Makerspaces Engineering

Day two (this day) was focused on creation of their sketch.  Next week they will test their project to see if it does in fact work, and if for some reason not, back to the drawing board.  For our fourth event day, we’ve invited a couple of professionals from our local community with background knowledge and first hand experience in beach renourishment to visit and listen to the students as they present their ideas, discuss the successes and drawbacks of the pretesting, and share their improvements.  Suppose we’ll have to wait to add more until testing and discussion take place, so for now . . . hit the hi-hat.  Word to your mother.

Makerspaces Engineering
Makerspaces Engineering

 

Makerspaces Engineering

We’re back and ready to share what worked and what needed modifications.  Our guest shall be here at the end of the month.  Enjoy, we’ll back after this paid programming announcement.

Erosion Wave Model

 

Engineering a Way to Slow Erosion
Wave Erosion Testing

2/23/17 Mr. Rudolph, “Rudi”, stopped in to listen to the young minds share their ideas and models to prevent beach erosion.  Mr. Rudi works for the Carteret County Shoreline Protection in Emerald Isle, NC.  He shared how to combat the erosion issue with the method Carteret County uses, dredging sand onto the beaches.  Fun Fact:  Sand is classified as sand if it is between 1/16-2 mm in size, any larger and it is mud, and then gravel.  Fun Fact:  An average of 1 million cubic yards are pumped onto the beach for a given project.  Fun Fact:  If sand is the erosion problem, then the solution is sand, putting it back to where it belongs.  The kids were engaged and developed terrific questions such as, “Would my hurt the environment?”, “How much sand is used to dredge back onto the beach?”, “How do you know when too much erosion is happening?”, and “What is your favorite part of your job?”.  Super way to end the week.  We are definitely spoiled to have so many resources at our fingertips.

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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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Expectations on Effort: What You Can Expect & What Is Expected From You

August 24, 2016 at 9:07 am (School Supplies) (, , , , , , , , )

Students:  Please read this with a relative, or guardian.

 As a 4th grade student, know that you will be expected to give full effort each and every minute while you are in this class.   You can expect the same from your teacher, Mr. V.  He will give you his best each day.

So what does effort mean Mr. V?  

FIRST:  In this class effort means when it comes time to complete an assignment or activity, then your full attention is on that project.  If you stay focused on your responsibilities, you will be a successful learner.  We will have many activities that are completed as partners, teams, or with Mr. V, and that’s when you’ll need to talk to each other.  There will be activities that you’ll complete by yourself, these are times when you will have to ignore someone that wants whisper or talk to you.  No matter if you work alone or with someone else, you’ll need to complete the activity on time and correctly as stated in the directions given.

SECOND: This means you will have to redo an assignment if it is not done the right way.  I know what you’re already thinking . . . UGGHH!  This will be tough for some of you, I know.  Mr. V has made (and still makes) errors all the time.  I don’t know about any of you little V’s, but when I cannot figure something out I get flushed (feel red and hot inside).  At times I feel like the world’s dumbest person, and sometimes it breaks my confidence. That’s when I know it is time to clear my head because one thing I NEVER feel like doing is quitting.  That my friends, is known as perseverance (per-sa-ver-ance).  Like Cena says, “Never Give Up”.

Sometimes we need to take a breath to clear our head, or stretch, or take a few minutes to think.  You will never be allowed to quit, Mr. V will never quit on you.  Yet instead of sulking or giving up, we’ll have to go about solving the problem another way.  This isn’t always easy, but it will be done.  Remember, Mr. V is always here to help you, but not until after you have made attempts to solving the problem yourself.

That’s one expectation, we’re going to pause for the cause and continue with more expectations in the days to come.

If you are a student or parent that visited the Meet & Greet and you have an “I wonder . . . ” moment, please leave comment below.

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Coastal Connections: Science in the Field to the Classroom

June 4, 2016 at 9:00 am (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Below is a thinglink I have concocted to sum up the outreach events and partnering of local organizations relating to the field of science in which the students from the tail end of last year to the current roster have been a part of.  The roster of students of 2015-2016 have had been exposed to so many incredible resources that make our community.  It is uncommon for such a small place to have the vast amount of people working in related fields of environmental, biological, and physical sciences as it does.  These children have had more interaction with scientists throughout the school year than the peers from any region, making them stewards for our community and hopefully sparking a curiosity to pursue a career in a related science field.  In this case, it is good to be spoiled.

None of this could have been possible if it were not for a.) my colleague Lauren Daniel whispering in my ear to join her in this quest with the COHORT and b.) also the Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST) to put me in contact with groups such as the Coastal Reserve, Coastal Federation, NOAA, and Duke Lab (to name a few).  This thinglink will serve as my introduction to the National Marine Educators Association in Orlando, FL this summer.  I think the viewers will be impressed with what these young minds have experienced and created because of those experiences.  Please leave comments below if you feel the thinglink lacks explanation.  Just keep in mind these are only captions and I’ll be explaining the activities in depth.  I can always do the same in the comment section.  Thank you and enjoy.

 

 

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Some New, Some Old

February 8, 2016 at 9:00 am (News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Posting some new projects in the works, and some that were already mentioned (new video to view though).  We spent the Friday with a two hour delay planting the germinated Spartina seeds into containers while others constructed the first PVC greenhouse tent that will rest on our raised flower beds.  We’ll take some of the Spartina to the high school’s greenhouse, but thought we could make our own mini versions for BSE’s campus.  Plus it was a great tie in with fractions and measurement.  Who knew that what you learn in school could actually be applied?  More pictures will be added to this post in the days/weeks to come.  It took about a week to create one tent (excluding sheeting).  We still need a few connectors to run our pipe along the ridge of the roof.  They did great working as teams and measuring thrice before cutting.  I think my PVC cutter is on it’s last run.  That brackish water though . . .  sulfur egg fart.  Fifth grade teachers were popping in asking if the septic had broke in the science lab restrooms.  Photography exclusively taken by Natalie.

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Echolocation Clips Below

Interpret Movement Data
Echolocation & Tech
Exploring Echolocation

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Engineering Ideas: Irrigation

January 23, 2016 at 9:00 am (News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Meet a group of engineers applying logical reasoning, problem-solving, and mathematical concepts to create an irrigation system to make water flow three feet (without leaking) and disburse into two separate cups evenly.  Students were split into teams to devise an irrigation company name.  These company’s were given a $500,000 budget to use towards materials needed for construction, but before being allowed to purchase, they needed a blueprint design of the construction.  Each member created an illustration and the members of each team voted on which design to use based on budget and style.  After blueprints were approved by the inspector (yours truly), they were allowed to purchase the needed items, such as plastic tubing, cups (plastic & Styrofoam), duct tape, pvc, clay.  All of these items ranged in price by foot and inch from $2,000 – $25,000.  Each company was responsible for keeping up with the budget and making modifications to the blueprints prior to changing the construction.

Prior to beginning this project, we researched what irrigation was, how the Roman Aqueducts were constructed and worked, and focused on ethical procedures – which tied back to our previous knowledge from lessons on deforestation and the estuary/dragonfly pond activities.  With every good intention there usually is some negative impact or consequence.

Irrigation Construction

With that, company’s went to work figuring out how their constructions should be made, placed, and would work.  To keep the ethical point in mind, we added a stipulation.  Teams had three chances to make their irrigation system work without springing a leak.  However if a leak occurred, a company would have to shell out $50,000 for EPA violations.  The issue the people in Flint, Michigan are experiencing with water quality or lack their of would appreciate this.  If a company was successful after three attempts they went on to become a multi-million dollar sought after mogul.  If a company was unsuccessful due to leakage or blockage of water flow, then they most likely went out of business.  However, some unsuccessful company’s had ideas to merge to pool together budget and materials.

There were many purposes to this lesson.  The subcategories are:

  • Did the students work as a team?
  • Did everyone play a role?
  • Did their system work?

Students will self evaluate their experiences during this activity when we return.  Thank you to http://www.tryengineering.org for the lessons (some modifications were made).  Enjoy their creations.

CUB Irrigation
Irrigation 3
Irrigation 4
Irrigation 4

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Echolocation & Interpreting Data

January 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm (Science) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Thanks to the good folks at the Center for Marine Sciences & Technology (@CMAST) and The Science House (@THS_CMAST) for loaning their Vernier technology, allowing our young minds to  . . . a.) explore how bats and dolphins use echolocation, detecting distances of objects based on reflecting sound.  & b.) interpreting data waves results.

b

The Go!Motion devices were very simple to use, just a USB plugin into the back of the chromebook, and operated smoothly by downloading a free app known as Logger Lite.  Our first day we became familiar with operation of Go!Motion by placing a book or hand in front of the screen and then raising it away and/or towards quickly and/or slowly, the data is tracked as the motions are made.  The device serves as a bat while the object moving is the insect.  They were able to distinguish when a bat would determine if another object were near or far away by the rise or decline in the graph.

For the next act students took turns operating and standing in place to find the distances (marking points) of half a meter and 2 meters in which the kids had to interpret where they were standing and adjust position to the correct measurement.  These marking points served for the experiments of walking away from and toward Go!Motion.  A neat-o feature is the zoom in on the graph, allowing the kids to see if they ruffled their pant leg or twitched a finger while standing still.  It was a real eye opener to see the bounces in the waves according to the slightest movements.  The jumping up and down activity was a hit.  According to the wave data we might have some high fliers by the time they are in their teens.  Just throwing that out their for any college basketball or high jump recruiters that stumbled upon our blog. Cough, hint coach Painter #boilermakers.

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Fractions: Comparing Unlike Denominators

December 12, 2015 at 9:00 am (MATH) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Crickets.  That’s the sound you would’ve heard if blogs could make noise.  Been a while since any real substance has been posted I know.  

Well, after spending Fridays bulking up on fraction knowledge, the unit came at last (last week actually).  We are now full tilt in the fraction realm: concentrating on their sizes, what it means to be a fraction, and how we can use mathematical tools to compare them?

Let’s start with what we know about fractions (for 4th grade concerns).  For one all fractions can, should, & must be divided equally or what us high fashion fractitioners know as equivalent groups.  Fractions should also be congruent (same shape, same size).  It’s all about that mythical creature known as fair.

It wouldn’t be fair to compare apples to oranges, this years class to last years class, Superman to the Justice League, or Larry Bird’s jumper to Steph Curry’s (Bird wins).

Who likes short shorts? #80's

Who likes short shorts? #80’s

If I told you that when I was a kid I’d come home and complete half of my homework, while at the same time my sister completed half of her homework, and yet I’d claim I had more work than she did, would you believe me?  What if I told you she was four years younger than I was and that she only had a spelling assignment each night, while I had spelling, math, and reading assignments to complete.  What then?  Is half still equal to half?  You want to talk about fair?  When one kid has ten spelling words and finishes five then gets to roam the neighborhood, while the other has a list of 24 words for spelling (not to mention the other subject matter to decipher), where is the justice?  I implore you ladies and gentlemen.  Where is the fair?  Can we compare these two halves to be equal?  Absolutely not, but an argument I did not win against my mother.  In order to compare these fractions we must think of how they can be rearranged prior to analyzing if one fraction is larger than another.  Therefore we must break, split, divide, group, etc into equivalent parts.    And here is where we get to the tools.

Carpenters need a nail gun to frame a stick built house.  Pete Rose needed a bat to beat Cobb’s all time hitting streak.  Number lines are one of the tools we need in order to compare and explain how greater one fraction is than another.

After we create our line, I instruct the kids to then find halfway – no matter if we are working with odd or even fractions.  You can always find half or the center mark.  For now, we’re concentrating on whole numbers 0-1 (but will get beyond one whole in time) and fractions halves-16th’s (sometimes beyond this as well).  So after locating the center and marking it as one half, we treat the number line as a teeter totter, going back and forth writing fractions until reaching the middle.  

For example, if working with 6ths we begin at each end with 0/6 (zero) as our beginning mark and then 6/6 (one whole) as the end.  So far we have one fraction on each side of the one half (halfway) mark, making it “fair”.  Making it equal.  Since we have an equal number we can ask ourselves, “What is half of 6?”  You betcha = 3.  Therefore 3/6 is the same as one half.  Now we can continue the method going back and forth among the center mark with 1/6, then to the other side of half to mark 5/6.  Now back to the left side of half to make 2/6, and finally skipping back to the right side of half to mark  4/6.  Voila!  We have number line divided into sixths.

Confused?  How do you think an eight year old feels after being exposed to this the first time?  How do you think I feel after explaining this concept?  But wait shoppers there’s more.

We have only made our tool, not yet comparing fractions.  Let’s stick with sixths.  If I want to know if 4/6 is <, >, or = to 1/2, then I can mark 4/6 on my number line I so heavily invested time in and see that it is past the halfway mark.  Now with practice some kids will be able to explain that 4/6 is > than 1/2 since half of six = three (3/6), therefore 4/6 is more because 4 is more than 3.  Yet not all kids can compute 1/2 multiplied by three on the numerator and denominator equates to 3/6.  Some of us need visuals to conceptualize this.  I can see from our model that 4/6 is indeed > than 1/2 (3/6) by  1/6 of a jump.

Note:  The model below was found via Google search and not my fav.  I would have marked zero as 0/6 and 0, as well as 1/2 and 3/6.  Until I get a tablet with a functioning camera we’re stuck with the interweb’s pics.   I digress.

 

Last lesson, you’re doing great focusing on the task at hand.  Gold CUB Paw.  Let’s throw in an odd number, thirds.  The kids would find 0/3 and one whole (3/3) to mark on their number line.  To locate 1/3 we’d stop and do something most public education has abolished and deemed as unlawful.  Thinking.  Think and ask yourself, “How does 3/3 and 6/6 relate?”  

Double the top, double the bottom.  Repeat: 1/3 doubled on the top =2, doubled the bottom = 6.  Same for 2/3.  Double 2 = 4, 3 again = 6.  Place these fractions in the same spot because we’ve found equivalent fractions folks.  Now if you’d start making a number line with thirds, it’s just as easy.  Find your center mark and teeter totter on each side, keeping an equal amount of fractions.  0/3 to left, 3/3 to the right.  1/3 to the left of half, 2/3 to the right of half.  I can look and explain to you 2/3 is > than 1/2 because it is past half way on the number line.

I can compare 2/6 and 2/3  as well.  Now we’re looking at unlike denominators, fancy speak for “the bottom number of a fraction isn’t the same”.  Highfaultin talk I tell you what.  I can see that 2/6 is < than 2/3 because 2/6 is before the number line and 2/3 is past it.  I could also explain that 2/3 is 2 jumps or more specific 2/6 jumps past 2/6 (aka 1/3 simplified).  The explaining why and by how much is the main focus when comparing the fractions.  Yes you can cross multiply/butterfly method but it will not give the student the ability to compare by how much one fraction is greater than another.  That’s not to say we do not use it, but we use it to compare as a back up.  They third method is changing fractions into common denominators which is also covered with creating the number line.  But for now, I think I’ve thrown enough heaters, and it’s time to bring in the lefty = class dismissed.

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Up-Com-ing-E-vents

November 10, 2015 at 10:50 pm (News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Nobody got that reference in the title?  Not many Art of Wrestling Podcast listeners I suppose.  (Please don’t sue for copyright/gimmick infringement Colt) Awkward silence.  Crickets.

 

Any-who, upcoming 4th grade events:

  • Miss Ann’s Thanksgiving Feast is 11/12.  Price of a meal is $5.00 per adult + drink or snack.
  • The Pine Knolls Shore Aquarium is visiting BSES on 11/24 from noon to 1:00.
  • Nutcracker Ballet on 12/02/15 will be held at West Carteret High School.  $3.00 per student, $5.00 per adult.  Money for students is due Friday, November 20th.  We will leave BSES at 8:15, and depart WCHS at 12:30.
  • PTO hosts Winter Wonderland 12/04/15 from 5-8 pm.
  • Field Trip to Tryon Palace is 12/18/15.  $7.00 per student, money is due 12/04/15.
  • Parents subscribe to the Art of Wrestling via soundcloud or iTunes or where ever you get your podcasts.

For Mr. V, I’m Mr. V.  Thankssssssssssssssssssss

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Yep, More Glaciers

November 7, 2015 at 9:00 am (Science) (, , , , , , )

Ever wonder how a glacier is formed?  Well the perks to being in this line of work, I get to learn about all interesting ponderings (is this a word?) such as this.  So let’s break it down.  Glaciers are gigantic conglomerates of rocks and ice.  When a layer of snow is deposited, added, to a glacier it freezes.  As more of these sheets of ice build up it adds weight to the mass and then creates movement.  Well, gravity helps aid this too.  Then once in motion, just like the bottom of your shoes, glaciers pick up dust and rock particles.  However, these dust and rock particles relatively speaking are the size of automobiles and houses.  It’s a continuous collection of snow, ice, and rock debris.  You can see from the models below the terminus, outer edge or end, of a glacier marked by the sharpie outline.  You’ll also notice erratics, globs of boulders left behind, and moraine (rock particles left in the wake).

 

Totally unrelated . . . Huge shout out to Rylie for rocking it in the Estuaries Poster Contest, bringing in 3rd overall in the 4th grade.  Her work was displayed at the local Lowes Foods Grocery and prominently put up in front of our room for all other aspiring artistic environmentalist to envy.

IMG_20151106_144045

Two for One:  Rylie wanted to give props to Ry for the photobomb.

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