Saturday, September 21, 2019

Crater Impact Study Started with 7th graders

Yesterday, September 20, 2019 seventh graders and I started experimenting with flour and colored water to serve as a crust layer along with gathered parking lot rocks as meteoroids to try different angles and heights (10", 20", 30", and over 36") for solar system impact observation study.

Here are a few photos in action yesterday:

I took photos of all 4 groups but I don't know what happened to the rest of the photos. I'll have to follow up later. Each group had different colored water (blue, purple-blue, green, and red). Equipped with yardsticks to check the different height drops, students were trying to coordinate different tasks including data keeping. However, data keeping went by the wayside as playing with the flour and water after 'meteoroid' landings needed to be checked for depths of the impact craters. [math integration] 

Supplies were: old metal baking pans, paper towel layer, flour (about 2 lbs.), squirt bottles, food coloring, water, rocks of different sizes, yardsticks, yellow copy paper for data, and pencils.

Oh, what a mess they made however they were so excited to be 'doing science' that I couldn't get too upset and frustrated with them. Afterwards as they finished cleaning their hands and were getting their stuff to go to their next class, almost every one of the 13 (of 14) seventh graders made a comment about how cool that was....

From the USA heartland,
Becca S

Mini Catapults Building and Launch Trials for Projectile Motion Learning

During the previous 10-14 days, the 8th graders had most of 3 class periods and some study hall time (option for students) to work on the construction and launching of their pom-pom. The target distance was 12" from their base.

At first I only wanted their hand/finger to be on the launching part but after much frustration on their part, I decided to have them include that as an influencing factor in their data results. Students were glad about that.

With overhead ceiling fans, some portable fans, and open windows, students had other factors that could impact their projectile motion distances.

Here are some photos taken on Day1=

Before the first class period working on this, I prepared small supply kits for each of my 16 eighth graders. Their kits included 6 small craft sticks, 3 jumbo craft sticks, 1 plastic spoon, 1 binder clip (these varied in widths due to buying an assortment package from Dollar Tree), 3 small and 1 large rubber bands, 1 pom-pom, and 4 glue dots. Protractors were borrowed from the math teacher so students could be more accurate in determining angles for launch trials.

Yardsticks and rulers were available to help determine distances. Lots of math integration within this activity with students creating their data tables full of details on their trial launches of 3 angles with 3 trials at each angle to look for consistent results and then 1 angle picked with 3 trials with catapult on top of 1 textbook and then either the same angle or a different angle picked with 3 trials with the catapult on top of 2 textbooks. Students were to notice if the height adjustments increased the distance in their projecting.

A couple of students got super frustrated on Day 1 and one male was a bit overzealous but overall students really enjoyed this and loved having this opportunity to experiment. Their dedication and focus to this activity were joys to observe. And the amazing ripple effect is having 6th & 7th graders wanting to be able to do this!!! I was flooded with questions from guys and gals about when they could make a catapult!!!!

Loving this teaching gig! Next post is about crater impact with 7th graders...

From the USA heartland,
Becca S

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Greeting to this new blog

Welcome everyone!

We are excited to be sharing the blogging world via internet technology from our little community school. Tonica is a small north central Illinois community. It is only a few miles from the spectacular Starved Rock State Park, Illinois and Vermilion Rivers.

We are also small in numbers but big in enthusiasm for learning more about science. Check back often as we start to share a little of what is happening in the middle school science room as of September 2019.

Life Science Plant Specimen Dissection or Separation of Parts by a 6th grader

Welcome to Science Grades 6 to 8 from USA Heartland ! I'm Becca S, the blog owner. This post is to share some photos of a 6th grader ...