The Science Lab is involved in numerous activities this week. The 8th grade is finishing up their first unit of study, on Evolution, and is preparing for their first Regents practice exam on this topic. Following this, we will be discussing exactly what life is and how we know that something is alive.
The topic of the week for the 7th grade is ELEMENTS. They are beginning to see how the famous Periodic Table of Elements was developed by D. Mendeleev. We are also watching famous celebrities sing Tom Lehrer’s “Element Song” and learning how many elements got their names. Research projects are on the horizon! Stay tuned.
And finally, the 6th is studying the water cycle, in depth, and seeing how it is possible to create a cloud in the classroom. We will also measure the air pressure, relative humidity and dew point with our homemade barometers, hygrometers and other weather instruments. A very busy week for all.
Welcome back everyone! This year, we have for the very time in the history of BSI, an 8th grade as part of our science blog.
The 8th grade is following the New York State Living Environments curriculum and is designed to culminate in the class taking the Regents exam, thereby earning H.S. credit.
We are starting the year off with a discussion on how scientists believe that life evolved on Earth. We’ve traced the development of living organisms by using the fossil record and simulated the process of fossilization in the classroom. We’ve discussed some ideas that were accepted and then disproved; some that are highly controversial; and some that still need to be worked on.
The 7th grade is starting this year with a unit on Chemistry. They spent a lot of time practicing to accurately measure mass, volume and density using triple beam balances, graduated cylinders and other apparatus. Next up is the always popular Mystery Powder challenge, where they have to identify chemicals by their properties.
The 6th grade is studying Earth Science this year and we are starting with a unit on Meteorology. By demonstration & experimentation we have shown that the seasons are NOT caused by the fact that we are closer to the Sun in summer. In fact, we actually are farther away in July than in January. If you want to know the real answer why we have seasons, ask your 6th grader!
Until next week, this is Mr. Ron, signing off.
As the year winds down, the 7th graders were charged with presenting a “Scientists Fair” to younger students, in which they researched and used their creative skills to “become” a famous scientist or inventor. We saw a rich diversity of people from Steve Jobs & Isaac Newton to Rosalind Franklin & Emilie du Chatelet. Who knew that Hollywood movie star, Hedy Lamarr, was also a first class inventor? A fun time was had by all.
With very few days left, the 6th grade is ending our unit of ocean study by concentrating on just 2 animals – whales and sharks. They were given the opportunity to dissect a small dogfish shark and to study its external and internal anatomy.
As my first year at BSI ends, I would like to say that this has been an educational experience, not only for the students but for me as well. Wishing all of you a very safe and super summer. This is Ron signing off.
As we come down to the final two weeks of school, the 7th grade will be finishing up their study of nuclear energy. We have learned about the awesome power of nuclear fission and this week will debate the pros and cons of nuclear power plants. We will examine the effects of the Chernobyl power plant disaster and compare it to other, fossil-fuel, disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion that messed up the Gulf of Mexico.
The 6th grade will be embarking on a very fast unit on Oceanography – with a quick look at the geography and physical nature of the oceans, followed by a brief survey of the importance of life in the oceans as it relates to the ecology of the entire planet.