A girl and her cat take on the world with nothing more than a cup of tea and a good book and enough dreams to fill the universe.
Rule Number on of David’s Fossil Lab: Don’t Suck on the Bones.
This Monday, we began a new unit of fossils and evolutionary biology with a little bit of geology sprinkled in. Our supervisor was out and we mentors had free reign…. which produced some interesting results. We spent more time learning through playing and the discussions that stemmed from this hands on activity was surprisingly deep. We talked about deep time and past life forms and how to teach evolution in classrooms. Our students discovered the geology museum and the rock piles outside the geoscience hall and the cool, unwanted specimens you could find there. They made their own trackways and crazy creatures to mate with each other. They even tried to reassemble part of a cow’s skeleton. It was encouraging to see our students engage in what we were doing and begin tweaking the ideas so that they were even better and more applicable to a kindergarten classroom. At risk of sounding cheesy, learning really began to take off this week. We were on the right track and I hope to see this enthusiasm carry through into the units in the future.
Last week, I was without my computer and therefore was unable to find time to find a computer so that I could blog. Yet, science marched on. Ben went through his chemistry unit where we were combining things like zinc and hydrochloric acid to fill up balloons that we could then introduce to flame to see the color of the gas. We tried to make rock candy and we grew crystals out of borax. Somehow we also managed to get an egg to get sucked down into a flask and then the trickier part rested in getting it out.
Miss Adams continues to be incredibly prolific. She has blogged more often than anyone else on this project and she deserves on of David’s hard won gold stars. She has blogged about fossilization and mating (including lots of cute pictures of the creatures they created), she has created an excellent YouTube video of our tsunami experiments and our encounters with different gases. Miss Adams even created a cabbage rainbow to determine the different pH of materials and she blogged about her ‘gasy experience’ during Ben’s chemistry unit.
Diane has caught up in her blogging this past week with blogs about her tsunami projects and she included a great reflection as to the problems she faced in trying to find a way to demonstrate the massive waves. She also blogged about the chemistry unit and she has posted some fabulous pictures of all the different experiments and models they made – including bouncy balls.
Steffie has put up some really wonderful photos of the projects they have been working on during the past few weeks. You should take a look at the beautiful Borax crystals she grew here. Her post on the gases experimentation have some pending videos, but if you would like to see the whole team in action, you should still take a look at her own cabbage rainbow.
Dani blogged some very excellent videos of the gas experiments! Seriously, you should all go take a look. It’s awesome and her blog has an even better title: “Beans, beans, the magical fruit; the more you eat, the more you….” She also gives you all a riddle about what happens when you add cornstarch and water together in the form of a video. See if you can figure out what that combination forms for yourself when you go watch her video.
Well, that about sums it up for this week’s NASA blog round up. We’ll be back next week with DNA and skeleton photos hopefully!
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