MAY 1 – 2013: ECOSCHOOL SCIENCE IS FULL OF EXCITING< THOUGHT PROVOKING EXPERIMENTS & RESEARCH
The pictures below show just a few of the experiments: Hannah’s gerbil maze, Sam and his “Dancing Raisins” experiment, Emily’s “Do Girls See Optical Illusions Differently” experiment write-up, Amber’s “Surface Tension” experiment, Sarah’s “Raisins In Liquids” experiment, and Amari’s catapult demonstration. Every student participated and lots of good science and good scientific conversation happened – well done!
4-23-13 Planting Edibles & Flowers In Front of School, A Lesson In Botany! Special thanks to Kate, mother of Juju, for her beautiful planting she just completed. Kate told the students about the plants such as watermelon and zucchini, and now students can observe these plants’ growth as part of science.
4-11-13 Hydrochloric Acid Eats Aluminum! Sebastian was assistant teacher as students watched hydrochloric acid eat away at aluminum in science today. Thanks to Sebastian’s Dad Joachim for bringing in the chemical – which we were caredul to use safely!
4-3-13 Ms. Cheryl’s Vision of an Edible Campus Is Being Realized – Students love to eat fresh broccoli and carrots from our gardens as well as other plants, and are learning from experience just how delicious freshly grown vegetables can be!
4-3-13 RAISINS IN SPRITE DO UNEXPECTED THINGS! Students in science wrote theories as to why the raisins rose back up to the surface after sinking to the bottom of a glass of carbonated water. They are developing their observation skills and being pushed to be rigorous in their thinking.
3-26-13 Making Mosaics In Electives Class: In this photo Noble and Maja are seen with their first mosaics. The older ‘Maroon’ group decided they wanted make crafts for selling, and then donating the proceeds to an organization called “Stand For The Silent’ which educates young people about the dangers of bulllying.
3-19-13 RELEVANT MATH: Graphing Evidence of The Successful Saving Of A Species
All 4th – 7th grade students made graphs today using data from one of our math text books. Here you see Maja’s graph showing the number of Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle eggs found in nests at Padre Island National Seashore from 2001 to 2005, as well as Maja’s prediction for 2006. It’s important for students to hear success stories about the environment!
3-4-13 More Chemical Reactions In Science: Repeating the “Elephant Toothpaste” Experiment Changes Hydrogen Peroxide Into Oxygen and Water!
2-21-13 Manufacturing Carbon Dioxide With Vinegar and Baking Soda – A Hands-On Exploration of Greenhouse Gasses Students in science class all mixed these ingredients in plastic bags and stood back to watch undergo a chemical (as opposed to physical) change happen in a dramatic way! The students the observed as the gas that was formed extinguished a flame instantly, proving that the gas was not air, but something that puts out fire – carbon dioxide. The students related this experiment to a video they watched the previous day about greenhouse gasses and climate change.
2-10-13 Science In Action! In these two photos you see 1) Noble, Liana, and Sebastian seeing purple by virtue of spin where only red and blue existed on the cylinder before it started spinning. In science last Thursday students did several spin experiments, and Sebastian figured out how to generate purple by painting the spinning cylinder in a special way, using alternating vertical stripes of red and blue. This connected well with Liana’s Austin Science Fair exploration of how to make purple using varying shades of red and blue paint.
2) In the second photo we see Francie explaining her science experiment board to the class. She worked hard at home to devise a test for a question she had after swimming in water that was the same temperature as the air: Why do I feel colder when swimming in water than I do when standing in air that is is the same temperature? Francie heated peanut butter and placed some of it in water and some in air, and measured the drop in the peanut butter’s temperature. She found out that the peanut butter in the water cooled down much more quickly that the peanut butter in the air!
2-3-13 GAME of VILLAGE NEWS from Thursday 1-31: House Construction Under Way, Two New Representatives Elected to the Village Representative Counsel After Stirring Speeches! Islamic Mosque Near Completion! New Bank Loans Approved!
2-2-13 Measuring The Speed of Sound In Science - During science class on Thursday the elementary students 1) calculated the speed of sound in feet per second together, based on the given information that sound travels through still air at about 750 mph, then 2) watched the car’s headlights and heard the horn sound simultaneously (photo below) then 3) observed carefully as Mr. Willie turned on his headlights and honked the horn at the same time from way across the street. They counted the time it took to hear the sound after seeing the headlights go on. It was about half a second, so they 4) calculated that the car must have been about 500 feet away, since sound travels at about 1,056 feet per second.
1-21-13 Plant Science & The PermaBlitz! - The upper elementary group started making PermaBlitz maps today. They drew the berm to scale and filled in the names of the many wonderful plants as they fit into the three main sections: Culinary Garden (north end) Medicinal Garden (center) and Directional Garden (south end.) This amazing opportunity for learning about botany, Permaculture, and the Permablitz organization was designed by Kirby Fry and created with the help of many highly skilled and hard working volunteers. THANK YOU!
1-7-13 A Special Guest In Science - Science Fair Is Coming! Thanks to Liana and her father Michael who took time today to speak with the upper science group about how to do a science project. All students will participate in an upcoming non-competitive EcoSchool Science Fair and those who wish to will enter the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival.
12-19-12 An Engineering Feat In Math!
Students chose to build a tower in the second half of math class today and after one tower (built from the ground up) collapsed they built another (starting from desk height) and then collaborated beautifully to think to wedge the last hundreds block between the top of the tower and the ceiling, thus allowing the tower to stand on its own quite firmly! The students cheered their achievement and then practiced being good community citizens by doing a good cleanup. In the first half of class students had a formal lesson in least common multiples, adding unlike fractions, finding common denominators, and in the distributive property of multiplication over addition. Well done!
12-17-12 A Revolutionary Day In Game of Village Means Deep Learning
The Game of Village provides powerful opportunities for students to explore, play with, and understand essential concepts and ideas, such as the difference between monarchy and democracy, and how people can choose to become activist citizens in order to improve their world. The self-appointed Queen Zaide of Village (Holland, an 8th grader who wanted to provoke the people to rebel) announced some draconian, unreasonable new laws on Thursday, and there indeed was a spontaneous uprising that led eventually to the queen’s peaceful removal from office. There is a saying in pedagogy: “Authentic experience generates genuine understanding.” That was true on this day in Village, in ways too numerous to list!
12-11-12 – Creating Clouds In Science
Vivian and all of the science students combined heat, water in liquid and gas form, smoke, and changes in air pressure inside a jar or plastic bottle and created clouds. Many students also created other experiments based on wonderings that they came up with while doing the first experiment. We have been learning about air pressure, the role of heat, gases and liquids, and how they relate to each other.
12/3/12 – Exploring “Charles Law” In Science Class
Upper Elementary students (here we see Shoshana and Holland) made careful observations, discussed their theories, and wrote explanations today – all part of the scientific process.
They saw the water level rise inside a jar after a candle that was partially submerged on water in a bowl went out, and worked to understand how temperature change affected air pressure inside the jar, and allowed the air pressure outside the jar to push the water in the dish up into the jar.
Nov. 27, 2012 – EcoSchool Goes To The Blanton Museum!
All the students traveled by public bus today to the Univ. of Texas’ Blanton Museum and had a very engaging, fine time. The morning started with a fascinating gallery talk by the Senior Curator, Francesca Consagra, who started at the ‘Blue Wall’ (an art installation) and then spoke and took questions about a Madonna and Child painting from the 14th century and a contemporary Buddhist artist’s work. Students then explored the galleries, a highlight of which was the “Mission” work. This fascinating piece invites visitors to put their hands in the 600,000 pennies that are connected to a ceiling of cattle bones by a cylinder of communion wafers! One student, Hannah, said “This piece is about wealth, religion, and death.” After a pleasant outdoor lunch and walk to a nearby historical oil drill, everyone contemplated the beautiful mandalas in the Tibetan show, and made mandalas, led by our art teacher Miss Megan. The students were very respectful of the art and the museum and its staff – thanks to the Blanton, and Francesca especially, for welcoming us. What an inspiring, rich experience it was!
11.27.12 BUILDING CATAPULTS IN SCIENCE: an authentic experience generates genuine understanding of physics, measuring, graphing, and history. In science the middle and upper elementary students have built, tested, measured, and graphed catapults. Two students decided on Monday to build their own catapults and they worked as well or better than the “soda can” catapult shown here!