The days fly by and before you know it winter is in full motion and the drifts, along with snow days, are piling up. Intense and wonderful learning, along with lots of laughter, happened at the end of 2013.
Hoop House Happenings…..
Greens for the salad bar were planted and some harvested before being covered for the winter. It will be a miracle if they survive these sub zero temperatures!
- Last year the greens over wintered and were ready for harvest in March. It will be interesting to see if they are be viable this spring.
The 6th Grade Hydro-engineers on Grand Traverse Bay.
The 6th grade on Grand Traverse Bay
While studying fresh water ecosystems the sixth graders followed the path a drop of water would travel if it landed at the top of the hill. We saw how it could pick up sediment from the sand placed at the top of the drive. From there we traveled to the parking lot where the students realized how water was channeled into the wetland surrounding the soccer field. Never had the students considered the intention engineers have to build into the design of a parking lot. After a discussion of the role the wetland has in absorbing the pollution found in parking lot run-off, we followed the drainage across the road to The Bay. The water was low and scummy next to the shore. Many different populations of species that make up the communities within the ecosystem found in this kind of habitat were discussed. Valuable invertebrates live in the slime along the shore. We saw a few ducks before it was time to head back to the classroom.
Snow Shoeing on campus
This year we went snow shoeing before the holidays to ensure we got in at least one trip. Last year, before we knew it, we had 9 snow days and I felt we just couldn’t give up any more class time although learning does take place every time we go outside.
Snow shoeing 8th grade.
Snow shoe through the Hall of trees.
Gabe snow shoed up a tree!
Hall of Trees a magical path!
7th Grade – genetics, viruses, bacteria and yogurt – Oh My
The seventh graders did a great job studying genetics. Punnett squares, dragons with babies, pedigrees, individual genetic research papers, and hands on licorice DNA helped to build understanding. With the individual research papers the students chose to study a topic of their interest. These included genetically modified food, should we bring back extinct species, should insurance companies have access to your genetic make up and the use of stem cells to replace malfunctioning organs or tissues were all addressed. Lively discussion followed each presentation. By applying what the students are learning in class to every day issues our science content becomes more applicable to the real world.
DNA with gumdrops for the nucleotide bases and licorice for the ladder.
Studying genetics has helped us understand how bacteria and viruses continue to evolve and outsmart us. This has been especially relevant during this flu season. But not all bacteria are bad and the students are now aware of the symbiotic relationship we have with bacteria. In fact there are more bacteria on and in a human than there are cells in the whole body. We could not live with out these single-celled organisms!
Using our experimental design to prove the bacteria in yogurt need the lactose in milk to ferment.
Trying to make yogurt with rice milk