Middle School Science

Check out what's happening in Pathfinder science!

March 26, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
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Gutter Derby Success

Gutter Derby SUCCESS!

Despite many, many breakdowns of the 3D printer, our students were able pull it together and participate fully in the Gutter Derby Race, hosted by the TBAISD. We had 8 teams, made up of 5th through 7th graders. Because of the breakdown of the printer we had to outsource many of our designs to other working printers in the community. Some of our students didn’t get their car back to assemble and test until the day of the event! My students were very grateful for everyone’s help!

Learning to problem solve, collaborate and accept that this is the best you can do for this moment, are strong life skills. I am so very proud of these amazing students – there are no words!

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February 24, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
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Science Expo February 25

SCIENCE EXPO –  YOU’RE INVITED!!

Pathfinder GYM

The excitement is building for the annual Science Expo this Thursday, February 25, from 6:007:30. The 6th graders will entertain you with their wax museum of scientists, the 7th graders will show you their awesome science projects using our experimental design and the 8th graders will provide hovercraft rides for all! 4th & 5th graders will also have presentations that should not be missed. We will again have a science table full of take home projects that will prove to be fun and educational for all ages and MORE!

If you would like to invite your friends along that would like to see what your student is up to at our awesome school please feel free to bring them!

It truly will be a night of family fun with lots and lots of laughter!

 

February 12, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
2 Comments

February Science

8th Grade gets a Valentine’s Gift!

Today we were fortunate to have Dr. Mike Howe arrive, by chance, in our classroom. He was touring the school as a perspective parent looking at Pathfinder for his son. The best part was he just happened to be a cardiologist and we just happened to be dissecting a pig’s heart and lungs! Dr. Howe gleefully jumped right in and explained the workings of the heart to the 8th grade. He discussed and dissected the valves, explored the 4 chambers and talked about heart disease and it’s causes. He asked great, challenging questions of the students and they asked many of their own. It was truly awesome and such a great gift to have a passionate professional stop by at the perfect time!

Dr. Mike Howe explaining the anatomy of the heart.

Dr. Mike Howe explaining the anatomy of the heart.

His favorite valve is the aortic valve :)

His favorite valve is the aortic valve :)

6th grade Explores Changes of State

The 6th graders are studying matter and how adding (endothermic) energy or taking away (exothermic) energy changes the state of matter. In the name of science we had to make No Bake cookies and a smoke bomb. By visualizing how the molecules move, the concepts of solid to liquid, boiling, melting, condensing, and sublimation were all better understood by these delicious and fun activities.

No Bakes!

No Bakes!

Smoke bomb cooking

Smoke bomb cooking

Smokin!

Smokin!

7th Grade Probiotic Science

The 7th grade made yogurt while studying bacteria. They invited their 5th grade buddies to help. Each group came up with a way to prove the bacteria in the yogurt uses the lactose in milk to form lactic acid and thus yogurt. With the milk yogurt as the control the different groups tried soymilk, almond milk, and heavy cream. Another group chose to add lemon juice because they felt it would stop the bacteria from reproducing. All creations were tried and some considered downright gross! Be sure to read about this experiment more on the individual 7th grade blogs.

Checking the temperature.

rChecking the temperature.

3D Printer First Project

Mr. Matt is planning on taking the 3rd and 4th graders ice fishing with poles they are making. He needed a reel and was going to try to put together something with ball jar lids and thread bobbins. Instead we had the 6th graders come up with a design on TinkerCad a 3D soft ware program. It worked! Check out the pictures.

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Now all they need is for the weather to warm up from 10 degrees F!

Please be sure to check out the student blogs for their thoughts and musings about SCIENCE!

 

 

 

February 3, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
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High School Fair Tonight!

High School Fair – Wednesday, February 3
FREE – Open to All Interested Middle School Students丨 7-8:30丨Pathfinder GYM
Pathfinder invites all interested 8th grade students to join us for our annual high school fair. Schools from around the region as well as the state attend to present their programs to interested students. As a “School of Choice” region, we encourage all middle school students to come and explore their options.

Participating High schools: The Leelanau School,TC Central, TC West, TC Christian, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools (St. Francis), Interlochen Academy of Arts, Leland High School, Leelanau St. Mary’s, Cranbrook (Bloomfield Hills, MI)

January 25, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
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HS 101

HS 101 & College Prep
Wednesday, January 277PM -8PM
We invite our middle school students to join recent graduates of Pathfinder who attend schools all over our region (TC West, TC Central, Interlochen, The Leelanau School, Cranbrook and more) to learn about the transition from Pathfinder to High School. Discover what you need to know from students who have been in your shoes. Parents are also invited to sit with Alumni parents to discuss the transition from a parent’s eyes.

We will also have a brief presentation from Michigan College Planning to prepare your child for what colleges want to see. All 6th-8th graders are encouraged to attend.

 

January 17, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
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A Day On not a Day off.

Pathfinder School Celebrates MLK Day Monday

Our amazing school as reported  by The Ticker….

The Pathfinder School in Traverse City is taking a different approach to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this year.

“As a school, we decided that Martin Luther King Day is a powerful day to teach and learn,” says Head of School Rob Hansen of the Day of Service and Celebration scheduled for Mon., Jan. 18. “It should be a day on – not a day off. We want to teach our students that they can make a contribution at any age, and our students are very eager to serve.”

The entire student body (pre-K through 8th grade) will spend the morning supporting those in need by manning donation sites around town. The students will be collecting canned goods, personal hygiene items, winter clothing and infant care items from 10:15-11:30am at the following locations: Oryana, Tom’s West Bay, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City Tourism, The Bay Theatre and Hansen’s in Suttons Bay. The school has partnered with The Father Fred Foundation, the Goodwill Inn and the Leelanau Christian Neighbors Baby Pantry to distribute the collected items.

Pathfinder will the open up the school to the public for a free concert from 1:30-2:45pm featuring local musicians, including Mary Sue Wilkinson, Pat Neimisto, Justin “Stovepipie” Stover, Aven Purcell and Tom O’Brien, along with student performances.

January 15, 2016
by Shane Boland Harrison
1 Comment

January News

8th Grade

The 8th graders are continuing to study the human body. Right before holiday break they were challenged to create a rap describing a piece of food as it travels through the digestive system. While they are sometimes hard to understand in the following videos, they truly had a deep understanding of the digestive system by the time they finished. During their exam I could hear them referring back to the rap as they illustrated and then wrote about the journey of a piece of food.

We have now moved on to the Nervous and Endocrine systems. Check out the 8th grade blogs to learn about why we stuck pins in each other and fought with a door jam! Additionally, each student has chosen a street drug to research and will be reporting their findings to the class. As these students move on to high school this information will be more relevant and important to know.

7th Grade

The 7th graders are studying bacteria and viruses. The first activity I did was to have a Virus Party. Before class, I put plain water in 10 test tubes and a dilute base solution in one. Each student chose a test tube not knowing which was the “vector”. With a pipette and test tube in hand the students mingled at the “party” while I played music. When I turned off the music they exchanged the fluid in the test tube with one other person. I repeated this four times and they exchanged with three other people . I then went around and added phenolphthalein, an indicator solution used  to detect a base.

Virus Party!

Virus Party!

 

What followed was a  honest discussion about how easily infectious diseases  are spread including sexually transmitted diseases. Please read the 7th grader’s blogs to see what they learned from this activity.

 

6th Grade

The 6th graders are studying matter. We started with the concepts of mass, volume and density. This last week they performed a truly gross, yet fun experiment. The students were placed in groups of two and one volunteered to be the “chewer”. The question posed was “Will the mass of bubblegum increase or decrease over time while being chewed?” Most students predicted that it would increase. What do you think? Read the 6th graders blog’s to find the answer!

Volume displacement of chewed gum.

Volume displacement of chewed gum.

AND JUST IN!!!!!

Our 3D printer has arrived and is all set up. Time to put our thinking caps on and design some cool stuff! Special thanks to RJG, Inc. a local  manufacturing company along with the TBAISD career tech center and Drea Weiner for all of their support!

Check out the great things happening in the Grand Traverse area with 3 D printers in the classroom. 3D Printing PLC News

If you haven’t set up your student’s Tinkercad account please do so!

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