January 6, 2018
by Shane Boland Harrison
Science News and Projects
The 8th grade begins 2018 studying the Nervous and Endocrine systems. Have you ever heard yourself exclaim to your adolescent “What were you thinking?” Well, chances are they weren’t! As I have explained to our students the frontal lobe of their brain which is the thinking center, or CEO of the brain, is the last to develop. This area of the brain controls decision making, problem-solving, judgment, and self-control. Research currently shows the brain may not be fully developed until age 25. Early adolescents often go out of their way to engage in irrational risky behaviors and thrills without weighing the negative consequences. Additionally, because this part of the brain is not fully mature young people are much more likely to try drugs and alcohol during their teenage years. So in addition to studying the anatomy of the brain, your student will be researching the effects of a certain drug of their choosing. This classroom-based project can be reviewed here Drug Research Assignment
Having family members with addictions and having known young people who have died of heroin overdoses I cannot stress enough that keeping an open dialogue with your student is crucial.
Seventh-grade students will be studying genetics. In addition to Mendel’s peas and the study of heredity, the students will look at ethical issues surrounding new genetic technologies. In teams, the students will choose a topic and prepare a debate. To learn about the topics and plan click here Genetics Debate
Sixth grade begins the year studying chemistry. Chemistry helps us to understand the world. How matter interacts helps explain why leaves turn color, how baked goods are made and may give you a better understanding of why products work or don’t! This is a picture of my notes depicting all the demos, projects and experiments we do for this unit. It is a lot of prep for me but the students love the hands-on learning!
Science Expo February 22, 2018, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm
The sixth and seventh graders have been given the assignment for the upcoming Science Expo.
Sixth Grade Rubric click here
Seventh Grade Rubric click here
Finally, I am including two articles regarding Social Media and Teen Anxiety – Harvard and a blog I stumbled upon about having conversations about Smartphone Use.
I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, prayers, patience and above all HELP during my shoulder surgery recovery. Every meal made, door opened and shoe tied was appreciated. My sling is off and I continue to heal!
Thanks for reading my blog and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.