Middle School Science

Check out what's happening in Pathfinder science!

April 21, 2015
by Shane Boland Harrison

Newton’s 2nd Law as Demonstrated by an Ordinary Citizen:)

After a minor disaster, where the videos Marlee and Lillian had compiled were accidentally deleted, the girls spent time after school to complete their assignment. Their creative, extra effort produced this excellent video on Newton’s 2nd Law. A special thanks goes out to their parents who helped make it happen and willingly participated in the process. Great job girls!



April 19, 2015
by Shane Boland Harrison

iPads and PhotoPeach


It has come to my attention that those trying to view the videos I made using the software PhotoPeach, on iPads, are unable to do so. I have contacted both Edublogs and PhotoPeach and they both blame the other as to why this is so. I am really sorry. I am hoping they can remedy the situation. If not I will look for another way to showcase the cool things that happen in our classroom. The videos can be seen on a desktop or laptop computer. 

Thanks for your patience and support!


March 23, 2015
by Shane Boland Harrison

Compound, Mixture and Element Quiz

I am working on the Edublog Teacher Challenge. This week I was “challenged” to use a new video software program. I love to take pictures of my students in action and have been using PhotoPeach to create videos that recap a month of Pathfinder science. What I didn’t realize was how easy it is to make quizzes in PhotoPeach. I made this quiz for my 6th graders.

Elements, Compounds and Mixtures Quiz on PhotoPeach

March 22, 2015
by Shane Boland Harrison

So Much to Learn!

It was a privilege for me to attend a state wide technology conference this last week in Detroit.  MACUL stands for Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning and there were over 5000 teachers from Michigan in attendance. That my brain was overwhelmed is an understatement. I learned so much I don’t know where to start. So much to apply in my classroom. A speaker said ” you will never be a master teacher until you are a master learner” I love to learn and have spent the weekend trying to absorb all I learned in just two days. A video I saw, that stuck with me, is one of a small child experiencing rain for the first time. I can only hope that my students experience such joy over their lifetime as they become master learners. 


March 15, 2015
by Shane Boland Harrison

Human Body Organ Defense :)

150 Send me adrift. via Compfight

Our 8th grade students just finished up a huge unit on the human body. We explored, in-depth, each system, noting not only what organs are involved but the diseases associated within each system. As part of their final exam the students were tasked to defend their position as an organ in the human body. This is a copy of the assignment and two examples of the letters submitted. My students ROCK! I have deleted the author’s names as requested….

You are an organ working for the Human Body Corporation. You have just learned that upper management (the brain and central nervous system) is looking to make some cuts and is considering eliminating your position. Write a letter to the CEO (brain) defending your job. Be sure to discuss your position within the system and why the company can’t do without you. This essay should be well thought out. Consider everything we have learned since October. How does our body maintain homeostasis? This essay should be no fewer than 250 words.


Dear G.O.A.D.,

I have heard, through the proteins, that you and your colleagues are currently evaluating each department and their daily functions’ effect on this company in an effort to eliminate excess energy drainage. I, director of skin function and productionary efforts, have written the following statement to inform you of my department’s preponderance towards any others’ function.

The skin makes up about ten percent of an average adult human’s body weight, and with good cause. It maintains an averaged area of about twenty square feet and ranges from half of a millimeter to more than four millimeters thick! Not only does skin maintain a consistent appearance for partnering corporations to recognize but it is a crucial element in the maintaining of homeostasis. My department is made up of three layers which each serve a unique, essential function, and come together to make up a shield. This is against threatening bacteria, infections, and possibly invading substances or elements. We are here for more than keeping in body heat and vital organs, although this is our broadly spread description. We work to defend the wealthy borders of the body against hungry bacteria, infections, and even other corporations! If our forces are not able to hold up guard, we always arrive at a compromised site to barricade and repair any damage to the furthest of our abilities. Our exterior deputy force, often referred to as the epidermis, is responsible for exposing our home-grown hairs to the outer environment. This includes raising these hairs in an effort to warm the body, evaporate the underlying forces’ perspiration, or sensing any possible threats when they are near(as well as any threatening temperatures). The skin houses nerve endings for your sub-specialized company founders and holds in and protects every other department so that they can complete their duties. We continuously look out for changing conditions on the outside that might affect production on the inside and are constantly bumped, bruised, scratched, and scraped(issues we are left with repairing ourselves). If you, upstairs, have experienced the pain of an absent minded laceration or barely brazed splinter, I challenge you to maintain quality corporate production while completely exposed to unfamiliar conditions such are wind, sun, or even simple air conditioning or a home hearth. We stand here, not to ask for praise or even higher acknowledgment, but for respect and consideration. We have been distributed, replaced, disgraced, and ripped apart. We wish, now, only to remain as we are, day by day, for the years to come.

Sincerely and with hopeful dignity,

Lillian W.

Director of Function and Productionary Efforts Department of Security and Kick-a(butt)s, directed towards Inferior systems’ Neglect. Otherwise known,  S.K.I.N

Another example:

Kidney’s Job

 I am the Kidneys, and am a very important part of the excretory system. Even though you only need one of me, two can be very helpful and most normal. I filter 180 liters of blood per day, and I remove waste from the bloodstream. When I am done I filter out of the body as urine. I have over a million nephrons in one of me. Nephrons have a filter unit called glomerulus, which blood passes through and waste comes out. I also put in three chemicals to help out the body. Erythropoietin maximizes the speed of red blood cell production. Calcitriol keeps bones strong with a Vitamin D like chemical. Also Renin that helps with blood pressure control.

Even though things can also go wrong with me like Kidneys Stones which block the waste from entering the ureter. Diabetic Kidneys which nephrons get damaged because of continued sugar in your blood. Or Kidney Cancer that forms in the lining of the kidney tubes. That does not mean I am not as important as the heart or lungs. Completely eliminating me would shut down a person’s body because of infection in the blood. It’s ok to only get rid of one of me, many people live on only one kidney. Some people even donate one of their kidneys to people who need them and don’t have a working one. But if you only have one kidney and that one starts to fail then you might need someone to donate theirs for you. Also, there are dialysis machines which do the job that a kidney would.

by Noah S.

February 19, 2015
by Shane Boland Harrison

Science Expo Tonight!

Despite the fact that school has been called off due to a wind chill warning of -30 F! the Science Expo is still on for tonight. Unless driving conditions become seriously hazardous we are going to go ahead and host this event. The students have put so much time and effort into their projects they are ready to shine! I plan to be at school by 4:00 to set up etc. If your student has finishing touches to put on his or her poster please know our science classroom will be open to do so.  The expo itself will be in the gym beginning at 6:00pm.
If you or your student have any questions or concerns please have them call, text or email me at anytime. My cell / text contact  is 231-883-8426.
Thank you for all of your support!



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