Middle School Science

Look what's happening in Pathfinder science!

February Science

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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.

IMG_6143

IMG_6156 (1)

 

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!

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I loved this post. I teach science for my high school students and they always love engaging labs that require them to think about their thinking.

    What is wonderful is that you used the resources around you to engage your students with an already amazing activity of studying a pig’s heart! What were some of the questions you had for your students to ponder during the exercise? What were some issues with the lesson if you had any?

    Additionally, I liked the 3D CAD activity you had for the students. Did you guys raise money for the 3D printer?

  2. Dear C.L.
    Thank you so much for commenting and reading our blog. In regards to the pig heart and lung dissection I had gone over the anatomy of the heart in class prior to dissection. I also do a pear (as in fruit) heart lab where the students use half of a pear, scoop out the four chambers, add red or blue powdered jello, life saver gummies for valves, and then tubing for arteries and veins. When Dr, Howe happened to stop in he was so excited to help dissect. He asked the students great questions never giving answers but enticing them to wonder and guess. He was a great teacher.

    As far as the 3D printer goes, we are fortunate to have a local business, which has established a foundation to supply elementary schools in our area with a 3D printer and laptop. I was one of the first teachers to get one through a parent connection. It is a big learning curve for me and my students. They, of course, are jumping right into it. Being a school on the Great Lakes, I don’t want to create a bunch of plastic toys that will end up in a landfill. My challenge will be to have them look for useful items to make. The fishing reels were excellent and challenging.

    Again thanks for your comment and please let me know if you have anymore questions!
    Shane

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