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Day 126: Grand Canyon SkyWalk Video; Poster March 9, 2007

Posted by Admin in Geology, Video.
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After discussing the differences between uniformitarianism and catastrophism earlier in the week, the Grand Canyon was discussed as a prime example of uniformitarianism – a slow gradual process (weathering and erosion) that created very significant geologic changes. Press “play” to veiw the video below:

If the video does not play above, click here to go to the source.

Following the discussion of that video, students worked on their debate posters. Check yesterday’s post for more detail (including the scoring rubric) and examples of debate posters. These posters are due for all students at the start of class on Monday (including those gone to Salina! Good luck, ladies!)


Day 114: The Rock Cycle February 21, 2007

Posted by Admin in Geology, Video.
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For a great view of weathering and erosion, we watched a little 30-second advertisement video clip for the Motorola PEBL phone. The video clip features the time-lapse weathering and erosion of a meteorite morphing into a smooth, soft ‘pebble’. After watching the clip, students wrote a one paragraph response to the clilp. If you missed class, Watch the video again via Google Videos by clicking play below or clicking here and check out the great representation of weathering and erosion!

Watch for both the erosion (movement of rocks, gravel, and sediment) as well as weathering (the breaking down of rocks into smaller pieces) as you watch the clip.

Tomorrow: Quiz over mineral characteristics – study the guided notes!

Day 96: The Inner Planets January 25, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Video.
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To start a short, two-day unit on the planets of our solar system, we began by watching a video clip all about the formation of the solar system. The focus of the discussion was regarding the formation of planets since we’ve already covered star formation in the stellar life cycle unit. If you would like to view the video again, click play below:

Following the video clip, we discussed why the inner planets are rocky with solid cores and the outer planets are composed mainly of dense gasses. We then constructed flash cards for the four inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Tomorrow we’ll complete the flash card set with cards for the outer planets. Next week we’ll spend two days focusing on the sun before we review and test out of the Astronomy unit.

Day 94: Stellar Life Cycle Projects – Day 2 January 23, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Homework, Video.

Our sun is just an average star – not too big, not too small. When compared to the size of some other well-known stars in our universe, our sun is pretty darn small! Today we viewed and discussed a very brief (1 min, 30 second) video clip comparing the size of our planets and several other stars in our solar system. You can view the video yourself below:

Homework for tonight: Write a one paragraph response to the video. Your response can include questions you have about the video that were not answered in class. As an extra point opportunity (1 extra point on the upcoming test!): Calculate (show all work) how many suns would fit inside the largest star (W Cephei) from the video. I’m not just asking how many would fit across in a row, but how many would fill the entire star. Hint: The numbers shown in the video are the diameter of the respective object.

After discussing the expectations for the Stellar Life Cycle projects yesterday, students continued working to complete these projects in class today. These projects are due on Monday, 01/29/07.

A few upcoming important dates:

  • Monday, 01/29: Stellar Life Cycle Projects due
  • Wednesday, 01/31: Review in class and after school
  • Thursday, 02/01: Astronomy Test
  • Friday, 02/09/07: PRIDE Trip to PowerPlay

Day 92: Black Holes January 19, 2007

Posted by Admin in Astronomy, Homework, Video.
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What would travelling into a black hole be like? Today’s lesson had us focusing on the implications of the massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. We watched about 35 minutes of the great NOVA presentation Monster of the Milky Way. Since it is a PBS presentation, they have offered up free video clips online – you can view each chapter in its entirety on PBS’ Monster of the Milky Way: Watch Online page (note: We watched Chapters 1-4 and part of 5 in class).

As noted in one description of the program, NOVA has done a superb job of explaining the seemingly inexplicable:

If ever there was “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”—Winston Churchill’s inimitable phrase—it is a black hole. In this spirited exchange, one man struggles to explain these deeply weird outer space entities while his interlocutor struggles just as hard to understand them.

Homework: Your detailed responses to the following questions are due at the beginning of class on Monday (01/22). Remember, full detail means more than just the introductory-level definitions that were made available in cblackhole.jpglass. What other information were you able to gather from the video? It is virtually impossible to put too much detail into your discussion question responses!

  1. What is a black hole?
  2. What would happen to you if you travelled into a black hole?

Next up: The stellar life cycle projects will be our objective for Monday and Tuesday. Remember the list of options we discussed: you can write a children’s book, create an educational video, construct a poster or PowerPoint, or you can write an autobiography of a star. We will begin these projects next week and they’ll be due the following week. Eventually we’ll continue our journey into our solar system by studying our sun. We will continue inward, focusing next on planets and moons before moving on to the Earth more specifically in our Geology unit beginning in Feburary.

Day 39: “M is for Mass” October 11, 2006

Posted by Admin in Chemistry, Homework, Video.
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Before completing the periodic table quiz during the second half of class, students watched the 20-minute video clip “M is for Mass” from the NOVA program “Einstein’s Big Idea”. In investigating the Law of Conservation of Mass, this video displays many of the experiments that Antoine Lavoisier completed, as well as his contributions to Einsein’s “E=mc2” equation.

Your homework from this video (Due Thursday): Write a one-paragraph reflection on the experiments Lavoisier completed to demonstrate his Law of Conservation of Mass. Also, the History of the Periodic Table Timelines are due Thursday (tomorrow) as well!

The website for the NOVA program “Einstein’s Big Idea” has much more information about the entire video, including some cool interactive demos of the ideas discussed in the video.