MYTHconceptions 6-30: Own Your Own Myth

MYTHconceptions 6-30: Own Your Own Myth

This week, students worked in groups to test their own myth. They used steps from the traditional scientific method in order to refute or support a claim. Today, students finalized their conclusions and shared their observations and results with the class. They made posters of their results and gave small presentations to the class.

Ask your student: What claim did your group test? Was it a myth?

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Extreme Math & Science Friday: Foraging

Extreme Math & Science Friday: Foraging

Today in Extreme Math and Science, the students created a fitness modeling using excel, dice, and a dragonfly model. The students played a game simulating the life of a dragonfly and made decisions about foraging, mates and risk.  Based on their findings, the students them analyzed any errors they may have made and whether those errors were statistically significant.

Ask your student: What is foraging? (Foraging is searching for wild food resources. It affects an animal’s fitness because it plays an important role in an animal’s ability to survive and reproduce.)

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Chicago Engineering Explorations 6-30: Rube Goldberg Competition

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Chicago Engineering Explorations 6-30: Rube Goldberg Competition

Today students finished their Rube Goldberg machines, and took turns demonstrating them to the rest of the class! Using the Rube Rubric, each team was evaluated for the competition, and had the opportunity to observe all the different machines that were made.

Ask your student: How well did your Rube Goldberg machine perform?

Chicago STEMvironment 6/30: Air Pollution

Chicago STEMvironment 6/30: Air Pollution

Students today worked as scientists working for the environmental protection agency! As agents of the EPA, students collected their particle collectors, and observed the materials that were collected. By joining the data of the entire class, we were able to map the areas of greatest air pollution, and evaluate just where the most pollution occurred.

 Ask your student: What gas do we need to breathe to survive? (Oxygen) What is the best way to deal with air pollution? (Prevention) What is done to clean air we breathe indoors? (Air filtration)

Extreme Math & Science Thursday: Modeling

Extreme Math & Science Thursday: Modeling

Today in Extreme Math and Science, students created their own model from scratch on Vensim. They came up with their own ideas for their model and then created it. After it was created they ran different checks on it and then saw how the unknown factors affected the model.

Ask your students: How did your group create your model?

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MYTHconceptions 6-29: An Explosion of Pop-Rocks

MYTHconceptions 6-29: An Explosion of Pop-Rocks

Have you ever heard someone say that if you eat Pop-Rocks and drink lots of soda at the same time, it will cause your stomach to explode? Well the students today tested this out! They used various types of soda, a packet of Pop-Rocks, and a balloon.  The students said it was exciting to see the balloons blow up from the released gasses in the Pop-Rocks and soda!

Ask your student: What gas was released from the Pop-Rocks and the soda? (Carbon Dioxide) What did you think would happen in this experiment? What evidence supported the myth? What evidence did not support the myth?

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Chicago STEMvironment 6/29: Pond Water!

Chicago STEMvironment 6/29: Pond Water!

Today, in STEMvironment, the students analyzed samples of water from a local pond to look for insect nymphs which can be seen with the naked eye. Students learned the importance of a healthy ecosystem and that in aquatic ecosystems, the more diverse the organisms in a body of water, the more vibrant and healthy it is. Using this knowledge, students could analyze the health of the ecosystem from which the water sample was gathered.

Ask your student: What is a macroinvertebrate? (A small animal without a backbone that can be seen without a stereoscope or microscope)

Engineering Explorations 6-29: Racing Against the Sun

Engineering Explorations 6-29: Racing Against the Sun

Today, our engineers explored how their knowledge could be applied to the real world, by building solar cars! In this first part of a two part lesson, the students tested how different types of light effected their motors. Then, they got the wheel rolling by creating the body of their solar cars. Tomorrow they’ll complete their cars and put them to the test!

Ask your student: What is a solar cell? (It’s the “battery” of the car; it converts light into energy)

Fun fact:  The first solar cars were built in the 1950’s.

MYTHconceptions 6-28: Balloons

MYTHconceptions 6-28: Balloons

Today, in MYTHconceptions, the students were challenged to puncture a balloon without popping it. Students explored properties of rubber to figure out how to pierce a balloon with a wooden skewer without popping it. Through this activity students use their deductive skills to figure out what needs to be done to keep the balloon intact.

Ask your student: What is a polymer? (A Polymer is a chain of repeating parts) What property of the balloon (rubber) allowed it to be stretchy and always go back to the original form? (elasticity, elastic)

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Chicago Engineering Explorations 6/28: A Series of Circuitous Events

Chicago Engineering Explorations 6/28: A Series of Circuitous Events

In this lesson, our engineers applied the knowledge they learned earlier in the week in a race to assemble two different types of circuits, parallel and series. Their creativity really lit up the room as they explored the difference between these two circuit types by powering LED lights in each of these styles.

Ask your student: What is the main difference between parallel and series circuits? (Only one path in a series circuit; parallel there are multiple paths) Which circuit style causes voltage drop? (series)

Fun Fact: Refrigerators, freezers, and water heaters use series circuits while electrical outlets in a room, house, or building use parallel circuits.