Hubba Bubba party! Today the young scientists tested the popular myth: gum takes 7 years to digest in our stomachs. They chewed and chewed, and used vinegar to stimulate stomach acid. The chewed gum was compared to other unchewed gum and food we know our bodies easily digest, like bread. They used their new digestion vocabulary (mechanical and chemical processes) to examine what happens to gum in the mouth.
Ask your student: What happens to things that we eat that are indigestible? (they pass out the other end as solid waste— this mostly includes fiber from fruits and vegetables, but could include indigestible gum too) Does gum really stay in your system for 7 years? (No! On average, it takes 24-35 hours for food to be completely digested, and in this time the gum would be passed out with other indigestible food components).
Today, students used their discoveries from Monday and compare them to what they learned using the Vensim model about predator and prey. As a class they discovered what they learned is the same and different than the information they found yesterday. Students also show’d how modifying equations work, and tried to model the data collected from the Wolf-Deer Game from Monday with the model.
Ask your student: What happens if there is not enough prey to feed the predator? (the predators begin to die off)
Today the students investigated if it was possible to magically pull a tablecloth off of a table so that everything on top of the tablecloth remains as it was. In order to understand the plausibility of this claim, students first learned about Newton’s first law of motion: objects tend to stay still if they are still or continue moving if they are moving. Students then planned, tested, and carried out various scenarios to remove a tablecloth without disrupting the table setting resting on it.
Ask your student: What happens to an object at rest if no force acts on it? (it stays at rest) Were you able to pull the tablecloth out without disrupting the objects on top of it?
Today in Extreme Math and Science, the students learned the basics of ecology, fitness, and behavior where they devised their own methods to see if they could figure out how many beans were in a flask without directly counting them. This activity can be translated to the real world in a sense that they were estimating unknown populations of a species or number of particles.
Ask your student: What is fitness? (In genetic terms, the probability of finding one of your genes in future generations.)
Silly slime and smiling faces! Students became Chemical Polymer Interns for Ooey Gooey Toy Company today. While creating their own Play Doh, Putty, Goo, and Oobleck substances, our interns learned about polymers and heterogeneous mixtures. They used that knowledge to make a new toy for the company, a bouncy ball, by using the ingredients from the previous slimes.
Ask your student: What type of substance is Play Doh? (Suspension) What kind of molecules are in Putty and Goo? (Polymers) What substance gives Goo its sliminess? (Borax)
Today, in Chemapalooza, the students investigated the nature of water beads. Our little chemists used the scientific method to design their own experiment and create a hypothesis on how they predict different liquids or different concentrations of liquids would have an impact on the growth-size of water beads. As the week progresses, the students will continue to work through the experiment and analyze their results and ultimately evaluate their hypothesis.
Ask your student:
What is osmosis? (Osmosis is a special type of diffusion- movement of water across a barrier form high to low concentration)
What is an independent variable? (An independent variable is the variable you are testing in an experiment: it is the variable that is changed)
Today, in Game Day STEM, the students used a “Free Fall Impact Tester” to test how well specific materials protect a hard-boiled egg from a free falling object. The goal of the activity was to simulate how well different materials used in helmets protect the head from impact all while learning about free fall distance and velocity.
Ask your student: What is the relationship between the height of a dropped object and the velocity with which the object is traveling? (The higher the height the object is dropped from, the greater the velocity. There is a direct relationship between height and velocity)
Today, students continued to explore the important role that physics plays in sports. They also investigated how potential and kinetic energy plays a role in pole vaulting. After collecting data, students hypothesized the optimal conditions for a vault, and using an online simulation, they were able to test some of these hypotheses by changing various factors that affect pole vaulting (speed of vaulter, height of bar, etc.).
Ask your student: Is there an optimal amount of flexibility in the pole that would be best for the vaulter? Which factor had the biggest effect on whether or not the vaulter cleared the bar?
Science@IMSA Wednesday, 6-21, Cardiovascular Physiology and Classic Frog Dissection
Today students explored cardiac and lung output in response to physical activity. They established their baseline heart rate, lung capacity, and blood pressure, then measured the same after 2 sets of 30 minutes of sustained activity. Tomorrow they will analyze their collected data. In the other section, students reviewed the vertebrate nervous system before performing a full frog dissection with a standard ventral opening with identification and removal of all organs and nerve cord and brain removal!
Science@IMSA – Tuesday 6/20 – Human Neurophysiology and Crayfish Dissection
Today students performed a dissection of a live (anesthetized) crayfish, highlighting all of its significant sensory structures. They also did a histology of its nervous tissue to examine the neural network. In the other section of the course students examined reaction and reflex variation to auditory and visual reflexes (using eye charts and tuning forks) as well as tactile reflexes.