Welcome to another week of science!!
VERY IMPORTANT! OUR SCIENCE FAIR QUALIFIERS!!
My Spiel about the IJAS:
The Illinois Junior Academy of Science provides our students at St. Cletus with a wonderful opportunity to engage in and develop an understanding of scientific literacy. Each student conducts an original research project utilizing either the scientific method or the engineering design process. Students must additionally gather background research on their particular area of study and compose a document that functions as a survey of relevant literature. This intensive project is then judged at the school, regional, and state levels. Participation in IJAS fosters not only an ability to develop a scientific mind crucial for civic life and cultural affairs later in life, but instills grit and perseverance, important for any future challenge.
We have been learning as much as we can about earthquakes. We plotted earthquakes and volcanoes on a National Geographic map and noticed that they occur in similar places! Ask your child what the Ring of Fire means and why it exists! We continue to learn more about converging, diverging, and transform plates and how those relate to the landforms on Earth. I was pleasantly surprised that in some of our writing activities we also had discussion of the concept of density!
In 7th grade, we have had the chance to develop our own scientific naming systems and work through similar struggles to Carolus Linnaeus’ systematic naming system. Ask your child which figure was the most difficult to name! Additionally, we learned how to utilize a dichotomous key to classify organisms based on observable traits. This was a great follow-up to our naming activity. Lastly, we completed a test with a average score of…… an A!!
In 8th grade, we have been determining the difference between natural and synthetic fibers as part of our organic chemistry lesson. There is a CLEAR difference between the two when they are put under the scrutiny of a microscope. Additionally, students had to remember how to create a wet mount slide in order to look at the fibers. We also modeled an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction that led to some frustration (if you want to know more ask about the dominoes!) We are learning more about the pros and cons of nuclear energy and are writing a CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) document to argue that either the world DOES need nuclear energy or does NOT need nuclear energy.