24 March Science 8 Watershed simulations and presentation; Upcoming–Earth Cycle Story; Human Impact Topics

 

Finish gathering date on activites 1, 2, and, if you have time, 3.

Experimental questions clearly articulated and suggestive of the investigation/ variables named. Systematic = variables / observables (things to observe, count, measure) are clearly defined, controlled, manipulated. Effects are accurately and clearly observed, counted, measured, determined. Multiple trials. http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2017/03/20/20-march-science-8-water-cycle-especially-watersheds-and-rivers-simulation/

Presentation:

Question, Set-up, Data, Analysis and Findings. Comparison with real rivers (use photos with permissions). Collective reflection on experience(s) with rivers. Thoughts on how to protect watersheds from degradation and pollution. Generously use your photos, your own diagrams, your videos (edit appropriate segments). Reference list.

COMING:

Earth Cycle Summative–due date?

(a reference to stimulate your thinking–How do the properties of the substance impact large scale cycles on the earth–“Yes, small but Mighty, The Moleculer Called Water” by Natalie Angier:<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/10/science/10angi.html>)

(Original) Story based on work with simulations, experiments with aspects of cycles. Inspired by Primo Levi’s carbon. Trace the route of a water molecule or an atom from another elemental cycle (with approval).

  • (Original) Story (open format) and/or Original game or simulation
  • Movement of matter and energy
  • Include the following stops and transitions (or the equivalent). Transitions involve energy transformations.
  • Each phase. Sold, liquid, gas.
  • Freezing, melting, evaporating, sublimating, condensing, precipitating, flowing, percolating (into soil),moving through plants-transpiring.
  • Appearance in you as a living system: drinking, part of food, blood, cellular water, sweating, breathing vapor, passing urine.
  • Appearance in your house (where does your water come from, how is it used, where does it go. Cooking, washing, flushing, drinking.
  • Movement on land in India (make reference to your rafting and to what you learned by experimenting with model rivers)
  • Travel through plants without being decomposed and reconstituted just transpired.
  • Travel through plants to take part in photosynthesis and decomposed. The reborn as a new molecule as a result of photosynthesis and transpired.
  • Travel through plant and become part of a fruit.
  • Oceans, lakes, deep aquifers where it can rest for a long time.

A really good story will be engaging and will make realistic reference to time, magnitude, and scale. Fictional devices and fantasy should not override reality. Enough detail that the science is not over-simplied; not so much detail that the threat of the story gets lost. Audience (intelligent and knowledgeable 9th grader who is a good reader)

  • PS standards from 3 strands
  • SEP
  • Developing and using models
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and using information
  • CC
  • Systems and system models
  • Energy and matter
  • DCI
  • M and E in org and eco
  • M and E in earth systems

How will you deal with these competing claims?

  • “The earth’s oceans, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, soils and atmosphere
  • contains about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of H2O. It has been estimated that all
  • the earth’s water is split by plant cells and reconstituted by the biota about every
  • 2,000,000 years.” The Oxygen Cycle by Preston Cloud and Araron Gibor (1970)

UPCOMING–Topics Global and Local (Indian) and human impact on the environment–please make suggestions for additional topics you care about

  • (Global)*CO2–greenhouse effect–global warming–global climate change
  • India(*Invasive species in India—loss of native habitat and biodiversity
  • (India) Endangered species. Habitat loss. Trade in endangered species. Animal human conflict.
  • (Global)*Elements in an Ipad-Laptop-Cell phone–Rare earths and conflict minerals—environmental costs of technology
  • (India)*Air quality in Delhi
  • (Global)*The Anthropocene and the 6th great extinction
  • (India)*Mining-industrial, economic development, urban sprawl and conservation of nature / habitat / biodiversity in India
  • *Agriculture-pesticides-fertilizer-nutrition and health in India
  • (Global with local examples)*The concept of ecosystem services—re-evaluating economic policy and theory in light of the environment—other ways to assess the value of the environment—international examples—Indian example.
  • (India)Water pollution—degradation and altering watersheds—Yamuna, Ganga, Ken-Betwa link.
  • (India) Access to clean water—sewage—pollution—irrigation.
  • (Global) New Diseases. Zoonotic diseases. 
  • (Global) Food security.
  • ?
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23 March Science 7 Finishing various class projects; assorted videos; reflections

Field trip after break (if will be hot)?

Ethology is the science that observes animal behavior in the animal’s “natural” environment–in the “wild.” It is contrasted with animal psychology which often involves experiments with captive animals.

At a park near the school we can observe two mammal species fairly easily–free-ranging domestic dogs and rhesus macaques.

For the proposed trip, we would bus to the park, practice observation techniques, and return to school within a class period. Not a long time, but the time can be very interesting.

Vote for or against.

Period 5

Period 6

Period 8

Period 6–

Continue work on proposal for butterfly patches at AES. Collaborate on proposal.

Work on page(s) for partner tree.

Video(s) below.

Period 8

Write blog post reflection about planning and conducting the tree field trip for 4th graders. Reflect on your experience with service through science.

Period 6 and Period 8

Watch the following (several are listed for view over spring break–optional)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mudskipper’s short story

https://vimeo.com/32521417

Period 5

Lead 4th graders on Tree Tour

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21 March Science 7 Science and Service–tree tours, butterfly patches, partner tree pages for Trees of AES pamphlet

Period 5–Practice Tree Tour

Period 6–Plans and research for butterfly patches

Period 8–Lead tree tours with 4th graders.

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20 March Science 8 Water cycle–Especially Watersheds and Rivers–Simulation

Follow the narrative as closely as you are able. Note questions. You should go back later with the printed text and the recording and reread and re-listen. Do this as homework due next class.

WATER CYCLE

Competing claims about the water cycle?

“The water coming out of your kitchen tap is four billion years old and might well have been sipped by a Tyrannosaurus rex.”

“The earth’s oceans, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, soils and atmosphere contains about 1.5 billion cubic kilometers of H2O. It has been estimated that all the earth’s water is split by plant cells and reconstituted by the biota about every 2,000,000 years.”

Watershed–an important component of the water cycle

Find and reread the piece you wrote about rivers after WOW. Add thoughts since then about your WOW experience and any new experiences you have had with rivers and watersheds. (You may need to find out more about what a watershed is!).

rafmissouririv

Canoeing on the Missouri River–north of Kansas City just upstream from the confluence with the Kaw or Kansas River. On this trip, my brother and I canoed right through the city from the north to the east. The river makes a bend right at the confluence.

Consider the ways water behaves in the environment.

  • A watershed, catchment basin, or drainage basin is one of the most important landforms related to living things in the environment, including humans.
  • Right now you are living in the Yamuna Watershed. Where does the water come from in our watershed? Where does it go? What happens to the water in this watershed?
  • Describe your WOW rafting adventure. What in that experience relates to the watershed?
  • Read Poet and Environmentalist Gary Snyder’s “We Wash Our Bowls” http://www.smith.edu/poetrycenter/poets/wewashourbowls.html
  • How does Snyder regard water and watersheds?

Learn how to set up the stream table.

  1. Learn how to operate the siphon.
  2. Learn how to make observations:

Activity 1 – Flat, Inclined Terrain Model

  1. Create a slightly inclined plane.
  2. Predict what will happen when the water is turned on. Turn on the water so that it pours in a steady, moderate stream.
  3. Record observations in 5-minute intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes. Include sketches and photos at each interval. You may try 30-second video segments, too. Try to make a time lapse record.
  4. Turn the water off after 20 – 30 minutes. Discuss the similarities or differences between the two models. What were their observations? Did each model have the same result? How did the landscape influence the course of the river?
  5. Refill the water jug to prepare for the next experiment.

Activity 2 – Hills and Valleys Landscape Model

  1. Remold the sand in the tray to create a surface with several hills and valleys.
  2. Predict what you think will happen in this scenario. Will the same river formation happen? Turn on the water so that it pours in a steady, moderate stream. Table is at same inclination as model 1.
  3. Record observations in 5-minute intervals for about 20 – 30 minutes. Include sketches and photos at each interval. You may try 30-second video segments, too. Try to make a time lapse record.
  4. Turn the water off after 20 – 30 minutes. Discuss the similarities or differences between the two models. Did each model have the same result? How did each landscape influence the course of the river? How were the results different or the same, compared to the flat and inclined model?

What’s Happening?
If you’ve been in mountains and seen a spectacular waterfall, you probably were looking at the beginning of a river. Most rivers begin on top of mountains where water from rain or melting snow collects. Under the influence of gravity, this water flows downhill to form brooks, streams or rivers. As the stream or river flows downhill, it can change the landscape by eroding rocks and depositing sediments.

Some observations that can be made by comparing both models are:

  • The speed of the water flowing downhill will be affected by the degree of incline, and any structures or topographical features in its path.
  • The faster the water flows, the more erosion occurs.
  • Water flowing downhill moves and deposits sand at the bottom of the river. The faster the water flows, the more sand will be deposited at the bottom. A delta at the mouth of a river forms in the same way.

Although the formation of the “rivers” in this activity appeared very quickly, in reality rivers can take millions to billions of years to form a path from land to sea.

More Discussion

  • How would the river formation be affected if the water continued to flow for one hour, two hours or three hours?
  • How would the river formation or pattern be affected if the sand were replaced with soil?
  • How can the stream table be used to simulate a landslide? What variables could be changed to induce a landslide?
  • What are some kinds of man-made structures or human activities that can affect a river system? Can students name American rivers that are being affected in these ways?
  • Can students name an important American river that does not originate in mountains?

Extended Activity 3
Extend the activity by changing some of the variables to observe how it affects the river’s path and speed, or the erosion and deposition of sand. Students can create their own variables to test or try one of the following:

  • Place other objects in the sand, such as small pebbles, stones or small plastic houses or trees.
  • Build a dam in the middle the river.
  • Place two or three water jugs next to each other and turn all spigots on at the same time.
  • Mold the sand into a valley. Compare the differences when the water flows directly down the middle, to what happens when the water flows from the inclined section of the valley (the long side of the tray).

Presentation:

You and your group will need to decide how to illustrate, describe, and explain your stream simulation investigation in a multimedia presentation. Judicious use of photos, videos, diagrams, graphs, and data are an important part of the presentation. Be sure to attend to the following:

  • Experimental methods
  • Control of variables
  • Repeated trials
  • Observables (descriptive, quantitative—counts and measures)
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Explaining the observed simulated river landforms—their origin and development–principles and mechanisms of the effect of flowing water on the landscape and the effect of the landscape on the way water flows)
  • Links to actual river landforms
  • Tests of the explanations (evidence is gathered to support or challenge explanations)
  • Organization and display of data
  • Clarity, completeness, and accuracy of the presentation
  • Big ideas—significance of watershed to the water cycle; importance of people understanding watersheds with regard to human impact on the environment

Other references:

 

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17 March Science 7 Turn in Focused Field Study summative projects; gallery walk;

Periods 8 and 5–Sit with your partner tree groups. You only have today to plan for the field trip that will take place on Tuesday with a 4th grade class.

Plan for 2:30 to 3:20. The 4th grade class will be divided into 5 groups which will then be assigned to each of your groups. We will meet at a central location and then disperse from there.

Write down your plan and show it to me. It will really be good if you take time to practice. You may certainly visit your area. EVERYONE in the group is expected to contribute to the plan and to have a role in the excursion. Positive participation is expected during the planning and during the field trip.

You need to plan:

  • Exactly where you will go (the route)
  • Where you will stop
  • What you will point out
  • What you will say (prepare notes if you need them)
  • What you will ask
  • What kind of engaging activity will you conduct
  • How your time be distributed

You need to be prepared with accurate and interesting information. Your plan should be engaging, informative, enjoyable, thought-provoking (from the perspective of a 4th grader who is also studying trees). Imagine the knowledge and questions 4th graders might have.

Period 6 Your job will be to conduct some research in preparation for establishing butterfly patches / gardens (1, 2, or 3) on the AES campus. You will need to research recommendations on butterfly / pollinator gardens. We should match recommended location with specific locations on campus. You will need research on native plants that serve as host plants for butterflies in Delhi / Northern India. Find names of plants, habitats, propagation hints, maintenance guidelines, species of butterflies and their life cycles that would feed on the particular plant species. We should have an inventory of butterflies that we can find on campus–so we need a current survey of butterflies seen, eggs, caterpillars, pupa / chrysalis. Organize yourselves into effective teams. Develop a plan for compiling your research and recommendations. The product should be a proposal that we could propose to the schoolyard committee. This project has the potential to have lasting impact on our campus in terms of educational benefit and benefit to the environment. 

Make sure your project is submitted in your digital science notebook. If yours is not ready to submit, please send an email with the proper greeting and subject line. Inform your parents that you have missed the deadline for your project submission and give a date when it will be submitted. Include me and Mr. Asher as recipients as well as your parents. I am going to start looking at projects this weekend. If yours cannot be found, I will make it missing. If it is missing, I expect to have an email.

Homework: Create a blogpost categorized as science 7.

  • Post a reflection on your blog with an active link to your report from the digital science notebook. Make sure the link is viewable by anyone who has the link.
  • Write a substantial reflection of what you noticed through both field studies. Describe your experience of observing nature in the school yard. What thoughts do you have about how nature relates to you and you to nature?

View the blogpost reflections AND projects of 3 different classmates. Comment on the blog: 1) Something that captured your attention as you read the report. 2) A clarifying question about something you read in the report. 3) Something you thought of as a result of reading the report. 4) A thoughtful and respectful response to the reflection.

 

Continue viewing the video What Darwin Never Knew–link on previous blogpost.

 

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16 March Science 8 Turn in Photosynthesis Project; Carbon Cycle

Turn in Photosynthesis project. If yours is not ready, send an email to parents, me (rfrazier@aes.ac.in), and Mr. Webster, alerting them to the fact that the project is late. Provide a timeline for when it will be turned in.

While you are waiting for the projects to be turned in:

As a class we will listen to the recording of the story. Follow the narrative as closely as you are able. Note questions. You should go back later with the printed text and the recording and reread and re-listen. Do this as homework due next class.

  • How many carbon transitions are there?
  • How many transitions into and out of living systems?
  • How does Levi deal with the flow of energy?
  • How would a diagram of the transitions along a timeline look?
  • What riddle of human consciousness does Levi pose with the ending?
  • If you were to read this in a humanities class, what would be suggested about Levi’s writing?
  • What literary devices does Levi use to tell his story?
  • Pick out five sentences that you think are most compelling? most puzzling? most beautiful? Explain your choices.
  • To what extent does the story of a single atom help you understand and appreciate the carbon cycle?

Recorded reading of Carbon on BBC <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRmQ6ySjwRs>.

Compare Levi’s story to these 5 episodes of It’s all about carbon:

http://www.npr.org/2007/05/01/9943298/episode-1-its-all-about-carbon

What do you think of this children’s story–accurate? too simple? misrepresents? how has the author managed the dilemma of detail?

http://www.storyjumper.com/book/index/19258898/The-Journey-of-Carbon-Atom#

Info on carbon http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/6/carbon

Carbon cycle http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Carbon+Cycle

Carbon cycle game https://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/carbon_cycle.html

Carbon cycle simulation http://sepuplhs.org/high/sgi/teachers/carbon_sim.html

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15 March Science 7 Finishing observations in focused field study; Preparing reports; Looking ahead–

 


  • Golden jackal, Jungle cat, Indian flying fox (not a fox but a large fruit bat)

Today is basically a workday

  • to gather additional data if you feel you need more;
  • to work on field study analysis and report;
  • to get feedback on data and report
  • to prepare for tree tour for next week;
  • to work on environmental service projects (1) research host plants for butterfly patches on campus; (2) partner tree page for pamphlet on Trees of AES
  • to look ahead at explanation of biodiversity–begin watching and studying–                What Darwin Never Knew:  <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYBRbCLI4zU>. This video captures the big ideas from our topics this semester. See if you can spot growth, development, reproduction, genetics, biodiversity, the interaction of genes and the environment, natural selection, other forms of selection, adaptation, evolution. Revisit the last part of Origin of Species that we read the first day of second semester.
  • See the article: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2005/10/24/turned-on

See this interesting article about the intelligence of crows: http://www.audubon.org/magazine/march-april-2016/meet-bird-brainiacs-american-crow

See the chrysalis of the Large cabbage white butterfly–found this species on the garden Nasturtium by the Mango tree near the entrance to the h.s. cafeteria https://butterflyplaybook.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/dsc05150_oke.jpg

Butterflies of India http://www.ifoundbutterflies.org/home

 

 

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14 March Science 8 Photosynthesis claim and evidence; Earth Cycles–One Fine Day;

 

Wheat or Barley–can you tell? See the photosynthesis? See the carbon cycle?

See the photosynthesis? See the carbon cycle?

 

Potato harvest? See the photosynthesis. See the carbon cycle?

Potato harvest. See the photosynthesis? See the carbon cycle?

Work on summative project on the claims and evidence for photosynthesis. Show Dr. F your progress and get feedback.

Read, investigate, and reflect on the following items and links about Earth Cycles and especially the carbon cycle. Why would we spend so much time on photosynthesis in order to study the carbon cycle?

An artistic response to Earth Cycles and Human Impact on the Earth

One Fine Day                    Artist & Composer                    Sting

  • Optimists say,
    The future’s just a place we’ve never been.
    Histories say,
    We’re doomed to make the same mistakes again.
  • Between the two I can’t decide,
    Really I must choose a side.
    I guess I’ll wake up smarter,
    One fine day.
  • Apologists say,
    The weather’s just a cycle we can’t change.
    Scientists say,
    We’ve pushed those cycles way beyond.
  • Dear leaders, please do something quick,
    Time is up, the planet’s sick.
    But hey, we’ll all be grateful,
    One fine day?
  • Today the North West Passage just got found,
    Three penguins and a bear got drowned,
    The ice they lived on disappeared,
    Seems things are worse than some had feared….
  • It’s progress of a kind,
    Who knows what else we’re going to find?
    So do you trust your head or heart,
    When things all seem to fall apart?
    I guess we’ll wake up smarter,
    One fine day.Today it’s raining dogs and cats,
    Rabbits jumping out of hats,
    And now what’s got us all agog,
    Tomorrow it’s a plague of frogs.
    We must do something quick or die,
    When snakes can talk and pigs will fly,
    And we’ll all be so much wiser,
    One fine day…
  • The Earth Has Oceans And Continents: How Weird Is That?

    http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/03/07/518949218/the-earth-has-oceans-and-continents-how-weird-is-that

Watch all 5 episodes of It’s all about carbon:

http://www.npr.org/2007/05/01/9943298/episode-1-its-all-about-carbon

What do you think of this children’s story–accurate? too simple? misrepresents? how has the author managed the dilemma of detail?

http://www.storyjumper.com/book/index/19258898/The-Journey-of-Carbon-Atom#

Info on carbon http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/6/carbon

Carbon cycle http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Carbon+Cycle

Carbon cycle game https://www.windows2universe.org/earth/climate/carbon_cycle.html

Carbon cycle simulation http://sepuplhs.org/high/sgi/teachers/carbon_sim.html

 

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8 March Science 7 Focused field study continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you see the spider that are almost the same color as the flowers? (Photos by Satyaj)

Continue observations in the field. See previous blogpost: http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2017/03/06/6-march-science-7-begin-focused-field-study/

Examine the report format. Organize and consolidate your observations from last class. Add any description you recall. Separate observation from inference. Keep your inferences as they may be important to develop as part of your observation. Do not feel that you must be fiercely attached to your inferences. You may discover that other interpretations make more sense and have more solid evidence behind them. Reading about and discussing what you have seen will help you develop interpretations.

It looks like it might rain today. If it is raining, we will not use today for observation (although the creatures you are observing must be doing something when it is raining–must be somewhere). If we go out and it begins rains hard, please return immediately to the classroom. Protect microscopes and binoculars from the rain.

We will take a memory trip back to WOW and the study of diversity of life in the stream by watching some excellent video footage of several examples of insects whose larval stage is spent underwater. Think of the many connections to biodiversity, the web of life, growth, development, reproduction, and adaptations. Our next topic includes natural selection and evolution. Of course, we need to spend a little more time discussion genetics and inheritance.

 

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7 March Science 8 Begin Summative Assessment on Photosynthesis

See board and previous blogs.

 

Photosynthesis argument and evidence

  • Display and use the basic simplified claim showing the role of water and carbon dioxide and the production of glucose, oxygen, and new water in photosynthetic organisms.
  • Include information about the site of photosynthesis in photosynthetic organisms.
  • Link firsthand (our activities and experiences) and secondhand (historical experiments and evidence)
  • Include visual representation of claims of photosynthesis (captioned/labeled)
  • Discuss that the simplified claim does not reveal the complex series of reactions involved in photosynthesis. While all the details of these cycles of reactions need not be shown, better projects will mention some of the historical experiments and evidence that have led to understanding of the cycles.
  • Each claim linked with firsthand or documented evidence
  • Must address claims of energy input and output
  • Must address claims of flow of matter
  • Written section explaining how PS Standards from 3 strands are met
  • SEP
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Engaging in Argument from Evidence
  • CCC
  • Structure and Function
  • Stability and Change
  • DCI
  • M and E in organisms and ecosystems
  • Earth Systems

Options

  • Illustration(s) (not poster size)
  • Poster
  • Slide show
  • sketches and photos / models / something original (you can justify the originality)
  • other—with approval

Meeting

  • visual (original) representation of claim (accurate–well-done)
  • 3 first hand pieces of evidence–clearly and correctly linked
  • 3 historical pieces of evidence–clearly and correctly linked
  • not all supporting the same part of the claim
  • missing evidence is indicated (what else is needed to establish the claim)
  • discussion of how the claim is simplified
  • due­­­­______
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