28 February Science 8 Stomata; Chloroplasts–Microscopic examination of leaves and other plant parts–plant cells

  • Mindful moment.
  • Past classes review (DSN–preparing for Parent-Student-Teacher conference–see previous blog)
  • Preview plan for the day in the class blog.
  • Prepare DSN entry.
  • Questions. Share reflections.

Examination of plant material under the microscope.

The purpose is to examine and contemplate the cellular organization of living things. Because green plants carry out photosynthesis, we want to witness first hand the structures that are involved. (Stomata; Chloroplasts, for example.) Remember that photosynthesis takes place in the cells.

Find out what you can about plant cells: http://thebiologyprimer.com/cell/

It’s fun to think of the scale of things and how the accumulated effect of the actions of all the photosynthesizing plant cells in the world, impact the earth. Carbon, oxygen, and water cycles all are affected by photosynthesis. https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/

  • Taking a sample and making a slide. Directions and demonstration in class.
  • Work carefully and neatly. Clean up as you go. Return supplies to dispensing area clean and dry.
  • Take care with sharp tools.
  • Take care with microscopes. Do not use the highest power unless checked by Dr. F.
  • Keep water and plant material off the microscope. Do not touch the lenses.

Things to try:

  • Peel from section of onion bulb (see if there is a difference in an inner peel and an outer peel). http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artfeb11/wd-onion1.html
  • Peel from leaf–top and bottom.
  • Cross section.
  • Longitudinal section.
  • Squash–onion root tip.
  • Mung bean sprout–root tip.
  • Look at a section of your leaf–top and bottom. Then you may try to make a peel.
  • https://www.microscopemaster.com/leaf-structure-under-the-microscope.html

 

Photomicrographs (iphone) above made from leaf peel of Tradescandia in just a few minutes. You can make out stomata and the cell structure of the leaf surface.

Make sketches to show what you see AND the orientation of the sample from the source.

Try to take photos. These should be labelled. If you get a good set, make a pic-collage with captions.

Purple tradescantia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tradescantia_pallida)

Human Impact articles:

 

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27 February Science 7 Continuing the tree survey

  • Mindful moment
  • Review previous class
  • See today’s plan / class blog post
  • Prepare DSN entry
  • Questions

Review last year’s results of the campus tree survey:

See spreadsheet for this year below. Copy and create a version for your zone (share with editing rights with Dr.F.).

Eventually, we will want to consolidate data from all zones.

Period 3–We will finish looking at species and specimens near Gate 5. Then we will turn to the stretch of Zone 6 that runs along Chandragupta Marg. Everyone in the group needs to have a role in gathering the data and checking the data. No member of either group should be disengaged from the tasks required to complete the data set.

Period 4–I will see groups who need help in naming trees. Decide how you will work to complete the spreadsheets for your individual zone.

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26 February Science 8 Julius von Sachs’ experiment–starch production in leaves; Parent Student Teacher conference preparation

  • Mindful moment.
  • Review past classes.
  • Quickly Read today’s plan in today’s class blog post.
  • Prepare DSN entry.
  • Questions.

*****

  • Gather 4 leaves. 3 that you covered with black paper and 1 more that has been uncovered. Keep track of which is which.
  • Wear eye protection. Be alert–ethanol is flammable.
  • Submerge the leaves in boiling/near boiling water for 1 minute.
  • Put the leaves in boiling tubes. Cover them with ethanol.
  • Put the tubes in hot water. The mouth of the tubes should be directed AWAY from other people. DO NOT breathe in fumes. We will have the exhaust fans running and possibly have the door open.
  • Keep the water hot enough in the bath so that the ethanol in the tube boils and the green color is extracted from the leaves.
  • When the leaves are colorless, remove them from the ethanol and rinse in cool water.
  • Pour the used (now green) ethanol into designated bottles.
  • Flatten the leaves onto tiles and douse them with iodine solution.
  • Note the results. Take photos. Write your observations and interpretations in your DSN entry for today.
  • See these notebook entries from former Science 8 students–for the pictures:
  • 20kbardos.5.Feb.StarchExperiment
  • 20mkataoka.Starch.Feb5

*****

Prepare for Parent Student Teacher Conference–we will use this list to have a conversation with your parents. Be prepared!!!

  1. Show document with scoring for DSN. Number of entries / Number of classes up through 8 March.
  2. Show document with scoring for completeness for each completed entry (from #1 above) Number of items / 7.
  3. Show document with scoring for number of substantial or significant reflections included in each entry.
  4. A personal statement on how much thought and effort you have put into using the DSN as a tool for learning and growth of understanding.
  5. Show group presentation on Carbon.
  6. Show your early Carbon essay.
  7. Show your group illustration about Primo Levi’s story of carbon.
  8. Show your von Helmont experiment cartoon.
  9. Discuss your role in the skit involving Ingenhousz and Priestly and/or Lavoisier.
  10. Show any plant experiments, including the seeds you planted.
  11. Discuss the claim of photosynthesis and your approach to gathering evidence in support of the claim–this is the basis of your up-coming summative project.
  12. Show your annotated bibliography for the human impact project and discuss your particular topic.
  13. Be prepared to discuss the two parts of our semester (now = earth cycles–especially the carbon cycle and up-coming water cycle; coming next = how human activity causes shifts in the great cycles than can disrupt the natural patterns in which natural systems/and human society developed.
  14. Show your best DSN entries and explain why they are your best.
  15. What are some things you have thought about so far this semester, that you never thought about before?
  16. Why do you think Dr. F claims that this semester may be the most important course of your life?
  17. How have your matured in your learning in science so far this year? Or have you leveled off or regressed? Give examples. How do you keep your effort high? Or has your effort fallen? Give examples. What can you do to make the rest of the year the best in terms of your learning science? What things have you done and what things can you do? Give examples.

*****

Human Impact articles–check these and those posted in past blogs to add to your annotated bibliography:

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25 Feb Science 7 Tree Diversity Survey Continued; Prepare for Parent Student Teacher Conference

Mindful moment. (Picture your area; imagine what you will see today)

“I have learned about watching my surroundings and how every part of the school has an ecosystem that stretches far beyond most people’s understanding.” (The most important thing I learned during the 2015-2016 school year–7th grade student.)

*****

Let’s read this poem. It was part of this week’s assignment in an online course from Harvard I am taking on the poetry of earth, sky, and sea.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/33182/learning-the-trees

*****

Read entire blog. Ask questions. Then we will begin.

*****

  • Continue with Tree diversity survey.
  • Make sure every member of your group is working efficiently and effectively toward the group goals: How many species? How many of each species? Where is each specimen located? (can be a sketch map)
  • There needs to be descriptions of each kind of tree. Also make note of any remarkable specimens–tallest, greatest girth, active nests, old nests, epiphytes, etc.
  • This data will need to be entered into a class spreadsheet / database.
  • Use a map.
  • Describe each type/species in your area. (A below may be more efficient)
  • A) Sweep through an area making sure each individual is marked and is assigned to a type (species). If you know the name, use it. If not, use a lettering system (species A, species B, etc.).
  • Or
  • B) Find each individual specimen of each species and mark on map / count.

I will come find each group and take one member of the group through your area and help with names. I can give a scientific name, a common English name, and/or a local name. Or I can show in one of the reference sources. From that you should be able to find information.

*****

Prepare for Parent Student Teacher Conference–we will use this list to have a conversation with your parents. Be prepared!!!

  1. Show document with scoring for DSN. Number of entries / Number of classes up to 8 March.
  2. Show document with scoring for completeness for each completed entry (from #1 above) Number of items / 7.
  3. Show document with scoring for number of substantial or significant reflections included in each entry.
  4. A personal statement on how much thought and effort you have put into using the DSN as a tool for learning and growth of understanding.
  5. Show essay on Plant Blindness and be ready to discuss what that means with respect to your learning.
  6. Be prepared to talk about your partner tree, how your talk to the class went, what you learned from other class members and their talks. How well do you know your partner tree species? Do you recognize it in other places? Describe.
  7. Be prepared to discuss and share (pictures, notes, etc.) your experience and learning with flowers, fruits, seeds.
  8. Be prepared to discuss the two parts of our semester (now = establishing and experiencing the fact(s) of biodiversity; coming next = learning how scientists explain these facts).
  9. Be prepared to discuss the progress and findings (to date) of the tree diversity survey. Discuss how surveys differ from experiments. What challenges did your group overcome and how did they do this?
  10. Show your best DSN entries and explain why they are your best.
  11. What have you noticed about living things (on campus; elsewhere) so far this semester, that you never noticed before?
  12. How have your matured in your learning in science so far this year? Or have you leveled off or regressed? Give examples. How do you keep your effort high? Or has your effort fallen? Give examples. What can you do to make the rest of the year the best in terms of your learning science? What things have you done and what things can you do? Give examples.
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22 Feb. Science 8 Setting up von Sachs’ experiment on the production of starch by green leaves

Short periods today, so please take your mindful moment this weekend. Finish the documentary Photosynthesis from Botany a Blooming History. Bring your questions to the next class. See link in previous blog.

Today we’ll set up a duplication of Julius von Sachs’ famous experiment on the production of starch. We’ll need to block sunlight from a leaf. There are better ways to do this experiment, but what we shall do helps make the point. Let us hope that weather cooperates. We do not want the covers for the leaves to fall or blow off. Hope, too, there is no big rain. Anyway, let’s try. https://www.cropsreview.com/sachs.html

See starch portraits shown in this paper: http://www.life.illinois.edu/govindjee/Part3/35_HangarterStarchPics.pdf

See the board for the procedure. Follow the guidelines. You will need to work efficiently to finish within the 40 minute period today.

Be sure to note the location / plant you use. You will retrieve the leaves for the next class.

Cartoons and Science

http://How secret, late-night experiments transformed two scientists into master cartoonists

Find out about this play featuring Lavoisier, Priestly, and Scheele and others. One of the authors is a Nobel Prize winning chemist who also writes poetry AND this play.
Some references that will help Human Impact projects:

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21 Feb. Science 7 Tree Survey

Mindful moment.

Pd. 3–Begin Survey. Describe and count species. Identify. Count and map specimens.

Begin along Panchsheel Marg (Panch = 5; sheel = virtues; what are they?). Group 1 start at the far west corner and work to the center. Group 2 start at the east and work to the center. Standardize two people’s pace in your group to get quick measurements. Leaders of each group need to decide on the scale of the map(s).

Pd. 4–Begin the survey with your group in your area. Standardize your pace so that you can make quick measurements for mapping. Come up with a plan so that you do not miss a tree or count one twice. Be certain about the boundaries of your area–ask if you have questions.

Describe and count species. Identify with help if needed. Count and map specimens.

  • * * * * *

Consider, as you observe and survey the trees, what you might describe about a particular tree species or even specimen (like your partner tree) in a poem.

Look at these two poems by Howard Nemerov. During my first year at university, my Freshman English professor invited Nemerov to read poems our class had written. He did think much of mine–smile.

  • Learning the Trees
  • https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/33182/learning-the-trees
  • Trees
  • https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/trees-6

Last year, I gave a presentation on “The Science of Plants in Fiction, Poetry, and the Movies” at the National Science Teachers Association annual conference, which was held in Atlanta, GA, USA. Here is a powerpoint presentation–let me know what you think:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1ys4tbOgSFwfiXV9c78Cx5P–sXVNvzIAcdBDtsfgRZ0/edit?usp=sharing

 

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20 February Science 8 Discussing our prior ideas about light; Ingenhousz skits; More on the history of the discovery of photosynthesis

Mindful moment.

Review last class.

Give your seedlings a little drink.

Bring in your Ingenhousz experiment jars.

Check Ingenhousz jars with submerged leaves. Can we detect any oxygen?

Prepare for discussion of our light ideas and questions.

Prepare for skit.

Describe your knowledge of light. Individually make ten statements that you think are important and true. Also make a list of the most pressing questions you have about light. Share with your group. Together take what you collectively as a group feel are the ten most significant statements and put them in order of importance. Describe experiment and observations you have made about light. We will share your thoughts with the whole class.

Plan a skit with three characters: Priestly, Lavoisier, and Ingenhousz. Imagine that these three scientists are discussing their discoveries related to plants and gases. You will need to do a little research.

Perform the skit for the class.

  • * * * *

Continue with Photosynthesis: Botany–A Blooming History

  • Some recent articles for your Human Impact annotated bibliography–read articles relevant to your specific topic. Read any articles you are interested in.
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19 February Science 7 DSN, PIP, Trees

Mindful moment. Before you begin today, close devices, conversations, and eyes. Breathe and clear your mind.

Today work individually. Things you need to do are marked below in BOLD and *.

*Review past classes through the blog. Complete DSN entries.

In addition to your regular DSN entries, you should have:

*A document with a DSN review.

  1. Number of completed entries/Number of classes.
  2. For each completed entry: Number of components / 7.
  3. Number of substantial reflections/Number of classes.

*A thoughtful written response to the question about tree blindness /plant blindness. Make sure your essay is clearly identified in your DSN.

*Describe in writing the degree of your own “tree blindness”–see and read article below. Are you becoming less “tree blind?”

Definition of Plant Blindness

  • (a) the inability to see or notice the plants in one’s environment;
  • (b) the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs;
  • (c) the inability to appreciate the aesthetic and unique biological features of the life forms that belong to the Plant Kingdom; and
  • (d) the misguided anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals and thus, as unworthy of consideration

Symptoms of Plant Blindness

  • (a) thinking that plants are merely the backdrop for animal life;
  • (b) failing to see, notice or focus attention on plants in one’s daily life;
  • (c) misunderstanding what plants need to stay alive;
  • (d) overlooking the importance of plants to one’s daily affairs;
  • (e) failing to distinguish the differing time scales of plant and animal activity;
  • (f) lacking hands-on experiences in growing, observing and identifying plants in one’s own geographic region;
  • (g) failing to explain the basic plant science underlying nearby plant communities- including plant growth, nutrition, reproduction, and relevant ecological considerations;
  • (h) lacking awareness that plants are central to a key bio- chemical cycle-the carbon cycle;
  • (i) being insensitive to the aesthetic qualities of plants and their structures-especially with respect to their adaptation, coevolution, color, dispersal, diversity, growth, pattern, reproduction, scent, size, sounds, spacing, strength, symmetry, tactility, taste and texture

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/26/opinion/sunday/cure-yourself-of-tree-blindness.html

*See checklist from 1 Feb. Have you completed this? http://rfrazier.msblogs.aes.ac.in/2019/02/01/1-february-science-7-partner-tree-research-and-presentation-checklist-so-far-pip-proposal-and-feedback/

*A plan for conducting your group’s tree diversity survey. The plan should include your methods for describing and counting trees and for recording the results of the survey. Use the spreadsheets/databases from previous years to help you plan. 

Period 3: Some trees in Zone 6 not found inside the school: Semal, Ber, Ronjh, Katsagon.

*PIP. Written report/update on progress on your PIP. Background research. Make notes and record bibliographic information. 

*Watch these short videos about Trees in Delhi. Summarize the content and respond with your own reflections and questions:

*Read about trees and pollution in India. Be sure to include your written summary and reflection: https://india.mongabay.com/2018/11/01/greening-with-pollution-gobbling-trees-doubles-benefits/

*See this video about conducting a biodiversity survey. Write a written summary and reflection of your ideas and questions:

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18 Feb. Science 8 Jan Baptiste von Helmont cartoon; Jan Ingenhousz discovers the importance of light and plants; Can the video experiments be replicated?; A skit; Work on human impact topic

  • Mindful moment.
  • Review previous class blogpost, DSN.
  • Preview today’s plan.
  • Prepare DSN entry.
  • Questions.

** * * *

We are trying to discover how the claim of photosynthesis was discovered and justified. (histphoto)

6 CO2+ 12 H2O–> light –>C6H12O6 + 6 O2 + 6 H2O

What contributions to the claim came from the work of van Helmont?

Show / share cartoons  depicting the experiment, the findings, and the reasoning (both valid and faulty) of Jan Baptiste von Helmont.

  • * * * *

View next episode in Photosynthesis: A Blooming History.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKMNig0Cz04

** * * *

Work in groups. Fill two sealable jars with water. Add a spoonful of baking soda to each jar., Collect some leaves of from the same species of plant. Submerse in water half the number of leaves in one jar and half in another. Observe the leaves in the jars. Label the jars with names, period, date, kind of leaves. Set one jar in the sun. Set the other in the dark. (Note–in schools aquatic plants are typically used. The video, however, shows terrestrial plants.)

  • * * * *

Describe your knowledge of light. Individually make ten statements that you think are important and true. Also make a list of the most pressing questions you have about light. Share with your group. Together take what you collectively as a group feel are the ten most significant statements and put them in order of importance. Describe experiment and observations you have made about light. We will share your thoughts with the whole class.

  • ** * *

Plan a skit with three characters: Priestly, Lavoisier, and Ingenhousz. Imagine that these three scientists are discussing their discoveries related to plants and gases. You will need to do a little research.

Perform the skit for the class.

  • * * * *

Work on your human impact project–building your annotated bibliography.

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15 Feb. Science 7 Beginning the tree diversity survey (summative project)

Mindful moment.

Review previous blog posts. There are many references you will need. Make sure you can locate them easily.

Today we will establish boundaries and develop methods for conducting the tree diversity survey project for your class/section.

See board.

Make sure your notes and records are complete and detailed. Share all data, observations, and information with your group.

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