Saturday, September 25, 2021

09.24.2021 - Pics from the board ...

 ... wrapped up "The Martian" in class and checked out Newton's Third Law as the Hermes returned to Mars to recuse astronaut Mark Watney ...

Monday, September 20, 2021

09.20.2021 - Monday -

 Hi Scientists; Below is the YouTube link for today's video recap and attached are screen shots from the board. Note the ten Key Terms for Week #6. Check out the Full Moon this evening if you get a chance. Predict, based upon our moon observations, what phase will the moon show us this Halloween?

I'll post a write up that recaps our use of "The Martian" to study soil, radioactive decay, and chemical reactions. The seventh grade standards incorporate engineering and we're touching on a bit of chemistry and Newton's Laws.
Happy Monday! ... Scott Forbes

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Notes to accompany "The Martian" 09.15.2021 - Wednesday -


09.15.2021 - Wednesday -

 Hi Scientists: Below is the link and access code for this week's quiz. Also, for anyone who missed - or wants to retake - the quizzes from Weeks three and four, they are open again. All are open through the end of day, Friday. Remember, we have two grades per week; an online quiz and a spot check. Our spot check - this week - is to send a pic/scan of your notes from TUESDAY, 09.14.2021.

Week #5 quiz (this week):
Access code: LB6YA7D
Week :4 quiz:
Access code:
Week #3 quiz:
Access code:
Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!
Scott Forbes

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Back to School night and today's notes

 Hi Scientists ... Two video links today. The first is our Welcome Back (Back to School Night) video with an overview of our seventh grade science class.

This next link will take you to a recap of today's notes ...
We, as usual, have two assignments due this week: our weekly quiz and a note check. The quiz is posted in the Google Classrooms (it's online and open through Sunday, although I encourage everyone to complete the quiz by the end of school Friday.) Our note-check this week is the Key Terms for Week #4. There's ten Key Terms and these will take us through Week #5.
Have a great evening. Today's notes are attached and also in Google Classroom. Also at
Scott Forbes

09.09.2021 - Thursday - Quiz and notes check

 Hi Scientists;

Our Week #4 quiz is now on-line and ready to take. I'll paste the link, and access code, below. The awesome PSD tech team has cleared the test site to be used within the district so you may take the quiz at home OR school now. Remember, you get two attempts (if you like.) Only the higher of the two test attempts is recorded in the gradebook. Also, the quiz from last week is, again, open through Friday.
Our "spot check" - this week - is a picture of your ten definitions for Week #4. (These definitions will carry us through Week #5 as well.)

'hope you're having a wonderful week!

Test Link:

Access Code: K2FGAT

Scott Forbes

Monday, August 30, 2021

Week #3 - Our first on-line quiz has been posted.

 Hi Scientists;

Here's the link for our first quiz.

Here's the code to enter to take the quiz. GF9GK

'hope you had a nice weekend. We had our twelve Key Terms today (12) and some notes along with a lab. The notes will be posted this evening. Remember to check and your Google Classroom to get any notes you may have missed. If you can't take the teat on-line, ask for a paper copy tomorrow. It's due THURSDAY, September 2nd.

Happy Week #3 ... Scott Forbes

Sunday, August 29, 2021

08.27.2021 notes - Friday - Week #2 -


08.27.2021 - Friday - 

  1. Volume … Our first FORMULA this year in science. (A great math tie-in too!)
    1. Density = Mass / Volume. 
    2. Volume is how much space matter takes up. 
    3. Example and ENVIRONMENT tie in - We used a block of styrofoam (polystyrene) to show something with low mass. Styrofoam floats and is terrible for our oceans as birds and sea life mistake it for food. As polystyrene never decays, it is persistent in our oceans. (When I was about eight years old my brother and I accidentally broke a “bean bag” chair full of styrofoam in our backyard in Millbrae, CA. Despite our attempts to clean it all, a decade later we could still - occasionally - find styrofoam in our garden!) 

II.  Formula triangle:  D = Density. M = Mass. V = Volume.

III.  Tides:  High (in Pacifica) 2;22 am and 2:41 pm / Low 8:21 am and 9:20 pm

The Moon is a waning gibbous - 75 % - The moonrise was 10:45 pm and the moon set at 11:44 am.

VI.  Golf Ball Bound LAB revisited: Today, we bounced the golf ball from 120 cm.  Can we use our DATA from yesterday to PREDICT how high it will bounce before we bounce it? 


VII. Disney - “Imagineering”. We wrapped up the day (After the lab) watching a few minutes from a Disney video where they discussed the science of thrill rides. Disney calls their engineers, “Imagineers.” Five facts from the video … Answers may vary … Here are three of mine …

A.  Keep a notebook handy at all times. You never know when inspiration might hit.

B.  All objects fall at the same rate when air resistance is not a factor.

C.  MASS and WEIGHT are not the same thing. For example, you would have different weights on different planets in our Solar System.

08.26.2021 Notes / Lab


08.25.2021 Notes - Wednesday - Week #2


08.24.2021 - Notes - Week #2 - Tuesday


Monday 08.23.2021notes


Monday, August 23, 2021

YouTube recap ... 08.23.2021


Recap up through Week #2, Day #4

Week #2 – Day 4 – Recap – 

B1 – Grade Seven – Forbes – 

 Current Events: Our class usually begins with a current events connection or science video clip. So far, we’ve asked for the following:

A hurricane on the eastern seaboard: It’s unusual for hurricanes to reach land so far north.

ISS:  The International Space Station may soon be the venue for a Hollywood movie.

Robotics:  As engineering is among the new science standards, we saw a bit of the new Boston Dynamics robots.

Fires:  Because of extended drought there are fires in California, Oregon, Brazil, and even Siberia. These fires are an indication of climate change and are releasing more Carbon into our ATMOSPHERE.

The Metric System:  Based on the number ten the Metric System is much more straight forward than the Imperial System, which is used in the US. 

The units we use in science.

Meter. (One meter is 100 centimeters. 1000 meters is a Kilometer.)

Liter: Used for volume.  (1000 mL = one Liter)

Time: (Seconds.)

Mass: Kilograms. One kilogram = 1000 grams.

Science as a process.  While our books may contain many facts, we’re in science class to learn to evaluate theories and make good decisions based upon the Scientific Method.

Aristotle:  (384 – 322 BC): Many “pre-scientific” ideas were based upon Aristotle’s writings. While he started us down the path towards modern science, many of his ideas lacked evidence.

Galileo:  (1564 – 1642): Credited with TESTING hypothesis. For example, where Aristotle claimed that heavier objects fall faster than lighter object, Galileo used EXPERIMENT to prove that object of different MASS fall at the same rate when air resistance is not a factor.

Richard Feynman:  (1918-1988) A personal favorite; Feynman said … “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it does not agree with experiment, you’re wrong.”

Key Terms: Each Week we have ten (10) Key Terms to define in our notes. The ten for this week are:





Control Variable

Independent Variable




Cartesian Coordinate System

Example: As an example of testing a theory we used a clip from “Mythbusters – Helium Football.” – The team was testing to see if a standard football, filled with Helium instead of air (atmosphere), travels further when kicked (or thrown.) It’s an excellent example of CONTROL VARIABLES (Usually, simply called, “Controls.”) Some of the Controls from their experiment were:

Weather. (They brought their experiment indoors.)

Removing a human punter. (They used a machine to launch the footballs)

PSI – Each ball was filled to the regulation 13 PSI (Don’t tell Tom Brady.)

Launch Angle: Each ball was launched at a consistent angle.

Etc…(Try and think of one more Control Variable.)

LAB: We conducted our own lab. A data-gathering lab where we want to compare a person’s height (in centimeters) with their “wingspan;” (The distance covered by their outstretched arms.)

The Goal:  Introduce students to graphing results and see if we can predict one value given another. In science, the ability to PREDICT is one of the most important aspect in developing a theory.

Monday, August 16, 2021

WEEK 1 - Welcome Back!


     Welcome back to IBL! As we prepare for in-person learning and the 21/22 school year there are a few things we can have ready-to-go so we can hit the ground running and prepare for the rigors of middle and high school science.

I.  The class rules in B1 will look familiar and are consistent with the other classes at IBL.  Prompt, polite, prepared, and positive.  We’ll be getting to know our classmates and curriculum as we explore science through labs, notes, and experiments. The most important tools we can bring to class, along with an open mind, are …

A.  A notebook. Spiral bound or a binder. If you choose a spiral-bound notebook please have a glue stick available for the handouts we’ll occasionally be asked to place in our books. This tool is listed first because it is, by far, the most important. While we use the texts and have various presentations and labs, our notebooks are our science record of learning and exploration. Each day expect to fill two pages … one on the left side (notes) and one on the right side (labs, homework, activities, diagrams, etc.)

B.  Weekly assessments:  The tests are on-line and - as we are allowed to use our science notebooks - tests are cumulative. This means that material from any previous week might show up on a quiz or test, which is why it’s important to keep a good notebook.

C.  Colored pencils are required for the notebook. Often diagrams, like molecule models, require different colors to help students grasp the concepts. At least four other colors will help with organizing notes.

         II.  While the materials list is not extensive, I would like to point out the important requirements in this science class.

A.  All notes from class will be posted in your Google Classroom and at my website ( Also, I will post videos via YouTube for review and clarifications. Here is the ONE thing that all students must do … WRITE your notes! While the notes are posted in case of an absence or if a point was missed during class, the physical act of WRITING your notes is essential. It helps students both review the material and remember the concepts. Multiple studies confirm that writing (not typing or simply printing out the teacher’s notes) helps solidify the information in our mind. The writing volume is not great, but the payoff is tremendous.

B.  There will be spot checks on the notebooks throughout the year, usually in the form of asking for a picture or scan from a specific date. The notes are organized by the week number and date and all notes are posted within a day or two of class.

     III.  As we move forward into 2021-22 school year it has never been more important to understand science concepts. From climate change to Covid-19, we are in a world where understanding science is critical to our future and I am excited to help guide the students through the curriculum and prepare the students for high school and beyond!

Scott Forbes

Thursday, May 27, 2021

week 35b

 Hi Scientists;

Today's video recap goes over the notes on waves for the week as well as the assignments. The notes are posted in Google Classroom as well. Most Third-Trimester on-line tests are open and available to revisit if you want to try to retake one for a higher grade. Remember, only the highest grade is recorded so it doesn't hurt to try to revisit a test. Also, if you do revisit a test that is prior to Week 35, email me and let me know so I can check it and update the grades. Have a WONDERFUL long weekend! Get out there and surf those waves. :-)

Scott Forbes

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Week 30 Test

 Test link:

Access code:  WPXX93

Week 30 Newsletter

 - WEEK 30 - April 19-23 - Science - 

Use the text book page hints in parenthesis. 

     Hi Scientists; As we move into the final eight weeks please look for an email that looks like this each week for our science class. It’ll be posted at and in our Google Classrooms. Each week there will be TWO (2) assignments to turn in. Usually our on-line quiz and one other. There will also be some notes / questions to answer in our notebooks. If your attending class in-person, please be sure to bring your notebook. 

     Normally, we’d occasionally collect notebooks. But with this unique year, we are keeping our notebooks updated with these assignments and my check on them will be in those on-line, weekly quizzes. So, if you’re keeping a good science notebook (like all scientists do!) The weekly quizzes with be where the teacher checks our understanding.

     Thanks and I really hope this is straightforward for everyone. The ZOOM links should stay the same. If we do have to change any of those, I’ll forward the new links.

NOTE for IN-PERSON learning. We line up outside, staying socially distanced. We, then, check our names off on the roll sheet posted at the door using the clean pen / pencil.  Place the pen / pencil in the “used” box for cleaning. After checking off your name, grab an open seat. (There are bears in the taken seats - well, stuffed bears anyway.) Have your notebook out and ready-to-go :-) 

Thanks … Scott Forbes

  1. Assignment #1 (TO TURN IN):  Choose any TWO (2) “Connections” from the text and submit the questions and answers via e-mail by Friday.
  2. Assignment #2 (TO TURN IN):  On-line quiz:  Posted Wednesday and due Friday.
  3. Assignment #3 (IN OUR NOTEBOOKS):  Text Search: Answer the following IN YOUR NOTEBOOK.
    1. What’s the difference between MASS and WEIGHT?  (P.8)
    2. Give an example of a SOLUTION and name the SOLUTE and the SOLVENT. (P.9)
    3. In an experiment what is a CONTROL VARIABLE?  (Give an example.) (P.13)
    4. When graphing the results of an experiment we place the data according to a cartesian coordinate plane. Which axis is the INDEPENDENT variable and which axis is used for the DEPENDENT variable? (P. 18)
    5. Give and example of an experiment that shows a STRONG correlation between the Independent Variable and the Dependent Variable. Review our notes and use a web search if it helps.
    6. Give and example of an experiment that likely shows NO correlation between the INDEPENDENT variable and the DEPENDENT variable. Again, use your notes, text, and conduct a web search if needed.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Week 28 Test Link and Access Code

Hi Scientists;

Here's the link to this week's test along with the access code.

Access Code:  3CSMSG

The eleven Key Terms for this week are:

1.  Central Nervous System

2.  Wave

3.  Cerebellum

4. Cerebrum.

5.  Optic nerve.

6.  Motor nerves.

7.  Medulla.

8. Rod cell.

9. Cone cell.

10.  Lense.

11.  Concussion

Friday, March 26, 2021

Week 27 - Notes and reading for Thursday / Friday -

 Week 27b – 03.25 / 03.26 – Thursday / Friday – 2021

  1. I. Current Events:  Weather and Space Junk / Rainforest! (CNN10)
    1. a.Australia has been trying to recover from devastating fires and now is dealing with floods. (It’s their Autumn right now!)
    2. b.Newton’s Second Law: Force = Mass x Acceleration – A small object going very fast has tremendous force!
      1. i.(For Friday) Rainforests have been burned to make room for livestock grazing.
      2. ii.The RESPIRATORY and CIRCULATORY systems … 
    3. c.OUR atmosphere is about 20 percent oxygen … thanks to PHOTOSYNTHESIS.
    4. d.RESPIRATION and PHOTOSYNTHESIS are opposite reactions.
      1. i.Write the reactions here: _______________________
      2. ii.Muscles, breathing, and our ATMOSPHERE:  The human body systems work together.
    5. e.A MUSCLE called the DIAPHRAGM (“Belly breathing”) is located below the lungs. When it CONTRACTS the lungs expand because air is forced in. 
      1. i.Note: CONTRACTS: That’s all muscles can do! Muscles DO NOT push, they ONLY contract!
    6. f.WHY is air “forced” in?  (Straw demonstration.)
    7. g.WHY are we bothering to breath in the first place? (Sounds silly at first. BUT … What’s going on?)
    8. h.The LUNGS (Part of the RESPIRATORY system) exchange the Carbon Dioxide that was in the blood with Oxygen in our atmosphere.
    9. i.Remember our heart rate experiment? (What was YOUR heart rate? ________ BPM). 
    10. j.This exchange wouldn’t happen without the HEART (Part of the CIRCULATORY SYSTEM) moving our BLOOD (Created by the SKELETAL system) through VEINS and ARTERIES.
      1. i.(HW) What’s the difference between veins and arteries?
      2. ii.BILL NYE: Atmosphere:  We live at the bottom of an ocean of air!
    11. k.Death Valley: In CA – Lowest place in the US (On land.)
      1. i.Air pressure drops as we go higher.

“YouTube” ad (this morning) – Dent extractor using a suction cup … suction is NOT a real force! Why not???(A vacuum doesn’t “suck” – Although, I do suck at basketball - )

Week 27 Reading


     Middle School science covers a broad range of topics. Sometimes it’s helpful to work backwards from the concepts we want to understand to where we began. That’s often what we do as we approach the last weeks of school for the semester; see where we’ve been and where we’re going.

   Our goal is to have a good foundation for understanding life.  That’s a big, complicated subject and we wanted to give some background on how we know what we know (the Scientific Method) and the conditions that make life possible (Earth Science)

     The story brought us all the way back to the Big Bang – the time when our universe began.  A bit if understanding about light helped us know that our universe probably is about 14 billion years old.  

     Knowing about the four fundamental (basic) forces of nature helped us get a clearer picture of how “simple” atoms like Hydrogen can combine – through fusion in stars – to make all the heavier elements necessary for life.

    By the time our solar system, and Earth, formed – about 4.6 billion years ago, all the elements needed for life were available. Those elements are like the building blocks and cells - the basic units of life - put together and rearrange those building blocks in endlessly complex ways.

      When the elements are rearranged, it’s called a chemical reaction, and none is more important than photosynthesis for setting the stage for complex animals.

     It took billions of years for the oxygen released into Earth’s atmosphere to build up enough for life to take advantage of this for releasing energy from chemical bonds.

     As life evolved from one-celled organisms it diversified into several kingdoms. (Plants, Animals, Protists, Fungi, and Bacteria.) Our branch of this evolutionary tree, the animals, breath the oxygen in our atmosphere and humans are capable of affecting every other branch on the tree of life, which is why we incorporate ecology into our studies.

     We spend time learning about our species in detail and try to get a picture of how our eleven body systems work together, and work with our environment, to sustain life.  While we study systems and species individually, it’s always with an eye towards the connections between subjects, species, the non-living systems of our planet, and the living system – of which we are a part.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Week 27 Rover Assignment


Week 27 – Rover Assignment – 


     Turn in either a drawing of, or a picture of, your “Egg drop” experiment from earlier in the week. OR turn in a picture of your budget for your Egg Drop. OR, if you did not have the packet and you were unable to do the experiment; answer the following questions and turn them in via email. 

  1. 1. Why are we looking for signs of life on Mars? In other words, what’s so special about Mars that it may have once (or may still) have life?
  2. 2.Why does the distance between Mars and Earth vary so greatly?
  3. 3.Look up ANY of the rovers that we have sent to Mars.
    1. a.What was its name?
    2. b.When did it launch?
    3. c.When did it arrive at Mars?
    4. d.How long did it successfully operate?
    5. e.What was learned from the mission?

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Week 25b - Notes and link to video

March 11 / 12 – Week 25b – Science – 

The CAPITALIZED TERMS are our KEY TERMS for week 26.

Remember: Test 24 and 25 are, currently, “live.” Please be sure to take the tests before 03.13.2021 – Saturday at 9:00 pm. All of the material covered in the on-line assessments is in our text and notes.

  1. I. The tallest person ever was almost nine feet tall. The reason he became so tall was due to his ENDOCRINE system, a series of GLANDS that use HORMONES (chemical messengers – often proteins - ) to signal cells to do certain things. In the case of a nine-foot person; his PITUITARY gland never sent a chemical signal to stop growing.
  2. II. The glands and HORMONES regulate:
    1. a. Growth and development.
    2. b. Reproduction
    3. c. METABOLISM
    4. d. Responses to STRESS.
    5. III. GLANDS of the ENDOCRINE system:
    6. a. Hypothalamus:  Controls the Pituitary
    7. b. Pituitary:  Growth
    8. c. Thyroid:  METABOLISM
    9. d. Parathyroid:  Regulates calcium in the blood
    10. e. Adrenal: “Fight or flight” response.
    11. f. Pancreas:  Regulates blood sugar.
    12. g. Pineal:  Melatonin. (Sleep / wake cycles)
    13. h. Ovaries / Testes: Female / Male sex hormones and cells
    14. IV. Strange Days on Planet Earth:  Follow the link to the first 15 minutes of this episode of Strange Days …
    15. V. This episode – in the first fifteen minutes, brings together much of what we’ve done since September in this class. The most important highlights include:
    16. a. We’ve studies water as a universal solvent.  UC Berkeley biologist Tyrone B. Hayes follows the trail of a weed killing chemical that is widely used in the United States. The name of the weed killer is Atrazine and it has been implicated in damage to the ENDOCRINE system of frogs.
    17. b. Frogs are AMPHIBIANS: They live in, and depend on, water for part of their life cycle.
    18. c. Humans are exposed to ENDOCRINE disruptors through plastics on a daily basis. It’s nearly impossible, in modern life, to go through a day without using plastic. However, many chemicals in plastics may be hurting our ENDOCRINE system.
    19. VI. Addition Key Terms for week 26
    20. a. BRAIN
    21. b. SPINAL CORD
    22. c. NERVE CELL
    23. d. AXON
    24. e. DENDRITE