Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Friday, November 11, 2022

Friday recap ... Quiz reminder.

 Hi Scientists;

Our science guest speakers guided students through experiments on conduction and heat transfer on Thursday.
Convection currents and heat transfer touch on everything from the rock cycle and atmosphere to the endothermic photosynthesis reaction and the exothermic reactions of respiration and fermentation.
The Week #13 quiz lis live and the Week #12 quiz is still open (both through Sunday.)
Board pics and notes attached ... Have a great weekend! SF

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Week #13 Quiz

 Quiz link:

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Week #13 recap (so far)

 November 9th - Wednesday - Week #13 - 

     Hi Scientists;

     I made a very exciting 14 minute video, yesterday, as a recap. When it was done, it would have been posted but - for some technical reason beyond the scope of an old science teacher - there was no sound.

     Which was, probably, just as well. Fourteen minutes is too long for a recap. Heck, my own teenagers wouldn’t listen to me for more than five minutes. So … the notes are posted and here’s a bullet-point recap for the last three days. The important things we’ve been trying to teach and the tidbits that are snuck in so students remember this for high school, and beyond.

  • Earth was formed, about, 4.5 billion years ago and life arose about 3.6 billion years ago. The vast history of life on Earth has been one-celled organisms. 
  • The oxygen content of our atmosphere didn’t build up to a level high enough to sustain respiration until photosynthesizing bacteria had been around for, about, two billion years. In other words; if you had a time machine with a “random” button and you wanted to go back in time to see ancient life; most of the time you’d step out of your machine to see nothing more than green, slimy rocks. (Stromatolites.)
  • When life finally did inhabit land it diversified into the six Kingdoms we now recognize. (Although, the Protist kingdom will be subdivided soon.) Bacteria has no specialized organelles, while animals, plants, and fungi do have nuclei and specialized organelles.
  • Our job, this week, has been to identify the structure and function of organelles. Text books love to compare cells to factories. (I suppose that comes from the industrial revolution and the view that everyone knows how factories work?) We use that analogy as it is in our text and in various handouts. The product of these factories is proteins; built up from smaller parts called Amino Acids.
  • There are three, important, chemical reactions we should know going forward - photosynthesis, respiration, and fermentation. We introduced fermentation this week by making wine (yes, wine) and using that as a vehicle to discuss the things that come together to make the geology, ecosystem, and geography of California possible and how water, plants, fermentation, and the physical laws we studied in weeks one through eleven - combine to make the California we know today.
  • The quiz, this week, will focus on the organelles and kingdoms of life.

Notes - Week #13 -


Saturday, November 5, 2022

November 5th - Saturday - Notes recap and board pics from Friday

      This is the re-cap note that went home today. Board pics are attached. It was a book-work assignment on Friday that gave students a review of organelles. ...

     November 5th - Science - Reading into week #13 - 

November 5th - Science - Reading into week #13 - 

Recap of the notes / concepts for Week #12 (Thursday and Friday)

      We’ve referred to this science class as a history class, sometimes, because we go from the BIG BANG, the very beginning of our universe (almost 14 billion years ago) to now. The first nine weeks of science covered the FUNDAMENTAL FORCES of nature (STRONG, WEAK, ELECTROMAGNETISM, and GRAVITY.) How previous generations of STARS (Stars before our own sun even existed) made larger ELEMENTS from Hydrogen through NUCLEAR FUSION. How our SOLAR SYSTEM formed and, of the eight planets, several minor planets, and dozens of moons - EARTH is, so far, the only place in the universe that we know has LIFE!

     We compared and contrasted MARS and EARTH and our list of the properties that make EARTH ideal for life including:

  • WATER. We’re the right distance from our sun where water can exist in a liquid state. Water is the UNIVERSAL SOLVENT and as we search for life beyond Earth, our search begins with finding WATER.
  •         MASS:  Earth has an ideal mass for holding an ATMOSPHERE and the right combination of ELEMENTS (Metals and non-metals) to give EARTH a protective ELECTROMAGNETIC SHILED and PLATE TECTONICS. Moving CONTINENTAL PLATES may be critical for recycling material and making advanced life possible.
  •       OUR MOON: Our moon has given The Blue Planet TIDES, and a stable spin (AXIS of rotation.) Both important for advanced life.
  •       Once the “stage was set” the first cells arose, about, 3.6 BILLION YEARS AGO.  About a quarter billion years later one of the most important CHEMICAL REACTIONS began on EARTH - PHOTOSYNTHESIS. It looks billions more years but OXYGEN, released by BACTERIA, slowly transformed our planet by make an atmosphere capable of supporting RESPIRATION and that protects PLANTS and ANIMALS from ULTRA-VIOLET RADIATION from our sun. Life, itself, transformed our planet!

     As we move forward into Week #13, we’re learning the parts of cells - THE ORGANELLES _ and how they arose  (EVOLVED) to their present forms and how EVOLUTION is the driving force behind the DIVERSITY of life on Earth.

     Few things are more amazing than the story of NATURAL SELECTION and, as we go forward to learn the mechanism of EVOLUTION, we understand how unique and special EARTH is and our human impact on this “one place, we call, “Home.”