Ocean Community Science

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This Week in Planet Science 4.19.13

Its been a whole month since I’ve updated you on what we’ve been up to in Planet Science.  My how the time does fly!

We spent the last 4 weeks working on our “major project” for the year.  We were “asked” by NASA to form design teams to compare and contrast the inner and outer planets and their moons, determine which, if any, could be visited by a space exploration vehicle (a rover), build that rover to conduct specific mission tasks and then report back on our findings about the planet or moon the various teams selected and whether or not there was either liquid or solid water available there.  It was hard work!

We learned how to collaborate with a team, manage our time and resources to complete various tasks and how to use recycled materials to build. We learned about the inner and outer planets, their moons, the sun, and smaller objects in the solar system.  Most importantly, we learned how precious Earth is, because here, there is liquid water, and where there is liquid water, there is… life.

Now that we know this, we can move on to our final unit of the school year, Life Science.  In this unit, we will look at what populations are, how they interact in habitats, how ecosystems work and how humans are part of the great cycle of life. We will have a smaller project to complete, involving analysis of water in our community and considering how the water around us benefits or is a detriment to life in the region.

Hang on tight… there are 6 weeks left… and we’re going to be moving fast!

Check out some of our rovers from our Space Exploration Vehicle Project.









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ISS transits the Sun!

Cool article! Uber cool image!!


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This Week in Planet Science 3/22/13

 Its been a busy week in Planet Science! We completed Lesson 7.3: The Sun.  We learned the sun is a medium sized star that has been around for 4 billion years.  Our sun is both beautiful and dangerous.  Check out the video below.

Surface of the Sun As You Have Never Seen It (annotated)


We have completed week 2 of Project Water.  All teams have turned in design sketches of their space exploration vehicles and will be learning new Web 2.0 tools next week to complete their presentations.  Moms and Dads, check Edmodo for my quick run through of the resources available to help the teams get their work completed.

Check out one team hard at work designing their SEV.

project water team meeting


Remember, next week is a short week!  Its almost Spring Break!

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This Week in Planet Science 3/15/13

We’ve begun our Space Exploration Vehicle Project!  Everyone is in a design team, we’re learning about the planets, moons, dwarf planets and the sun in Chapter 7 and the week after Spring Break, we’ll demonstration our science, math and engineering skills!

Parents, you should have received the “mission letter” from your student that contains information on a great place to get the building supplies for the SEV’s FREE.  If not, check out the Hammond Environmental Education Center info below.

Hammond Environmental Education Center

 Each student also has a project packet with worksheets, instructions, a timeline/due date list and the rubric for this project.  Each team has a folder, with a work plan, presentation plan, team contract and team work calendar.  I will also be putting due dates on the Edmodo calendar and they are also posted on the board in the classroom.

Everyone is excited and working hard!  I can’t wait to show off our products!

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Cool New Life Science Game!

Check it out!  We’ll be talking about ecosystems in April!

I”ll put it in Planet Games also!

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This Week in Planet Science 3/8/13

We survived ISTEP WEEK, Part 1!! The math and language arts tests were taken Thursday (after everything was moved back a day due to the snow storm), the reading test was Friday and we’ll be taking our science test Monday.  

2nd Trimester report cards were delivered to students on Friday.  Most of you looked real good there in Science!  I’m proud of your hard work!

We are starting our Space Exploration Vehicle project.  “Project Water”‘s mission is to design and build a space rover that can conduct experiments and observations on a planet or moon that may have water on it.  Everyone has been assigned to a design team and are hard at work getting the planet/moon research completed.  Remember, your chosen landing site must be given to me soon! Good luck mission specialists!

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This Week in Planet Science 3/1/13

We finished our constellations this week and are taking time off next week to start our annual state testing cycle. There will be shortened classes next week, so we will begin our look at Chapter 7: The Solar System by beginning our Rover Project and talking briefly about the planets in our solar system.  Make sure you get plenty of rest next week, have a good breakfast and are ready for ISTEP+!  We Rock Science!


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We’re Local News!

Check us out in the local paper!  Very special thanks to Bailey, Katie, and Yatziri for writing this great article for the NWI Times!


 The Challenger’s Challenge

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Doing Science: Asteroid Potatoes… Yum Yum!

from NASA.gov

Do you like potatoes?

Do you like asteroids?

Learn more about asteroids here… and make some to eat too!



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This Week in Planet Science: 2/22/13

I know, its been a while since I’ve posted, but we’ve been UBER busy!!!

We are finishing chapter 6 this week with a look at the night sky and all the objects found in it.  Next week, we will model constellations as our class activity.

In addition to making constellations, we will begin our final push as we prepare for the first part of the ISTEP+ exams.  All week, we will focus on science review, making sure we understand basic concepts we’ve learned so far this year and working on test preparation skills as they pertain to science.  We will continue regular studies the week of March 4th (also the week ISTEP begins). Science ISTEP is scheduled for Thursday, March 7th.

Do you notice anything new on the website?  See the new button in the center column that says “call me”?  I’m trying an experiment… I’ve set up a Google Voice account for us to use to answer questions about the day’s lessons.  When you click on the button, you will be prompted to enter your phone number (you can leave it private) and the phone will ring.  You will receive a message asking for your name and then asking you a question about what we are studying.  You will have 3 minutes to answer the question.  You will receive 5 points for answering the question.

This account is safe, secure and I am the ONLY person that has access to it.  Again, you can keep the phone number private if you’d like.  Also, it is a local number, so there are no long distance charges attached to it.  You may call from a land line, a cell phone or any other device that allows phone to phone calls.  I will be sending more information about this home when you get your report cards in a couple of weeks.




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