Sunday, April 26, 2020

USA Science & Engineering Festival



The USA Science & Engineering Festival is pleased to offer our popular X-STEM conference in a virtual format!
X-STEM All Access – presented by AstraZeneca – is an engaging, entertaining, educational, and interactive online STEM experience for kids.  Through a series of daily live stream events, students (geared to middle and high school ages) will hear from an exclusive group of visionaries who aim to empower and inspire kids about careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Shout out to Class 301's Charlie Sockey for letting me know about this awesome virtual event coming up in May. It's free - though you need to register in advance (and it asks that since you are younger than 13 years old, that your parents register you). I just signed up and if you're interested, I encourage you (and any other family members) to as well here! (Click on the green "register for free" tab in the main banner once you reach the site).

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Happy Earth Day! 4/22/20

Despite the sad state of affairs we are currently in, I guess a bright side of things is that our Earth is healing. With our nations coming to an almost instantaneous and simultaneous halt, the carbon emissions have drastically been reduced. So in that respect, you might say that Mother Earth is on cloud 9!

So to celebrate, here are a few things that I thought you'd be interested in:

1. For those of you that had or know 321 teacher Ms. Eileen Lynch, her daughter, Celi, (a 321 graduate) is participating in the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) IDEAS Social Innovation Challenge where she has come up with and executed a plan to help farmers in rural West & Central Africa get access to machinery and learn how to produce fair trade and sustainably made palm oil. She and others are working hard to create and improve green practices around the world. Click on that red link above to learn more about her incredible plan called "Green Source." Also, feel free to check out the other environmentally inspired ideas: Arc, Pandar Africa, San Plus, REAssembly, Instinct & Effective Environmentalism. ***Edit! This just in! The contest votes have been counted and Celi Lynch won the top award for this challenge!! We are so proud of Celi!!

2. Edible Schoolyards is an amazing program here in NYC where their mission is to support edible education for students like you!  They partner with the public schools to cultivate healthy students and communities through hands-on cooking and gardening education with the ultimate goal to transform your relationship with food. As a response to our new home-learning structure, they've created a wonderful virtual learning resource hub. Check it out!

3. It's time for the annual New York Recycles! Poster Contest! The deadline is May 29th and schools will be notified of any winners before the end of the school year. So, if you are so inclined, check out the information about rules, regulations and how to submit a design here. If you end up making a poster design, please share with me as I'd love to see your efforts.

4. Finally, interested in ways you can be a steward of the earth and help live a sustainable lifestyle? Check out these 50 tips/reminders.

If you had a chance to check out anything from above, return to our google classroom and tell me about what you've learned/experienced in the comments section of this week's #5 "stream" post. Be sure to include your class number.

And if nothing else, find time today to go outside or stick your head out the window and take in a deep breath and give thanks to Mother Earth and all that she provides. Happy Earth Day, everyone! Be well!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Spring Break 2020

Hey Spring Breakers!

Hope you are all well and hanging in there. I think it's safe to say many of us will likely be looking for some things to fill our time this week. With this in mind, I've added a set of links to the right (in grey/red) called "Home School Links" for you to check out. The first one is what you may have already seen on the school website or in your homeroom Google Classroom. The second one related to virtual field trips is probably new to you, and I would suggest looking at the "science museums." I will continue to add links here that I think you will enjoy, and if you have any ones to suggest, I'd love to know.

Reminder: If you scroll down through the rest of the links, there are a ton of cool things to check out.
Also, if you'd like to do any "Care-to-Shares" about anything you explore while checking out the links or any other care-to-share ideas, I'd love to see them. Send them to my email: pnock@ps321.info. Below, I've posted the list of suggested care-to-shares to remind you of your options - though you are, by no means, expected to do any of this - it's only there for you if you want.


Care-to-Shares
1.     Write a summary paragraph describing your strengths, weaknesses & goals as a science student especially related to being a science learner from home. 

2.     Do an investigation/experiment at home (DO NOT choose an activity that requires you to go out and get supplies). Write a summary, share results/pictures if you can. SteveSpanglerScience.com is a great site for this!

3.     Let your mind wonder/question something that’s burning – now research it. Share your summary.

4.     Research a famous scientist (an added bonus if it’s a non-white, male scientist). Share your summary.

5.     Read up on a science-related current event. (Attach or link article if you can.) Share your summary.

6.     Visit Science321.com (aka ps321science.blogspot.com) and spend time browsing the site. Keep track of how long you spent & where you invested most your time. Share your summary of what you learned.

7.     Explain about a recent science-related experience you had, item you found, or place you visited.  Do research if necessary. Share your summary.

8.     Check out a science book. Share a summary/book review.

9.     Reflect on Patty’s class, unit, teaching style, home school teaching efforts, etc. Write her a summary explaining any positive aspects & give suggestions for areas that need improvement. (She happily accepts constructive criticism.)





Tuesday, March 17, 2020

It's scientifically proven - I'm missing you terribly.


Hey Kids!

Well, it’s a bit of a bummer that we can’t hang out and learn some Science face to face, but we’ll have to make the best of it.

As you can recall, we just began a new unit where we are going to be using the Scientific Method a bunch to get to the bottom of some great questions. Our first one being: “What happens if we drop craisins into 7-Up?”

The teachers at 321 are learning how we are going to communicate lessons to you through Google Classroom starting on Monday. Your classroom teachers will be giving you instructions on how to access all of that. So, be looking for my virtual classroom and then we can pick up where we left off.

Until then (and at any time, of course) you can always ask your own great testable questions and try to get to the bottom of it using the scientific method. (If you need a reminder about the steps, see below). Or too, check out any of my great links off to the right side (in red) and explore. One of my favorites is Steve Spangler Science.

Any research you do, or new explorations you make, simply write up a little summary paragraph about it and send it my way (via the google classroom). I’m eager to see all that you are doing! 

Ask a Question
            * Be sure it lends itself to experimentation
            * Don’t forget the “?”
Observe & Research
            * Use your senses
            * Use prior knowledge
            * Use resources – internet, books, professionals
State your Hypothesis
            * Say what you think and WHY!
            * “because” must be in your hypothesis
Design the Investigation
            * List of all materials (bulleted)
            * List of all procedures (numbered)
            * Then carry it out!
Collect & Analyze Results
            * Take written notes (a well-documented journal)
            * Take visual notes (sketches, photos, charts, graphs)
Discuss your Findings
            * In general, what happened?
            * Why do you think it happened?
            * Were there any errors?
Make Conclusions
            * Overall, what did you learn?
            * Revisit your hypothesis (don’t change it if wrong)
            * Ask a new question

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Scientific Method: Take 2

What happens when you drop Craisins in 7-Up?
What's the difference between a systematic observation and an experiment?
What's the test variable that you will use to investigate?
Why do things sink and float? and bob?
How does a submarine work?

Many very interesting questions "come up" during this unit as we use the Scientific Method to investigate. Let's dive right in and get to the bottom of it all!


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Keeping Things Rolling: Rocks & Landforms

This unit started by looking at the three main types of rocks and how they are formed. Students then "morph" into geologists and use dichotomous keys with the help of technology to uncover the types and names of 10 mystery rocks according to their characteristics. Creating topographic & profile maps is also part of this unit as students learn how to read maps understanding contour lines and various map symbols. The unit of study concludes with simulating change in landforms due to weathering, erosion and deposition.
Want to further practice/study this information? The links off to the right side are super helpful! If you click on the Scholastic link and use the down arrow button to locate the page about Landforms, Rocks & Minerals, you can watch the video about the "Rock Cycle" or drill into the specific types of rocks to gain a more in-depth understanding. The page about "Weathering & Erosion" is also a good one. Just remember to Keep Calm and Rock On!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Healthy, Green & Everything in Between!

It's Green & Healthy time! 5th grade students are working hard to accomplish their nutrition, exercise & environmental goals using the calendar logs to keep track of their progress! We learn quickly that making positive food choices & working to stay active not only affects our bodies, but it can have a positive impact on our planet, too.  Balanced diets are the key and understanding what exactly the different foods can do for us is important. Exploring the "food cards" will certainly help us with this understanding. And students will love our apple game and farm lesson designed to enhance our learning as we come to realize the value of eating fresh, non-processed, local foods.
Save the date for Thursday, January 30th (6:30-8pm) for our annual Green & Healthy Family Night!


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

That's "Eggs"actly Our Point!

5th Graders have been working hard to uncover some big ideas! We now know what happens when you simultaneously drop two items of different masses from the same height.  Not only do we know the results, but we know the science behind it! Students have also applied their knowledge from the gravity drop tests and from our earlier seed dispersal creations to creating our most recent egg drop structures. Congratulations to all the groups that were able to design a structure that kept their egg from cracking! Way to put your understanding of surface area and air resistance into practice! Want to challenge your brain with regards to all of this, check out the link on the side titled "elephant and feather" or get a hard copy from me. If you answer the true/false questions and correct all false questions so they read correctly and I'll give you a mystery microscope slip.