Thursday September 26th - Tuesday, October 1st

We reviewed information learned in the scientific method unit.  Students who scored a proficiency of 2 or lower retook the test.  Most students successfully increased the proficiency.
Beginning tomorrow and continuing until Tuesday, October 1st, a substitute will be teaching my class.  During those three days, students will work on the following projects:  Watercolor Planet Project (Planet Fact Sheets) & Planetary Travel Brochure assignment (Planet Fact SheetsPlanet Data Sheets).


Thursday, September 25th

Students watched Traveler's Guide to the Planets - Saturn and completed a video  worksheet.


Monday and Tuesday, September 23rd and 24th

On Monday, students watched a video, 95 Worlds and Counting.  TV Guide describes the program:  “Examining the moons of the planets of the solar system for their potential for harboring life. Featured: Io and Europa, which orbit Jupiter; and Neptune's moon Triton. Also: computer animation of other planets. John Lithgow narrates.”
Tuesday – All C-Level work should have been completed by the end of class.  Students continued working on the following B-Level assignment:  Classifying the Solar SystemHistory of Saturn Discovery and Wish You Were Here. A new B-Level assignment was made today - Coffee Filter Planet.


Friday, September 20th

Students working on C-Level assignments continued working on the worksheets.
Two new B-Level assignments were made.
  • History of Saturn Discovery  - Using cards identifying key dates, individuals, and space probes, students complete a timeline outline significant events in the study of Saturn.
  • Wish You Were Here – Students make a postcard about a planet.  On the front, they draw a picture of the planet and on the back, they write a description of the planet.


Thursday, September 19th

Students continue working on the C-Level Solar System assignments.  Those working on the B-Level assignments finished two assignments - Classifying the Solar System and Solar System Trading Cards.


Wednesday, September 18th

Students watched and episode of The Universe.  They watched the episode called the 7 Wonders of the Solar System and completed a worksheet.


Tuesday, September 17th

In this unit, students will be required to identify the composition of the inner and outer planets.  Students watched a video, The Sun and the Inner Rocky Planets and completed a worksheet.
Based on pre-test scores, students will begin working on one of two level of assignments.  C-Level assignments are basic assignments, giving students the basic knowledge they need for this unit.  Students who have the basic knowledge will begin with the B-Level assignments.  As students working on the C-Level assignments complete all the assignments, they will work on the B-Level assignments.
Students working on the B-Level assignments - Classifying the Solar System and Solar System Trading Cards.


Monday, September 16th

We finished the Scientific Method Unit today.  Students took the unit final assessment.  If a student did not do well on the test, there will be a review and students will have an opportunity to retake the test.
We began the Solar System unit today.  Students watched How the Solar System Works and completed a worksheet.


Friday, September 13th

We are in the process of finishing the Mysterious Red Light activity.  Student completed the Blue, Blue, Where Are You? lab.  This lab demonstrates how light is scattered in the sky because of particles in the atmosphere.


Thursday, September 12th

We continued the Mysterious Red Light labs.
  • What's Your Angle? – Using three mirrors, students bounce a laser light off the mirrors and hit a target.  This activity demonstrates the reflection of light.
  • Bendable Light. – Using a strip of gelatin, students shine a light through it and observe how the light moves when the gelatin strip is moved into different shapes.
  • Multiple Monies. – Using two mirrors, students placed a quarter in front of the two mirrors.  They counted the number of images they saw as the angle of the two mirrors change.


Wednesday, September 11th

Today we began segment 2 of The Case of the Mysterious Red Light.  Students watched video segment 2 and completed a video worksheet.


Tuesday, September 10th

Today we completed Segment 1 of The Case of the Mysterious Red Light Lab.  Students did the following lab activities.
  • The Incredible Wave – Using string, students made a model of wave and identify the four parts of a wave – amplitude, crest, trough, and wavelength.
  • Wave Upon WaveThis activity demonstrates frequency.  Using water in a pan and a craft stick, student create water in the pan and count the number of waves that go by the craft stick over a period of 5 seconds, 10 seconds, and 20 seconds.


Monday, September 9th

We began the Case of the Mysterious Red Light lab activities.  We completed two lab activities.
  • Traveling the Straight and Narrow – Student punch holes in three index cards.  They shine a light through the first hole straight on and at a 45-degree angle.  The purpose of the activity is to demonstrate that light travels in a straight line.
  • Roping the Wave – Using a rope and a Slinky, students demonstrate light waves.


Friday, September 6th

We began the Tree House Detectives activity - The Case of the Mysterious Red Light.  The morning and evening sky have been very red and they want to discover why.  We watched segment 1 and completed a video worksheet.
Student completed the first worksheet - Artificial or NaturalStudents have to identify which examples of light are produced naturally or artificially. 


Thursday, September 5th

Today, students finished the Controls and Variables Worksheet.
Students also completed the last assignment in the Scientific Method Worksheets, the Scientific Method Criss-Cross Puzzle.
We have completed the assigned worksheets.  Tomorrow we will begin the next activity, The Case of the Mysterious Red Light.


Wednesday, September 4th

We continued working on the Quantitative Observations vs. Qualitative Observations worksheet.  Students read a series of statements and determine if the statement is a quantitative observation (Observations that deal with numbers.) or qualitative observation (Observations that deal with descriptions).
Once the worksheet was completed, we began working on the Controls and Variables worksheet.  Students read about an experiment and have to answer questions about it, identifying the control (a part of the experiment that is not being tested and is used for comparison) and the variable (any part of an experiment that can change.).


Tuesday, September 3rd

We continued working on the scientific method unit today.
Students completed the Dinosaur Scene - Observation and Inference Worksheet.   Students are shown a picture and, using the picture, they determine if 18 statements are observations (To watch or look at something to get information) or inferences (Assume a fact, without proof, based on previous experience). 
The Honor’s Science class also completed the Quantitative Observations vs. Qualitative Observations Worksheet.  They read a series of statements and determine if the statement is a quantitative observation (Observations that deal with numbers.) or qualitative observation (Observations that deal with descriptions).


NASA Mars Rover Views Eclipse of the Sun by Phobos

PASADENA, Calif. - Images taken with a telephoto-lens camera on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity catch the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos, passing directly in front of the sun -- the sharpest images of a solar eclipse ever taken at Mars. 
Phobos does not fully cover the sun, as seen from the surface of Mars, so the solar eclipse is what's called a ring, or annular, type. A set of three frames from Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam), taken three seconds apart as Phobos eclipsed the sun, is athttp://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17356 .
The images are the first full-resolution frames downlinked to Earth from an Aug. 17, 2013, series. The series may later provide a movie of the eclipse. Curiosity paused during its drive that day to record the sky-watching images.
"This event occurred near noon at Curiosity's location, which put Phobos at its closest point to the rover, appearing larger against the sun than it would at other times of day," said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station, a co-investigator for use of Curiosity's Mastcam. "This is the closest to a total eclipse of the sun that you can have from Mars."
Observations of the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, by Curiosity and by the older, still-active Mars rover Opportunity are helping researchers get more precise knowledge of the moons' orbits. During the Aug. 17 observation, the position of Phobos crossing the sun was a mile or two (two or three kilometers) closer to the center of the sun's position than researchers anticipated.
Lemmon said, "This one is by far the most detailed image of any Martian lunar transit ever taken, and it is especially useful because it is annular. It was even closer to the sun's center than predicted, so we learned something."
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover.
Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built and operates the Mastcam instrument and two other instruments on Curiosity.
More information about Curiosity is online at http://www.nasa.gov/msl and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . You can follow the mission on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/marscuriosity and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/marscuriosity .
Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.