Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learn to Observe - Checkout Your Soil and Earn a Reward

Sand, silt, and clay are the basic types of soil. Most soils are made up of a combination of the three. The texture of the soil, how it looks and feels, depends upon the amount of each one in that particular soil. The type of soil varies from place to place on our planet and can even vary from one place to another in your own backyard.  The surface rocks break down into smaller pieces and are mixed with moss and organic matter. Plants help the development of the soil. How?  The plants attract animals, and when the animals die, their bodies decay making the soil thick and rich.  


Using a shovel, gather one or two cups of soil from your your home or farm and place into a Ziploc plastic bag.  (Try to dig your shovel into the ground at least 5 or 6 inches.)
Examine your soil sample and record your answers to these questions on a sheet of paper
  • Does all of the soil appear the same ?  If not, what differences do you see ?
  • What color is the soil?  (Try to be VERY specific)
  • How would you describe the texture?  Is it sandy or does it feel more like clay?
  • Do you see anything living in the soil?  (Use a magnifying glass to observe if possible)

Bring your bagged soil sample and your written answers to class on Friday, 23 September to receive a reward!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunscreen - How Does that Stuff Work?

Sunscreens stop harmful ultraviolet light from penetrating into your skin and they work in one of two ways. Some of them absorb (soak up) the ultraviolet light.  Other suncreens work by reflecting UV light away from your skin using chemicals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. When it sits on your face, it works like a natural mirror that bounces away the harmful energy in sunlight so it does less damage to your skin. For reflective sunscreens to work properly, you need to apply them liberally and leave them forming a barrier on your face and body—in other words, don't rub them into your skin but let them dry on top, even if it makes you look like a ghost! 

(1)    Find a bottle or tube of sunscreen.  Look on the container and find the “active ingredients”.  Write down the name of Sunscreen product and the name of the active ingredients
(2)    Record three other ways to protect your skin from the sun
(3)    Did you know that overexposure to the sun can cause cancer?  Write two or three sentences to explain why this is true.  (If you are not sure, formulate your best guess!)

To earn your reward, record your answers on paper and provide to Mrs D by class on Friday!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Football is Science - EARN A REWARD !

It’s 4th down, you are deep in your own territory – time to PUNT!

Coaches recruit punters who can kick the ball to maximize hang-time and range.  Hang time is the duration from the moment ball is kicked until it is caught or it strikes the ground.  Hang time is measured in seconds.  Range is the distance the ball flies downfield and is measured in yards.

A good punter wants to kick the ball as far as he can (range) and also give his own teammates plenty of time to get downfield (hang time) to tackle the receiver.   All of this is determined by two factors – the speed of the ball off the kicker’s foot and the angle of the kick. 

BUT… THERE IS A TRADEOFF – kicking the ball straight up might maximize hang time but the ball would not travel far down the field.  Kicking it low and far would maximize range but hang time might be very low.   A great punter (or golfer, or baseball pitcher, or basketball player) can make small adjustments to get the best results for the situation.

Do some research, take some observations, EARN A REWARD !

(1) Get a blank form from Mrs D to record your observations or download this one Here's the Form and print yourself
(2) Watch some football this week.  Games are on Sat, Sun, Mon nite and Thurs nite.
(3) Watch at least three punts.   Record (on your form) the distance in yards and the hang time for each punt.  (Announcers will always give the distance – sometimes they give hang time.  It’s okay if you use your own watch to measure hang time.)
(4) Go to the dictionary and lookup the word “projectile”.  Record the definition on your form.
(5) Answer the question – Is a punted football a projectile?
(6) List some other examples of projectiles