Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Going, Going, Gone..... but They'll Be Back!

That beautiful hummingbird that has been visiting the feeder in your backyard has disappeared.  He's actually departed on his annual journey south.

Hummingbirds, and many other bird species migrate each year to friendly climates, moving southward for the winter and returning north for the summer months.

Migration routes for hummingbirds are often more than 2,000 miles!

Scientists learn about bird migration by BANDING as shown in the video below.


Do some research on Hummingbird Migration by checking out this webpage:

(1) Read to find out the migration route for the Ruby Throated Hummingbird.  (Be careful!  The route that it takes traveling north is different than the route that it takes traveling south.)

(2) Sketch a simple map showing the migration routes for the Ruby Throated Hummingbird and label the northbound route and the southbound route.

(3) Put a star on the map where you believe you might be able to best observe (or catch) hummingbirds so that you can BAND them while they are migrating.

(4) Write down the reason you selected that location.

(5) Turn in your paper to Mrs D to EARN A REWARD!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Of Course We Can Design and Build at SDMS !

A bit of tape, some marshmallows and some spaghetti noodles.  Who can turn those simple materials into the highest tower over the next few minutes?......... Ready...... GO!

Do not underestimate the ingenuity of South Dale County Middle Schoolers.  These competitive young scientists conceived design options, experimented, and worked as teams to construct towers while they competed with their classmates.  

  • Future architects?  
  • Future astronauts?  
  • Future car designers?  
  • Future heart surgeons?
  • Future software designers?

I'm proud of these creative and competitive students!

Monday, September 5, 2016

2nd Greatest Prank in College Football and it was SCIENCE !

On the night before the Yellow Jackets were set to arrive in Auburn for an 1896 game (yes, 1896), Auburn students greased the train tracks leading in and out of the local station. When Georgia Tech's train came into town, it skidded through town and didn't stop for five more miles. The GT football team had to make the trek back to town, then went on to lose, 45-0.  (Thanks to USA Today, 08 March 2013.)

Like this story and want to know more?  Checkout this link!  2nd Greatest Prank

EARN A REWARD: Stop by to see Mrs D and explain (in your own words) how this prank worked! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

EARN A REWARD - Concept Map Swimming

You saw him in the Rio Summer Olympics. Michael Phelps is the winner of 23 Olympic Gold Medals - a feat surpassing all other Olympians. Sixteen years ago, at age 15, Phelps was part of the 2000 US Olympic team (although he did not medal in the 2000 games). So what are the factors associated with being a champion swimmer? Clearly he has a high performing body and mind but what are the specific factors that contribute to propelling your body thru water at a high speed?

Draw a concept map including at least 15 elements that contribute to being a champion swimmer.
Your concept map should be drawn on a single sheet of paper.
Turn in your concept map to Mrs D on or before Friday, 02 September and...

Saturday, August 13, 2016

EARN A REWARD ! Use the Scientific Method on Paper Airplanes

Paper airplanes are made out of paper ...... but WHAT KIND OF
PAPER should you select to make  your airplane fly the farthest? 

(1) Compare a piece of copy paper and a piece of construction paper.  Which is heavier?  Which is stiffer?  Which is smoothest?  Which folds the easiest?

(2) Based on your observations, which paper would be the best selection for your airplane?
Fill in the blanks to make a hypothesis:  
"IF I build my airplane from ____(type of paper)____, THEN it will fly far because _____________."

(3) What experiment could you perform to prove (or dis-prove) your hypothesis?
Fill in the blanks to describe the experiment you wish to perform.
"I will build an airplane out of ____________ and another airplane out of ________________.  
I will fly each airplane ______________ times and measure the distance."

TURN IN YOUR OBSERVATIONS, HYPOTHESIS, AND EXPERIMENT TO MRS D TO EARN A REWARD!  and ask her to help you conduct your experiment!

PAPER AIRPLANE - the Science (Not Secrets) of How to Fly Far !

Monday, August 1, 2016


Your beautiful lawn suddenly has a large dead spot - why why why why why ??  Fortunately you are a scientist and decide to employ the SCIENTIFIC METHOD to get some answers.   Start with making observations and developing questions about the dead spot.  
EARN A REWARD:  Begin your investigation into the dead spot on the lawn by studying the picture and doing some research (by simply talking to a gardener or parent).  On a sheet of paper, write down five observations and five questions you want to ask about the dead spot in the lawn.  Turn in your paper to Mrs D by Friday, 12 August to earn a reward! 

Students from GW Long and Rapaport - email me your observations and questions to adurrance@dalecountyboe.org to earn a reward !