Friday, February 17, 2017

Environmental Pollutants

Guiding Question: How do environmental stimuli, such a pollution alter plant growth?

In class, we decided to figure how different pollutants affected onions. Our groups each got a different chemical to work with. (My group specifically has Ant Killer) Each day we recorded the average of the root growth of the onion. And on the third day, we added the pollutant. It didn't really do much at first but then it stopped growing and it started to break apart at the bottom.
- Najwa and Abbey

In class, we are doing a project on the ways onions respond to different kinds of chemicals we feed it. The purpose of this is to see how different things affect the environment when something contaminates water. This is because we are seeing what would happen if it happened to our water. I have learned that onions grow roots when you put it in water and that some different chemicals destroy the roots and make the onion deteriorate.
- Lindy

These images show the difference in root growth in an onion placed in water compared to an onion placed in acid rain.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Heart Smart Lab

Guiding Question:
How does the environment alter heart rate?

We just learned about the heart and how it works. We conducted an experiment to see how the heart would work when we were scared or nervous. We decided to watch a horror movie trailer and then we recorded our heart rates before and after. We learned that our heart rate increases because of a process called fight or flight. The process increases your breathing and heart rate to help your muscles move faster so you can either fight fear or run away.
- Lindy and Maria

In the Heart Smart ADI Lab, we compared how different levels of stress effects the heart rate. To do this, we solved math worksheets on different time limits. For the first trial, we had 30 seconds; for the second trial, we had 60 seconds; and for the third trial, we had 90 seconds. Once we complete down the experiment, we found that the heart rate for the first trial was much higher than the second and third trials. We learned that this was because stress triggers the body's "fight-or-flight" response. This results in an increased production of adrenaline, which releases sugar into the body. This sugar makes a person more energetic, and have a higher heart rate.
- Joanne

Sunday, January 8, 2017

McMush Lab

"During the McMush certain things have been exposed through the power of science. Such as the fact McDonald's meat doesn't have enough protein to be detected by Biuret, which turns food purple if it has enough protein. We also learned about how starch turns into glucose through enzymes in a persons body. Another lesson we learned was the functions of organs in the digestive system, such as how the pancreas produces insulin and the stomach churns."
- Aakash A.

"In the McMush lab, we realized that eating homemade, fresh and organic food is way better than eating fast food. For example a typical cheeseburger, Sprite and fries don't contain any protein or anything healthy. They are loaded with sugar and bad lipids and carbohydrates. In conclusion, we learned that what's in the food matters the most."
- Shriya and Sandi

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bendy Bones

As we continue to try and inspire kids to have healthier habits, our labs are focused around making better choices when it comes to what we eat and drink.  The Bendy Bones lab attempted to demonstrate the effects of popular drinks on bone health over time.  Read some of their comments to see what they learned.

"The bendy bones lab is a lab where we soaked chicken bones in different sodas. The goal of the lab was to see how the bone density was effected. The density decreased in all the bones, but Mountain Dew was the largest decrease. Don't drink da DEW!"
- Tristan M.

"In the Bendy Bones lab we soaked a chicken bone in a solution, to see the alteration of the bone. The bone decreased in mass and density. We learned that unhealthy drinks can affect your bones a lot more than we think."
- Braden A.

"In the Bendy Bone lab, we did an experiment where we put a chicken bone inside an acidic liquid for three days. When we took it out we found out that the chicken bones density decreased. This shows that acidic liquid may decrease your bone density which can lead to osteoporosis and other serious consequences that can lead to harmful diseases. The reasons why acidic liquid decreases bone density is because it stops the consumption of vitamin D and calcium. This can lead to decrease of bone density."
- Sam and Om

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Scientist Day

Scientist Day, Fall 2016
Each class learned from a different scientist to discover different types of careers and what it is like to be a scientist. Special thanks to all of our scientists for their time to either visit or FaceTime with us!

Guest Speaker: Tamlyn, South African Penguin Rescue SANCCOB

We talked to Tamlyn from South Africa and she worked with penguins and studied them. We learned that penguins are actually sometimes very aggressive and that some penguins are getting hurt by humans. Humans are penguins biggest threat and that we need to recycle more. Global warming is making penguins food (fish) move because the water is too warm for them and this causes the penguins not to have food.
- Diego

Guest Speaker: Lorena Ellis, University of Texas A&M Galveston, Marine Biologist
During scientist day, we talked with a marine biologist in Texas A&M Galveston. She talked about how the waste that gets deposited in the ocean usually ends up in the Great Pacific Trash Patch, which is a big patch of trash that is two times the size of Texas. We also learned about the trash that causes turtles to get injured and hurt, they include plastic, fish hooks, and more. Sea turtles eat anything they see, including the bad things. She told us many ways that we can stop the trash in the ocean including, using reusable water bottles, picking up trash, and not single use plastic.
- Varunika, Jaanvi, Tulsi

Guest Speaker, Randy Johnson, Horticulturist, The Dallas Zoo

We learned about gardening and composting from Randy Johnson. We also learned about the importance of picking the right plants for a garden. In addition to that we learned that you should use native plants and the borders in your garden should be abstract, not straight. We also learned that we should use a variation of vegetables and flowers.
- Abhijay and Scott

Guest Speaker, Mount Rainier Park Rangers
On scientist day I learned a lot about what a park ranger does.The mystery animal was a north spotted owl which is a pretty rare and endangered owl.It is very habitat specific so it only lived in North California and South Canada.It eats snowshoe hair rabbits and flying squirrels.The bard owl and golden eagle eat it.
- Harjas

Guest Speaker: Dr Robyn Olney, Pathologist

On scientist day we learned about what pathologist's do, and how they help patients. We could to see body parts real live like lungs, heart, babies that are still forming, and more. She taught us how they find out if someone has cancer, and she gave us a lesson on the body parts. We also learned about the integumentary system. Some things I learned is that smoking causes the lungs to have big wholes in them verses healthy lungs which have microscopic holes. We learned about cancer, and what they do to patients with breast cancer. Also, we learned that sometimes certain body parts have to be removed due to a problem. For example, sometimes people's tonsils need to be removed because their is a problem, or it isn't functioning properly. Those are some we learned yesterday from Dr. Onley.
- Krithi

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Skin Lab

This six weeks, our focus in science was the integumentary system, also known as the hair, the skin, and the nails. To learn about each of the function of the system we did a lab. To show how the skin protects the body from injuries and infections, we did an experiment to see how the receptors in our body react to stimuli. To demonstrate waste removal, we learned about sweat glands and how they release toxins. Lastly, to demonstrate homeostasis, we learned about how the arrecotor pili muscle contracts so that the temperature in your body can stay balanced.
- Neha and Prerana

Image created by Pranavi G.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Sleep Study

Every one has a day where they're so caught up in finishing up all of their work that they brush off the matter of getting enough sleep. We all have thoughts that are along the lines of 'It doesn't matter, I'll get more sleep tomorrow'. The truth is, getting enough sleep is so important that it could have a lasting effect on your sanity and cause, potentially, death. It also causes function delays and failure in your endocrine system and nervous system because the body gets replenished every time the owner sleeps, and without replenishment, the organs aren't refreshed and can't work to their full potential.

We've been testing out how losing sleep causes the brain and muscles to react slower, and it's been proven that people who have less sleep and are more distracted or unfocused (effect of less sleep) which causes them to react slower. Getting enough sleep might be a matter that is never brought to the light of importance that it deserves, or be considered as a serious health issue, but in the future, it is everyone's hope that people learn to get enough sleep.
- Veda, Kavya, Sriya, Pranavi

Our class data from Reaction Time vs Hours of Sleep
If you don't get enough sleep, your reaction time will be slower. The lack of sleep effects your memory and attitude. While we are sleeping, the toxins that build up during the day in the brain get washed away making you more refreshed for the next day.
- Hafsa, Sandi, Michael