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

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cell Show What You Know Showcase

Look at some of these amazing projects that students created to show what they learned about cells.  I loved all of the creativity and unique ideas that they came up with but here are a few of my favorites.
- Mrs. D.

Arjun's Plant Versus Animal Cells

Bethany's Minecraft Cell

Aakash's Animation on Endocytosis

Tia's Plant Versus Animal Cells

Inside of Bethany's Minecraft Cell

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Water Overdose and Homeostasis

In order to understand homeostasis, we modeled what happens when a person is dehydrated versus what happens when a person drinks too much water. We looked at an extreme case of over hydration and then predicted what happened to our cells when we saturate them with extreme amounts of fluid.
-Mrs. D.

"We did a lab as a class to help us understand homeostasis and osmosis. We took the shell off of two eggs, and then put one of them in 100% water, and the other in 0% water. The egg had about 70% water. After 24 hours, we found that the egg in 100% water had increased in mass, while the egg in the 0% water decreased. This is because cell want to maintain equilibrium with its environment so the cells in the egg that was placed in 100% water, took in some of the water molecules from its environment. The cell in the egg that was in 0% water let out water molecules to maintain equilibrium"
- Emily, Vedanti, Aashika, Pooja

Egg cells soaked in different solutions show dehydration and over hydration.

Look at how Kinley showed her understanding of osmosis, diffusion, and cell membrane transport. Love the creativity!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mystery Box Challenges

In science, we did a very interesting thing called the Mystery Box Challenge. First, we rolled a huge die to get the number for our mystery box. Then, you tried to do the demonstration with the items inside the box. Some of them represented diffusion, and some osmosis. The diffusion with milk, food coloring, and soap was ours. The food coloring expanded in a wondrous array of colors and swirls and it looked really cool. This amazing demonstration was only one of the many things in the interesting mystery box challenge".
- Adarsh, Om, Vinay

" If you are given a box full of random materials, could you design a lab? We created an experiment using a Petri dish, stopwatch, 2 pill animals, and water. We were able to test whether the amount of water affected osmosis rate in cells. We found that the more water outside the cell, the faster the rate of osmosis."
- Arjun

"We did the Mystery Box Challenge. In the box we had two beakers, we had to get one with hot water and one with cold water. We also had blue and red food coloring to differentiate the waters. We timed how fast the food coloring spread when we kept it in the beakers. I learned that the hotter water let the color molecules spread faster."

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Adventures in Antarctica

Using the app Flipgrid, CMS East science students are learning from a marine biologist in Antarctica! Read this groups thoughts on learning from a professional so far away --

"Everyday we think that when we grow up, we're going to follow our dreams and practice a profession with such good impact on the world. Everyday, we think at least once that we are going to help change the world for the better. But one thing I know is that none of us would, without hesitation, go straight to Antarctica to follow our dreams and change the world. We think of our dreams as impossible, limited, wonderful things. We think of our dreams as palaces and wealth, but we do not ever aspire to go to a desolated continent to research. We have learned from Laura, the Marine Biologist that it is important to keep what you love when you are leaving your home. She continues to love Cheetos even thought they aren't in Antarctica. We have also learned that we need perseverance and problem-solving skills in life, and we cannot be forever reliant on other people. We need to take charge of our life and what we want and learn accordingly. We need to solve our own problems because it will help us later in life when we are living alone and perhaps working a career. Laura, the marine biologist in Antarctica, has taught us a lot about life skills and following your dreams."

- Veda, Shriya, and Kavya

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cell Survivor

"We are doing a project called cell survivor in class. It is like the TV show Survivor where we have to try to do many activities and provide good facts about our organelle to not get voted out of the cell or island. We have different organelles assigned to us like the Golgi, Lysosomes, ER, and many more. We research facts and do immunity challenges as well. Immunity challenge winners can't be voted off the cell for that round. The final one that is left is the winner."
- Naman, Neal, Yoichiro

Students created organelle models out of recycled materials to show the structure of their organelle. These models were used during round two of presentations.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Students created sketchnotes or visual notes to show connections between vocabulary words.  By connecting the words and definitions to the images, students are able to better remember these concepts.  Check out some outstanding sketchnotes done by our awesome 7th graders!
- Mrs. D.

Created by Harika

Created by Pooja

Created by Areebah

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Cell Structure Lab

"We did a lab on cells in science class. We looked at many samples of plants, like Spirogyra (freshwater algaeI and Elodea (aquatic plant). We also got to look at our own cheek cells. It was really cool and weird to look at our own cells, and seeing our cells made us more aware of the fact that we are actually just made of a bunch of cells grouped together."
- Adarsh, Sam, Jiwoong

Look at these amazing images students captured with their iPads!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

First Lab Practical

This week we took our first lab practical. Its a test, but not really a normal test.  Read student thoughts to find out more about what it is like to take a lab practical in science class.

The lab practical was definitely a different kind of test. I think while it was different than a normal test in the way it was more hands-on, I think the most beneficial part was having a partner. It's definitely more hands-on and engaging and requires deeper thinking. You collaborate with a partner which makes things more efficient and helpful towards choosing an answer. The lab practical was testing our skills on basic science skills such as measurement and using a microscope. We used lab equipment like beakers, graduated cylinders, and forceps and calculated temperature, pH, density, mass, volume, and identified different parts of a CER conclusion amongst other tasks."
- Jiwoong, Dhruv, Veda, Pranavi

Monday, September 19, 2016

Student Feature - First Six Weeks Challenges

Everyone did a great job on their first six weeks challenge but here are a few that were pretty outstanding!  All are shared with student permission, but take a moment to check out their challenges collection on their portfolio!


Wesley B.


Om A.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mystery Class

"Today we are doing a Skype with a class anywhere in the world! All we know is that they speak English, and that they are younger than us. We have to find out where they live. We were closing in on a their location as they were ours. There were strangely many controversial answers. They soon guessed our state. They began to close in closer and closer while we were stuck. They found our city when we didn't even have their state! We finally found the location, after many questions, of ALASKA. It was their game, by far. In the end, we had a quick little Q and A, about life in Texas and Alaska. We learned about Alaska, like how even kids dogsled. It was quite the experience."
- Sneha

Our Mystery Class Locations:
2nd Period - Melbourne, Australia
3rd Period - Iceland (we still aren't sure how to spell that city!)
4th Period - South Bend, Indiana
6th Period - Manhattan Beach, California
7th Period - Anchorage, Alaska

Thanks to our photographers for the great images!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Design a Lab

This week, we are going to be doing the Stomach vs Soda lab where we test a drink's impact on the stomach (we're using cow stomach for example). Our goal for the stomach lab is to find out whether Gatorade damages the stomach, and if so, how serious on a scale the problems it causes are. We believe that since Gatorade is ordinarily a fruity drink of sorts, it shouldn't be too harming to the stomach. We think either the Redbull or the Dr. Pepper will affect the stomach most negatively since, outwardly, they don't look entirely healthy.
- Jillian, Veda, and Caralyn


Friday, September 2, 2016

Observation vs. Inference

To understand the difference between observations and inferences, we went outside and used our Pro-scopes (supplied by our fabulous PTO!) to capture macro-images of nature and our surroundings.

Look at these amazing images they captured!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Measurement Lab

"Our goal was to lean about measurements, some types of measurements we learned about are mass, volume, density, temperature, inches, centimeters, and millimeters. At one station we measured how tall we were, at another we used mass and volume to find density, at the last one we found the temperature of different substances."
- Bethany and Kinley

"We went to different stations and learned about the metric system, density calculations, temperature, pH level, buoyancy test, and types of graphs. Our goal was to learn how to use many different types of measurement when we need it in the future. Also, other than being helpful, it put us in a good mood. At the metric system we measured our body parts and how some parts of our body are symmetric. Also, we learned how the metric system works. At the density station, we learned the formula of density and how to find the mass and volume of an object as well. We also liked the tools because they were unique. On the pH level it was very fun. The paper changed color according to the solution it was put in. We also learned about the three types of things in the scale which were acid, base, and neutral. At the temperature station, we put the thermometer in sand, dirt, and water. It was fun because it kept changing. At the buoyancy test station, we put rocks and water in a container and tried to make the container sink, float, and in the middle. It was very fun especially when we tried it in the middle. At the graphs we illustrated the graphs and learned what they were used for. We learned about the metric system, pH level, how to calculate density, how to record temperatures, how to make thing float or sink, and find what types of graphs did. At the end, we did a fun Kahoot!"
- Wesley, Naman, Yoichiro

"During the measurement lab we went to multiple stations to review and learn measurements for science. Our goal was to gain a little more knowledge about measurements in science such as the ph scale. We reviewed over multiple measurement in science such as temperature, ph or acidity, length and width, and mass and volume to get density. A new measurement that we learned is the ph scale how to measure the level of acidity."
Aidan, Landry, Hank, Neal

Challenge Winners: Anna, Peyton, Isaiah, and Harjas
[Make one float, one sink, and one suspend in the middle]

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Six Weeks Challenge

Our first six weeks challenge encourages students to look around and notice their environment.  We are trying to challenge their lens on their world as this will lead into our year long plan to improve society.  You can see our six weeks challenges HERE.  The project was introduced during class on Friday and students had the chance to make a quick comment about it.

"Our six weeks challenge is about world problems and solutions to them. We are excited about finding solutions and helping the world!"
- Ava, Christa, and Katie

"Our group is most exited about getting a chance to help solve a common problem in our community that will affect the world. We think that it is cool because we are learning something while having fun!"

- Krithi, Shreya, Kaavya

You can join us in the project by subscribing to our course in iTunes U.
Global Problem Solvers

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Welcome to 7th Science!

Welcome back to school and to 7th grade science. This blog will be written this year by our 7th graders to keep you updated on what we are doing in class.  

Question prompt:  What did you do on the first two days in science class?"

"On the first day of school we chose what table we wanted to sit at and then our teacher told us that we were going to do stations. Our favorites were the music station were we chose music to play in class and also a station were we wrote what we would want to do to help the world like pollution and others. On the second day we got to wrote what we wanted to do to change the world and also we guessed science tools."

- Aiden, Landry, Hank, and Neal

"So for the past two days we had a lot of fun in science. On the first day of science we did stations on ideas and fun things to do in class. For example one of our stations was what songs should we add on the class playlists. On the second day we did a project intro, and our group created the idea of stopping artificial hormones on farm animals and the effect it does to human beings. Yay!!!! We had so much fun!!!"
- Kavya, Krithi, Khushi, Sriya, and Shreya

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Skyping with South Africa

Yesterday we Skyped with Tamlyn and Princess the penguin all the way in Cape Town, South Africa.  Tamlyn is a penguin rehabilitation expert who works to help injured birds and raise awareness about pollution.  She is the education manager for SANCCOB, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.  One of the chapters of our zoo book is on the African penguin so it was great to get first hand information from an expert that works with them.

Visiting Mockingbird

Last week we had the opportunity to visit Mockingbird Elementary and share what we have been learning with the younger kids. East students have been on an Amazing Race to learn about the endangered animals we are writing our book on for the Dallas Zoo.  While learning about the animals and their adaptations, biomes, and diet, students created a travel journal to share what their work.  We partnered up with classes next door to give our students an authentic audience.

Students were really creative in their storytelling and did a great job of interacting with the younger students.  Look at a couple of images from their books below and ask your kids to see their travel journal.  Each group member should have a copy of it on their iPad.

Created by Meena B, Andrea P, Manasi V, and Paige P.

Created by Sydney d, Renee R, Michka G. and Madison P.

Check out some of the pictures of our "big kids" teaching their younger friends.