"Yesterday we did a lab about genetically mutated species. Each table had a different mutation, and we all tried to get candy. The Candy represented Food in the Wild. Some mutations helped like having an extra hand, but some mutations killed, like fork fingers. I learned that mutations can help and hurt the animals in an environment. If we do not take care of the wild, bad mutations can develop. In the end, most survive, but future mutations might end up driving some species extinct." - Emily H. and Lindy C. "We did a squirrel mutation lab on April 5, 2017. In this lab, we gave squirrels "mutations" such as fork fingers, three hands, and no thumbs. The worst one was the fork fingers because it was very hard for the "squirrel" to get food. The best one was the three hands because it was already easy with two hands, and it got even easier with three. We learned that mutations may be beneficial for the animal or bad for the squirrel." - Sownthar P. and Mihir C. "Yesterday, we did a simulation relating to mutations. Each group was a squirrel that was mutated differently, and we had to collect and open candy (food) from a common food source. I learned that mutations are different form adaptations because mutations are when DNA gets changed in good or bad ways. Organisms that had helpful mutations actually survived and the organisms that had mutations that were a hindrance to their food-eating ability died out. Also, food that was easier to consume usually ran out more." - Prerana
*Special thanks to all the parents that donated candy for this lab. We really appreciate it!
In honor of World Water Day, CMSE students worked with 23 different schools around the world to test and compare water quality. We developed "I can" statements to share how we would conserve water and stop water pollution. Here are some of their thoughts. "Our World Water Day Project was so much FUN! We went through some really cool stations with some really cool technology, thanks parents for donating money! We got to look at lake water near us, and we actually found a Protist, which is a one cell organism. It was so cool to see microscopic bugs, and organisms in the water, but it was also kind of gross! Whenever you accidentally drink some of the lake water, that is going in your mouth!" - Emily H. "Our world is in danger of losing our fresh supply of clean water. It is projected that we will lose all our water in the next decade. We have to stop and take action. Coppell Middle School 7th grade science students are interacting with many other schools across the earth to help save our water for future generations. We have been testing lake water and also learning new and exciting ways to preserve and purify our water." - Shriya D. and Adrianna B. We shared our learning with others using an app called FlipGrid. See everyone's responses here!
Guiding Question: How can we make the world a better place? Project Idea #2: Write a Book for Kids on Saving Earth "Our next project is writing a book and saving the Earth. We are most excited about it because we could be published in a real book in iTunes! This book will inform kids about how our actions can effect the earth, and how we can change our lifestyle to change the earth for the better." - Cat and Katy "Millions of years ago, humans were nothing but uncivilized creatures as good as animals, living ruggedly. As we look through time and see evolution, we see that humans have became something more and discovered so much about the world. However, humans completely overpopulating and taking over the world with their cities, homes, and yards hasn't necessarily been the best thing. In our science class, we are writing a Save The Earth book for kids. It revolves around the concept of how we have to take back our planet, and nurse it back to health. It also teaches kids that no matter what their age or home, they can help the world. The best part about the book is that it teaches simple, understandable methods of sprucing up your daily life to benefit the Earth. With hard work, an undeniable amount of resilience and effort, there is no doubt this book will turn out to be a success, because of how it reaches out to kids, and instead of speaking to their heads, it speaks to their heart." - Veda and Jillian
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.
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
"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."