Monday, September 30, 2013

Flower power

This week we learnt about various plant structures from root to stem, leaves, and flowers!  We learnt about diffusion and osmosis and how water enters the roots of plants.  This demonstration shows how water (and food colouring) travels up the stem and out to the leaves and flowers.  Also the water leaves via transpiration but the colour stays in the pedals.  Beautiful.

 A great explanation here 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Hadfield VC with ECES

I am proud to announce that we will be having CHRIS HADFIELD speak to our entire school!  It is through the National Film Board's Virtual School Hadfield will be simultaneously broadcasting online to over 200 schools!  We submitted some questions and if one or more of ours are picked we will be able to talk to him live.  More TBA!


It will be on Wednesday October 16th from 11:30pm-12:30pm.  More details TBA.  Please see the NFB website for more details and background information.  

Just one step closer to our one-on-one goal!  See this link for more of my Chris Hadfield posts.

This video is a good summary of all that is cool about Commander Hadfield!

Earth Box

Today the 7F1 class got to help me plant our Earth Boxes!  (Don't worry 7F2 you get to do the compost garden next week!).  Fall is not the ideal season for planting and as the days get shorter I am not sure if this is going to work.  I piloted an Earth Box project at my old school in Wetaskiwin and it was a huge success.  We had TEN Earth Boxes and were able to grow enough food to have salad and make soup as well as tomatoes for everyone.  This year I have borrowed three boxes (I gave one to Mrs. Buzak) and so we will try our humble garden out.  We will also replant in late January (when I usually plant) and compare to see which garden was more successful.

To learn more about it please see the links
Thank you to everyone who brought seeds.  We planted lettuce, spinach, a variety of herbs, carrots, beets, beans, tomatoes, and all kind of peppers.  I am even bringing in one of my husband's ghost peppers to see if it will keep growing!  HOT!!
First fill the corners and pack it in to form a wick

Next fill them up almost to the top with dirt
keep filling!
sprinkle on the dolomite fertilizer (organic!)
Top it up with more dirt
Make troughs and add fertilizer (organic!)
Pick your seeds and get planting!
So many to pick from!
Attach grow lights and netting for the future then give a gentle water to the top of the dirt.
All watering from now on is done through the tube at the side so it will always be perfectly moist.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nommez le scientifique

Login à votre compte Google et commenter ci-dessous avec votre idée pour le nom de notre scientifique!  Le gagnant sera annoncé avec son / sa photo prise avec notre scientisit et son nouveau nom!
Login to your Google account and comment below with your idea for a name for our scientist!  The winner will be announced with his/her photo taken with our scientisit and his new name!


This week we continued to work on our knowledge of the Scientific Method by demonstrating how osmosis works with gummy bears.  YUM!  What does this have to do with plants?  Well osmosis is how plants absorb water through their roots!

See lab results from last year here

See all about this lab and the scientific explanation here and a video explanation here

Diffusion - Distribution of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration until equilibrium is reached.

After!  See how they have grown or shrunk!
Osmosis - Diffusion through a semi-permeable membrane.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Soyuz Launch LIVE

Today we were able to watch a LIVE shuttle launch of of Soyuz capsule going up to the ISS with three astronauts to begin their missions.  I had it playing during the last period of the day and just after the bell rang at the end of the day we all counted down together 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLASTOFF!!

Here is the replay

See the NASA TV schedule here for future launches

See NASA TV on UStream for live uploads daily

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Photosynthesis of Fall Leaves

We did a great lab today all about photosynthesis and leaves changing colours in the fall.

First we learnt more about what photosynthesis is. 

Then we had to sing the photosynthesis song!

We drew a lovely diagram about how photosynthesis works (En français pour mes élèves en immersion).  Excuse my weak drawing skills.  We can't be good at everything!!

Next we learnt about why leaves turn colours in the fall.  We watched this brainpop video but if you don't have a subscription you can see a similar one here

Finally we conducted a lab where we used chromatography to separate out the different colours of chlorophyll from leaves.  I found the lab online here and it explains everything in amazing detail!  What a great way to welcome fall and see the science around us!

The kids working on their lab

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Terry Fox Run

Our school will be hosting our Annual Terry Fox Run on Friday, September 27th at 10:45am.  The students will be running approximately 5km and we will be hosting a BBQ afterwards for participants.  Families are welcome to participate and are welcome to join us for the BBQ

In support of the Terry Fox Foundation we will be collecting Toonies for Terry at the office all week long but with a twist.  There will be 10 jars with staff member or Grade 8 Leadership student volunteers names on them.  Students, staff, parents and other generous people can donate to any jar they wish and the jar that has the most money raised in it at 1pm Friday will have that person perform a silly task.  These include performing, dressing in costume, having their hair/makeup and wardrobe chosen for a day, or being duct taped to the front post of the school all in the name of good fun and for a noteworthy cause.  

There will also be Toonie Toss organized on Friday after the BBQ, in which students can purchase a plastic golf ball to throw at a chance to win a giant stuffed toy with the closest ball to the target.

You can also donate online or sign up to collect your own pledges via our school HERE

The ECES Terry Fox Committee 

Live Lauch

This morning we watched the launch of NASA's Antares rocket.  Amazing!

See the video here:  Make sure to check it out at the 4:22 min mark for when the rocket and spacecraft separate.

See here for more:
The Cygnus spacecraft is an unmanned resupply spacecraft being developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation as part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services(COTS) developmental program. It will be launched by Orbital's Antares rocket and is designed to transport supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) following the retirement of the American Space Shuttle. Since August 2000 unmanned ISS resupply missions have been regularly flown by Russian Progress spacecraft, as well as by the EuropeanAutomated Transfer Vehicle, the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, and the SpaceX Dragon. With the Cygnus spacecraft, NASA seeks to increase its partnerships with domestic commercial aviation and aeronautics industry.[4]
Cygnus is the Latinized Greek word for swan and a northern constellation.

Les herbes médicinales

Les herbes médicinales

Utilise ton manuel et d’autres sources de documentation pour répondre aux questions suivantes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Click here to see a list of amazing resources in English


Voici les sites de microscope virtuel. Amusez-vous bien avec.

*Micro Virtuel -

Electro M -

Aussi pour le quiz demain vous avez besoin de connaître les parties du microscope et de ce qui suit:

click to enlarge


1.      Décrivez comment transporter une microscope.
1. Un main sur la potence/bras
2. Un main sur la base

2.      Décrivez comment de trouver le mise au point (“focus”) d’un image sur la lamelle
1.  Placez la LAME sur la platine (en bas) avec le spécimen au centre
2.  Mettez les valets aux cotes de la lame pour tenir en place
3.  Utilise l’objectif la plus faible (4x)
4. Utilise la vis macrométrique pour trouver l’image
5. Utilise la vis micrométrique pour faire l’image plus claire

3.      Décrivez comment préparer un montage humide
1.  Mis une goute d’eau sur une lame propre
2.  Utiliser un scalpel ou pince pour placer le spécimen sur la goute
3.  Ajouter un autre goute d’eau
4.  Prend une lamelle par les cotes et placez-la pour qu’elle forme un angle de 45 dégrées avec la surface de la lame
5.  Baisser lentement la lamelle avec une probe ou crayon

4.      Comment est-ce que l’image de l’objet que tu observe change quand tu le regard par une microscope?   À l’envers et renverser!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Plant Labs

I have finally completed all of my planning for our plants unit and I am going to share with you some of the important dates.  For the rest of the year I will just have everyone look at the calendar online at  If you have a google account you can sync/add my calendar to yours by pressing on the Google+ button on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.  Because this is our first unit and year together I will put all of the information below this once, but after this please just check the calendar regularly.

We will be doing a variety of experiments using plants and parts of plants.  I am asking that kids bring in a few things, most are from plants, food, or things you can find at home and shouldn't cost anything.  If the minimal cost for the flower lab items is an issue please let me know and we will make arrangements.  Because we work in groups for many projects and labs I don't see it being too costly.


Sept 23 Collect FRESH leaves in all colours - Photosynthesis lab Sept 24

Sept 25 Collect any seeds left over from your garden (vegetables etc.) - Sept 27 Earthbox Lab

Sept 30 - Collect food and/or peels of a variety of colours for the dying with plants lab - Oct 1

Oct 2 - Collect/buy craft suplies to build all the parts of a flower for the flower lab on Oct 3
This is ths only lab with some cost to it so we will divide materials needed between groups of 2-3 kids

Oct 2/3 - Collect food scraps to plant for the planting from scraps lab on Oct 4

Here are the dates for our assessments:
Quiz topics 1-3 -Friday October 4th
Quiz topics 4-6 - Thursday October 24th
(bring a duotang to class to make review book for test)
Test - Plants - Monday October 28th

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dreams coming true!

I don't even think I have the words to describe the pure JOY of being lucky enough to see Chris Hadfield at the ETown conference yesterday.  To make it even more spectacular the Barenaked Ladies were OUT OF THIS WORLD and Hadfield even played ISS with them!  

I was fortunate enough to see the end of Chris Hadfield's keynote speech and was so impressed with his wisdom and down-to-earth (or up-in-space) advice.  He answered questions eloquently and every explanation made you feel like you could do anything and that with enough dedication you could even be an astronaut too!  I'm seriously re-thinking my career choices!  See my video of part of it here

Also see a great blog post all about it here and their eloquent summary
1. Treat your physical body right. A bit of exercise a few times a week, and pay attention to what you eat. It’s the little daily decisions that can add up. Take care of your body today, and it will be there for you for life.
2. Get an education. Learn how to do complicated, knotty things. And if somebody offers to teach you something for free, always, always take it.
3. Have a purpose or dream, of what kind of person you would like to be, and what you would like to do when you get older. When your life is oriented in such a way, you’ll make little decisions every day that will help you build towards that future. But if you don’t take any action, inertia will lead you to exactly where you are already heading.
4. It’s likely that you won’t live out your dream exactly as you imagined it, but enjoy every little step in the process. Celebrate all of the little wins. Investing too much in just the end goal, you may realize, will not make you very happy once you reach it. It’s your choice, one can choose to be miserable throughout the process, waiting for the big payout, or enjoy and be grateful for every little step along the way.

After the inspirational lecture we enjoyed some food truck goodies on the Shaw patio and then made our way in to the Barenaked Ladies concert.  When the music started we danced our way right up front and stayed there the entire time!  My ankles are sore and my voice scratchy from all the dancing and "whooooping"!  Half way through the set Chris Hadfield came on stage and sang ISS (Is Somebody Singing?), a song he recorded from the ISS with Ed Robertson from the BNL!  See the original recording here.  

I recorded my own video below so excuse how jumpy it is because I was LOSING MY MIND!!  And excuse all the whooping and my feeble attempt to sing along.  Look for my "selfy" half way through.  LOL.  See the Edmonton Journal article and video here.

 After Commander Hadfield left the BNL continued to rock it!  Their new songs are awesome and the oldies were as epic as ever.  They even sang The Big Bang Theory song in it's entirety. Ed brought a sweet girl, Alora, up on stage to play guitar with him and the Darth Vader "If I Had a Million Dollars" had us crying and laughing at the same time.  I've always been a BNL fan but now it is getting up to Hadfield levels of adoration!  I even got the encore guitar pic from Kevin!!

I also want to thank my friends Jenny and Lea for coming to share in my excitement and for capturing the moment with me.  Also my husband for watching the kids so mommy could go out and see her astronaut friend.

I have enjoyed sharing all of this with my students today and hope it is just one step in reaching my goal of having my hero, Chris Hadfield, come and share his passion for science, advice for achieving goals, and unique perspective of the world.  

See here for The Chris Hadfield Project
See here for all of my Chris Hadfield posts

Dont forget to TWEET and Facebook message Chris Hadfield so he knows how much we want him to come to Beaumont!  #BeaumontLovesHadfield

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wise Words

Here is a cartoon of some wise words from 

He's here!!

Check out @Cmdr_Hadfield's Tweet:

I love knowing that Chris Hadfield is so close.  I have my ticket to see the Bare Naked Ladies at ETown and hope to catch a glimpse.  Fingers crossed!!

ee all my Hadfield posts here

Hadfield biography

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bill Nye Dancing with the Stars

One of my other science idols will be on Dancing with the Stars!!  Way to go Bill!!  We will be cheering you on!

Send your support to him via Twitter at

Watch at

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


I just had to share this!  Also if anyone (parents) is attending the ETown conference this week Chris Hadfield is the guest speaker on Thursday!  I wish I could go!!

Don't forget to send out the following tweet as often as possible!

  make our dreams come true and come to my school!  PLEASE RETWEET! @AmandaGMerriman

More about Chris Hadfield HERE

Friday, September 6, 2013

Twitter Bomb

This morning I applied to have Commander Chris Hadfield come and talk to our school.  Please help us get his attention by getting all of your families, classmates, and friends to use your social media and twitter to get us known!  You can copy and include the below photo or make one of your own!  You can share this blog post by clicking on the buttons below.

Please tweet the following as often as possible!

  make our dreams come true and come to my school!  PLEASE RETWEET! @AmandaGMerriman

Please like Commander Chris Hadfield and tag a post with the following

 Chris Hadfield make our dreams come true and come to my school!  PLEASE SHARE!  

See here for all of the posts

See here for The Chris Hadfield Project