Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tomatosphere Results

The results from the Tomatosphere are in and have been submitted:

4-1 - A:87%  B:86%
4-2 - A:86%  B:74%
4F - A:97%  B:84%
7/8 - A:97%  B:84%
Average- A:91%  B:82%
CSA National Average  - A:76%  B:74%

This has been a great experiment and we have learnt a lot about plant germination and conditions for potentially growing plants in space.  

We received the following message from the Canadian Space Agency


You have completed the germination experiment of the Tomatosphere™ program. Please feel free to continue growing your tomatoes and measuring other variables. You may even send the plants home with the students for transplanting into their home gardens,if applicable. In past years students ate their tomatoes, made salsa with them or donated their "harvest" to those in need in the local community. We ask that you please compost or recycle materials where possible.
For your information, the seeds you received were all Heinz 9478 F1 seeds. They were grouped as follows:
  • A - Control Group
  • B - Treated in space-like conditions 

Check out R's harvest this summer/fall.  Yum!

Dissection des fleurs

Today we dissected flowers in order to learn their anatomy.  We looked at all of the parts of the freesia flower.
Aujourd'hui, nous avons disséqué fleurs afin d'apprendre leur anatomie. Nous avons examiné toutes les parties de la fleur de freesia.
Here are the links to learn more about flowers:
Voici les liens pour apprendre plus a propos les fleurs:

Online games and gizmos

Video - pollination

Friday, May 22, 2015

Indy in our classroom!

Quelle belle journee!  What a beautiful day!  Sometimes I love my job so much I think I may vibrate out of my skin.  Today was definitely one of those days.  We have been learning about simple machines and building devices that move and the kids worked so hard on their Angry Birds projects.  Today was like the cherry on top of the awesome cake.  Our class was lucky enough to have a very special guest speaker all the way from Indianapolis, USA.  

Thanks to Mr. Livingston from CanTorque (Edmonton) and the Tagliani Autosport team we were able to Skype a real Indy 500 race car LIVE into our classroom! FROM THE ACTUAL INDY 500!!

First he showed us a bit of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (which we had looked up on Google Earth - WOW!  Yes, that is a golf course in the middle of the track.)

Then when the crew was ready we were able to see the driver, the talented (and Canadian!) Alex Tagliani, take off for a practice run.  VROOOOM!!!   It. Was. Awesome!!!!!!!!  The kids cheered!!

The noise was so intense our technology couldn't handle it and we lost audio.  We noticed flashes of colour dance across the screen and soon realized that it was the Indy cars zooming by so fast we could hardly see them.  Mr Livingston said they can reach speeds of up to 235MPH, about 400KM!  He added "They will pull 5-6 g's going through the corner. So a 150lb driver will fee like they weigh 900 lbs!"

He was gracious enough to answer some of the kids questions:
How long does it take to get around the track?  How long is the real race?

About 50 seconds and the track is 2.5 miles. Race will take about 3 hours. Very very hard on the body and lots of fluid loss.  The driver will lose 8-10 lbs during the race
How much does the car weigh?  Have you ever been able to drive an Indy car?
The car weighs about 1600 lbs. Sorry for the imperial but in the U.S. It's all we have!
No, you can't drive them. They are very rigorous with the engines, can't do anything without a representative from the factory. I have driven a formula Atlantic car which is a step below these. Great questions guys!
What do you like best about racing?  What's your favorite race car?
I love competition! It's also really fun to drive very fast without worrying about getting a speeding ticket.  
Fav race car, great question! I'd have to say our NASCAR Canadian Tire car that we run across Canada! I really love watching these Indy cars but prefer when they run on road and street courses. I like right and left hand turns
This is their NASCAR - SO COOL!!!
This weekend's Indy 500 big race on Sunday at 10:15am our time.  See a live stream of the track all weekend HERE.

Tagliani also supports allergy awareness through his fantastic sponsors, EpiPen and one of their initiatives is the Summer of Tag or Ete de Tag.  It is a great contest I am going to promote in our school because it helps to acknowledge our Allergy Heroes.  See more details on the above links or click on the image below.

As part of my pre-teaching lesson for today we looked up Alex Tagliani as well as the science of Indy and found some great videos.  You're welcome.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Angry Birds and Race Cars!

We have finally finished our grade 4 science Rovio Angry Birds project for the "building things that move" unit.  It was amazing to watch them problem solve as they battled physics and their own frustrations to get their cars moving.  Design after design, prototype after prototype they all kept going.  See HERE for a previous post about the science of motion and our research stage.  We learnt a lot about friction, potential and mechanical energy, and everything it takes to get an object to move on it's own.  I am pretty proud of my wee engineers.
Teachers if you want to do this project with your class in English or EN FRANCAIS just click on this link.  It includes the student workbook, teacher guide, and even paper 3D Angry Birds!

Come and see the bulletin board I made to show off our work!  (Not bad for a junior high teacher!)
What about seeing a real race car? There is a lot of science that we could learn from CanTorque.  We shall see...


Our grade 4 budding botanists had a great day learning all about plants.  It was a wonderful introduction to our new unit.  We were taught all about the parts of the plant end even were able to pot our own marigolds to take home.  Next we explored the four pyramids and learnt all about pollination, hoe bee's see, plant adaptations, and even fell in love in Paris!  After lunch we had a nice walk around outside and ended off our day with a scavenger hunt through the four pyramids.  It was a great day and I love that I got to spend it with your kids learning something new!

Here are a few links to discover more.  We will be using them in class later this month.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Space Fun

Here are some ways to bring what we have been learning in science and taking it out of this world! #ImAllAboutThatSpace #CSAinspires

Games to play (Elementary kids)
  1. CSA virtual colouring game
  2. NASA Kids Club
  3. NASA Space Play
  4. NASA Climate Kids
  5. NASA Solar System for Kids
Games to play (secondary kids)
  1. Sky Science 101
  2. NASA Space Place
Things to read
  1. Star Acer Academy Cartoons
  2. All about our Tomatoshpere project (games on the bottom)
  3. Check out Twitter!
Videos to watch

This just gives me goose bumps...