Speaker Build Challenge

As a wrap-up to the Electricity and Electrical Devices unit, students were challenged to build a functional speaker using only four materials. For the actual speaker cone, we had the choice between paper plates and styrofoam plates. Both types were used, so we could...

Power Generation and Google Earth Flyovers

7+8 Science wrapped up the unit on Electricity and Electrical Devices by choosing a form of energy production and locating a local power station using that method. They created short flyover videos in Google Earth to show the surroundings and what the buildings look...
Energy Consumption at the Electronics Shop

Energy Consumption at the Electronics Shop

As an inquiry activity in 7+8 Science, students spent a few periods trying to determine an estimate of how much energy an electronics store uses in one full day. These shops are scattered all over Japan and emit a bright glow out into the night. I went to the local...
DNA Extraction Lab

DNA Extraction Lab

A popular activity when studying cells is to extract DNA from different foods. A popular fruit is the banana, which usually works well. This year we also tried onions to compare the results. The onion was definitely more difficult to chop and mince to allow the DNA to...
Beaker Baby Bonanza

Beaker Baby Bonanza

Continuing with the Cells, Genes & Reproduction unit, 7+8 students worked through the famous ‘Beaker Babies’ activity to see how traits are passed on in families over 2 generations. They first created the set of genotypes based on themselves...
Analyzing Traits

Analyzing Traits

As part of the Cells, Genes and Reproduction unit in 7+8, students collected data from other classes about a variety of physical characteristics and abilities. The data pooled together and students worked on displaying the results graphically on chart paper. Some...
Peer Feedback on the Google Apps

Peer Feedback on the Google Apps

Students in 7+8 Science shared their presentation documents with each other so that each of them could give feedback and thoughts about the rough draft. We made a huge feedback table on Google Sheets so everyone could find the info in the same place (and I could...
Specialized Cell Models

Specialized Cell Models

Grade 7+8 completed and presented cell models that they spent a couple weeks creating. This year, they were to choose a specialized human cell and use materials that best represented the special features of that cell. There were some very creative final...
Analyzing Habitats

Analyzing Habitats

7+8 Science students chose an area of the school yard to investigate a chosen habitat. They took various sensors and collected information about the chosen area such as biotic and abiotic factors. After gathering the data, they presented their findings in Google...

Relating the Relationships

We tried a new way to visualize the relationships between organisms in an ecosystem, shown below. After looking at the definitions and examples of the terms, we tried to fit them into the proper section of the 3×3 grid to ensure...
Branches of a Plant Word Map

Branches of a Plant Word Map

7+8 Science tried to make sense of the new vocabulary in the Plants & Ecology unit by connecting the terms in their own ways using popsicle sticks and laminated word cards. Many of them had different and interesting connections that they wrote on the sticks....
Gardening is Hard Work

Gardening is Hard Work

Grade 7+8 Science attempted to plant and grow a decent amount of fall vegetables this year. The plan was to grow them in class large enough to place into bigger pots, then give them lots of sun on the roof of the school. Unfortunately they soon were infected with a...
Proportional Planets

Proportional Planets

The General Science class have completed their scale models of the plants. We used Google Drive to collaborate on a reasonable scale to use so they would not be too huge or too tiny. Many used paper mache after finding a suitably-sized round object for their planet....
Eyes on the Solar System

Eyes on the Solar System

Grade 7+8 students were introduced to a great web application called NASA Eyes on the Solar System. The principal architect and lead programmer for this application is Jon Nguyen, who’s TEDxSanDiego talk regarding the program is embedded below: It is tough to...
A Question of Scale

A Question of Scale

Science students tried to get a better grasp of the relative sizes of the plants of the solar system using a Google Doc. The purpose was to find an appropriate scale so we could make models of each plant that would be manageable to display in class. After some trial...