Wednesday, August 24, 2011
The room was still unsteady when the fire alarms started to go off. I had my students wait a few moments so I could relay information. I had them take their backpacks, cautioned them to be careful, quick, and calm. My students were excellent. It took me a few moments to grab my phone, keys, and name sign and I was one of the last down the stairs. Students were exiting very quickly and taking it well. One girl's backpack fell open and three boys stopped grabbed all her things and kept walking.
My students met me at the bottom of the hill, our prearranged meeting location and sat quietly. I answered any questions I could about earthquakes and what was happening. While we waited in the sunshine we could hear and feel aftershocks. I am very proud of my students for staying calm and sharing phones so that others could try to get in touch with their loved ones.
After the buses had arrived students walked calmly to the bus loop and got on the buses to go home. Students that drove to school and had their keys were allowed to get in their own vehicles and drive home. On the whole, I am amazed how calm everyone was during a situation that does not frequently occur in Virginia.
Currently all buildings are locked and being patrolled by the local authorities so any belongings left by students are safe. When students are allowed to re-enter the building that information will be passed along. Please enjoy your time off until school resumes the Tuesday after Labor Day.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Upwelling is when cold nutrient-rich water comes up to the surface. It is fed by deepwater currents hitting land and rising to the surface. These areas have cold water that is full of nutrients, so there is heaps of plankton, and as a result lots of fish and other marine life.
There are two known upwelling spots in California on either side of Monterrey Bay, shown in blue and purple on the map. There are elephant seal and sea lion rookeries (hang outs) at both of these spots because there is plenty of food for the seals and sea lions and their babies to eat.
Students are working on mapping upwelling and then answering questions about the data gathered from a particular day. If this is not finished in class tomorrow, then it will be homework for the students.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Next students learned more about how scientists learn about currents. Students practiced latitude and longitude by plotting some points of a cargo lost overboard and where some of the shipment washed up beaches, then they read articles and answered questions, and finished up by listening to a podcast interviewing Curtis Ebbesmeyer, the oceanographer who studies sneakers, rubber ducks, and other floating debris. You can listen to the podcast here.
In the interview, and in the readings, gyres full of floating plastic debris are discussed. Here is a map showing some of the locations of these gyres. Click on the picture to get a larger view. Here is an excellent website with more information and some nifty graphics. We will continue to discuss this in class.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Scientists think it is funny to take styrofoam deep into the ocean because the pressure underwater will squeeze the air out of the styrofoam and "shrink it." Really it is just compressed and more dense. Here is a photo of what happens to styrofoam wig-heads and cups when taken down a few thousand feet, a change of several atmospheres of pressure.
|setting up the pressure lab|
Students finished class with a lab demonstration of how pressure increases with depth using cups of water with three holes. Water squirted further out of the bottom hole because there was more weight and pressure pushing down on that part of the cup. Students did an excellent job working together and cleaning up. If students did not finish the write up in class, they need to finish it and turn it in.
Safety test - Friday!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
60* 5' 22" N
For extra credit (up to five people), tell me where they were hiking.
Today students reviewed safety rules by looking over a cartoon and trying to figure out what the people were doing correctly and incorrectly. They also had to identify the rule numbers (which is a lot more effort). We discussed why safety rules are important and how they are helpful.
Also today students got an introduction to oceanography. We discussed the salinity of the ocean (an average of 35 parts per thousand) and the pH (the ocean has a pH of 8, which is basic). In second period we finished up with a video about flying penguins. Here's the link if you want to watch it.
Tomorrow is Thursday so there is a quiz. Safety Test is Friday.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Welcome to a new school year with Ms Jancaitis! This blog has been set up to connect students, parents, and guardians with the chemistry class.
At Open House or in class, each student will receive a course syllabus, safety rules, and a breakage sheet. The safety rules and breakage sheet needs to be read and signed by both the student and parent guardian.
- The course syllabus outlines what the course will be like, what topics will be covered, and course expectations. It also contains contact information. There will be a quiz on this syllabus on Thursday.
- The safety rules are rules designed to keep the classroom safe and orderly to maximize learning and prevent accidents and injuries. These rules need to be studied because there will be a safety test on Friday and infractions of these rules can lead to disciplinary action as well as low assignment grades.
- A breakage sheet is a contract holding students accountable for the items that are broken if the student is acting a manner that is unsafe for themselves or those around them.
Computer Lab Etiquette
You are in the computer lab to do work for this class. If you are not doing work, then we will have problems.
Do not pack up early. Work until the bell or until MsJ says.
SAVE OFTEN. And if you save to a key, also save it to your number. If you lose it, you will have to do it again.
If MsJ asks for your attention, stop what you are doing and listen to what she has to say.
You may watch videos about your organism through reliable websites.
You may listen to music through the computer if you have your own headphones. Rule1 MsJ cannot hear it. You get one warning. Rule2 Turn it on and listen – no million clicks and constant changing. Take both ear phones out when MsJ is talking.