Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Lee Kolbert on 08-02-2010

I’ve been in contact with some folks who work with Erika Ebbel (see last post) and we are trying to work out a plan for Erika to video-conference with my students at some point over the next week or so. The students are hard at work planning their Science Fair projects. I’d love for them to have an opportunity to “meet” Erika, ask questions and to run their project ideas by her. Understanding the Scientific Method is a challenge for my students. I’d love for them to have a conversation with Erika about how she uses the Scientific Method in her job as a biochemist.

If you could speak with a real scientist, like Erika, what would you say to or ask her?

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Lee Kolbert on 17-01-2010

From Weather WizKids website:

“A powerful earthquake rocked Haiti flattening the president’s palace, the cathedral, hospitals, schools, the main prison and whole neighborhoods. Officials fear thousands may be dead after Tuesday afternoon’s magnitude 7.0 quake. This was the strongest earthquake Haiti has experienced in over 200 years. About 33 aftershocks continued to rattle the capital of 2 million people with the highest coming in as a strong 5.9. Haiti is an extremely poor country and has no real construction standards. The Red Cross dispatched a relief team from Geneva and the UN’s World Food Program is flying in two planes with emergency food aid.”

There are many adult-targeted relief efforts underway but what can kids do to help? Please leave your comments in the comment area. Thank you.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Lee Kolbert on 16-10-2009

(This post and picture are both by Zack.)

Dust_v3In class, we are learning about different properties and forms of matter.

There is a very fun game which is a particle simulator. This game is called “Dust” (see it at http://www.notdoppler.com. You’ll see Dust as a link on the right side of the screen under Top 10 Games).

Here’s a screen I made showing a summary of different kinds of particles.

If anyone has any ideas for any new particles in the game, please write.

In class we are studying hurricanes and my students will begin to create preparedness brochures and Public Service Announcements. I think it will be a great learning opportunity for them to condense all they’ve learned and prepare a few points to share and help others. I’m not sure how familiar they are with PSAs but they most likely will have seen a Safety on the Internet PSA while watching TV. When I was really young, I can remember watching Smokey The Bear tell me that –only “I” could prevent forest fires.– That PSA actually had the unintended consequences of making me feel guilty because I wasn’t in the forest and I wondered who would prevent them if I wasn’t there.

After we spend a few minutes discussing what a PSA is, the students will be divided into small groups, storyboard their ideas, write a brief script and shoot their videos. I own two Flipcams and have asked my students’ parents if they have any they’d be willing to loan us for the project. At some point, I hope to raise some money to buy 5 or 6 for the classroom to do projects such as this.

Below is a PSA some of us might remember. Do you know of any PSAs and if so, what did you learn from them?

Filed Under (science, Uncategorized) by Lee Kolbert on 05-09-2009

View of the shuttle from Boca Raton, FL.

View of the shuttle from Boca Raton, FL.

The other morning, Lilly’s dad sent me this picture. It’s a view of the shuttle launch from his home. He took it using a 30 second exposure and a 300mm zoom lens. The picture got me thinking about the space shuttle and how we take for granted all that NASA does. It wasn’t too long ago that there was no space program. It was only 50 years ago that Dwight D. Eisenhower established NASA in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik.

When most people think of NASA, they usually just think of astronauts walking on the moon or flying in space shuttles. Did you know that NASA’s space programs have helped advance medical technology as well?

There’s a lot you can learn by visiting the NASA site. As a matter of fact, there’s an entire section just for students in grades K-8 with games and homework help, too! After you visit the NASA site, come back here and leave a comment. Did you learn anything new? Did anything surprise you? Did you find anything useful that you can use again in the future?