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Mrs. Sutcliffe - Science

Science – September Newsletter

            Science classes are off to a smooth start for the 2018-2019 school year.  7th graders have recently finished a unit in which we covered some basics of Inquiry, such as identifying variables, qualitative and quantitative observations, expressing numbers in scientific notation, metric conversions, making graphs and tables and writing hypothesis. Our next focus will be on the Interactions of Life as we begin our Ecology unit.

            Eighth graders are finishing a unit on Plants. We classified plants based on the categories of Vascular vs. Nonvascular, Seed Vascular vs Seedless Vascular, Angiosperms vs, Gymnosperms, and Monocots vs. Dicots.   We have also studied plant reproduction and plant processes, such as photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration. 

            After a brief introduction to the History of some great scientific discoveries, the Physical Science students began studying electricity.  We have done several labs in which the students discovered what a circuit is by lighting a light bulb with a battery, made electroscopes and designed circuits and measured voltage, current and resistance with a volt meter.  Students are currently studying Ohm's Law and applying it along with Kirchoff's Voltage Law to solve problems involving both series and parallel circuit diagrams.

            Biology students also began with a brief introduction to some great discoveries made in the field of Biology. Our first unit also covers the fundamentals of how a microscope works, the skill of using a microscope, characteristics of Life and a review of Inquiry in science. Students also had to turn in a leaf collection that was due on Sept 18.

            Chemistry students are reviewing some basics such as physical vs. chemical changes and properties, classification of matter, metrics, scientific notation, temperature, density and inquiry. They are also gaining an appreciation, or at least an awareness, of Significant Figures.

            Students in Anatomy started the year learning basic body directions, landmarks, cavities and sections. Currently they are studying the four kinds of tissue found in the human body: Epithelial, Connective, Muscle and Nervous. They will learn the function and location as well as be able to identify pictures of the different kinds of tissue as they appear under a microscope.

            Dual Credit Chem is preparing for their first exam on the periodic table, electron configurations, classification of matter, atomic structure, physical vs. chemical changes and properties, scientific notation, metrics, temperature and density.  They have recently completed a penny lab in which they analyzed the density and composition of pre and post 1982 pennies. They were very surprised to see the different masses in the 1982 pennies as the exact amount of copper and zinc varied quite a bit during that year.

            The Senior class is selling Krispy Kreme donuts through October 5. Donuts will be delivered on October 10. We also have a few cookbooks left in case you did not get a chance to buy one..

            Quiz Bowl will be starting in November for students in grades 7-12. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 for last semester and the current semester. The first practice competition will be November 19 at Hume at 4:30 p. m.  We are waiting to hear from the other Conference schools for other dates.

            Science Olympiad practice will start at the end of October/first of November. Our first meet is December 8 at Pembroke Hill for grades 6-9.  Grades 10-12 will have their first competition January 12 at Pembroke Hill in Kansas City.  I will have more on Science Olympiad next month.