Spring into Science

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Great things are happening in the Science and Innovation Center!

Each week, the middle school students roll up their sleeves for lol (love our land) lunches. The grounds are slowly shaping up after the long winter, as students weed, plant, and water the grounds. Feel free to join us on Tuesdays from 11:45 to 12:30. Plant and seed donations are welcome and appreciated!

Benji and Federico work together to clear the leaves.
Benji and Federico work together to clear the leaves.

 

Daphna pitches in to dig out the weeds.
Daphna pitches in to dig out the weeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rejuse-a-palooza!

Our banner is up and our trailer is open for business!  The middle school students have worked so hard this month to get their non-profit business off the ground. This has been quite an undertaking, and I am so impressed with the investment and energy that some of these young entrepreneurs exhibit.

The students load their first donation into the trailer.
The students load their first donation into the trailer.
Emily is reusing an old banner for our event.
Emily is reusing an old banner for our event.
Look at all the stuff we recovered from the SXSW convention! Reuse and repurpose!
Look at all the stuff we recovered from the SXSW convention! Reuse and re-purpose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIXTH GRADE SCIENCE

This month, the sixth grade students have been focusing on the geologic time scale and index fossils as a means to date rock. On Thursday, they enjoyed a day at Longhorn Caverns where they were treated to a tour of caves by the knowledgeable  geologist Al Gerow. Students were able to make connections between their study of limestone formations, erosion and our local geology.

Real men aren't afraid to wear pink!
Real men aren’t afraid to wear pink!
Shira and Lue admire the calcite crystals.
Shira and Lue admire the calcite crystals.
Beautiful limestone formations.
Beautiful limestone formations.
Al Gerow shares the history of the cave.
Al Gerow shares the history of the cave.
A happy group inside the cave.
A happy group inside the cave.
Gotta love the gift shop!
Gotta love the gift shop!
Cute Caver!
Cute Caver!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we began our Generation Zero series with Keep Austin Beautiful. On Wednesday, Bernard taught us about the history of waste disposal in Austin and the different components of a landfill.

Abby, Shira, and Lue build a landfill.
Abby, Shira, and Lue build a landfill.
Noah, Dekel, and Roy working together to determine the correct order for the landfill.
Noah, Dekel, and Roy working together to determine the correct order for the landfill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we will jump into our final unit weather and water!

 

EIGHTH GRADE SCIENCE

This month the students in eighth grade focused on work, energy, and simple machines. They enjoyed designing and building a Rube Goldberg machine that poured milk on a bowl of cereal.

Hannah makes some last minute adjustments.
Hannah makes some last minute adjustments.
Sarah sets up a pulley system.
Sarah sets up a pulley system.
Marley, Brooke, Kendall, and Emily start the machine in action by burning a candle.
Marley, Brooke, Kendall, and Emily start the machine in action by burning a candle.
Benji sets up a lever.
Benji sets up a lever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, the students turned their attention to waves. They used a pendulum to study the properties of harmonic motion. Later, students used Slinkys and wave trays to examine longitudinal and transverse waves.

CHarlie and Benji work with the pendulum.
Charlie and Benji work with the pendulum.
Yay! Waves are fun!
Yay! Waves are fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving forward, the students will investigate sound, light, and electromagnetic waves.

 

KIDS IN THE CREEK

Creekers!
Creekers!
That looks heavy Dekel!
That looks heavy Dekel!

 

The weather cooperated with us this week! The students thoroughly enjoyed our hike through Bull Creek, taking notice of the riparian zone, the invertebrates and vertebrates, the vegetation, geology, and water flow. Every Monday we will jump into the creek (literally) and investigate different components of the creek ecosystem.

Carlos and Roy enjoy the beautiful day in the creek.
Carlos and Roy enjoy the beautiful day in the creek.