#COUNTDOWNTOMARS – Week 1

After travelling nearly 470 million km (300 million miles), NASA’s Perseverance rover is scheduled to complete its journey to Mars in a matter of weeks. The landing is currently scheduled for February 18, 2021. To reach the surface of the Red Planet, however, it has to survive the harrowing final phase(s) of the journey known as Entry, Descent, and Landing.

Entry is the phase in which Perseverance will enter the Martian atmosphere, which consists of a mixture of gases unlike the Earth’s. For example, by percentage, most of Earth’s atmosphere is composed of nitrogen gas (78%) whereas most of Mars’ atmosphere consists of carbon dioxide gas (95%).

Descent is the phase in which Perseverance will make its way from the outermost reaches of the Martian atmosphere down to the surface. For your reference, the vertical structure of the main layers of the Martian atmosphere extends approximately 230 km above the surface of Mars.

Landing is the phase in which Perseverance will (fingers crossed!) successfully decelerate and land safely upon the Martian surface so as to begin its surface exploration of the area known as “Jezero (crater)” in pursuit of ambitious astrobiological questions.

We will be learning more about all three of these final mission phases in the weeks ahead, but this week in Grade 7 science we will focus our attention on the size of our solar system and the distance(s) between planets paying close attention to the distance between Earth and Mars, of course. In the meantime, enjoy this Mission trailer produced by the good people at NASA Science.

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Grade 7: Week 2 Overview

Dr. Merritt: “Just remember, everything is interesting.”

Hello 7th grade scientists!

Welcome to Week 2 of remote learning. The Week 1 lessons are still accessible here.

As promised, the first week of our remote learning experience–or rather, our ambitious experiment–was one or two steps removed from total chaos (actually, to be honest, Week 1 went pretty smoothly all things considered!).

OK, without further adieu, here is the Grade 7: Week 2 Overview. Of course, this overview is subject to change, but Dr. M will be updating it regularly, so please check it throughout the week.

  • TIP: be sure to refresh this page it in your browser if it looks out of date to you.

Lesson 5 – Monday

  1. Complete W2.L5.A0 – Weekly Survey by Monday at 16:00, but preferably before the start of Monday’s class.
  2. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in each class’ Google Hangout.
  3. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L5 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  4. There are NO out-of-class assignments to do after this lesson!

Lesson 6 – Tuesday (B & C), Wednesday (H)

  1. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in each class’ Google Hangout.
  2. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L6 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  3. Complete your row of a shared Google Document. To access this document go to our  Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L6.A1 – Student Collections (master).
  4. There is no written work to do before the next lesson, but students need to think hard about their choice of new collection topic/theme. 
    • If, upon further reflection, the choice of their new collection topic/theme is not deemed interesting to them, then students need to choose a different topic/theme before the next class period. Any students having difficulty choosing their topic/theme should not hesitate to contact Dr. M by email and ask for advice, tips, and/or suggestions.

Lesson 7 – Wednesday (B & C), Thursday (H)

  1. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in each class’ Google Hangout.
  2. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L7 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  3. During class, Dr. M will ask students to finalize their collection topic/theme and complete their first Specimen Sheet, which will then be submitted to our Google Classroom as an assignment.

Lesson 8 – Thursday (B), Friday (C & H)

  1. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in each class’ Google Hangout.
  2. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L8 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  3. Although there are no more Specimen Sheets to complete during the weekend, students should feel free to spend time this weekend collecting specimens for their new collections!
Posted in Grade 7, Remote Learning, Weekly Overview | Leave a comment

Grade 6: Week 2 Overview

Dr. Merritt: “Just remember, everything is interesting.”

Hello 6th grade scientists!

Welcome to Week 2 of remote learning. The Week 1 lessons are still accessible here.

As promised, the first week of our remote learning experience–or rather, our ambitious experiment–was just one or two steps removed from total chaos (actually, to be honest, Week 1 went pretty smoothly all things considered!).

OK, without further adieu, here is the Grade 6: Week 2 Overview. Of course, this overview is subject to change, but Dr. M will be updating it regularly, so please check it throughout the week.

  • TIP: be sure to refresh this page it in your browser if it looks out of date to you.

Lesson 5 – Monday

  1. Complete W2.L5.A0 – Weekly Survey by Monday at 16:00, but preferably before the start of Monday’s class.
  2. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in the class Google Hangout.
  3. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L5 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  4. There are NO out-of-class assignments to do after this lesson!

Lesson 6 – Tuesday

  1. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in the class Google Hangout.
  2. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L6 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  3. During class, we will all be entering our Seasoning data into a spreadsheet created by Dr. M.
  4. At the end of today’s class, students were asked to send Dr. M (brett.merritt@tasis.ch) an email with their best definitions for the following three words: SEASONINGS, SPICES, HERBS.

Lesson 7 – Wednesday

  1. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in the class Google Hangout.
  2. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L7 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  3. We will re-visit the latest version of the class Seasoning Spreadsheet, which we created together in yesterday’s class.
    • The main focus of this lesson will be something that scientists ALWAYS have to do any data ‘set’ before analyzing it: Clean it up!!!

Lesson 8 – Thursday

  1. Class meeting on Zoom!
    • Dr. Merritt has posted the Zoom link–which is now the same for all class meetings–in the Google Classroom stream, as well as in the class Google Hangout.
  2. If you cannot be present in the class Zoom meeting, go to our Google Classroom > Classwork > Week 2: Lessons 5-8 > W2.L8 – The Plan.
    • If you cannot attend our meeting, you must try to follow the plan on your own.
  3. There is are no science assignments to complete for homework during the weekend.
Posted in Grade 6, Remote Learning, Weekly Overview | Leave a comment