G7 Week 16

Last week in science!

Monday, January 7th

Today in science: The main theme for today’s lesson was “scientific description.” Students were asked to choose a tree in one of the central areas of the campus, stand near it, and then to write as many sentences as possible describing the physical appearance of the tree before the end of the 45-minute period.

Homework: There is no science homework tonight.

Tuesday-Wednesday, January 8-9th

Today in science: The main theme for today’s lesson was “scientific description.” First, students were asked to quickly update their Table of Contents. Second, students were asked to highlight (in green) any phrases and/or sentences written during Monday’s tree description activity that were specifically related to the geographical location of the tree. Dr. M then explained how scientists often use geographic location as a starting point for the description of a newly discovered living organism. Dr. M’s suggestion(s) of information to include in students’ description of their trees includes:

Country: Switzerland
Canton: Ticino
City: Lugano
Village: Montagnola
Institution: The American School in Switzerland
Setting: Campus
Named area: e.g., Historic Center, Main Campus, Upper Campus, etc.
Zone/Region/Quadrant: e.g., N, S, E, W or NW, SW, NE, SE

Whenever possible, scientists are also likely to record the following information:

Map Coordinates:
45° 59′ 13″ North (of the equator)
8° 55′ 22″ East (of the prime meridian at Greenwich, UK)

430-460 meters above sea level (m.a.s.l.)

Homework: Students have been asked to write a short, coherent paragraph in their Lab Notebooks. The paragraph needs to include all of the location information recorded during today’s science lesson (see above), which was supposed to be recorded during class in students’ lab notebooks.

Thursday, January 10th

Today in science: The main theme for today’s lesson was “scientific description.” Students were asked to take notes related to the language of trees. The official title of these notes was, “External Tree Anatomy.” Mostly through diagrams, Dr. M introduced students to the language with which scientists describe trees. Terms introduced today included roots, trunk (but also stem), branches, twigs, leaves, and crown, which students were asked to highlight in yellow–IF they used them–in Monday’s tree description. The note-taking exercise then introduced students to new terms related to both roots (e.g., tap, roots, net roots, flat roots) and leaves (leaf shape, leaf margin, leaf arrangement, leaf venation). All of today’s tree notes are available in the Notes Portal.

Homework: There is no science homework tonight.

Friday, January 11th

Today in science: The main theme for today’s lesson was “seed germination preparation.” Students spent the day getting ready for Monday’s activity, which will be to place Brassica rapa seeds into two different environments. First, students prepared soil by removing large items from their soil (e.g., rocks, sticks, worms, beetle larvae, etc.) before putting into a (numbered) plastic plant container. Second, students prepared a Petri dish by tracing, cutting, and placing four layers of paper towel into the dish. The function of this paper will be to ensure that the seeds placed in the (also numbered) dish on Monday will be in constant contact with water during the investigation.

Homework: There is no science homework this weekend.