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MS Science & Engineering 11/8

Hey everyone!

We weathered a chilly (but lovely) week in the MS cabin last week and neared the completion of our instructional unit on trees. This week we completed a cool lab on leaf chromatography, using coffee filters and paper towels to separate the colorful pigments (anthocyanin, xanthophyll, and carotenoid) from chlorophyll in autumn leaf specimens. On Friday, the students presented their Tree Project binders, encompassing anatomical diagrams, leaf specimens, comparisons, researched journal entries, art, and poetry. I'm in the process of going through them and will have them returned by the end of the week, but I'm already impressed by the quality and effort they demonstrate.

Also on Friday, students submitted their Science Fair topic declaration. I'm going to meet with each student and approve their topic this week, and we will begin developing our timelines for completion.

This Wednesday, we will have our tree test. Students should definitely brush up on their terminology, leaf identification skills, and understanding of photosynthesis. This will not be an open-note assessment, but they will have the opportunity to make corrections as needed.

Also at 7p on Wednesday, Mrs. Jennifer has announced a brief Zoom meeting for a discussion of upcoming changes to middle school. I'm sure you will want to attend. See her email for details.

Beginning this Thursday, students are invited to bring "non-motorized modes of conveyance" to school with them. These include skateboards, scooters, roller blades, and the like. We're going to focus on skateboards in our academic examples, but anything that rolls will work. Needless to say, students will also need to bring helmets at a minimum (pads are highly recommended) to participate. Our goal is to explore Newton's 3 Laws, classical mechanics, linear, restoring, frictional, and centripetal forces, and the use of vectors and scalars to describe moving bodies. And hopefully not scrape too many knees.

High fives to Connor for a really cool Master Class on his experience studying taekwondo on!

Thanks to all who attended the Big Kid Social on Friday, and to the Dibbles who helped make it happen.

And start getting stoked for the DGS Variety Show on Thurs 11/18! The MS crew is working very hard in developing an ambitious collective performance art piece illustrating the emotional complexity inherent to growing into adolescence while continuing to honor one's childhood. It's very moving.

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