I hope you've had a terrific week. Over the past few days, the MS crew has begun their science & engineering content in earnest. Our first project (developing a solar oven) has been unveiled, and the students are hard at work doing research and gathering materials. While this week is about fundamentals, planning, and design, next week will focus on building, testing, and refining. On Friday 9/10, we will demonstrate our creations and enjoy a "solar snack" (basically a treat we will endeavor to heat up) in celebration. Following the demonstration, students will also be responsible for developing a written reflection.
Concurrently, we have been reviewing content in thermodynamics. Yesterday, the class developed free-spinning "heat spirals" designed to twist when placed over a heat source (we tested ours over candles, although a stovetop also works well with supervision). We've been reviewing terms like conduction, absorption, reflection, and insulation along with the fundamental relationship between thermal energy and kinetic energy, and heat's constant search for equilibrium. This afternoon we popped some balloons by focusing the sun's rays through magnifiers.
The class has been cohesive and really terrific fun so far. I'm very impressed by their positivity and preparedness, and I can tell they are motivated to make this an outstanding year.
Finally, I'd like to shout out 8th grader Izzy Dibble, who volunteered to go first in our Middle School MasterClass series, offering a glimpse into her experience learning to roller blade. She did awesome, and no one got hurt!
Have a great long weekend, and remember to sign up for conferences! :)