Gold Medal STEM: Wednesday

Gold Medal STEM:

What’s Your Vertical?

Today, our Olympic scientists examined the math and physics behind the standing vertical jump. Students especially focused on determining the knee angle that will produce the highest jump, using a special instrument called a goniometer to measure it. Our sports scientists then used their measurements to determine a graphical relationship between force and time during the jump.

Ask your student:

What knee flexion angle did you determine was the best for vertical jumps?

What other sports might use motions similar to those in a vertical jump? (cycling, swimming, weightlifting)


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Vital Signs Chicago – Cardiovascular Disease

Vital Signs Chicago – Cardiovascular Disease

In this lesson, our young doctors modelled two different arterial pathways to introduce the complexity of angioplasty – the surgical repair or unblocking of a blood vessel. They not only built the models, but they also engineered model stents to clear a blocked artery.

By the end of the day, they each developed different applications of their models and were even able to explain how their products could be used to treat cardiovascular disease. Who knows? We could see one of these designs in the very near future!


BioSleuths: Belleville

BioSleuths Belleville – Ant Investigations

Today, students were able to use their knowledge of experiments by hypothesizing, conducting an experiment, collecting, and interpreting data. Students were asked to test different substances and observe an ant’s reaction to it. Some substances were preferred by the ants meanwhile other substances were avoided.

The young scientists appeared eager to experiment. One student commented, “I think the ants will like chips because I like chips!”

Ask your student:

What is a hypothesis?

What kind of substances can I use to repel ants if I have an ant infestation in my house? (Cinnamon, Vinegar, Baby Powder)

C.S.IMSA Chicago – Tie Dyes

C.S.IMSA Chicago – Tie Dyes

The crime scene team began analyzing a promising new lead today by testing oil samples found on the driveway at the crime scene and comparing them with oil samples from suspects’ driveways. Students discovered the uses for the science of chromatography by watching how different colors separate, and using that information to match the crime scene oil with a likely culprit.

Our forensic scientists are developing a clearer picture of the case, and feel close to a breakthrough!

Ask your student:

What is chromatography used for? (separating materials)

What new information did you learn from your evidence analysis today?

What’s Up with Water? – Solubility

What’s Up with Water? – Solubility

Throughout the week, our newfound water enthusiasts have conducted various experiments to help them gain a better understanding of the unique properties of water. Today, they learned the difference between a physical and chemical change.

Students collected data for the heating curve of a solution and later compared their results to the heating curve of pure water. The knowledge they have accumulated has already become applicable to their exploration of solutions to global water issues.  “I never realized so many things naturally reacted with one another,” one student mentioned. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Science@IMSA: Wednesday

Ant Data Collection

This Wednesday, our students became ecologists as they examined humans’ impact on ant populations. They developed a testable hypothesis, learned methods to test trophic interactions, and collected data through observation. Although ants outnumber us by about 1.5 million to 1, we can have a big effect on them!

These burgeoning ecologists will keep learning how humans affect the environment throughout the week!

Ask your student:

Do ants share the same habitats as humans?

How can we better share the environment with other animals like ants?

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