MYTHconceptions 7-24: Tablecloth Viola!

MYTHconceptions 7-24: Tablecloth Viola!

Today the students investigated if it was possible to magically pull a tablecloth off of a table so that everything on top of the tablecloth remains as it was. In order to understand the plausibility of this claim, students first learned about Newton’s first law of motion: objects tend to stay still if they are still or continue moving if they are moving. Students then planned, tested, and carried out various scenarios to remove a tablecloth without disrupting the table setting resting on it.

Ask your student: What happens to an object at rest if no force acts on it? (it stays at rest) Were you able to pull the tablecloth out without disrupting the objects on top of it?

 

Belleville STEMvironment 7/24: “Renew-a-Bean”

Belleville STEMvironment 7/24: “Renew-a-Bean”

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” This week our environmental scientists are exploring the concepts of renewable and nonrenewable energy with help from Dr. Suess’ The Lorax. Today students discovered how quickly nonrenewable energy is used up by playing “Renew-A-Bean.”

Ask your student: What is an example of a renewable resource? What is an example of nonrenewable resource? (Renewabe resource: hydropower, solar power, wind power; Nonrenewable resource: coal, minerals, fossil fuels)

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MicroSTEM 7-24: Bacteria Among Us

Belleville MicroSTEM 7-24: Bacteria Among Us

Students began a two day project today, investigating bacteria that surrounds us. Each student will test their own fingers, and each group of 4 students could pick up to 8 different surfaces to see what kinds of bacteria live there. Alternatively, the students could choose to see what happened to the bacteria from the same surface with some sort of treatment (applying hand sanitizer, soap, etc.). Students were given the chance to make a hypothesis about what they expect to see on their plates. Later on this week, the students will use a microscope to look at the results of their samples, and test their hypotheses.

Ask your student: If bacteria surrounds us, why don’t we get sick more often? (Not all bacteria are pathogenic (disease causing)) What are some examples of places where good bacteria are found? (Almost anywhere has some amount of good bacteria, some examples would be in our intestines and mouth)

Chemapalooza 7-24: Molecular Gastronomy

Chemapalooza 7-24: Molecular Gastronomy

Today students trained to become a budding chef in an emerging culinary style known as Molecular Gastronomy. Exploring how science and art can mix, students used the scientific principles of Molecular Gastronomy to create visually appealing and texturally unique foods, and explored two foodie experiments. By the end of the lesson, students became quite knowledgeable in the growing field!

Ask your student: What is the process of thickening a liquid so it doesn’t melt in its new solid form? (Gelification) What is the process of creating gelified pearls? (Spherification)

Belleville Engineering Explorations 7/24: Mini Lungs

Belleville Engineering Explorations 7/24: Mini Lungs

Today, in Engineering Explorations, the students learned about the anatomy of the heart and lungs and how they function in the human body. Our bio-engineers built their own working model of a lung and demonstrated how the diaphragm works based on air pressure differentials. The end goal of the day was to relate the lung model to relevant heart anatomy and physiology.

Ask your student: What is the purpose of the diaphragm in the repertory system? (Each breath begins with a contraction of a dome-shaped sheet of muscle underneath the lungs called the diaphragm. During inhalation (taking air into your lungs) your diaphragm contracts, or flattens downward, which reduces pressure in the chest cavity. Normal outside air pressure is higher, which forces air through the nose and mouth, down the trachea and into the lungs where pressure is lower (pressure systems move from high to low). On the other hand, upon exhalation your diaphragm relaxes, which increases pressure on the lungs and forcing air, containing carbon dioxide, out of the body.)

Biomedical Engineering, Monday, 7-24

Biomedical Engineering, Monday, 7-24

Today, students did a wide variety of activities, beginning with learning about the basics of engineering. Next, students learned the important components of a human heart and how they function, and they began designing and building their own life size model of a heart. Students also examined different foot types, and were able to determine which foot type they have. Using a goniometer, students were able to measure their own range of motion for different joints in their body. The last activity of the day was designing and building a BristleBot – a robot made from toothbrush bristles! Some students built a solar powered bot, while others worked on light tracking robots so the class could compare and contrast these two types of BristleBots.

Ask your student: How do the electrical and mechanical systems of the human heart work together to make it function properly? How does the performance of a solar powered device change with different weather conditions? How does the performance of a battery powered device change with different weather conditions?

Biomedical Engineering 7-24

Biomedical Engineering 7-24

Today, students did a wide variety of activities, beginning with learning about the basics of engineering. Next, students learned the important components of a human heart and how they function, and they began designing and building their own life size model of a heart. Students also examined different foot types, and were able to determine which foot type they have. Using a goniometer, students were able to measure their own range of motion for different joints in their body. The last activity of the day was designing and building a Bristle-Bot – a robot made from toothbrush bristles! Some students built a solar powered bot, while others worked on light tracking robots so the class could compare and contrast these two types of Bristle-Bots.

Ask your student: How do the electrical and mechanical systems of the human heart work together to make it function properly? How does the performance of a solar powered device change with different weather conditions? How does the performance of a battery powered device change with different weather conditions?