Genetics: Nature or Nurture – Tuesday

Genetics: Nature or Nurture – Tuesday

Students began their days by learning how to handle and anesthetize fruit flies, then identified characteristics on those flies – eye color, wing shape, etc. After comparing their data with the class, the students generated different fly behaviors to test. The students looked at the genetics and behavioral phenotype concept with gene-environment effects to discuss outcomes of these possible interactions in preparation for experiments later in the week!

Ask your student: What are some ways the environment can affect behavior? (Altering gene expression and therefore behavior, cause learning and thus alter gene expression, have no effect purely genetically based behavior)

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Innovation Through the Ages: Tuesday

Innovation Through the Ages: Tuesday

Today in Innovation Through the Ages, students learned about the innovation of aqueducts and how they helped transform the Roman Empire. Then, students were challenged to engineer and construct their own aqueduct that included a covered trench and an arcade, and delivered water from point “a” (the bottle) to the inhabitants of “Aqueductis” at point “c.”

In art and design, students explored the principle of proportion and as it relates to daVinci’s Vetruvian Man. They then measured distances on their own body to see how their proportions. They also examined the Fibonacci sequence and explored where this code is embedded in nature, from the bracts of a pinecone to the scales of a pineapple.

Ask your students the purpose of the arcade element in an aqueduct!

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Chemapalooza @ Aurora – Tuesday: Magic Messages

Chemapalooza @ Aurora – Tuesday: Magic Messages

Today, students became chemical investigators to discover the concepts of pH and acids/bases.Our junior chemical scientists observed color changes during reactions using common household materials. Students also wrote invisible messages to friends!

Ask your student: What are examples of acidic liquids? What are examples of basic liquids? (Acidic: tomato juice, acid rain, battery fluid; Basic: milk, eggs, soapy water)

C.S.IMSA @  Belleville & Aurora– Tuesday: Lift a Finger

C.S.IMSA @  Belleville & Aurora– Tuesday: Lift a Finger

Our CSI team is well on its way to cracking the case! Today, the scientists-in-training delved into the study of fingerprints. They first fingerprinted themselves in order to learn about the different recognizable fingerprint patterns. Students then examined the fingerprint evidence collected from the crime scene and attempted to match it with prints collected later from suspects.

Our investigators have had a busy two days, but there is more forensic science to be done before the culprit can be apprehended!

Ask your student:

What are the three characteristic fingerprint patterns? (loops, whorls, and arches)

After two days, do you have any theories about the case?

Belleville Pictures

Aurora Pictures

BioSleuths @ Belleville – Tuesday: Honey Bees

BioSleuths @ Belleville – Tuesday: Honey Bees

One of the four areas students investigated today was the intricate social nature of bees and how the different types of bees work together to make honey, the honeycomb, and more bees! As a group, students enacted the roles of the bees in a hive and “produced” their own honey. “I can’t believe bees have to work so hard just to make a little honey!” observed one student.

Our intrepid biosleuths also used manipulatives and geometry to discover how and why honeybees have perfected their honeycomb design and concluded that hexagons are the optimal shape for honeycomb cells.

Ask your student:

From which part of the bee’s body does the wax come? (abdomen)

Which type of bee in the colony builds the honeycomb? (worker)