Vital Signs @ Belleville – Thursday: The Blood Part 1

Vital Signs @ Belleville – Thursday: The Blood Part 1

Today, our scientists delved into the study of blood type and the genetics that help determine it. Students first discovered the physical basis behind the ABO blood type group, analyzing different antigens. In the lab, they attempted to determine the blood type of different samples by creating antibody reactions.

The analysts-in-training also learned the basics of Mendelian genetics, discovering how blood type traits are inherited and why some are dominant over others.

Ask your student:

How many total possibilities are there for blood type? (there are 8 including both genes: A+/-, B+/-, AB+/-, and O+/-)

What is one method to predict the blood type of the offspring when you know that of the parents? (use a Punnett square)

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Genetics: Nature or Nurture – Thursday

Genetics: Nature or Nurture – Thursday

Today was an exciting day for the students! They were able to see how environment did influence gene expression in identical E. coli plated on different types of media. Some of the E. coli expressed the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) while others did not. Students also created experiments to test effects of anti-epileptic drug s (AEDs) on the flies. Tomorrow the students will be discussing and presenting what they have been researching throughout the week!

Ask your student: What is the difference between genotype and phenotype? (Genotype is based on the DNA sequence for a trait, phenotype is the expression or appearance of the trait)

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Innovation Through the Ages – Thursday

Innovation Through the Ages – Thursday

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…….students reviewed the history of rocketry and propulsion, rocket design and function, and chemical reactions. They then designed, built, and launched vinegar and baking soda-powered rockets! They also learned about the development of the printing press, and then created drawings inspired by their notes and observations during the week. They then transferred their drawings onto Styrofoam plates and created prints.

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Chemapalooza @ Aurora – Thursday: Ooey Gooey Toy Company

Chemapalooza @ Aurora – Thursday: Ooey Gooey Toy Company

Silly slime and smiling faces! Students became Chemical Polymer Interns for Ooey Gooey Toy Company today. While creating their own Play Doh, Putty, Slime, and Oobleck substances, our interns learned about polymers and heterogeneous mixtures. They used that knowledge to make a new toy for the company, a bouncy ball, by using the ingredients from the previous slimes.

Ask your student: What type of substance is Play Doh? (Suspension) What kind of molecules are in Putty and Goo? (Polymers) What substance gives Goo its sliminess? (Borax)

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C.S.IMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Thursday: Drops to DNA Part 1

C.S.IMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Thursday: Drops to DNA Part 1

Today our CSI technicians began what will be a two day process to extract DNA from a broken vase found at the crime scene. In order to prepare themselves to discover what should be the most convincing piece of evidence, students learned about the extraction process by using their own DNA!

After their training, investigators are ready to process the last piece of evidence tomorrow!

Ask your student:

What was one substance you used in the extraction of your own DNA? (Gatorade, soap, alcohol)

Belleville Pictures

Aurora Pictures

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BioSleuths @ Belleville – Thursday: Grasshopper External Dissection

BioSleuths @ Belleville – Thursday: Grasshopper External Dissection

Today, our young anatomy investigators set their sights on grasshoppers! Students mainly focused on the grasshopper’s appendages and other features that were easily visible, observing how the structure of each part might enable it to function most efficiently. Our biosleuths even got the chance to identify some correct or incorrect features on famous cartoon insects like Jiminy Cricket!

Students will continue their grasshopper dissections tomorrow by exploring the internal features of the same insects they worked on today.

Ask your student:

What are the three body segments of the grasshopper called? (head, thorax, and abdomen)

Why are the grasshopper’s back legs different from its front legs? (they need to be bigger for jumping)