Musicology – Monday

Musicology – Monday

Music experts and newbies alike will love this week of exploring topics in STEM through music! On our first day of Musicology, students received their own harmonicas to explore playing/performing songs through trial and error. The students then explored the condition synesthesia by using their creative side and expressing the music they heard in colorful, imaginative drawings. In the afternoon, students listened to some good vibrations while learning how sound is composed of waves. They then used this knowledge to begin to build their own electronic instruments composed of a vibration circuit and keyboard!

Ask your students:  What is synesthesia? (A perceptual phenomenon in which one sense involuntarily triggers another; E.g. looking at the number 4 causes a mint taste in one’s mouth)

What is a wave? (The transportation of energy through a medium (water, air, etc.) without transporting matter)

Book Recommendation: A Mango-Shaped Space By Wendy Mass

This young adult novel is recommended for 5th-8th grade students and expands on the topic of synesthesia (which was explored this morning by the students). The plot revolves around Mia Winchell, a thirteen-year-old girl, struggling to understand and be understood by her peers, friends, and family due to her synesthesia. The novel received the American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award in 2004 and has since received several other awards.

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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C.S.IMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Wednesday: Tie Dyes

C.S.IMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Wednesday: 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?

Belleville Pictures

Aurora Pictures:

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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

CSIMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Monday: Observation 101

CSIMSA @ Belleville & Aurora– Monday: Observation 101

The detectives have called in the CSI unit, and our junior forensic scientists are on the case! The investigation is well under way, with students honing their observation skills by spotting hidden objects in various pictures. They also practiced their mastery of memory and recall by seeing a series of objects and attempting to remember what was shown.

Investigators will continue to utilize their observational talent throughout the week as they attempt to solve the case!

Ask your student:

What evidence have you collected so far in the case?

How did you do in your observation and memory skills practice?

Aurora Pictures

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Belleville Pictures

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Engineering Explorations @ Aurora IMSA – Friday: Rube Goldberg Competition

Engineering Explorations @ Aurora IMSA – Friday: Rube Goldberg Competition

Today students finished their Rube Goldberg machines, and took turns demonstrating them to the rest of the class! Using the Rube Rubric, each team was evaluated for the competition, and had the opportunity to observe all the different machines that were made.

Ask your student:

How well did your Rube Goldberg machine perform?

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CSImsa @ Belle Valley – Friday: Drops to DNA Part 2

CSImsa @ Belle Valley – Friday: Drops to DNA Part 2

The case has been cracked! Our junior forensic scientists worked in the lab today in order to extract DNA from the pieces of a broken vase that were found at the crime scene. After analyzing the evidence and comparing it to the DNA samples from several key suspects, the CSI team has identified the culprit!

Students concluded the week with a successfully cracked case, and experience with real CSI science!

Ask your student:

Were your suspicions from earlier in the week correct? If not, what evidence changed them?

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Engineering Explorations @ Aurora – Thursday: Solar Cars

Engineering Explorations @ Aurora – Thursday: Solar Cars

Today, our engineers explored how their knowledge could be applied to the real world, by building solar cars! In this first part of a two part lesson, the students tested how different types of light effected their motors. Then, they got the wheel rolling by creating the body of their solar cars. Tomorrow they’ll complete their cars and put them to the test!

Ask your student: What is a solar cell? (It’s the “battery” of the car; it converts light into energy)

Fun fact:  The first solar cars were built in the 1950’s.

CSImsa @ Belle Valley – Thursday: Drops to DNA Part 1

CSImsa @ Belle Valley – 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)

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Engineering Explorations @ Aurora – Wednesday: A Series of Parallel Events

Engineering Explorations @ Aurora – Wednesday: A Series of Parallel Events

In this lesson, our engineers applied the knowledge they learned earlier in the week in a race to assemble two different types of circuits, parallel and series. Their creativity really lit up the room as they explored the difference between these two circuit types by powering LED lights in each of these styles.

Ask your student: What is the main difference between parallel and series circuits? (Only one path in a series circuit; parallel there are multiple paths) Which circuit style causes voltage drop? (series)

Fun Fact: Refrigerators, freezers, and water heaters use series circuits while electrical outlets in a room, house, or building use parallel circuits.

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