Innovation Through the Ages – Day 5

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 5

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…….Huston we have lift-off! The students were clear to launch their bottle rockets this morning! Students studied Leonardo Da Vinci’s 3D shapes and other 3D innovations and then created a collaborative 3D form –a dodecahedron – made by the entire group. In Engineering, student groups each decided on an innovation that they believe contributed the most to humanity, they researched its history, designed and built a model of it, and created a brief power point detailing the history of the innovation and their process. Each group then had a turn presenting to the class.  

Ask your student what a dodecahedron is (a three-dimensional shape having twelve plane faces, in particular a regular solid figure with twelve equal pentagonal faces).



Innovation Through the Ages – Day 4

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 4

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…….students tested the power and accuracy of their siege machines but launching a projectile at the designated target! They then reviewed the history of rocketry and propulsion, rocket design and function, and chemical reactions. After, students designed and built vinegar and baking soda-powered rockets! Launch was delayed due to weather, but mission control has cleared a launch time for Friday morning!  They also learned about the development of the printing press, and created drawings inspired by their notes and observations during the week. Then they transferred their drawings onto Styrofoam plates and created prints.

Ask your student how vinegar and baking-soda can power a rocket!

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Innovation Through the Ages – Day 3

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 3

Today in Innovation Through the Ages…..students began their exploration of the science of light and photography by making their own camera obscura out of paper. They also tested their own ability to see color and tried some color-correcting glasses to see if they improved their color vision, and then split light into its color parts using prisms and lenses!

In Engineering, students were challenged to research, design, build, test, and present a siege machine— a device that is designed to break or circumvent heavy castle doors, thick city walls or other fortifications in siege warfare. Our students came up with some fantastic designs, some that actually worked!

Ask your student to define/explain a camera obscura (a dark box (or even a very dark room) with a very small hole in one wall that lets in light. Directly across from the hole the image from the outside world will be projected onto the wall upside down)

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Innovation Through the Ages – Day 2

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 2

Today in Innovation Through the Ages, students explored the innovation of aqueducts and how they helped transform the Roman Empire. Then, students were challenged to engineer and construct their own aqueduct that had to function and deliver water from point “a” (the bottle) to the inhabitants of “Aqueductis” at point “c.”

In art and design, students explored the principle of proportion as it relates to da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. They then measured distances on their own body to see how their proportions measured up. 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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Innovation Through the Ages – Day 1

Innovation Through the Ages – Day 1

Today in Innovation Through the Ages, students made their own perspectograph, a machine invented by Leondardo da Vinci to help artists design a replica of the scene they wanted to paint in proper perspective. The students then took their machines to different points in the building and used them to draw what they were looking at in perspective. Students also learned about mummification and tried their hand at the ancient process on chicken legs!

Ask your students what is needed to make a proper mummification mixture!

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Integrated Science – Day 5

Integrated Science – Day 5

Today was the last day of the Integrated Science program. All of the students are enjoying it and seem sad that it’s over! The students spent the morning doing a specific heat of a metal lab and presenting their research posters to their classmates. There were some great questions and discussion! During free time, some of the students signed each other’s Integrated Science T-shirts. In the afternoon they finished up presentations. The week concluded with a presentation to parents on all of the great work from the week!  A big shout out of thanks to our program sponsors who helped make this week possible: Nicor Gas, Pentair, and the IMSA Fund for Advancement of Education!


Integrated Science – Day 4

Integrated Science – Day 4

In the morning, our budding scientists did more tests of the effects of pollutants on daphnia, and they also investigated the effect that adding a solute has to the freezing and boiling point of water.

In the afternoon, they put the knowledge gained through the freezing/boiling point lab my making ice cream in a bag by lowering the freezing point of the ingredients through the use of salt. Students also worked on the presentations they will be sharing when parents visit the lab tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

Ask your student: what are the colligative properties of a solution?

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Integrated Science – Day 3

Integrated Science – Day 3

Today students learned more about the process of photosynthesis, and the many factors that can effect it. They then measured the rate of photosynthesis in hornwort, a small aquatic plant, and then designed a controlled experiment to test the effect of one variable that they thought would affect photosynthesis. They analyzed the data they collected and made conclusions based on their evidence.

Students also performed water quality testing and looked at the effects of pollutants on daphnia (small aquatic crustaceans commonly called water fleas).

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Integrated Science – Day 2

Integrated Science – Day 2

Students trekked out to one of IMSA’s best kept secrets – the No Pond (thusly named on an early campus map to keep students away from it!) where they collected water samples and compared their findings with tap water. They examined the water samples under the microscope and looked for microorganisms that they later identified using a computer. They compared drawings of the different organisms, discussed why different organisms exist in pond water and tap water, and identified factors that promote their survival. Students found hydra, green algae, and shelled amoebas, among others!


Integrated Science – Day 1

Integrated Science – Day 1

In the morning, students had a thorough introduction to lab safety, including a safety scavenger hunt in the lab. They were also introduced to microscopes and practiced viewing and adjusting the scopes with pre-made slides with various types of healthy and unhealthy cells. In the afternoon, Integrated Science participants explored dissolving, reacting, solubility and miscibility. Students also shared their “about me” collages, and additional students will continue doing so on Tuesday.

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