Gold Medal STEM: Monday

Gold Medal STEM: Monday

The focus of one of today’s lesson was motion. However, student did not just learn what motion is, but rather how to record, measure and mathematically analyze motion. Using distance, time, and speed variables, our “Gold Medal” mathematicians developed graphs based on data they collected using a Calculator Based Ranger (CBR) and graphing calculator. Students learned which motions would cause changes in their graphs, as well as how to predict what graphs would look like based on how fast, far, or long they traveled.

Here a few pictures from throughout the day.

Vital Signs Chicago – BP & HR

Vital Signs Chicago – BP & HR

What do your blood pressure and heart rate really mean? Many students weren’t quite sure, but today, they got the chance to dig a little deeper. However, they did not spend the entire day learning about their blood pressure and heart rates; instead, they got the chance to measure, record, and analyze their own! The students learned the use of the sphygmomanometer and stethoscope then tested the effect of different stimuli on their own blood pressure.

Now that they have a better understanding of the systems within their own bodies, our new-generation of medical professionals are ready to begin learning how they can improve the lives of the world around them!

Here are some pictures from throughout the day.

BioSleuths: Belleville

Monday: Flower Dissection

Flowers, they are everywhere. But did you ever notice how important insects are to a plant and its life cycle? Students learned the different flower parts such as the petals and the stamen. Not only were students able to learn what the flower parts are but also were able to dissect a real flower.

One student stated, “I like bees now. They help make pretty flowers.”

Ask your student:

What do insects do to help a flower make more of itself? (pollinate, transfer pollen)

What does a flower provide to a butterfly? (provides food/nourishment to the butterfly)

What’s Up with Water? – Monday

What’s Up with Water? – Monday

Today, the students initiated their work as United Nations Scientists. Each student was given a list of water poverty-stricken countries on the United Nations list of least developed nations. The young UN environmental scientists have been tasked with researching one country of their choosing and developing a solution to be presented at the 2017 World Water Day United Nations convention!

At the end of the day, each group was asked to share one thing about the country that they selected. The students loved the idea of being able to research countries based on their personal interests and are ready to get to work solving, “What’s Up With Water?”

C.S.IMSA Chicago: Observation 101

C.S.IMSA Chicago: 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?

Vital Signs Aurora: Animatronic Extremity

Vital Signs Aurora: Animatronic Extremity

Throughout the week, students have been exploring the realm of artificial prosthetics through the use of their own engineering creativity. Our bold inventors have created their own artificial hands, improving them day by day, and testing them with games and activities. Experiments involved carrying ping-pong balls, and even sign language!

Students have become experts at analyzing design solutions and repeatedly testing them in order to determine the best way to improve the product.

Ask your student:

What is electromyography, and how do modern prosthetics take advantage of it? (voluntary signals that contract muscles, prosthetics can be controlled using remaining nerve endings)

Ask them to show some of the sign language they learned this week!

BioSleuths Aurora: Forensic Entomology

BioSleuths Aurora: Forensic Entomology

Today, students continued their study of forensic entomology: the use of knowledge of insects to help solve criminal investigations. Our junior investigators learned how forensic entomologists use the life cycle of maggot-laying flies in order to determine the exact time of death of a victim. In order to observe the life cycle in action, students examined their canned chicken samples from Monday.

In addition, the biosleuths used the knowledge they had gained about forensic entomology to solve crime scene situations!

Ask your student:

What exactly are maggots? (fly larva)

How can forensic scientists use maggots to estimate time of death? (life stages of a fly take a known amount of time)

Here are some final pictures from the week.

Vital Signs Aurora: The Blood Pt. 1

Vital Signs Aurora: The Blood Pt. 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)

BioSleuths Aurora: Grasshopper Dissection

BioSleuths Aurora: Grasshopper 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)

Vital Signs Aurora: Banana Sutures

Today, our junior medical practitioners performed their first procedure! Students practiced sutures (or “stitches”) the same way that real doctors practice: on banana peels. They primarily investigated the layered nature of the skin, and how it relates to its main function: protection. Some students were surprised to learn that our skin is actually the largest organ in our bodies!

Our fledgling scientists will continue to use their rapidly developing medical skills in the days to come!

Ask your student:

What are the names of the three layers of the skin? (epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis)

What layer of the skin is the thickest? (hypodermis – 26 mm)