What makes Science even better? Making it edible! This week, our students learned the intricacies of molecules digging in hands-on, and building their own molecules out of gumdrops and toothpicks. Using an explicit labeling system, we color-coded our candy to match different elements, and took those elements to the next phase to create our molecules. Students even used a variety of toothpicks to represent stronger bonds between elements! Try using edible elements with your child at home to remember chemistry - it's a treat!
Adventures in Remote Teaching continue! This past week, we worked on our visualizing and descriptive vocabulary by describing concrete images to our partners in small groups. Each student envisioned a tree, and drew a picture of what they saw in their minds. We then compared our images, noting the similarities and differences, and added description words to try to make our trees match.
By focusing on Visual Vocabulary, we enable students to get ready for their Descriptive Writing Projects, strengthen vocabulary, and identify how each student processes and holds information. This also focuses the importance of our language and how they help us create images in people's minds. Words are power, and they help us put someone right in the middle of the world we recreate, the event we describe, or even a fun thing we did over the weekend. Not to mention, words are lot of fun!
This week at MCS, we jumped in feet first to study the makeup of all things in our world - Matter! Everything in our world is made of matter, and it takes on many different forms, densities, and weights. Through hands-on experiments at home, students were able to observe how density of some objects can change if subjected to different environments, even if it's matter does not.
Students blew up balloons to help illustrate how even air has density, even though we can't see it. By comparing a blown up balloon in a bucket of water to a flat balloon, we noticed that the air inside changed the buoyancy of the balloon, and therefore its density. Similarly, when we placed a blown up balloon in a freezer, we saw it change shape as the air inside cooled down - again changing its density. Who knew studying air could be such a gas?!
Try doing some science experiments like this at home and see what you discover!
Just because we're stuck inside doesn't mean learning has to stop! MCS students are doing an awesome job learning remotely through Zoom classes during the shelter in place order. We're even keeping up our hands-on learning practices by building watershed models for Science at home!
If you're looking for some learning activities to do with your child at home, check out our FREE lessons for remote learning! They're complete with hands-on activities and directions to make at home learning fun :)
We hope all the schools out there are finding ways to communicate with their students and keep learning going! Together, we can do it!
Ever wonder how our hearts works? Or how our muscles and bones support our weight? We did too, and this week we were lucky enough to see the body explained at the incredible Body Works exhibit in San Jose! Students are investigating different systems of the body for a class project, so it was awesome to see how they work first hand (outside of how we experience them every day, of course!) Did you know that our Circulatory System can circle the globe twice? That's pretty amazing :)
Students also got to experience some hands-on engineering by building robots using circuit boxes, and Giant Tinker Toys to help design a catapult. By experiencing Science this way, we got to see how robotics and engineering works in practice, and actually build machines the way professionals in the industry do! Keep your students' minds moving, and build a machine at home today! There's no limit to what you can make!
Time for math! For the past few weeks, students have been diving head first into algebra on all levels, and have been doing so well developing new concepts. At MCS, we love breaking math into parts, and building the problem first so we can make the bridge into symbolic thinking. Students get to create a visual representation of the math, using categorizing and executive functioning skills to organize like terms. By learning this way, students can explore different approaches to math, and decide which way helps them the best. Some students even walk away loving math! It's awesome!
It's happened again! Once again, it's time for Science Fair for our students to dive into the Scientific Process! Our integrated STEAM curriculum lets our students get into detail with collecting data and building graphs in Math, working on our Scientific Writing in Language Arts, and presentation and composition in Art. Through all their hard work and studies, our students were able to place in 2nd and 3rd, out of over 100 entries, in the San Francisco Science Fair this year!
This year, one of our featured students chose to focus her project around the effects of sugar on the human brain. She conducted research by survey, inviting test subjects to participate in the No Sugar Challenge for a week. After analyzing her data and comparing results, she found that out of her sample, most test subjects reported feeling overall less foggy and more focused after not consuming sugar for a week! Congrats to her, and all our students for all their incredible hard work on their projects - You guys are amazing!
The cells in our bodies do amazing things! They run our organs, repair skin, and keep us healthy as we grow. This week, we got to investigate the workings of our own cells and the scientific makeup of human beings at the Exploratorium.
It's not enough to just read about what's going on microscopically inside us; you've got to see it in action to really witness the magic. We saw our skin up close, got to study the differences between our facial structures, and even saw cells in a living heart! Students also noted different skin types and the bacteria found there (gross, yes. Interesting? Definitely!)
Our cells are impressive, but the way our senses help us understand the world around us is also incredible. Students dove into exhibits about perception, sound, and the physics of color and light to discover how our brains make sense of the world! So amazing to see the incredible machine that is the human body at work!
It's a beautiful day in San Francisco, so why stay inside?! MCS headed out to our local lake to help the Parks and Rec Department clean up an island. With help from our P&R Rep, students learned which plants were invasive and which ones should be left to flourish. We spent hours removing long plants of ivy and meddlesome grasses to make sure native flowers and plants had room to thrive. Our students had so much fun getting down with the soil, some of them even asked to stay longer!
Everyone can make a difference! Contact your local Parks and Rec Department to volunteer and help make our world a litter greener :)
Ah, Cal Academy - learning hands-on at it's best! For us at MCS, the California Academy of Sciences is a perfect place for our students to explore scientific concepts first hand, and marvel at our world in an extremely experiential way. This week, our students headed out to the Academy to investigate how genes work, and the different ways animals adapt to their environment to survive. By studying animals that change markings over time, or adjust their colors to warn other predators, students were able to trace the genealogy of these animals and discover which traits were successful enough to pass down to future generations! Students then dove deeper and connected this to dominant and recessive genes, discovering which eye color was passed down in their families, how various physical traits are passed, and which features humans have retained after our first migration across the globe. Way to go to our Genealogists for being so investigative!