The students discovered a newly-deceased bird outside the classroom and reported it to the Randall Museum's animal caretaker. Dominik shared that this was a migratory bird who had traveled down from as far as Alaska to meet its destiny with our window. (We are going to research decals for the windows next). It is a specimen quality Sooty Fox Sparrow. Dom said he would wrap it up so that it could be submitted to California Academy of Science which one of the students piped up "We are going there tomorrow!" It was agreed that the children would submit the specimen to the scientists there and then they created a card with their names, location, and suspected cause of death and attached it to the hermetically sealed package containing the bird, which was safely stored in our school refrigerator!
At the California Academy of Sciences the middle schoolers checked in for their Plants and Carbon Lab. They were amazed by the microscope and investigated stomata on the leaves of plants – pores that open and close to allow carbon dioxide to come in and oxygen to get out.
Cooking from the Garden was a culinary success with Kale Chips and Fried Green Tomatoes fresh from the garden. The recipes are documented in their journal.
We wrapped up the week with a full day of Design Thinking and structures investigations. This was an excellent extension of their previous work with bridge designs. The students were quite shocked to learn that, for scientists, the concept that FAIL is good. Scientists deal with failure all the time and they learned it as an acronym: Future Advantage In Learning. This Design Thinking day included an outing to the Presidio to examine the Golden Gate Bridge exhibitions that are at the south end of the bridge to learn more about its construction. They enjoyed lunch en route to the Mark di Suvero exhibit.