Scientific Methods: Grail Style

Yesterday we discussed Scientific Methods and the process of doing science. As an example, I shared this video. While the “science” in the video leaves much to be desired, the point is well made. The scientific process doesn’t just apply to medical research like many people first think, it can apply to nearly any situation where a decision has to be made. Make observations, gather evidence from experiments, and analyze your findings to be the best scientist you can!


Facts, Laws, Theories…Oh My!

Today in class we discussed the differences in various scientific ideas. I used the following slides to help in that discussion.


What Does It Mean?

One of our first assignments each year is for students to take a look at the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for 7th Grade Science and come up with an image to represent each of the six goals.  I call the activity “What Does it Mean?” and it gives us a good launching point to discuss some of the things we’ll be learning for the year. Here are a few pictures of some of this year’s “What Does it Mean?” responses:

Welcome 2010-2011 Sunfish!

Welcome to the Sunfish Team! We’ve got a great year planned out for you.  This will be your online home for Mr. Williamson’s class.  We will use this site for a number of activities.  Sometimes I’ll post questions, class notes, videos, and other fun things here on the site.  It’s also your portal to information related to my class.  On the right you’ll see links for:

  • Sunfish Team Calendar – we’re going to work to post homework, projects, events, etc on this calendar
  • E-grades – access your class grades online, still waiting for this year to become active
  • Other Teacher’s Blogs – Mr. Garman, Mr. Banks, and Mrs. Koczot each have blogs as well
  • Holt Online Textbook – your entire textbook is available online. If you mouse over the link, you’ll find the username and password (hint: the username is: gstudent40 and the password is: williamson)

Before the end of the year, you will have the opportunity to create your own blog, but we’ll talk more about that later. Your first task here on the blog is to access your textbook online, look at page 128, and post three characteristics of the Taiga biome as a comment to this post.

Pringles Challenge Reflection Questions

For those of you who still have not completed the Pringles Challenge Reflection, here are the questions:

  1. What percentage of the chips we sent arrived perfectly intact?
  2. What percentage of the chips we sent had a score above 1.000?
  3. What went right/wrong with you packaging for your chip? Why did it score the way it did (intactness/volume/etc)
  4. If you were to do this project again, what design changes would you make to improve your chip’s performance?

Quiz Practice and Roller Coasters

Above you will find some problems for practicing for tomorrow’s Speed and Acceleration Quiz.  If you have questions with any of them, post them to Edmodo.

Also, here is the link to the Roller Coaster Game from today’s class.

Also remember that I would really appreciate anyone’s help in getting together materials for our paper roller coaster project. Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • 4 packs (250 sheets each) of White Cardstock
  • 3 packs (200 sheets each) of Colored Cardstock
  • 25-30 rolls of clear tape (refill rolls are fine)
  • 25 pieces of cardboard exactly 12″ x 24″

Physics Concept Map

Here is the basic concept map we came up with during class today on page 121.  Your homework is to add basic descriptions of the Contributions of each Famous Physicist, basic ideas of what each Branch of Physics deals with, and four to five careers that require a basic understanding of Physics…is that basic enough? 🙂

Sunfish Podcast Project

Our Body Systems Podcasts are coming along. There are forty that have currently been recorded. These will be edited as needed and posted here as soon as I can get them up. The ones I’ve listened to are fantastic and I’m really looking forward to hearing what you have to say about people’s topics!

Image licensed through Creative Commons:

A Cell is Like…

Cell Parts…use at least 10 of these in your comparison of a cell to a larger idea (school, Walmart, a town, etc):

  • Cell Membrane – keeps cell together, flexible
  • Cell Wall – keeps PLANT cells together, rigid
  • Cytoplasm – liquid that fills the cell
  • Nucleus – control center of the cell
  • Nucleolus – makes ribosomes
  • Ribosomes – make protein
  • Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum – covered in ribosomes
  • Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum – inside the cell transport
  • Golgi Complex – transport out of the cell
  • Vesicle – packaging from the Golgi Complex
  • Mitochondria – create energy for the cell
  • Chloroplasts – in PLANTS turn sunlight into food
  • Vacuole – storage (mainly in PLANTS)
  • Lysosomes – clean up the cell


Wednesday, February 17th!!! STUDY!!

  • Identify labelled organs of the digestive system
  • Know the basic functions of the organs
    • This organ is a 16 to 18 foot tube for nutrient absorption.
    • This organ produces bile, stores nutrients, detoxifies the blood
    • This organ removes water from undigestable material
    • These organs are for grinding and mashing food in the mouth
    • Etc…
  • Know basics of the nutrients we need:
    • Carbs, Fat, Protein, Vitamins, Minerals, Water
    • Carbohydrates: Simple vs. Complex
    • Fat: Unsaturated vs. Saturated vs. Trans
    • Order of energy use within the body
    • Vitamins vs. Minerals
  • Mechanical vs. Chemical Digestion
  • Order of organs in the digestive pathway

Chat session in Edmodo tonight at ~8 PM…Join us!

Nutrients Powerpoint…some slides were not used in class