The Ashley Bryan School

The Ashley Bryan School
Serving Children in Grades K-8 from the Cranberry Isles

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Plant Experiment Update

The plants have begun to sprout!  Well, they actually began to sprout a week ago, but we have been very bad scientists!  Today we decided to get back on track and we began to collect data.  We brought out the plants from each station and went from plant group to plant group to make observations.  The students drew pictures of what they saw and then they shared their observations as a group.  

Here are the observations so far!  The students also began to think about why some plants have come up while others haven't and why the plants that have come up look different (shorter, taller, sturdier, darker green, lighter green, etc.)  depending on where they're growing. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A special guest visited our school today--Bob Bayer from the Lobster Institute and the University of Maine!  He came to our school to teach us about lobster anatomy and behavior and to dissect a lobster.

Here is Mr. Bayer  with the female lobster.  
Here's the male lobster. 
Here's the female lobster.  She is going to sleep in fresh water.  
What color is lobster blood?  Clear?  White?  Blue?  
It's clear!  Mr. Bayer  used a syringe to draw blood from a vein in the lobster's tail.  
Wanna feel the blood?  It's kind of watery feeling.  But when it clots it turns into this slimy, stretchy stuff.    It was all over the table before we were done with the dissection. 
Now Mr. Bayer began the dissection.  He cut away part of the female's shell to reveal the heart.  It was still beating, so we could watch the motion the heart made while beating.  It continued to beat for about 10 minutes.  

Now it's time to see the gills.  
There they are!  Under the microscope they looked kind of feathery.  
In this picture you can see the ovaries and the stomach.  The ovaries are the dark green tubes and the stomach is the white blob by the scissors.  
Inside the stomach there are teeth!  The lobster's mouth connects directly to the stomach.
Here is a better view of those green ovaries.  Inside the ovaries are thousands of undeveloped eggs.  
Here is what the ovaries look like under the microscope.  You can see the thousands of individual eggs inside the membrane of the ovary.  
Now it's time to take a look at the intestine.  
Here's the intestine.  It runs right down the top of the tail.  

After dissecting the lobsters, we decided to cook them up and have a feast.  We just couldn't let that good food go to waste!

They like it!  They like it!

But it is kind of stinky!
Thank you so much for coming to our school and dissecting lobsters with us, Mr. Bayer!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Hear Music!

After a couple of months without a music teacher, we were all very excited when Mr. Beau Lisy, our new music teacher, began class yesterday.  The younger kids stretched, clapped, stomped, sang and danced to new and old songs and the older kids enjoyed sharing some of their favorite songs with each other. We are so happy to have a wonderful new teacher join our school!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Experiments! Part I

The youngers' mad Science experiments have begun!  They asked two questions about plants:

Next each student filled four peat pots with potting soil and planted two seeds of their selected plant into each pot.  Then they decided on four very different places to grow the plants.  They choose on top of the filing cabinet, behind the paper tray....

 Under the grow light (our special Math helper, Ginno, is taking care of these little plants babies)....

In the back room on the shelf with the microwave and toaster oven, and....

On the windowsill in Ms. Donna's room.  

Finally we began a bean sprouting investigation.  We took a bean sprout mix and covered 1/2 Tablespoon of the mix with water.  We soaked them over night and then shook the water out.  Finally we rinsed the beans.  We are looking forward to observing the sprouts with magnifying glasses and microscopes (and then eating what is left over)!  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bouncing Beans and Natural Selection

The older students have been learning about Natural Selection.  To help them understand Natural Selection, they worked on a lab involving beans, a paper bag punched with holes, shaking, counting and recording data.

 They asked the question, "Which populations will increase and which populations will decrease?"    They decided to control the experiment by choosing to place in their paper bags six populations of beans, starting with the same number of beans of each population; punching exactly six same size holes in the bottom of the bags; and shaking the bag the same number of times with the same amount of force during each round.  The variable was the beans.  They choose six different types of beans of varying shapes and sizes.

 They predicted that the larger beans would have the best chance of "survival"(not falling out of the holes in the bag) and the smallest beans would have the worst chance of "survival."  They collected their data in a table and made graphs of their data.

Now they olders are working on analyzing their data and drawing conclusions about their experiments.  Their results will be posted soon!

Plants, Plants, Plants

After finishing their terrific intertidal zone creatures......

the youngers and middles moved onto learning about plants!  They began by making models of flowers and learning about the life cycle of plants.  

Next they learned how bees help flowers make seeds.  Now they are designing experiments with plants. Here are their questions:  

We'll keep you posted about the experiment!