The Ashley Bryan School

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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Hydrosphere!

This week it was our turn to share on Science Monday!  Our focus for this week was the HYDROSPHERE!

We learned that 75% of the Earth is covered in water!  Next we had to guess how much of the water on Earth is salt water and how much is fresh water.  Using a small piece of paper to represent all of the water on the planet, we colored in how much of the water we thought was salt water. 

Then we shared our guesses with the rest of the TLC.  How much of the water on Earth do you think is salt water? 

It turns out, 97% of the water on Earth is salt water!  Of the 3% of water that is fresh, 2% is frozen!  That means just 1% of all the water on Earth is available fresh water! 

Next we learned about the Water Cycle.  Two Islesford students presented a slide show about the Water Cycle and then we watched an animation to further explain the process.  Next we modeled the Water Cycle with our bodies.  Here the whole TLC is condensing! 

Next, each school had to come up with a series of tableaux to demonstrate the Water Cycle.  Can you imagine these kiddos evaporating? 


Running off and collecting!  Every school took turns presenting their tableaux to the other TLC schools.  We finished the lesson with a discussion about the Water Cycle, how we use fresh water and questions we have about water on Earth.

Everyone enjoyed learning about the Water Cycle! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Valentine!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thank you, TLC friends, for our beautiful Valentines!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Slowing Down: Weathering, Erosion and the Rock Cycle!

This week our study of geology slowed down a bit.  We studied weathering, erosion and the rock cycle!!

The week began with the usual TLC science meeting.  This week it was Isle Au Haut's turn to host.  Mrs. Greatorex on Isle Au Haut, along with the help her her four students, directed the group through two experiments that led to some great discussion about weathering and erosion. 
First we learned about weathering.  In this experiment each team was given two sugar cubes, a small amount of water and an eye dropper.  The assignment was to see what would happen when water dropped onto the sugar cubes for one minute.  The students found that the water changed the way the sugar cubes looked.  In a couple of groups the sugar cubes dissolved completely. 

Next, each team was given some potting soil and two straws.  The teams made small mountains from their potting soil.  Then they were instructed to lightly blow on their mountains for one minute and to observe what happened.  The potting soil mountains eroded! 

Later in the week we learned about the rock cycle.  We learned that there are three classes of rocks:  metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary.  We learned all about the characteristics of the three classes of rocks.  Then it was time to try to apply our new knowledge.  Using a rock collection and what they knew about metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks, the students tried to determine the class of each rock in the collection. 

Even knowing the characteristics of the three classes of rocks, it was hard.  There were many good discussions and hypotheses. 

 After learning all week about weathering, erosion and the rock cycle, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a geology walk.   We found lots of good examples of weathering, erosion and cool rocks!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Compression, Tension and Shear

A special guest came to visit our school this week, and man did we have some fun (and learning something, too). 

Jeri Spurling is an architect and she also lives on Islesford.  She came to our school for about 3 hours this week to teach us about structural engineering.  She began her presentation by talking about the forces of compression, tension and shear. 
Then the students had a chance to see the forces in action.  First a student built this building and Jeri showed us how the forces of compression and shear will easily knock it down.   

After learning about those forces and how engineers and architects make those forces work together for buildings and other structures to stand up, our students got to try their hands at some structural engineering. 

The six middles and olders were split into three teams.  Each team was given 30 index cards.  Their challenge was to build a structure from those 30 index cards that would stand up and hold a one-gallon bucket. 

To add to the challenge the students could not use any tape to hold their structures together. 

The three teams all built structures that stood up.  They were quite pleased with their accomplishments! 

But only one team's structure managed to hold the bucket. 

Next it was time to add weights to the bucket!  This structure held the bucket plus two weights!
At the end of the first session, the students wanted another chance.  Jeri agreed to come back the next day and we all tried again!
When Jeri returned she share some new ideas with us. 

She showed us how a piece of paper folded in many different ways makes the paper much, much stronger! 

And she showed us that when you use different shapes, different folds, different curves and make them work together, you get something really strong. 

Now the kids were ready for their second try.  Their ideas were really different!  Check out these pillars. 

This team went with sets of triangles working together.

Pretty interesting design, huh?

This team continued with their winning concept from yesterday--squares. 

Now it's time to test the strength of the new structures. 

This team's structure held the bucket.  But how much weight will it handle? 

The bucket is filling up. 

Now it's overflowing!  All together, this structure was 9 inches tall and it held 10 blocks!

But this structure was really the one to wow us.  At 12 inches tall, it looked so fragile.  We held our breath as the bucket went on top of the structure.   It handled the bucket. 

And then it began to fill up with blocks!  We were so nervous as each additional block went into the bucket. 

It was filling up with blocks!

In the end, the structure held 15 blocks!! 
We had such fun making these index card structures.  We can't wait for Jeri to come back to help us make structures from spaghetti!