Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Science Fair

Send Ms. Moore your science fair question by clicking HERE.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to complete a successful science fair project:

1. Submit your project idea to Ms. Moore.  You need to have verbal or emailed/texted confirmation that your topic is acceptable for our science fair.  The basic guidelines are that you must be conducting an experiment with one variable.  You may not conduct tests that harm vertebrate animals, including humans, or have the potential to be destructive in a way that your parents wouldn't approve.

2. Find a place to keep your written project information.  Before setting up your experiment you need to write down a few things:
  • The question you are trying to answer.  Remember, if you already know the answer, choose a different topic.  Science is about finding out things we didn't know before and then trying to find an explanation.  Example: The question I'm trying to answer is "What is the effect of major brands of detergent on chocolate stains?"
  • Your hypothesis.  What do you think will happen?  Example: If Tide is the strongest detergent, then there will be the least amount of chocolate stain remaining.
  • A plan.  If you're using a plan from the internet, print it out or write down a set of procedures that you're going to follow.  If you make changes to the procedures as you work, revise your written plan.  More on the plan in the 'Set up your experiment' section below.
  • A data table.  You are required to do an experiment that results in measuring something.  Before you test any factors you need to have a place where you will write down the measurements.  
3. Do some background research.  Search on Google and see what other people have done related to your experiment.  Other middle school science fair sites are good, and any link ending in .edu or .org will be fine.  Ignore Yahoo answers and rando blogs.  If you have questions, google them or text Ms. Moore at 410-703-6387 (bedtime is 11:00 for me, and you should be asleep by then as well).  Or just ask me at school.

4. Gather your materials.

5. Set up your experiment.
  • You must conduct multiple trials.  Scientists who are paid to do science conduct thousands of trials!  Choose a number bigger than 3 that makes sense for your materials.  Make sure you know what your independent variable's the ONE thing you'll change each time you do your experiment.  Example:  I put chocolate stains in 10 different places on a cotton T-shirt.  I wash that T-shirt in Tide detergent.  Then I put chocolate stains in 10 different places on another cotton T-shirt and wash that one in Wisk detergent.  I could use a third shirt with new stains an another brand of detergent.  Then I would have 10 trials for each detergent.   
  • Constants are the factors that must stay the same.  Example: Every time I wash a new T-shirt with a different detergent, I need to make sure I'm using the same temperature water, the same brand of chocolate, same amount of chocolate, same amount of detergent, same length of washing.
  •  MEASURE THE OUTCOME and write down the results in your data table.  If you don't measure what happened in your experiment, what's the point?  You need to have numbers to back up your conclusion.  Example: On a scale of 0-10 (0=no stain, 10=stain didn't change), the Tide removed the chocolate stains so they were all between 2 and 3, Wisk resulted in stains that were between 4 and 6, and the generic brand resulted in stains that were 7-8.
6. Analyze your data.  What did the numbers show?  Find the averages.  Create a graph.  Show your results in some way.  A data table is not a graph.

7. Write a conclusion.  More on this as we get closer to the fair.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Unit 3 Topics and Practice Sites

Unit 3: Reproduction, Heredity & Evolution

Topic 1: Reproduction

Image result for asexual reproduction
  • Asexual Reproduction
    • no sperm and egg needed
    • one parent
    • exact copy of the organism is created
    • some animals and plants
    • bacteria and protists 
    • cell division: mitosis
  • Sexual Reproduction
    • combining of genes from two parents
    • sperm cell and egg cell combine
    • animals and plants
Topic 2: Meiosis vs. Mitosis

Topic 3: Genetics
  • Vocabulary
    • Heredity
    • Genetics
    • Inheritance
    • Allele
    • Dominant allele
    • Recessive allele
    • Homozygous
    • Heterozygous
    • Genotype
    • Phenotype
    • Punnett square - play this fun game to help you review!
Topic 4: Mutations
Topic 5: Evolution
  • Change Over Time
  • Natural Selection, survival of the fittest
  • Charles Darwin
  • Evidence for Evolution

    Monday, November 23, 2015

    Unit 2: Dynamic Equilibrium: Other Organisms

    Unit 2: November 30 - February 11

    "Other Organisms" refers to living things that are not humans.  In our first unit we discovered the human body and how the body systems work together to maintain homeostasis and keep us functioning.

    In Unit 2 we examine how other living things are similar to and different from humans.
    • Unit 2 Introduction: What characteristics do all living things share?
      • Made of cells
      • Take in energy
      • Use energy
      • Exchange gases
      • Reproduce
      • Contain DNA
      • Contain water
      • Go through a life cycle 
    • Animals: 
      • Invertebrates
      • Vertebrates (5 groups)
    • Plants 
      • Characteristics
      • Classification

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015


    UNIT 1 EXAM: Thursday, 11/19

    Use the links below to help you review the human body systems for the Unit 1 Exam.

    In-class Unit Exam Review

    Interactive Game for Human Organs

    Articles for Tuesday, 11/10 homework

    1. Cutting Sugar Improves Children's Health in Just 10 Days
    2. Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children

    Topics we are currently studying:

    Cell division
    Importance of cell division
    The role of chromosomes in cell division

    Previous weeks:


    • Glands are structures that make hormones
    • Hormones are chemicals that signal parts of the body to perform certain functions
    • Students created posters based on one gland 


    • The nervous system sends signals from your brain, down your spinal cord and through your nerves to control movement and responses to your environment
    • The Autonomic Nervous System controls body functions you don't think about


    • Muscles cross bones 
    • Muscles contract (get shorter) and pull on bones to create movement 
    • 3 types: smooth (internal organs), cardiac (heart), and skeletal (for movement, connected to your skeleton)
    • 2 ways muscles are controlled: voluntary (you think about it), involuntary (you don't think about it)

    • provide support for your body
    • make red blood cells
    • provide protection for soft internal organs
    • Axial skeleton: skull, ribcage, vertebrae
    • Appendicular skeleton: legs, arms, hands, feet, pelvis, shoulder

    Wednesday, October 21, 2015

    Excretory System

    Urinary System - Watch the VIDEO we watched in class about Iyanti Browne on dialysis.

    Parts of the Urinary system:

    • Kidneys - filter the blood
    • Ureters - tubes from the kidneys to the bladder
    • Bladder - muscular bag that holds urine
    • Urethra - tube that passes urine from bladder to outside of body
    Other ways waste is excreted (removed) from the body:
    • Skin - sweating
    • Respiration - exhale carbon dioxide and water
    • Digestion - solid waste that is not digested from your food

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    Respiratory System

    Path of Air:
    nose - air is cleaned by tiny hairs called cilia
    pharynx - throat, epiglottis is a flap of tissue that covers the trachea when you swallow food
    larynx - voicebox
    trachea - windpipe, made of flexible cartilage
    bronchi - 2 branches of the trachea
    bronchioles - more branches in the lungs
    alveoli - tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles, touch capillaries in the circulatory system to transfer oxygen into your blood stream

    Air you breathe in has more oxygen, air you breathe out has more carbon dioxide.
    The millions of alveoli increase the surface area, just like the villi in the small intestine. This helps to increase the amount of oxygen that diffuses into your bloodstream.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    Circulatory System

    Schoolhouse Rock Circulation Song

    Your Circulatory System is made of three main components:

    1. Heart - 4 chambers
      1. 2 upper - atriums
      2. 2 lower - ventricles
    2. Blood vessels
      1. arteries
      2. veins
      3. capillaries
    3. Blood
      1. plasma
      2. platelets
      3. red blood cells
      4. white blood cells