The Carbon Cycle

To learn aboout the Carbon cycle, the 5th graders used beads. They had to fill up a string they carried around with them, with beads. After being sent to a station, they had to roll a dice to go to another station. Each student acted as a carbon atom. The beads corresponded with whatever environment the carbon atom went to for that roll. The beads were

Red=Biosphere

White= Atmosphere

Blue=Hydrophere

Black=Geosphere

The point of this activity was to see the journey of a carbon atom in the carbon cycle. Some atoms would move around from station to station with every roll. While others, would get trapped in one place. This exemplified how some carbon atoms, now our stuck within our atmosphere. The following gallery shows the 5th graders and the activity.

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Colorblind Correcting Glasses

The EnChroma glasses give the colorblind an amazing opportunity, the ability to see colors the way people with normal color vision do. It depends on the persons degree of colorblindness, but the glasses range from the price of $269-$469 dollars. EnChroma was founded by Don McPherson, who is now the chief scientist. Even for those who are not effected, colors will appear more vibrant.

Bees and Butterflys

Last time at STEM the 5th graders went on a trip to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. First we learned about honeybees, they got to learn all the differences between the three tyes of bees queen, worker, and drone. Then we got to explore the museum. We went to see where the bee hives are kept, even though the hives arent working right now. We also went through the butterfly greenhouse.

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Arctic vs. Antarctica

Today the 5th graders dicussed and learned about the differences and similarities of the North and South poles. As an expirament they had two containers. Both containers had water and pebbles inside. The water acted as the ocean and the pebbles acted as the land. To distinguish the two a L and W were written on each of the containers. Each group was given two pieces of ice, in L container the ice was laid on top of the land. In the container marked W, the ice was placed in the water. At the end of the project it was shown that the containers where the ice was on the land, that the water level rised more than the containers where the ice was put in the water.

Another short project they did today was being given cards, the cards had pictures of things like penguins, polarbears, seals, scientists, and volcanoes. They had to put the cards into three groups Antarctica, Arctic, and both. Many of the groups were suprised that some of the answers weren’t what they thought.

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Egg Bungee

Today the 5th graders finished testing thier paper airplanes from last week. Then they got to start building and testing thier egg bungees. To test using egg bungees they had to first drop the egg from one meter. When collecting data they had to change the amount of rubber bands used. After that they each dropped the egg from two meters. Each group had to measure the inches from the ground. One group even got as close as 5 inches!

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Making Parachutes

This week the 5th graders got to design and test out their own parachutes. They had to build the parachute withen a budget of $10. The materials were dark plastic  $5, white plastic $4, coffee filters $3, aluminum foil $2, cotten balls(4) $2, bubble square $1, masking tape(1 arm length) $1 along with free ziploc bag, paper cups and string.Their goal was to build a parachute that could safely land an egg over a span of two meters. The week before they got to experiment with the idea of parachutes using a washer using the same materials.

 

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Living On Mars

I’ve always wondered “Can humans live on another planet, besides Earth?” The answer is yes.In about a decade, 2025. Four astronauts will set on a voyage to Mars. There has always been robotic missions to Mars exploring the red planet. So this will be the first human exploration. One of the main goals is to begin a human settlement on Mars.

Orion is the spacecraft that will be able to travel into deep space. The Orion has a heat shield that can withstand up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. For structural support the heat shield is built around a titanium skeleton and carbon fiber skin. Orion will also protect from radiation, which will be an issue in deep space.

To learn more about the exploration to Mars go here.

The homes will look something like this.