Friday, May 22, 2015

Final Science Blog

     This year is drawing to a close. I didn't think I'd have as much fun as I did. I knew we would learn about Earth Science, which isn't exactly thrilling. There's not really much to do in that lesson except sit and listen. But we did do the stream table, which was really interesting. We made models in apps on the iPads, and then built them in real life. My group made a bridge that ended up surviving the torrential down pour of the watering can. In Physical Science, I remember sitting in a wheeled office chair, and holding a spinning wheel- and we spun. I was in a group that made a video explaining Newton's Three Laws. The whole thing is really funny, and I still learned. I wish we could've went more in depth in life science. I like learning about what happens when things don't go exactly as planned. 
     This has been my favorite year in science so far. Some projects didn't go as planned, but that's okay because I still learned. Our earthquake building went way better than expected... But then our hot air balloon burst into flames. I learned something with both experiences. We had an awesome field trip to stone lab. I'm sad that we are the last class to get to go. Over all, this year was effective and memorable in my learning experiences.
This picture is from one of the first things we did in class...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Genetics

Genetics
     Single genes with two alleles, single more than two alleles, or many genes that work together control traits. These gene set-ups control what I look like. They control my things like skin tone and height. I could be short even if I had the trait for tall if my environment didn't nourish my growth. Sex chromosomes determined that I'm a girl, that means that mine are XX. Males are XY. Sometimes, being a male or female could heighten or lessen your risk to have a certain trait, as some traits are only on the Y chromosome. Chromosomes are the causes of genetic diseases. I'm lucky that Cystic Fibrosis doesn't run in my family. All genetic diseases are caused by something going wrong in the chromosomes. Cystic Fibrosis happens because of the recessive alleles. This disease makes it very hard to breathe because mucus fills your lungs. Other genetic diseases that make life more difficult are Sickle Cell Anemia, Hemophilia, and Down Syndrome. I want to see my family pedigree. It would be cool to see a chart that tracks traits through the generations of my family. Something else that would be amazing would be to see a karyotype of my chromosomes. It sounds complicated, but it's only a picture of my chromosomes. It's pretty eye opening to see all the advances we have made in the field of genetics. Certain advances are great, like selective breeding, cloning, and genetic engineering. Cloning doesn't seem like it affects me now, but if I'm not careful with my DNA, I could get cloned... That could be bad. Cloning is just copying the genes though. Things like genetic engineering have such possibilities. Mixing genes from cows and humans could help hemophiliacs. In the end,  genetics is definitely a field it get behind. In the future, people will be able to use genetics for projects, therapy, and crime fighting. Who knows where it will go?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wind Tunnel App

This is the aerial view of a river. It spreads out into many different smaller rivers.
This is my recreation of the river on the Wind Tunnel App. I noticed that the smaller rivers don't have as much flow as the bigger rivers. The particles go much faster around the bends. There are obstructions such as land pieces that get in the way of the flow.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Erosion Simulation

     From the erosion simulation, I learned a few things. Slope gradient, having vegetation (or not), and intensity of precipitation have an effect on erosion. The higher the slope, the worse the erosion was. When the slope is small erosion wasn't as bad. The presence of vegetation lessens the amount of sediment in runoff. If there is no vegetation, more sediment is displaced. When the rain is very intense, the erosion is worse. If the rain is light, there is less erosion. 

     The best situation is when the slope is low, rain isn't very intense, and there is abundant vegetation. If this is the case, there would be a low amount of sediment in the runoff.The worst situation is when the slope is high, rain is very intense, and there is no vegetation. If this is the case, there would be a high amount of sediment in the runoff.
(I worked with Meredith...)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Connection to Me

     We've done a bunch of different activities in science this year so far. My favorite things are the engineering challenges. It's really fun to use my hands while I work, that's the way I learn best. During the marshmallow challenge, lunar landing challenge, and seismic-safe building construction, our class worked in teams. That works for me. I hear other peoples' ideas and we collaborate to make the best thing we can. My team's marshmallow, tape, and noodle tower worked pretty well. After we built it, we saw some improvements we could make.
 
In the lunar landing model, we had to use a cup, a paper bag, and a few other things to keep our astronaut in the cup. Our guy survived! We dropped it off the top of the bleachers and out the window, and he survived both trips. My favorite engineering challenge was to make an earthquake safe building. My group had to make a building that could hold a weight and withstand the force of the shake table. I thought I had a solid idea when I went into the challenge, but after a discussion in the group, we had a good plan that I wouldn't have thought of by myself. Our building passed both tests. Although, after the project was over, I wish I could've made improvements to it to make it better. 
This is the finished building.


     There wasn't really much that didn't interest me. Although, when we learned about Earth's previous time periods, I wasn't very excited. I don't see myself using much of Earth's prehistoric history in my future. Also, I don't see myself moving very far away from Ohio, so earthquake safety doesn't effect me. I can't really apply it to my life.
  
     I really like the building, engineering, and project making. Also, learning about how the scientists found out the information that they did interests me. I want to be a teacher when I grow up, so making projects can prepare me for the future. When I learn about the famous scientists, I think it's cool that everyone knows who they are because they thought of something no one else did. Many of the famous scientists that we know today weren't well known in their time because their ideas were rejected. I think its really cool that they kept pushing. I like learning about how they used what they knew, and went searching for more information. I'm excited to keep learning through out the rest of the year. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seismic-Safe Buildings

     I already know a few things about what makes a building safer during an earthquake. I know that buildings have to be able to shake a little because if they don't, they will snap. I learned that from my dad talking to me about roller coasters because it's pretty much the same thing. I also know that the base of the building needs to be strong, otherwise it will crack. I know that the material the building is made out of has to be durable because it can't be replaced periodically. 

     From reading the passage in the book, I learned that there are many things that can be added to a structure to strengthen it, although those things can be expensive and lessen usable space in the building. The walls can be shear, that means they would transfer the energy from the earthquake to something stronger. There can be small metal things that tie the floors and ceilings to the wall, making the building stronger. Base isolaters are layers of rubber and steel the absorb some shock before it reaches the building. Dampers are absorb shock at the base of the building too. Cross braces strengthen the building by stiffening the frame. Flexible pipes bend when energy goes through them, whereas a regular pipe would burst causing many complications. All of these things can make a building stronger and reduce life-loss during earthquakes even though they may be expensive. 

     In more research on http://science.howstuffworks.com , I learned that if the building is built on soft and compact able soil, it will almost always fail. So the soil needs to be firm and solid. There's also something called Base Isolation. It's where the building isn't exactly tied to the ground, just tied to its other parts. In materials for a building, they always look for ductile metals, so they will bend and not break. 

     We have to create a seismic-safe building, so this research gave me some ideas. I think we should build a structure that isn't taller than it has to be because the taller it is, the higher the chance it will snap. It should be made out of bendable materials such as wire. The building needs to be tied together, but not tied to the ground so it's able to sway. The base of the building should have a shock-absorbing material like marshmallows. The ceilings and floors need to be firmly attached to the walls. Also, the building should use Popsicle sticks as cross braces to keep the frame stiff. If the building is built to these requirements, I think it should be earthquake safe.