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Science Students Learn About the Characteristics of Life

Science teacher James Chandler and his students are exploring the characteristics of life.  Using inquiry as the method of investigation, students blew large bubbles and recorded scientific observations using their five senses.  Students then categorized their findings based on the characteristics of life. Students wrote a scientific explanation answering whether they thought bubbles were alive or not.  This required making a claim, using evidence based on their observations, and required reasoning based on their background knowledge.  Classes then engaged in spirited debates based on their findings.

Science Students Learn About the Characteristics of Life

 


Science Research Students Collect Water Quality Data

Science teacher Dani Bainsmith and her Science Research students took their monthly trip to the Jordan River to collect water quality data.  Students look at dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, and temperature.  Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of the water due to the amount of suspended sediment.  Students learn that when turbidity is too high, sunlight is blocked and can have a negative effect on aquatic plants and organisms, and can carry contaminates such as lead, mercury, and bacteria.  Students measure the pH of the river water to determine how acidic or basic the water is.  It is a measurement of hydrogen ion concentration.  The pH levels are important because, if it is too high, the river becomes inhospitable to life.  Students upload the data into the Utah Water Watch database, a citizen science program that helps monitor waterways around the state.

 

Science Research Students Collect Water Quality Data

 


Science Students Learn How to Build Earthquake-Safe Houses

Science teacher Victoria Mauro and her students have been discussing Utah’s earthquake fault that extends along the Wasatch mountain range for 220 miles. Students learned that it  isn’t a single fault line, but a series of fault segments.  Students learned that the Wasatch mountains were created by many earthquakes that happened along this fault zone during the last million years. Students used popsicle sticks to build structures that could hold the weight of a small pumpkin.  In this activity, students were exploring how to construct earthquake-safe houses.  Classes will be discussing the buildings that are located along the fault line and which ones have been retrofitted to withstand an earthquake.  

 

Science Research Students Collect Water Quality Data

 


 

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