Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The West Point Bridge Design Contest

Here is a great opportunity to get involved and test out your engineering skills! Design a bridge using the award winning West Point Bridge Designer software, available as a free download from our website. Then upload your design to the contest site for judging, and receive instant feedback on your standing in the contest.

Who is this for:
U.S. students age 13 through grade 12 are eligible for prizes. Anyone else may enter our Open Competition.

When is the competition:
The 2010 contest doesn't begin until January 28, 2010, but you can download the WPBD software and start practicing right now!

  • Final Day For Submissions: March 5, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Biology DNA Extraction Lab

Biology students are striving to learn about genetics and heredity. So far we have conducted 2 labs to promote an understanding of these topics. The first lab was modified from a genetics concept kit. Students used pennies with yellow and green stickers on them to duplicate breeding experiments that were carried out by Gregor Mendel in the 19th century. The pennies, with yellow and green stickers on the faces, were used to simulate gametogenesis and fertilization. Students tossed the coins on the table and recorded the random genotype combination that resulted.

The second lab students conducted allowed them an opportunity to isolate DNA from a cell. This gave students an opportunity to review different features of the cell (including DNA), as well as have the opportunity to see what DNA looks like, and understand how scientists are able to isolate DNA from cells.

General Chemistry Poster Project

This semester the General Chemistry class started off the year with a poster project (thanks to Mrs. Gogerty for letting me use some of your lessons). Students worked in groups to create posters on the different states of matter. After the poster projects students experimented in the lab and tried to answer the following questions: 1) How hot can you heat water? and 2) How hot can you heat ice water? As students try to answer questions they will begin to learn about the intermolecular forces between molecules and what happens to molecular bonds as substances transition from one phase of matter to another.