JEA Speaker

        Last Wednesday, February 8, was Tu’B’shvat. That is the new year for trees in Jewish religion. We prayed, had snack in the courtyard, and then went to the Social Hall. We met a woman who was a person who does programs for JEA. She was here to talk about electricity. She showed us this hand crank that, if you spinned it enough, then it would power a light bulb. Barbie tried the crank on a 60-watt bulb, Noah on a 20-watt bulb, and Shoshana on a 10-watt. Justin did all of them at once and, to my surprise, all the bulbs came in at one time! The lady also did two different activities. For the next one, she had all of us hold hands while two students held circuits. When she turned the wheel, we all felt a little electric charge in our hands! Next, she had one of those balls where if you put your hand on it, your hair stood up. I had some fun looking at how people’s hair stood up!

Morah Liat brought in the JEA speaker for a reason. I beileve that she asked the person to come today because she was talking about renewable and non-renewable resources. And that has to do with conservation, which we talk about in Tu’Bshvat.

George Carver the Gardener

George Washington Carver was born in what we believe the year 1864, in Missouri. He was a sick kid, so he couldn’t to the heavy work on a farm. Instead, he took charge of the plants. He studied- what else?- plants and chemistry in college. He became a teacher at Tuskegee Institute, and  then he discovered something that would change farming forever.

Southern farmers had been planting only cotton for over 200 years! This took all the richness out of the soil, meaning that the cotton became worse. Carver said said that if you plant different plants every year, then the plants would return the nutrients to he dirt.  But then it was so successful, so farmers were ending up with LOTS of peanuts. This inspired George Carver to find out hundreds of ways to use the peanut for. There is a story that one time Carver served important guests soup and other edibles. Imagine their surprise when they found out everything was made out of peanuts!

I think that our teacher, Mrs. Zavon, made us research George Washington Carver because he found ways to preserve the soil. He also found a way to make the average peanut  into soup, soaps, shampoo, shaving cream, even ink! This is a connection with our science chapter because we are reading ways to preserve the environment and how humans harm it.

If you want to know more about George Carver, you should visit http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/biographies_science/carver/

We had to do this post as homework. It was a Science I.R. (Independent Research) in my group. In Science we were learning about preserving the soil and as I said in my post, Mrs. Zavon made us write it because he found ways to preserve the soil. I think that I did good on my post. One reason is because I left a link so my visitors could find out more if they want to.

 

Changes in an Ecosystem- Secondary Successions

A secondary succession is a succession that builds a ecosystem back. It happens after a disaster like a forest fire or volcano eruption. While primary succession is slow, secondary successions are fast because the dirt is already there. Occasionally, when a forest fire happens, the roots still survive. Wind brings back more seeds, and then plants start growing back again. But, there is always a primary succession in a secondary succession.

 

 

Critiquing a Classmate’s Post

I am going to constructively criticize one of my classmate’s post. The post is called Physical and Chemical Changes. This is the post :

There is a difference between a physical and chemical change. A physical change is a change that does not result in a new substance like a broken vase. A chemical change is a change that results in one or more new substances like burning wood.


image credit:http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=broken+vase&l=cc&ct=0&mt=all&adv=1

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=burning+wood&l=cc&ct=0&mt=all&adv=1

I think this post is good because it is an accurate description of Physical and Chemical Changes. However, it is a little too short to be a real summary or paragraph. It is also good that the author used an image along with image credits. I found no spelling mistakes and no grammar mistakes, but one punctuation mistake : The author should’ve put a comma after the word “substance”, both times. The author seems to be an expert at science, and I would show this post to people who need to know about Physical and Chemical Changes, and who also don’t want to read a long essay.

How Organisms Compete and Survive in an Ecosystem

         Organisms in one ecosystem are called populations. Populations living with other populations are called a community. Another part of ecosystems is the physical environment, which could be the sun, air, water, weather, and dirt. Populations interact with the dirt and sun and water. But to live, each population needs a specific amount of this stuff. The need to get these things leads to competition. To compete in habitats, animals have adaptations.

          Sometimes different populations relate with each other, which is called symbiosis. One kind of symbiosis is called mutualism, where both organisms are helped. Another kind is called commensalism, where one organism benefits and the other isn’t hurt. The last symbiosis is called parasitism, where an organism thrives whiles the other is affected. To survive, prey have to killed by predators (meaning that animals have to be killed). As it is easy to know that predators need prey, it is harder to see that prey need predators. But they do, because if predators would be taken out of the food chain, then the prey would get bigger, and then starve because all the food would be eaten.

    A human population is like a neighborhood or town. But a animal population is a group of animals living in a habitat. A animal community is lots of groups of animals living in, say, a savannah. A human community is a county or state. Also, human competition is when humans and animals fight over land and trees. Animal competition is over water or food.

Chemical and Physical Properties

If somebody asks, “What are Physical and Chemical Properties?”  You might say, “that is when something new is made.” No, that is a Chemical Change, or Reaction. They are two very different changes.

Physical Properties are traits that involves a thing BY ITSELF. Chemical Properties are properties that involve how things interact with another thing. Everything (matter) has properties. Take water, for example. Its physical properties are that it is colorless, has no smell, and that it is liquid at room temperature. Its chemical property is that it’s made up of hydrogen & oxygen. When you mix hydrogen and oxygen, you get water. It is a chemical change because it makes something new. It isn’t a physical change because it makes something new. Physical Changes just alter something.

But how do you recognize chemical changes? Water is easy to tell because it is a liquid, and it came from two gases! We recognize them by clues such as gas bubbles or color changes. Lets use the bread-making process. Before you bake bread, the dough is a pale tan color. But when you bring it out from the oven, it is a nice brown color. A physical change is when you don’t make something new, so if you make something new, then you have made a chemical change. That is how you can tell between physical and chemical changes.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

Science Story- I AM the ATOM

Hello! I am one of the billions of atoms that makes up a pencil. I am the tip of the lead that goes onto papers. I am very special, because you have to be very strong to be the lead. You have to bear the hard force as the kid that you’re assigned to makes marks on his papers. Worst of all, the pencil sharpener, the machine that takes innocent lead and chops it up then stores it. I’ve already lost 2 uncles, a aunt, 3 cousins, my oldest sister, and one of my best friends.

In the morning, I wake up and see the blueness of my pencil box cover. I stretch and try to get as sharp as possible for the new day. Uh-oh! I say. I have a big test today. That means lots of scratch-outs, marks, and worst of all the pencil sharpener. I get in position as I my my kid coming. “Good morning Ms. Susan!”  “Good morning Mary! I hope you’re ready for the test!” I see Mary’s huge fingerprints pressed up against me as she picks me up. First is some reading. Mary’s good at that, so not much pressure. Yet. Next is some grammar, so I braced myself. That’s one of her worst subjects. She scratches out a lot here. Her pencil tip broke! That means the PENCIL SHARPENER! I brace myself. I hold my tears as I see my Conrad go down to heaven. Next comes spelling, when Mary has a habit of chewing the eraser. That’s bad for my mom because she has friends up there. My mom rushes to me and says, “The garden club president just got swallowed! What will I do about my garden!”

Then, as fast as a erase mark, the test is finished. No more residents being swallowed, and the most important of all no more pencil sharpener. I look to see the #2 Pencil Cleanup Patrol come to help clean up. I am going to look for a new friend to replace Conrad. Happily, school is out! We can live in peace for two months while Mary is gone! I will miss Ms. Susan’s sweet voice, and I wonder who will be my next student. But, I always know, the next student means a new adventure.