Tag: Science Back to Blog »

WCHS in Belize!

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Kylee Wiseman, Mrs. Little, Hayley Sprague, Jack Stevens, Susannah Fischer, and Brittney Martin

Mrs. Little and five Westside students (Kylee Wiseman, Jack Stevens, Hayley Sprague, Susannah Fischer, and Brittney Martin) had the opportunity to join students from various states across the US on an 8 day nature field study trip in Belize with a program called “Save the Rainforest”.

Students went on several hikes through the rainforests (including a couple of night hikes) to learn about the diversity of the Belizean flora and fauna. They visited Mayan ruins, went tubing through mangroves, and discovered many bizarre and beautiful creatures. Students also learned about deforestation, habitat destruction, and displacement of animals in Belize. They learned about conservation efforts and sustainable logging practices that a few programs are trying to implement in Belize. Students had a first hand experience with what it means to be good stewards of nature and what results from unsustainable timber and animal trafficking activities.

New little green friends!

WCHS Temple Guards!

Physical Science Fair

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The Science Project is a year long project in Physical Science. It begins with a Background Paper, where the students research a topic of their own choice. Students then write an Investigation Plan. The Investigation Plan is based on an experiment the students design based on their Question (or Problem) and their Hypothesis. 

Following the actual experiment, with clearly defined variables and an experimental group, students complete an Investigation Follow-up Report. In this report, they analyze their data, document trends, discuss their hypothesis, and tie what they learned back to their Background Paper. The last piece is to create a display to show off their work. This year, the senior Bible class served as judges.

Physical Science Project Fair

 

Kyra Hartigan & Lydia Thompson

 

Grace Vermillion


Titration Lab

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In Mrs. Ivans’ chemistry class, students had some hands on experience with titration of acids and bases, take a look at some action shots below!

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Christopher Tento & Clara Adams ‘mixing it up’

 

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Rachel Kline with pink-tinted titration lab flask

 

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Measuring, precisely

AP Biology Bacteria Plates

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AP Biology students successfully inserted a jellyfish gene (green fluorescent protein) into E. coli bacteria, which caused the colonies to glow in the dark. Students below gather around the dark bacteria plates glowing in the dark!

 

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Green fluorescent protein injected into E. coli bacteria

 

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Glow in the dark; sweet!

Motion Labs

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This week freshmen Physical Science students measured static friction (the friction of the object resting on the surface) and the kinetic friction (when the object is moving over the surface) with different masses of objects over varying surface textures. Then students measured the force necessary to lift a block vertically and how that force is reduced when the object is lifted on an incline plane at three different angles. Before doing these activities, students learned all the various ways friction is part of our lives: gravel on icy roads, our fingerprints, the friction between our shoes and the ground…

Science in action!

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Jack Carr & Taylor Foglio

 

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Peter, Morris, and Madison motion testing.

 

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Four different friction sources for testing.

 

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Incline motion testing in process.

 

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Testing materials.

 

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Dee Anna Bricker & Rebecca Gurnee excited about their lab write-ups.

Primate Research Center

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AP Biology students had the opportunity to visit the Oregon National Primate Research Center recently.  Students toured the Rhesus macaque outdoor enclosures and heard from Dr. Larry Sherman about his current research on demyelinating diseases (ex. Multiple Sclerosis).  Dr. Sherman also joined students in the classroom to introduce a tissue staining project they will begin in class soon.  Students will be analyzing mouse brain tissue with the goal of seeing how chemotherapy affects the brain’s ability to learn and perform neurogenesis (create new neurons).

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The Primate Research Center

 

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Dr. Larry Sherman

 

Fiber & Polymer Science

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Our Chemistry and Physical Science classes had a real treat today when Tom Wilson, who has a Ph.D in Fiber and Polymer Science, spoke from his extensive industry experience. In his work career Dr. Tom has been a part of NASA sponsored research, spent 11 years in medical applications of polymers, and 18 years at Nike. He also holds 13 US Patents. Most of the shoes the students were wearing contain polymers Dr. Tom designed!

The students learned how advertising can influence our ideas about chemicals and chemistry by studied a list of complex and scary sounding chemicals. Dr. Wilson was actually showing them the list of chemicals contained in the superfood Kiwi!  He talked about how polymers are used in shoes, adhesives, and in many aspects of modern life.

When the students had the opportunity to ask questions, one asked what he liked most about working for Nike. He answered that he was allowed to be creative. Earlier in his talk, he mentioned that faith is an example of something that is not made of chemicals. Dr. Wilson gave the students an great example of how we can bless others through creativity and intellect.

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Dr. Tom Wilson

 

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What is a chemical? Anyone?!?

 

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Nike cleats lined with…castor beans?!?

AP Biology: Studying Animal Behavior

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AP Biology students are running an animal behavior experiment with terrestrial isopods. Students will perform a Chi-Squared analysis to determine whether their isopods have a food preference or whether their “choices” are random.

What do you think the little guys will like best?

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Orange, green, or earth tone brown for breakfast?

 

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Will these little guys avoid green as much as Mr. Ball?

 

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McKenzie Turner & Ali Mills record their findings.