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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).
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.
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?
The Anatomy & Physiology students are using Maniken Skeletal Models to learn body region names this week. Hands on learning is integral to conceptual understanding, especially in any science course. The class will be building different body systems with clay later this year!
The science department will be purchasing 14 brand new binocular light microscopes, complete with adjustable stage, and 4 objective lenses (4x, 10x, 40x, 100x). Students in Biology, AP Biology, and Anatomy & Physiology, get ready to peer into these new eyepieces in the fall! Our old microscopes don’t even compare to the quality and clarity of the images you’ll see through these microscopes!
Westside’s science department just purchased a Physical Science Lab Kit that will allow for new light and optic, sound, and gravity labs!
Mrs. Ivans is excited about “the Inquiry Labs that will help the freshmen apply what they are learning and solidify their understanding of the scientific method. The freshman will also develop a strong foundation in Chemistry and Physics, which will prepare them well for multiple additional science classes later in high school.”
Today, the AP Physics and Conceptual Physics classes competed in a VEX Robotics competition. The object of the game is to move different shaped objects with a robot and place them in your opponent’s area. Different shapes earn different point totals.
Each team spends approximately a week devising strategy on how they want to score points, a conceptual phase. Next, each team translate their “product strategy” into a robotics design with the correct mix of functionality. At least one part of their robot is designed from scratch, modeled in CAD and printed on a 3D printer.
The project teaches students the basics steps in product development and culminates in a fun-filled competition that tests their design strategies.
Let the games begin!