Story by Olivia Jones
What do you get when you mix food, sun, cardboard, plastic, and foil: a solar oven. The seventh grade science classes started this year off with the solar oven project.
During class, students took time to understand energy by learning about engineering, design and solar energy, which was all entailed in the solar oven project.
How did they get started? Research. They looked online at many other solar ovens to get an idea of how theirs should be created. They used sources that they found and that the teachers gave to them.
Students had to come up with a final design and sketch it out to show to the teachers.
After the teachers approved the design, the students got right to work with many materials, like cardboard, plastic, tin foil, and black paper that they had brought themselves, or had used from the teachers.
Finally, once they were done building, they went through a lot of trial and error to get it right by testing it, then going back to see what they did wrong so they could fix it up for it to work fully.
Yasir Al Rammahi, seventh grade, said, "It taught us a lot about how powerful and strong the sun is, and how we can use it in different ways." Grant Koeneman, seventh grade, Rammahi's teammate agreed.
Rammahi, when asked about how they set themselves up for success, he said they brought in the household supplies needed for the project to set them up for the final test, baking the food.
While Jason Lam, seventh grade, said, "We had to find the perfect food to cook with."
Mrs. Katie Russo, the seventh grade science teacher for Team Apollo, said instead of just taking notes and studying the information, students were able to live the experience. She also said that most of her students exceeded the project, but some did fail to get their food cooked.
She also mentioned that many of the students cooked basic items like s'mores, but one of her groups used peaches to cook an unexpected peach crumble pie.
Despite some failures, it was still a successful, sun-filled project that showed the students the real meaning of the energy of the sun.
Story by J.D. Wrightsman, Photos by Blake Ball and Clark Stanton
Toward the beginning of the school year the sixth graders participated in the outdoor Lab.
They lined up on the sidewalk, while the teachers gave them directions. One by one they filed into the pond area, notebooks in one hand and pencils in the other. They were ready to start the activity and observe the environment around them.
“The outdoor lab is a chance for the students to get a good first-hand experience making observations in the real world around them,” Mr. Steven Sturgis, sixth grade science teacher, said.
“The students were taking qualitative and quantitative observations in the outdoor lab,” Sturgis said. The students prepared by setting up their notebooks for the notes they were going to take during the lab.
“I really enjoyed it because we got to go outside and do hands on science observations,” Kaopuiki added. They stayed out there for about a half-hour, wrote down notes, and used their five senses to observe the environment around them.
“I think they all enjoyed it,” Sturgis said. “To get out of the classroom and to move around, learning by doing is more fun.”
Kaopuiki said he had fun going to the outdoor lab because it got them out of the building, and he said it was fun.
“Some observations I had were we saw a lot of bugs and bees and insects living in their environment. We also found bones of some kind of animal,” Kyron explained.
At the end of the lab, the students and the teachers went back inside and the kids recalled the notes they took to finish up the outdoor lab activity.
Story by Emily Biltmier and Alex Smelley
Closing my eyes, my partner sets the Skittle on my hand and I begin to place it on my tongue, trying to comprehend the flavor of the Skittle.
Throughout the year, eighth graders will encounter the problematic physics challenges.
“We do physics challenges because it is a fun way to apply your wisdom and think creatively,” Mrs. Susie Fulp, eighth grade science teacher, said.
The challenges helps students take the knowledge they learn from the class and apply it to real world problems. They also teach students how to work well with others and to find different ways to solve a problem.
“My favorite was Save Sammy because you had to work as a team, or it couldn’t be done,” Madi Nelson, eighth grader, said.
Only being able to use a straw, cup, and one paper clip to get a gummy worm into a lifesaver without dropping or puncturing it was the objective of the Save Sammy challenge. Without others providing assistance, this challenge would be difficult to complete.
Griffin Scott, eighth grade, said that he enjoyed the Skittles challenge because it he liked trying to find out how many Skittles colors he could guess.
Students aren’t the only ones who have favorite challenges, Fulp said her favorite to watch is the pumpkin drop, which takes place in October.
After each challenge is completed, the teachers analyze the times that they were completed in, making the fastest group the winner.
“The winning group for Simon and Fulp receives their names on the board, " Scott said.
Not all of the challenges are as easy as others, for example the marshmallow challenge was tough because it wasn’t easy to manufacture a stable, standing structure.
The eighth graders will continue to complete a variety of physics challenges in order to benefit their knowledge on the unit and real world applications.
Story by Sami Magee
As the second quarter of this school year began, sixth graders prepared for one of the most exciting science projects of the year: The Invasive Species group project and presentation.
This month-long project began with the groups -- finding group members and choosing species
“My group is so much fun to work with,” Daniel Tanner, sixth grade, said.
Tanner was excited to start this project, and has loved every step so far.
He studied the Feral Pig, which is also referred to as a wild hog, which are from Spain originally. “The Feral Pig is really cool. It has a large population, making it very hard to destroy,” he said.
The project must include a form of presentation. The most common, a PowerPoint, is what Tanner and his group has chosen to work on. Another necessity for a good presentation is a brochure, or something to give away to their audience.
“The Powerpoint must include important information like its habitat, food source and how to stop them [from overpopulating more than before],” Tanner said.
Once Tanner’s group was finished with their work, they were excited to present.
Kathleen Lemme, sixth grade, is also excited to present her final project.
“Right now we are doing research on our species, but I’m really excited to present,” she said. Lemme studied The Brown Headed Cowbird. They have been working on this for roughly two weeks.
Mr. Ellington, sixth grade science teacher, is excited for his students to participate in this group project.
“This is the second year doing this,” he said. “The students really seem to enjoy working together and choosing the presentation [they want to work on with their group].”
Ellington believes it’s easy to get a good grade on this project, if you do it right. “Knowing your information and being able to present well will get you the grade you want,” he said.
“I’m very excited for this project, it has been a really fun experience so far, and I’m excited to see how it turns out,” Tanner said.
Story by Aidan Brown
The students in Mr. Sean McVey’s class got a sweet treat this week when they got into studying the Layers of the Earth.
The Layers of the Earth is the second science chapter of the year for McVey’s class.
Students enjoy this subject because they get to understand the layers of the earth “through the model of candy,” McVey, seventh grade science teacher, explained.
“I think that students should know about the layers of the earth because we have never been passed the crust (surface) of the earth,” McVey said.
Braden Smoker, a student from McVey’s science class, said that he believed knowing what was down below the Earth’s surface was a big part of our lives because we lived on the earth. He explained that it was our job to know.
The Earth is broken down into four sections, the crust (surface), the mantle, the outer core, which is melted metal, and the inner core, where pressure is so great that it’s a dense chunk of solid metal which still hasn’t cooled down since the Earth’s beginning.
To understand the layers better, McVey handed out pieces of Pretzel M&M’s to his students. Each student took the candy and bit straight into the pretzel, making the Pretzel M&M a tasty model of
Earth’s Layers, with the pretzel as the Core, the chocolate as the Mantle, and the hard outside as the Crust.
The Layers of the Earth included learning about tectonic plates, convection currents, and how volcanoes were created.
Smoker said that he liked learning about the layers of the Earth because it was interesting to learn about something he had no experience with.
“I think that learning about the Layers of the Earth is important to everyone, not just students, because we live on Earth,” McVey said, “It’s our home.”
All stories, photos and video footage by the seventh and eighth grade newspaper students.