Archive for the ‘General Science’ category

Avoid making ERRORS in your ERAs.

April 3, 2013

Psychology-is-fun-psychology-22111146-500-372To get the right answer, you must know how to ask the right question(s) – and psychology is all about questions  – how to ask them, what to ask, and most importantly of all, why to ask them.

Psychology will teach you about how to think – and how to understand something about the way others think. The starting point for our studies in psychology is how to approach the study of people – their behaviours &  and how the mind is related to them – in a scientific fashion. To do this, we are working toward defining and working with variables, and forming and testing hypotheses.

This process is recorded in an report called an “Empirical Research Activity” (and “ERA”), and you have to write one – just in case you weren’t paying attention for the last 10 weeks!

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Gettin’ Energetic!

August 25, 2012

We’ve done a lot of study into energy this semester. We are working through our STELR books (link to PDF), and have looked at the idea of Global Warming, Energy storage and types of energy, Efficiency of conversion of energy from one type to another and we’ve done quite a few experiments.

You should be getting the idea that this is all about energy by now – how energy is used, how energy is produced, how energy can be converted into different forms and how energy can be lost when it is changed from one type to another.

Some of you saw this really clearly when you worked with the first big experiment, looking at how we can produce energy. Perhaps when you saw the bright lights shining on the solar panel gave enough energy to light up a small bulb, or perhaps when you saw the big fan (on high) could turn the wind turbine to make enough electricity to run a small fan…

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Fly me to the Moon!

June 24, 2012

Welcome to Year 10 Astronomy, Students, Parents and Colleagues!

This semester we will be doing many things – we have almost twenty weeks, so there is a lot of time to get into the fun stuff! We will be starting with:

ROCKETS!

Rockets are amazing – they are Humanity’s ticket off earth, and eventually may be a crucial part of the future history and development of Homo Sapiens. We are starting our study of rockets with some very simple investigations into balloon rockets. Balloon rockets (actually all rockets!) work by pushing gases out the back of the rocket – which due to Newton’s Third Law means that the rocket is pushed forwards!

Think about it – if you put your hands on a wall, and push hard on the wall, you move away from the wall. It’s not because the wall is attached to the ground (although that helps, because you can push harder!), it’s because the wall pushes on you just as hard as you push on it!

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Energising Alternatives!

May 27, 2012

We have spent the last two weeks studying the mechanisms behind the greenhouse effect, and also the enhanced greenhouse effect. Remember that the greenhouse effect is a natural part of Earth’s atmosphere – it helps capture heat from the Sun, and means that Earth’s climate is suitable for human life.

You need to understand that the reason that the Earth’s is habitable is that it is at a very special distance from our Sun. The Energy that our Sun gives off provides enough heat at the distance that the Earth orbits to keep water liquid. If we were much closer, water would boil into steam (like Mercury or Venus), and if we were much futher away, water would freeze into ice (like Mars or the other outer planets). This is the so-called “Habitable Zone” (or sometimes the “Goldilocks Zone” – because it is not too hot, not too cold, it’s just right) of our Sun. Earth is on the outer edge of this zone, and so the natural ability of the Earth’s atmosphere to store heat keeps the Earth environment survivable. (If you want to know more about this, try these links: 1, 2, 3, 4)

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CO2 Science Experiment

May 24, 2012

To warm up or not too. Are we having a severe effect on global warming? We have looked at science behind climate change and learnt what keeps the planet warm – Greenhouse gases, Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and water vapour.

Carbon Dioxide is being examined in-depth. What levels of Carbon Dioxide do emitters actually emit? To reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide should we all hold our breath? Stop driving cars? Plant more trees? Or not worry about it?

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Yabba Dabba Doo – Rock world

May 14, 2012

Going back through to the rock age is a flat out task.

When you are rocking through the ages don’t try to compress it all at once as it might solidify your brain. Instead an easy approach over a few occasions will layer your understanding leaving clear remnant knowledge throughout each step.

Did you understand the introduction comment? If not read it again after you have an understanding of the subject knowledge required.

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Genetically modified lizard and alligator invades on year 10 science class. Who will survive?

April 23, 2012

For all the news and updates of genetic information and natural selection this is a must read!

This post is an evolutional changing experience, taking you from the basic building blocks of life through to inheritance then through to natural selection of monsters vs students? Who will survive?

The monster was last seen in the classroom and reports of finding eggs are still flooding the phone lines with sighting of the monster and monster egg being discovered. Let’s hope for the human race all eggs have been found and destroyed.

The monster is still at large and numerous sighing have been reported. Where it can be found no one knows, but one thing is for sure the environment it is in is suitable for the monster.

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Don’t make it an EPI(c) FAIL!

April 20, 2012

The extended practical investigation (EPI) is a real trial by fire – if you don’t prepare, you are going to get burned. The EPI is all about your ability to combine the physics theory you have learnt in class with the application to real world situations.

This combines your understanding with your ability to make measurements carefully and accurately, taking into account the amount of precision you are able to achieve with the tools you choose to use.

It is also a trial of your common sense – can you think through the scenario and make sensible decisions about what you can investigate, and how you will go about it in a timely manner.

There are four main parts of this project: Planning; Measuring; Analysing and Reporting. You will need to plan to do a lot of work outside of class and how to divide up the work with your partner – the in class times are not the time to be trying to decide what to do; you must be working diligently in every second you have available – you must know what you are going to do and get on with it. You do not have time to spend figuring out what you are going to do.

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Up-celling yourself

April 6, 2012

We have nearly finished our studies into the structure of cells, including both animal and plant cells. We also have learned how to use a microscope, looking at onion skin cells (Here are some pictures if you are missing them: Unstained 100x, Unstained 400x, Stained 100x, Stained 400x.

We’ve also looked at the parts of the cell, including the simplified internal parts – such as the organelles like the mitochondria, nucleus, chloroplasts, vacuoles, endoplasmic reticulum (E.R) and ribosomes, and cell structures like the membrane, cytoplasm and cell wall. You have also worked on learning what these parts look like, and what they do (their functions). You (should!) have submitted a 3-D model and cell analogy, demonstrating both that you know what the parts look like and what they do – it is important that you know these concepts and terms, and that they appear in your glossary, because there will be a test coming up soon…

I’ve attached something to help you understand and remember the parts of the cell below the fold; you may be familiar with it…

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All Systems GO!

April 5, 2012

So, here we are at the end of term 1. A lot has been covered in class this term – we started with some scientific processes, but quickly moved into body systems and interactions between systems, and have now transferred over to things that affect the whole body (so far we’ve looked at E-M radiation). We have quite a bit to cover yet, but before we go on, let’s ensure that everyone is up to date.

Notice that I wrote that “A lot has been covered in class” and not “we have done a lot in class”.

That’s mainly because I haven’t seen much work from many of you – something that you need to address urgently, because from the first day of next term, students who have not completed the work will be required to attend half-lunch detentions and JWOP to finish that work.

Here is a list of the tasks that must be completed:

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