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11/2 – Upper Grades Science Expeditionary Thursday ET

Our UG students had adventures near and far on today’s ET!



In Computer Science, a small group of students experienced an immersive experience at the headquarters for in Hoboken focused around the guiding question: What does the job of a computer programmer look like? Students met with experts at to learn about what they do and how they use programming in their daily lives at the company. They also received a workshop on the basics of computer programming. A big thank you to for opening up their doors to our students on today’s ET!

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In Green Engineering, students took a tour of the Brooklyn SIMS Recycling Center to learn about the city recycling processes and to see a working wind turbine. Then they made observations and sketches at a nearby substation that is part of the dominant grid run by Con Edison. The students observed and sketch the substation to better understand the scope of the NYC electrical grid. The students have been learning about electricity and the New York energy infrastructure this semester. They will be constructing models of the existing New York grid.


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In Physics, students were given an investigation to carry out in the form of a design challenge to derive a relationship between a toy car’s position over time.  They needed to invent a way to measure distance and time as part of the design challenge.  Using the skills mastered in the previous unit, students were asked to make sense of the data in written form, graphically, and algebraically.  Working in teams, they planned an investigation including constructing measuring scales, carried out the investigation, collected data, analyzed the data, and shared their findings with their classmates.  This investigation was the paradigm lab for Unit 2: Constant Velocity.  The vehicle chosen for this lab specifically travels at a constant velocity.  Using this data, the distance divided by time had a constant rate of change, allowing students to derive the main formula of the unit: v=d/t.

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In Climate Change, students first watched videos made by fellow EL students from Casco Bay High School about Hurricane Sandy and Red Hook. Students then walked to Red Hook to measure Hurricane Sandy flooding height in the neighborhood, observe storm surge height and measure elevation above sea level to infer future risks due to climate change.  They also met with expert Jim McMahon, a cartographer who works for Scholastic Magazine, who lives in Red Hook and published a map of Hurricane Sandy flooding in Red Hook.  The data they collected on today’s ET will be necessary for a high-quality product connected with the Hurricane Sandy expedition where students are using this data to bring real-world context for climate change impacts like rising sea levels.


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In Chemistry, students toured several neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Sunset Park, Gowanus, Red Hook, Downtown Brooklyn), making observations for possible sources that influence air quality in the area.  Students created particulate matter PM catchers to collect pollutants in visible form.  Students made connections to the amount of PM collected vs pollutants’ sources, distance from sources and or elevation. Students made connections with how particulate matter concentration affects ozone pollution, which is the topic of the semester’s PBAT.


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In Biology, students engaged in a modified Kirby Bauer lab protocol to test the efficacy of antibiotics on E. coli bacteria.  They completed a web quest to help them build background knowledge on antibiotics and E. coli, and combined with their previous class research on bacterial quorum sensing, they then developed a targeted hypothesis based on their predictions.  Tomorrow, they will collect data from their petri dishes and do mathematical analyses after compiling the data from all biology classes.  This is the lab for “The Bad” case study, and the lab report is the unit summative assessment. The case study is part of the “Bacteria: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” expedition.

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