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The school year of 2008-2009 is about to begin!

To celebrate, I’ve made a new blog.  Follow this link for Synergy Science 2008-2009.

You’ll find more happy homework posts, random science blurbs, and interesting links related to our units of study.  Happy New School Year!

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Thanks for another great year everybody!

I’ll leave you with a link to the website about the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  We didn’t really get a chance to talk about some of the controversy regarding teaching evolution, however, I think you’ll enjoy this.  It is a spoof on Intelligent Design and the arguments that people make to explain why Intelligent Design is a “science” (it is NOT) and why it should be taught in schools along with evolution (which IS SCIENCE).  You should start by reading the “Open letter to the Kansas School Board”.  The Kansas School Board voted in 2005 to change the science teaching standards and require schools to teach intelligent design in science class.  By 2007, the members of the school board (which had changed by then), voted to revoke their amendment so that the definition of science was returned to “the search for natural explanations for what is observed in the universe.”  No supernatural beings involved.  Yea for science!  Okay, I could go on and on…but here are some links:

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Wiki: Intelligent Design

National Center for Science Education: Why Teach Evolution?

Okay!  HAPPY SUMMER!  AND DON’T FORGET…

What the world needs more of is… SCIENCE!

This week we’ll work on the Big Book of Evolution in class. The project is due on Friday, June 6th (also known as the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!) You can always turn your Book in early!

See the previous post for the assignment.

In other news…here’s Missing work as of May 26

All missing work due also by the last day of school. Remember…all missing work is a “ZERO” so it pays to turn in your work.

REMINDER!  The re-take of the Geology test is on WEDNESDAY AT LUNCH!

1)  Read “Natural Selection in Action”

2) Complete HW#31: Evolution: Here and Now

Due date:

Block I: Wednesday

Block II: Friday

Block III: Thursday

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3)  Complete HW#32: Big Book of Evolution worksheet

Your final project for this unit will be a book to demonstrate your knowledge.  Here’s the assignment: Big Book of Evolution

*The final project will be due on Friday, June 6.

Due date:

Block I:  next Wednesday, May 28

Block II: next Tuesday, May 27

Block III: next Friday, May 29

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8TH GRADERS!!!!

Due to the play, you’ll have rehearsals all week.  I will make sure that you get the work.  I will expect all homework handed out this week to be turned in NEXT WEEK when your block meets.  Let me know if you a question about this.

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GEOLOGY TESTS will be returned early this week.  If the word “RETAKE” is written on your test, you must come to the Science room next Wednesday at Lunch to retake the test.  If you do not show up, your score will remain unchanged.  You may not come if “retake” is NOT written on your test.

Here’s the deal with the retake:  Five questions from your original test will be selected.  It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to correct your test to study for the retake.  This will not be an open-note test.

In class, we’ve talked a little bit about the devastating earthquake in China. Looking at the map, there isn’t any obvious plate boundary near the epicenter. What caused the earthquake?

Here’s the summary from the USGS:

“The Sichuan earthquake of May 12, 2008, occurred as the result of motion on a northeast striking reverse fault or thrust fault on the northwestern margin of the Sichuan Basin. The earthquake’s epicenter and focal-mechanism are consistent with it having occurred as the result of movement on the Longmenshan fault or a tectonically related fault. The earthquake reflects tectonic stresses resulting from the convergence of crustal material slowly moving from the high Tibetan Plateau, to the west, against strong crust underlying the Sichuan Basin and southeastern China.

On a continental scale, the seismicity of central and eastern Asia is a result of northward convergence of the India plate against the Eurasia plate with a velocity of about 50 mm/y. The convergence of the two plates is broadly accommodated by the uplift of the Asian highlands and by the motion of crustal material to the east away from the uplifted Tibetan Plateau.”

So there is folks….a reverse fault resulting from the compression of rocks due to the movement of the India plate against the Eurasia plate!

*Why was this such a strong earthquake?*

(Leave an answer for me.)  Use your knowledge from the Geology unit and check out the USGS site.

Somehow our conversations in class can veer towards some interesting topics.  In a class activity about whale evolution, we started to talk about the exploding whale.  For the unenlightened, here’s the video.  I first watched this in high school and it always brings back warm and fuzzy memories.

**Science Fair grades will be handed Wednesday-Friday.

**Geology tests will be returned early next week.

1) Read “Change over Time” (If I wrote this reading, it would be called “Descent with Modification”

2) Complete HW#29: Descent with Modification

Due date:

Block I: Wednesday

Block II: Friday

Block III: Thursday

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3) Read “Evidence of the Past”

4) Complete HW#30: Time Flies By

Due date:

Block I: next Monday

Block II: next Tuesday

Block III: next Monday