Friday, May 29, 2009

Citizen Science Project - MOS FireFly Watch

The Museum has teamed up with researchers from Tufts University and Fitchburg State College to track the fate of these amazing insects. Pick a location, say your backyard, observe it weekly for 10 - 15 minutes, and report your observations online. For more information on how you can participate in this program, visit the Museum of Science FireFly web site.

Element of the Day - Friday, May 29th

Who am I? I am a colorless, oderles, non-toxic that is gas much lighter than air. I am the second most abundant and second lightest element in the known universe and am one of the elements believed to have been created in the Big Bang. I am used in balloons and blimps.
E-mail with your answer at Include the element's chemical symbol.
Image taken from:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Element of the Day - Thursday, 28th

Who am I? I am a strong, gray, magnetic metal used in the construction of buildings, steel, and machines. My density is 7.87 g/cm3. E-mail me with your answer at Include the element's chemical symbol.
Image taken from:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Science Expo Day!

Today we celebrated all of the wonderful science we do here at Parker with our annual Science Expo Day. During this early release day, the entire school does nothing but science for the entire morning. Our Team designed and built 2-L soda bottle rockets. Unfortunately, due to the lousy weather, we weren't able to shoo them off. So, instead, we did 3 different activities. One, we built straw rockets and shot them off in the gym using air pressure. Two, we did a food nutrition label reading activity. And third, we built straw rockets powered by a balloon. Here are a few pictures of some of the things we did.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bird of the Week - XXXV

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Song sparrow. This small song bird is common here in Reading, perching out on a branch singing it's song. The Song Sparrow sings a loud, clanking song of 2–6 phrases that typically starts with abrupt, well-spaced notes and finishes with a buzz or trill. In between, the singer may add other trills with different tempo and quality. The song usually lasts 2-4 seconds.

Song Sparrows are medium-sized and fairly bulky sparrows. For a sparrow, the bill is short and stout and the head fairly rounded. The tail is long and rounded, and the wings are broad. Song Sparrows are streaky and brown with thick streaks on a white chest and flanks. The streaks come together to form a large, central spot. On a closer look, the head is an attractive mix of warm red-brown and slaty gray, though these shades, as well as the amount of streaking, vary extensively across North America. The Song Sparrow is one of the most familiar North American sparrows. They eat mainly seeds and fruits, supplemented by many kinds of invertebrates ( insects) in summer.

Element of the day - Tuesday, May 26th

Who am I? I am a lustrous, sliver-colored metal that is very malleable. I am used in coins, photography, jewelry, and tableware. I am an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. E-mail me with your answer. Include the element's chemical symbol.
Image taken from:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Another Unfortunate Bird vs. Building Accident

Our custodian discovered another victim of a building strike this morning. This time the unfortunate bird was a Ruby-throated hummingbird.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Element of the day - Thursday, May 21st

Who am I? I am a steel-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. I am use to give a shiny finish to metals and to prevent corrosion. The human body needs trace amounts of me.E-mail me with your answer at Include the element's chemical symbol.Image taken from:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Electrolysis of Water

We did the Electrolysis of water demonstration in class yesterday. Electrolysis of water is the process of decomposition of water by means of an electric current. Hydrogen (H) gas is released at the negative electrode and Oxygen (O) gas is released at the positive electrode.
We tested the Oxygen with the "Glowing Splint" test and observe the splint bursting into flame, thus indicating the presence of Oxygen. We tested the Hydrogen gas with the "Burning Splint" test and observed the Hydrogen exploding, thus indicating the presence of Hydrogen. Very small amounts of the gases were used for safety sake. After the demonstration, the students did a sketch and write-up of the activity.



Element of the Day - Wednesday, May 20th

Who am I? I am the second most abundant element (after oxygen) in the Earth's crust. I am used in making glass and ceramics, however, I am most well known for being the principal component of most semiconductor devices, especially microchips.
E-mail me your answer ar Include the element's chemical symbol.
Image taken from:

Element Card Project

Elements Project
To help you learn more about a particular element and familiarize yourself with the Periodic Table of the Elements, you will select one element and research it. We will do all the research during science classes by using the laptops in the classroom. You will have to do the art work at home. Each student will research a different element, so have a second and a third choice ready. The work is due on, or by, ____________________

You may use paints, markers, cut paper, stencils, downloaded pictures, word processed writing, whatever you want in putting the information on your card. Make sure you are neat!

Make use of the following sources to help you:
· Periodic Table of the Elements in the back of your agenda.
· An encyclopedia.
· books that contain information on the elements.
· the 5 web sites contained on Edline.

1. On the front side of the card, centered at the top, put the name of your element.__________

2. In the center of the card, in big letters, put the chemical symbol. ______

3. Then place the following information anywhere else on the front of the card:
· Atomic number _________
· Atomic mass _________
· State of matter _________
· Metal, Metalloid, or Nonmetal ____________
· Number of protons, electrons, and neutrons ____________
· Density _________
· Color _________

4. On the back of the card, put the following information:
* Date of discovery ___________
· Discoverer ____________
· Natural or synthetic (man made) ______________
· Origin of name _____________________________________
· Obtained from _______________________________________________
· Uses _______________________________________________________
· Other interesting facts about the element___________________________
· Picture/drawing of the element

Migration - A Sad Ending

Our school custodian, Yuri, brought me a paper bag with a dead bird inside of it. He said that it flew into the building. The bird was an American redstart, a member of the warbler family. This little bird was migrating northward from its wintering grounds in Central America or northern South America.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Model of an Atom Project

Model of an Atom Project

I would like you to make a model of an atom. It should clearly show the major parts of an atom: the nucleus which is made up of protons and neutrons, and electrons which travel around the nucleus in a “cloud”. Your model should show that there is empty space between the nucleus and the electrons. Label each part or make a key. Refer to the “All About Atoms” handout you received and use the Periodic Table of the Elements in your agenda for information.

Use your imagination and creativity in selecting materials for this project. It can be presented as a free standing model, or suspended from something like a coat hanger, or mounted on a poster board. Feel free to use gumdrops, mini marshmallows, jelly beans, Styrofoam balls, paints, fabric, cut paper, etc. to represent the parts of an atom.

Your grade will be based on:

* Demonstrating a knowledge and understanding of the parts of the atom
* A neat and creative visual presentation
* The model is original. It presents a familiar topic (the parts of the atom) in an unfamiliar way.