Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Liquid Densities - 11/29/11

We have been exploring the densities of various liquids in class. The students made a Density Column using alcohol, fresh water, vegetable oil, and glycerin.

These 4 items layer out quite nicely with glycerin on the bottom and alcohol on the top.

Monday, November 28, 2011

BOTW Xlll - 11/28/12

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the Northern mockingbird. The Mockingbird is a medium sized songbird, about 8 - 10 inches long with a wingspan of about 12 - 14 inches. It is pale gray above and whitish below, with a long tail. It has a thin bill. The Mockingbird has two white wingbars and large white patches show in the wings when it flies.

The Northern Mockingbird is known for its long, complex songs that include imitations of many other birds. It is a common bird of hedgerows and suburbs, and has been slowly expanding its range northward. The Northern Mockingbird is a loud and persistent singer. It sings all through the day, and often into the night.

The Mockingbird is found in areas with open ground and shrubby vegetation, such as in parkland, cultivated land, and suburbs. It eats insects and fruit. The male and female birds look alike.

Photos from All About Birds.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Annual Turkey Trot - Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

A long standing Parker tradition, the "Turkey Trot" was held this morning. This annual event has been held for at least the past 36 years.   Originally, it was held using real, live turkies!  It is similar to Pin the Tail on the Donkey, only now it is Pin the Wattle on the Turkey! There are 3 winners, one from each grade. A monetary donation is made in their name to "Turkeys 4 America".   In addition, this year's  Turkey Trot was used to help promot a food drive for the Reading Food Pantry. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bird of the Week Xll - Monday, November 21st, 2011

This week's "Bird of the Week" is the House finch. The House finch is a bright red and brown-striped bird of the cities and suburbs. The House Finch comes readily to feeders. It also breeds in close association with people, and often chooses a hanging plant in which to put its nest.

The House finch is a medium-sized finch, about 5 - 6 inches long with a wingspan of about 8 - 10 inches. The male is bright red on it's head, chest, and rump and the female is brown and striped. It has a short, thick bill that is rounded on the top edge. It has two, thin, white wing bars. The House finch can easily be confused with the less common, but similar looking Purple finch. Click here for an article about telling the 2 species apart.
The House Finch was originally a bird of the southwestern United States and Mexico. In 1940 a small number of finches were turned loose on Long Island, New York, and they quickly started breeding. They spread across the entire eastern United States and southern Canada within the next 50 years. In the early 1990's, the House finch population was greatly reduced due to an avian (bird) form of conjunctivitis.
Photos from All About Birds.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Challenger Learning Center Field trip - Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Today, 36 students went to the Christa McAuliffe Challenger Learning Center on the campus of Framingham State College.  This simulated flight to Mars was the culmination of work the students did in four after school sessions with Mrs. Jordan and Mr. Williams.  The after school sessions focused on space science, team work, problem solving, and communication. 

Lunch time on the campus of Framingham St.!

Sink, Float, & Density

We have been investigating the concept of Density in class the past week  We have studied Buoyant Force using tanks of water, fishing bobbers, assorted materials that sink and float, and we have tested aluminum foil boats to see how many marbles they can hold before they sink.
We also eplored the relationship between the volume of water and it's mass.