This is the Blog for my 1st period Environmental Science Class for the 2017-18 school year at George Washington High School. The class code for our Google Classroom where occasional announcements are recorded is available through Mr. Applebaum, in class or via e-mail.

2-16-18: We listened to a short passage for the audiobook "Cooked" by Micael Pollan about the microbiome within organisms (disc 9 track 6). We also examined the tardigrade, an example of an "extremophile". The answers to !0-17 on page 213 are C, B, A, B, A, D, C, A.

2-15-18: A shorter period due to the half day report card conferences (a half-day schedule). Students continued preparing d for the upcoming chapter 8 exam by working problems #10-17 on text page 213.
We listened to a short passage for the audiobook "Cooked" by Micael Pollan about the microbiome within organisms (disc 9 track 5, starting at 2:58).

2-14-18: A shorter period due to the town hall schedule. Students prepared for the upcoming chapter 8 exam by working problems #10-17 on text page 213. We listened to a short passage for the audiobook
"Cooked" by Micael Pollan about the microbiome in and on the human body (disc 9 track 4).

2-13-18: We watched and discussed "Battle at Kruger" Students continued their illustrations from yesterday. I handed out report cards.

2-12-18: The HW is due (critiqued rough draft and final essays). Students created two dodecahedron sides for classroom display using concepts shown on page 204 of the text.

2-9-18: Students were given the "Science Writing Rubrik" and "Critique Guide" to be used by someone in your circle to review and critique the first draft of your constructed response. Students are to use that person's review to create a final response to the three prompts and submit them by end of day Monday. All three components (first draft, review and final copy) are to be handed in as a stapled pack.

2-8-18: No class due to Eagles Superbowl victory parade. Go Birds!!!

2-7-18: Students received a three-part constructed response on topics presented in the video we watched yesterday. They were asked to write a draft response to all three prompts. This draft will be peer-reviewed, discussed in class, then rewritten for final submission. The draft, peer comments, and final copy must be handed in when due in order to receive the highest possible score and credit toward your grade.

2-6-18: We continued our study of carrying capacity by watching and discussing this video: We discussed R vs. K selection theory. A constructed response question will be developed and assigned based on this topic. Students should watch the video again.

2-5-18: We discussed conditions that earth might experience if it exceeded its carrying capacity for humans. Students are to write these down. We then saw the start of the film Intersteller (2014) to examine a model of those conditions and when society might be like should that happen. We got to 29:56 of Interstellar.

2-2-18: Students are required to submit an answer to #6 on text page 202 and we explore the concept of carrying capacity and population dynamics.

2-1-18: We discussed a few summer internships available to students. The links were posted on the google classroom page (see link in the page intro above). We discussed carrying capacity. Students are required to submit a response to P206 #2 as credit toward grade.

2-1-18: We completed the population graph and analysis activity. Students submitted the two papers (stapled together) for grade. We reviewed the remaining questions in class.

1-31-18: Our class was shortened due to assemblies for upper class students (grades 10-12). We reviewed the video from yesterday and discussed some futuristic technology such as those of Biomed Sciences (Silon).

1-30-18: We continued our work from yesterday up to analysis question #10. We also watched and discussed a video predicting earth's future in 2030, 2040, and 2050, based on current science trends.

1-29-18: Students received credit toward grade for completing the graph and analysis questions 1-5 form the sheets handed out on 1/25. We reveiwed this work.

1-26-18: We previewed the key terms and students received a grade for having them written out. Students are to continue on the graphing exercise (and analysis) from yesterday.

1-25-18: Students received a graphing package on human population growth. We began to preview chapter 8. For HW, in addition to the key the key terms, students are to complete the graph and answer questions 1-5 of the analysis questions.

1-24-18: Students used the period to prepare for their next midterm and make up any missing term 2 work.

1-23-18: Students used the period to complete their midterm exams as most had not finished yesterday.

1-22-18: Students took the midterm exam. Key terms for chapter 8 are due on Friday.

1-19-18: We completed Planet Ocean. The video worksheet is due today for grade. Students worked on solving items from the problem bank of questions that will appear on the midterm exam.

1-18-18: The midterm on Monday will include some of the multiple choice questions from the textbook chapters 1-7. To prepare for the exam, students should review all multiple choice questions for chapters 1-7 (There are 60 questions: Ch.1 P.25 #10-16, Ch.2 P. 53 #11-19, Ch 3. P.85 #11-19, Ch. 4 p.111 #11-18, Ch.5 P.137 #11-19, Ch.6 P. 167 #11-19, and, Ch.7 P. 189 #11-19. There will also be a short answer section based on key terms and concepts (e.g. invasive species, biomes, food webs....). We continued "Planet Ocean" up to 1:21.

1-17-18: We continued the "Planet Ocean" to 1:16.

1-16-18: We discussed this past weekend's PPPL lecture and I offered a way to see the lecture from a computer at home using the remote viewing link and tweet link to ask the speaker questions. I showed the video "Star Power" at : The Midterm exam, covering the material from the beginning of the course will be Monday 1/22.

1-12-18: We talked again about the PPPL, "Science on Saturday" lecture series that begins tomorrow. Be there by 8:30 to get your seat int he lecture hall otherwise you will be in the lunchroom watching from remote screens. Extra credit is offered for proof that you were there. We continued "Planet Ocean to 1:13.

1-11-18: We continued the "Planet Ocean" exploring aspects of Oil drilling. We looked at areas of the world where oil is found and at the Exxon Valdez and the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The class code for our Google Classroom is "auqvmzq".

1-10-18: We continued the "Planet Ocean" exploring aspects of commercial fishing (See ref. 90).

1-9-18: We discussed the Keystone testing schedule and room assignments. I showed borax, an example of a mineral mined since the early 1800's (the "20-Mule Team). I demonstrated the glass bead test using Borax. We continued "Planet Ocean" to 1:00:00.

1-8-18: Back to school after two snow days. We discussed the "Science on Saturday" and the upcoming Keystone tests.

1-3-18: We discussed interim grades and scheduling through the end of the term. I played a selection from the Voyager Golden Record set and we discussed the Voyager mission. We continued the Planet Ocean video to 59:00.

12-22-17: With reduced classroom attendance due to holiday activities around the school, we watched several short videos while other students performed make up work.

12-21-17: We continued the "Planet Ocean" video to 53:24 discussing related topics as the video played including the Panama Canal.

12-20-17: We continued the "Planet Ocean" video to 24:31 discussing related topics as the video played.

12-19-17: We reviewed the prompts for the article handed out 12-14. We then began an introduction to Chapter 7, aquatic biomes with a video and worksheet. The video is "Planet Ocean" and can be found within reference link #100. We got only to 4:27 into the video.

12-18-17: We reviewed the chapter 6 exam. Students who missed it Friday took in on paper in a separate room. I also checked the chapter 7 Key terms for grade.

12-15-17: Students were issued Chromebook computers and assigned the publishers exam for chapter 6. This timed exam was available through the infinite campus portal to the Holt publisher website. Students who missed the exam should contact me to have it reassigned or to receive a paper copy.

12-14-17: I attended an all-day, in-school professional development on the topic of "writing across the curriculum". Students were required to read an article on "Fusion Power" and submit responses from 9 prompts for credit toward grade. Key terms for chapter 7 shall be postponed to Monday.

12-13-17: We reviewed the chapter 5 exam from yesterday. Those present who did not take the exam were given a paper copy and completed it in another room.

12-12--17: Students were issued Chromebook computers and assigned the publishers exam for chapter 5. This timed exam was available through the infinite campus portal to the Holt publisher website. Students who missed the exam should contact me to have it reassigned or to be issued a paper copy.

12-11-17: We went over the chapter 5 and 6 review sheets in preparation for the exam. These sheets counted as credit toward grade.

12-8-17: We played Kahoot, 20 questions on Biomes. The chapter 5-6 test will be Tuesday, on Chromebooks in class. Students will be able to use their notes.

12-7-17: We discussed the lock-down yesterday and students continued the sheet from yesterday. We watched a short video explaining photosynthesis (See reference item #135)

12-6-17: I distributed a review sheet covering chapter 6. Students were instructed to work on this sheet for classwork then complete it for HW. We examined the chapter cover photo with a video describing the sloth. I also played a song showing other creatures from Australia and we also played the theme song from Perry the Platypus

12-5-17: We examined and discussed the "Society and the Environment" passage on text page 135. We began identifying Trophic species in the ocean, relating the fishing catch to its trophic level.

12-4-17: We read then discussed the case study on page 130-131, adding conifer and deciduous trees to our vocabulary. We also discussed fires caused by natural processes (lightning and spontaneous combustion). I checked the HW (Key Terms ch 6).

12-1-17: A guest teacher covered my classes today because I was at Drexel University, my alma mater, participating in a school trip. Students were given a review paper on chapter 5 and were required to complete and submit this paper for credit toward grade then continue with the HW for Monday (Chapter 6 key terms).

11-30-17: We completed "Your Inner Monkey and I collected the video sheet to be counted toward classwork grade. Chapter 6 key terms are due for HW on Monday. We began watching "Life After People" to 10:30 and examined how food webs would be affected. Students submitted 10 facts from the video as it played due as an exit ticket.

11-29-17: We began to examine the publisher's review papers for chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 6 key terms are due for HW on Monday. We nearly completed "Your Inner Monkey" up to the last question. Video sheets are due tomorrow. We studied the differences between a food chain and a food web.

11-28-17: We watched "You inner Monkey to 41:51 and discussed the pros and cons of a vertical spine. We explored the food web involving a beehive and watched Cody's Lab beekeeping episode 1.

11-27-17: We discussed some of the work vlogger, Cody Reemer (See reference item 134). We discussed safety and his interest in sustainable chemistry and farming. We watched the video of him extracting platinum from highway dust generated from degraded catalytic converters used in fuel burning automobiles. I offer as extra credit the following assignment: Explore Cody's Lab youtube channel and find a video related to farming or gardening. Summarize the video with one or two sentences and e-mail me the link. We also continued "Your Inner Monkey to 37:50.

11-22-17: We continued the video further and discussed benefits of species interactions and cohabitation (e.g. pets...).

11-21-17: We continued the video to 29:49 and discussed how researchers use bones to predict bipedalism and other species traits.

11-20-17: We reviewed our discussion of climax community from p 132, We disscused the N2 cycle and examined some of the chemistry of ammonia (i.e. its odor and its reaction with HCl) and we watched a little more of you rInner Monkey to 7:39

11-17-17: I checked chapter 5 key terms for credit toward grade. We discussed species successions and climax communities as these terms related to mowing a lawn and the evolution of mammals. I also offered EC#56.

11-16-17: I attended an all-day, in-school professional development on the topic of "writing across the curriculum". Students were required to complete a graded written assignment in my absence. Students are required to submit their responses to two prompts related to the Neil Shubin videos. The prompts were distributed in class.

11-15-17: Reviewed on-line publisher materials including concept review sheet and quiz. Discussed Neil Shubin's work and began the next video in the series "Your Inner Monkey" to 4:43.

11-14-17: We took a detailed look and the topics in chapter 5 section 1. We completed the video "Your inner reptile". The video sheet is due once responses to the final two analysis prompts are written (next class).

11-13-17: We discussed the Free GWHS Community Thanksgiving Feast this Thursday night for you, your friends and family. You must register to attend. We discussed the importance of writing professionally and watched the Weird Al parody video, "Word Crimes". We reviewed the grading system. Key terms for all sections of chapter 5 are due Friday.

11-9-17: We previewed the learning objectives of term 2. We continued the video from yesterday to 44:20

11-8-17: We continued our discussion of biodiversity and evolutionary discovery using Neil Shubin's video "Your Inner Reptile" (See reference item #133). A video question sheet was distributed and we got to around question #12, 36:17.

11-6-17: Students had the opportunity to make up missing work. We completed the classification worksheet and students received credit toward grade. A biography of Alfred Nobel with prompts was handed out to be completed as homework.

11-3-17: I checked key terms for chapter 4 as credit toward grade. We began to go over the classification worksheet from 11/1. Students who completed the sheet received credit toward grade.

11-2-17: I was absent for a medical issue. Students were given an article to read from the Wall Street Journal with seven prompts to answer as credit toward grade. Within those prompts was an extra credit assignment. Students who did not receive the materials in class can get them here.

11-1-17: Students were provided with a reference sheet that contained two graphic organizers classifying plant and animal life on earth. We examined the table on text page 119 and saw a few short videos on the intelligence of the octopus (an invertebrate) and the camouflage ability of its cousin the cuttlefish.

10-31-17: Students were permitted time to write the essay from yesterday, complete the exam from Friday, or write key terms for chapter 4 (Homework due Friday). While this was going on, we celebrated Halloween with, cany treats, a smoke machine and a viewing of the 1988 John Carpenter film, "They Live" up to 48:10.

10-30-17: Students submitted their Chapter 3 essay exams. Students were provided with an essay critique sheet asked to write a response to #27 on text page 86. Students are to complete this essay for HW.

10-27-17: Students received their chapter 3 exam and scoring rubric to complete over the weekend as an open book, open notes essay. Due Monday. Those absent can get the exam when they return to class and submit it the next day.

10-26-17: Students previewed chapter 4 and we spoke about the reading selection titled "Darwin's Finches". We watched a selection from "Dogs Decoded" (See reference link #133) about two selective breeding experiments: 1 - Raising wolf pups in a home as dogs, and 2- Breeding tame and aggressive silver foxes. As credit toward grade, and handed in as an exit ticket (if possible), students were required to summarize the testing procedure and findings of the two experiments in "Dogs Decoded" and write a personal reflection.

10-25-17: We continued "Your Inner Fish" to 10:50 (bones patterns). We began to talk about organizations of life and began a discussion of life classification (e.g. vertebrates and invertebrates, types of vertebrates, new world life forms, omnivores vs. carnivores....). On-line links to the Inner Fish series can be found in reference link #133. The chapter 3 exam will be distributed Friday, four selected essays based on the four sections of the chapter plus some multiple choice questions.

10-24-17: Students submitted sample exam questions for We also created chapter 3 essay exam questions, 2-prompts per question (e.g. draw and describe...) for each section of the chapter. We discussed aspects of the biosphere and the theory of evolution. I introduced evolution and the development of biodiversity we began Neil Shubin's PBS series, "Your inner fish" opening (opening only).

10-23-17: We continued "Birth of the Earth" to 46:22 (near the end) and discussed key topics from the video. We also created chapter 3 essay exam questions, 2-prompts per question (e.g. draw and describe...) for each section of the chapter.

10-20-17: We continued "Birth of the Earth" to 31:45 and discussed the damage and recovery of the ozone layer from caused by CFC'c (Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons).

10-19-17: I was attending a seminar at the Franklin Institute. Students were required to create then submit for grade a favorite food data journal to allow scientific comparisons of their favorite foods using "Scott's Pizza Tour Journal" as a model.

10-18-17: We watched "Birth of the Earth" to 16:55 and several other videos about our solar system from links on Reference item #115.

10-17-17: I checked key terms for chapter 3 as HW credit toward grade. I demonstrated coal combustion and gasification using anthracite coal (we also learned the difference between bituminous and anthracite coal.

10-16-17: Interim reported were distributed in advisory. In class, we completed the Video "Home" and students were required to submit 5 facts from the video that appeared on-screen from 1:16-1:20 summarizing the film as credit toward grade in addition to the video sheet questions. We discussed extinction and I began to introduce the concept of geologic time. We discussed the big bang (13.7 billion years ago) vs the formation of the solar system (4.5 billion years ago).

10-13-17: We explored more Phet simulations. We solved a textbook issue (HW still due Monday). We continued "Home"

10-12-17: Students were asked to write Key Term definitions for chapter 3 for HW due Monday. We continued reviewing chapter 3 in preparation for an exam next week. We continued watching "Home" up to 1:06 and saw images of glaciers. We also used the University of Colorado Phet simulation on glaciers.

10-10-17: We continued reviewing material in chapter 3 and play more of the video "Home" up to 55:15.

10-9-17: We reviewed PSAT/SAT room assignments (posted) and discussed interim grades then continued watching "Home (2009)" up to 46:50 (we will restart at 45:00).

10-6-17: We discussed the proposed Aquaponics projects and students wrote a personal reflection on this project and whether they would want to be involved in an afterschool club as credit toward a grade. This writing was handed in as an exit ticket (See reference link #127 to watch a short video). We continued with the video Home to 28:45.

10-5-17: We finished the video, "A journey through the atmosphere" (reference link #126). I showed a transformer with low voltage, high current sparks to demonstrate how hot things do not necessarily carry much heat (like sparks from a meteor, aka "shooting star"). I also checked the HW as credit for a grade.

10-4-17: Students created a diagram and drawing based on figure 2.2 from text page 68 covering layers of the atmosphere. This will be checked as HW tomorrow for a grade and will be on the next unit exam. We started the video, "A journey through the atmosphere" (reference link #126).

10-3-17: I handed back the exams and a general scoring rubric for open-ended prompts. Students who did not complete the exam can do so on their lunch or after school. I showed the opening scene of interstellar up to the definition that the father gives his daughter about science.

10-2-17: We had a shorter period due to the Dee-1 concert. We began to go over the grading of the exam for Unit 1. Students will be given the Rubik and have a chance to rewrite their exam.

9-29-17: Students were asked to pair, share and report out changes to earth air and water. We discussed these.

9-28-19: I was out for a funeral so, students were given a work to do from the book (copied on a sheet to hand in. It was questions 1-5 on page 82 and 1-10 on page 85.

9-27-17: Continuing to introduce a new unit on the dynamics of planet earth, we began discussing a d watching the video Home (2009) . I showed an image from APOD titled "All the water on earth". We also discussed, the growth of sea life, geothermal energy, stratigraphy, and the growth of trees. We got up to 16:50 in the video.

9-26-17: Students were asked to preview chapter 3 beginning a new unit on the dynamics of planet earth. We created a list of key terms for the chapter and students were asked to begin a key terms list with definitions for the words: Geosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere. We completed the PSAT/SAT answer sheet information.

9-25-17: Students completed the exam and then were asked to preview chapter 3. The textbook is back on-line and can be accessed through the student portal by clicking on the "Holt McDougal" icon.

9-20-17: Students sat for an exam covering the first unit of environmental science (chapters 1 & 2). Extra time will be permitted on Monday to complete the exam before we move onto chapter 3, the chemistry of planet earth.

9-19-17: Students received a second Spongebob experiment set. I checked HW and reviewed it. Tomorrow we will have a writing exam that will require proper use of key terms to describe items covered in chapters one and two.

9-18-17: We reviewed gradebook and discussed the procedures for the"Town Hall" meeting on Wednesday. I handed out a sheet describing four experiments ("Spongebob - Controls and Variables I"). We reviewed the first experiment, "Patty Power". Students are to complete the remaining three for HW due tomorrow.

9-15-17: Students were asked to add key terms about experimentation to their notes: Experiment, Control, Independent variable and dependent variable. We discussed how the variables would be presented on an x-y graph. We completed "Strange Days...Part 1" and students submitted the video worksheet as credit toward grade.
Those who want to explore the "How Wolves Change Rivers" trophic cascade concept discussed yesterday should watch "Strange Days on Planet Earth - Part 3" from 20:30 to 31:25.

9-14-17: We defined developing and developed countries. We mentioned the uncontacted people as well, not discussed in the text. We examined the data presented in Figures 2.4 and 2.5. We watched a video that explored the concept of tropic cascades "How Wolves Changed Rivers" (Reference Item #76).

9-13-17: We added the three key terms from chapter 1 section 2 to our list and discussed them in class. I continued the video "Strange days..." up to 27:36, a part of the film featured the introduction of weevils to control the invasive plant Water Hyacinth in Uganda. On a related note, students were asked to research the problem of Rabbits in Austrailia.

9-12-17: Students were asked to write, discuss, then submit answers to #2 and 3 on page 15 of the textbook. I presented information on the Pacific gyre.

9-11-17: Students were asked to write a response to the prompt: How might humans respond to an invasive species that destroyed corn crops?". Students are to include that response on the video worksheet from Friday. We discussed this prompt and examined the threat of "Loss of biodiversity", discussed on page 15 of the textbook. We discussed human populations growth and its impact on our planet. I checked the HW (6 key term definitions for chapter 1) for a grade.

9-8-17: Students were shown how to access the online textbook. Key terms definitions for chapter 1 are due Monday. We began a video on Invasive species, National Geographic's - "Strange Days on Planet Earth - The Invaders" (See Reference link #125). A video question sheet was distributed in class and will be submitted for grade upon completion of the video and our discussions.

9-7-17: Students were given vocabulary related to the scientific method and were asked to create a graphic organizer using those terms. We discussed each term and a few scenarios related to scientific investigations. We discussed the use of models to help with understanding concepts. I introduced the carbon cycle and then did a quick demonstration of the Methane Mamba. This demonstration will be repeated so that it can be documented in a formatted report.

9-6-17: Students submitted their HW for grade. They received a sheet on reading skills, "Getting to know your textbook" which asks questions about the textbook and concludes with a key term definition list for the chapters. Key Terms are due as a homework grade.

9-5-17: First day of class. I hope you felt welcome and enthused about the subject. Students received a hard copy print of the syllabus to keep in their notebook and were assigned seats. Note: The syllabus is available in digital format as item #1 on the tab titled "Assignments /EC" on the left. Your homework tonight is to complete the two-part prompt handed out in class.