Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Eighth graders recently spent time learning about how severe earthquakes take a toll on the metropolitan cities and towns surrounding their epicenters. Students were also exposed to the infrequent but present history of earthquakes in Massachusetts. Then a question was posed: As a government official in these difficult economic times and knowledge of the area’s geologic history, would you choose to spend government dollars on putting in earthquake-resistant supports to public buildings such as schools, fire stations, and hospitals? Here are some of the responses of our future politicians:

In favor of the earthquake-resistant treatment spending, representative Kaylee of Reading.

I say yes. We may not be having them now but what is stopping them from happening? We need to be File:Chuetsu earthquake-earthquake liquefaction1.jpgsure that our children and sick are taken care of and that the fire and policemen can get to us. Public buildings like schools, hospitals, fire and police departments are very important on any occasion, which means they have to be saved in an emergency. If someone is stuck under a fatal load and the fire department can’t get to them then what is their purpose?

These may be tough times but they will be worse if everything comes tumbling down like a child’s building set. Having the construction done isn’t that expensive. Just some replaced boards and extra support. You could even do these things around your own house. Support your foundation, heater and chimney in place. Also put a few boards to support your walls and ceiling. We have the choice to be safe, will we take it?

… and opposed to the referendum we have Representative Megan of Reading:

Most public buildings in New England are made of bricks. Police and fire stations, schools, town halls, and many more are made from bricks. It just happens to be that bricks are one of the most weak and dangerous in an earthquake. They break and fall most easily and when one occurs it’s almost certain that buildings made of bricks are not going to survive through it like if you drop a glass cup sometimes the don’t break but most the time they shatter.

I don’t think we should use tax dollars to make public buildings earthquake resistant. Even though it is a lot more safe, I believe that people can survive without it. There are plenty of other things to spend tax dollars on. Earthquakes are’nt common in New England now; they used to be but now they aren’t and it wouldn’t be the most pressing issue on my list if I was the mayor. Also, this would mean the taxes will rise and now lots of people can’t afford that especially in these times. A lot of people would not be happy with knowing that their tax money is going towards earth-quake resistance when they believe that there will never be one here.

The truth is a lot of people will experience an earthquake in their lifetime. If we learn from other earthquakes and did what other people did to be successful, I think that earthquake resistance is not necessary and people can be safe and happy with their family.

Photos Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons

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Dry Ice

James S. – Grade 6

Dry ice, Dry iceFile:Liquid awesome.ppg.jpg
It burns in your hand.
However, it’s cold-
I don’t understand.

Dry ice, Dry ice
It slides all around.
Could’ve had tons of sugar
Perhaps a pound.

Dry ice, Dry ice
Carbon dioxide in solid
Unlike water-made ice
Mud does not make it squalid.

Dry ice, Dry ice
With a mind of its own
Its mad crazy nature
Sets dry ice alone.
Don’t mess with Dry Ice!

Dry ice, Dry ice
Sublimating away
It won’t be here tomorrow
But it is here today.

Dry ice, Dry ice
It refuses to melt
And it will sting you
If it is felt.

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Over the past three weeks students have been learning about how plate tectonics cause both slow and sudden changes to Earth’s surface. To show their understanding students created “museum quality” models. The results were fantastic as many students poured their artistic talents and scientific attention to detail into some fabulous models. A number of “super-models” were selected by students and can be viewed below!

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by Mr. Musselman

Building a model can help us better understand things that are too big or too small to see. As Grace from 8th grade puts it in a recent science class review blog post, “One activity that I really enjoyed was the Model Galaxy project. It File:Milky Way galaxy.jpgwas an interesting experience making a galaxay from ‘junk.’ This project helped me understand the make up of the galaxy. Also, recording and presenting our galaxy helped my presentation skills.” To see Grace and her colleagues galaxy project, follow the link posted here. To read Grace’s complete opinion of Mr. Musselman’s science class, follow the link to her personal blog.

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