"Give Wildlife A Chance" Poster Contest

Before our 3rd grades dive into their next PLTW challenge we are investing plants and animals of Georgia by diving into the "Give Wildlife a Chance" Poster Contest. 

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The State Botanical Garden of Georgia and The Environmental Resources Network, Inc. (TERN) encourage you and your students to participate in the 28th annual Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest! As part of DNR and TERN’s “Kids For Conservation” initiative, this art contest provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through fifth-grade students to explore the wonders of Georgia’s native plant and nongame animal species through the 2017–2018 theme: Nature at Night!

Native species are those that naturally occur in Georgia, unlike exotic species that were introduced from other places. Georgia’s native plants and animals come in all shapes and sizes—from the large, moss-covered live oak (our state tree) to the little grass frog, the smallest frog species in North America. About 95% of Georgia’s native wildlife species are nongame (those which are not legally fished for or hunted) and include rare, threatened or endangered animals and plants such as Barbour’s map turtle and dwarf trillium. Our state is home to approximately 3,600 species of native plants, 950 nongame vertebrate species and countless invertebrate species and non-vascular plants. While game species are important, this art contest focuses on nongame wildlife.

Nongame wildlife can be found in your schoolyard, backyard or community greenspace. Some of the nongame wildlife that your students may want to depict in their artwork are bats, chipmunks, darters, frogs, hawks, songbirds, sea turtles, snakes, insects and many species of native plants. Take your students outside your school or on a field trip to a nearby state park, botanical garden or wildlife management area, and discover Georgia’s wildlife!

Poster Contest Rules & Guidelines

Size & Format

  1. Outside dimensions cannot exceed 17" x 22" (vertically or horizontally).
  2. Collages and other three-dimensional artwork are not suitable for this contest.
  3. Posters should be submitted on white tagboard or on white art paper (no matting).
  4. DO NOT FOLD. Submit art flat in a package or roll into a mailing tube.
  5. If you want the students’ entries returned, you MUST include exact postage (stamps only—no metered tapes) and mailing label or the entries will not be returned.

Contest Rules

  1. While following the Poster Contest Rules and Guidelines, instruct your students to create their own artwork based on this year's theme, and arrange for a local competition at your school.
  2. Each entry should depict at least one native nongame plant and/or animal of Georgia. Please include the Artwork Description information on the Poster Contest Entry Form. This demonstrates to the judges the student researched their subject.
  3. First-, second- and third-place winners should be chosen at the local level (refer to Contest Awards section).
  4. All participating students can receive place award ribbons and a Give Wildlife a Chance certificate (refer to Contest Awards section).
  5. Only ONE school-wide winner from each division can be chosen to compete in the state-level contest at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia (refer to Eligibility section). State-level entries are normally the artwork of the first-place school winners.
  6. All contest entries must adhere to the contest theme: Nature at Night
  7. Avoid focusing on game species (those legally hunted or fished). Examples include white-tailed deer, wild turkey, gray squirrel, bear, bobcat, Canada geese, mourning dove, bobwhite quail, alligator, and largemouth bass. For a full list of game species, see the 2016–2017 Hunting Seasons and Fishing Regulations as well as the Migratory Bird Seasons. While these animals are important, this competition emphasizes Georgia's nongame animals and native plants.
  8. Do not include pictures of exotic zoo animals. This art contest focuses on Georgia’s native plants and animals.

150 Projects. 42 Judges. 6 Days. This is Science Fair.

The 5th Grade students have been working very hard in the lab to learn the scientific method, apply to an interest of theirs, and present their findings in our 3rd Annual Science Fair. 

Each student was able to present their work to 2 or more guest judges from different fields. Judges came from Rose Animal Hospital, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Kennesaw State University, Chattahoochee Riverkeepper, Red Door Playhouse, Cobb County School District, and various medical, engineering and architectural backgrounds. 




Dino: Coming Soon!

Pizzuto: Coming Soon!

Lupiani: Coming Soon!

Not the flu!!!

I hope with all this extra time off from school that everyone is getting lots of rest and eating healthy! If you are sick, I hope you feel better soon! This video from SciShow Kids will give you some more information about what exactly you are dealing with! 

Oh. Christmas Trees!

What a fun time of year! I love the Holiday Season: Halloween and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. I love the celebrations, decorations, food and time with family. I also love the change of season, the Winter Solstice is cause for celebration at my house, and I look forward to the cooler weather. One of my favorite books is Winter World by Bernd Heinrich, and he talks about how plants and animals survive during the winter. This fun video is all about a plant we often think of in the winter: the "Christmas Trees"!

Registration is OPEN for Spring F.A.S.T classes!

This Spring I will be offering THREE F.A.S.T. classes, including the brand new "Steady Paws MD" for fourth and fifth graders! All classes are from 2:30 - 3:30. Learn more and register at the links below!

Mondays: Steady Paws MD. This new class is open to 4th and 5th graders only. We'll investigate biomedical sciences by tracking the spread of an "infection", coding apps to test reflexes, printing 3D models, making fake blood and more! Download the registration form here.

Thursdays: Green Paws. Open to 2nd and 3rd grade students, this popular class digs deep into gardening and nature study. Students use the Nature Nook for additional gardening opportunities , and crafts and games teach about the environment. Download the registration form here

Fridays: Green Paws Junior. This introductory course is for Kindergarten - 2nd Grades. We'll do most of what the older students are doing, but with less of the heavy lifting :-). Download the registration form here

All classes are $200, which includes supplies. Checks should be made payable to Blue Jay Education LLC. Thursday and Friday classes are likely to sell out. 

Brain Freeze!

Earlier this semester the 2nd graders tested the temperatures of different materials around the Science Lab trying to find out which made the best insulators or conductors. They used that knowledge to create homemade coolers that had to keep ice pops frozen for 40 minutes. If they succeeded, then they got to eat the ice pop! 








This STEM challenge is in the (book)bag.

No one has been working harder in the Science Lab than the 1st graders this semester! We are wrapping our Project Lead The Way unit on light and sound by creating devices that can communicate over distances through the forest. All that they can use to create vibrations and reflections is what was packed for a day hike on the nature trail. 








Molding young minds.

In 3rd Grade we are wrapping up the semester with a study of skills related to fossils. We made plaster casts of tracks from mammals in Piedmont region, and now are making molds of seashells from the Georgia coast. Mrs. Herman's class demonstrates below!

Structure & Function in Kindergarten

All year in Kindergarten we've been using fairy tales to learn how to be engineers. In our final big project of the semester we got to make our own story! Using the engineering design process we created our own paintbrushes (our structure) that could paint in many different ways (its function). Take a look at the results below!







No Bones About It.

3rd Grade continues their exploration of earth sciences with a look into how scientists can observe an animals skull to learn about how they lived. Here Mrs. Adams' and Benson's classes demonstrate: 

Cervi-ng up Legumes: #farmtoschool

Mrs. Cervi's 2nd graders recently harvested green beans from our gardens on Post Oak Tritt Road. Not only did they plant these beans 2 months ago, they've been caring for them with the rest of the 2nd grade team every since! The students helped wash and prep the beans, while Mrs. Cervi did all the cooking on our Mobile Cooking Cart from the Captain Planet Foundation. The beans were flavored with chives (also from the gardens) and salt & pepper. The lemonade was flavored by spearmint from the garden. 

"No One steps in the same River twice..."

"... both the River has changed, and so has the Person." - Heraclitus

Our 3rd Graders just wrapped up a Project Lead The Way unit on "The Changing Earth". We studied different soil types in color, texture, size, and how well they drained water. We also experimented with our stream tables to watch the process of erosion, and brainstormed ways we could slow down that process. We needed to design a model that would prevent a landslide in the stream table from destroying houses (wooden blocks) at the bottom of a hill. 








Can you hear me now???

We just started studying sound in 1st grade. To test how vibrations carry sound waves we built cup phones. Below the pictures you can see the directions to make your own at home. Here are students from Ms. Coyne's, Mrs. Foote's, and Mrs. Moffett's class build and test their phones: 

Project Lead The Way

Hey guys: I was fortunate enough to go to Orlando for the 2017 PLTW Summit where I attended lots of great sessions, met awesome people, got together with my Verizon Innovative Learning Lab friends, got a book signed by CEO Vince Bertram, and my favorite: played with the VEX IQ Competition robots. Would any 4th/5th graders be interested in doing that too?


Compounding the problem...

Fourth grade just wrapped up their Project Lead The Way unit on forces and simple machines. Each group was required to build a compound machine model that could lift a tiger 6" and set it safely in a place. The hardest part: they only had 25 minutes!







The 2018 Science & Engineering Fair

What is it? The Elementary Science & Engineering Fair is a wonderful way for students to share their STEM-related interests with the school community. What are they most excited about after 6-years of school?! Each project must consist of a student-led investigation and a display to present the results to their peers and judges. Students come up with their own question / problem and design an investigation / creation to answer that question / solve the problem. 

New this year, in addition to using the Scientific Method to answer a question, students can use the Engineering Design Process to invent something to solve a problem – but they still have to collect data from before and after, and create a presentation detailing their efforts.

Projects will be categorized into the following 12 groups: Animal Science, Astronomy / Physics, Biomedical Science, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth / Environmental Science, Engineering Mechanics, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science, Plant Science, Robotics, Social Science.

How will they be judged? We will use the CCSD Elementary Science Fair Rubric (shown below) to evaluate projects. 


Who participates? All 5th-grade students will be expected to turn in a project, but all other students are welcome to participate. Students will work individually, no teams.

When is the fair? Project displays are due on Tuesday, January 9th. Students will present their project throughout the week during their normal Science Lab time. Winners for each category will be announced at the school Science & Engineering Fair on Thursday, January 18th. The top six projects from our school will go on to the Cobb County Science Fair on February 10th.

How do you display the results? Each project must complete a tri-fold display board or 3'x3' poster (which can be designed and printed at school). The presentation must include the: question/problem, 3 research sources, hypothesis, procedure, equipment, data, analysis (including graphs), pictures and conclusions. Use of a journal is also encouraged. A one-page abstract summarizing the project is also required. Use of a journal is also encouraged.  Models, samples and technology presentations are not required, but can only help!


Best Practices: Parents are encouraged to guide students, but not to do the project. Models, including volcanoes or robots, and “research only” projects on general interest topics are NOT acceptable projects. Projects should be experiment-based, and results data-driven.

Where have we been? Our 5th-graders have been spending time in Science Lab learning the Scientific Method, and researching and discussing scientific topics that most interest them. There are a lot of resources online to help students narrow down their interests if they are still having trouble deciding on a project. We will continue to work on the Science Fair in the lab through December, but all experiments / inventions will be done at home. Your student’s topic may be limited by what they can accomplish at home!

What’s next? By November 16th students are required to turn in the Project Overview form (linked here) outlining their research question and project.  The sooner they turn it in for approval, the sooner they will get feedback! Their project can change after this point, but this will help point them in a direction! 

Contact Mr. Giunta at joseph.giunta@cobbk12.org with any questions.

We've got our toes in the (kinetic) sand.

Well, not our toes, but with as messy as the Lab was we might as well have used our toes! We've been covering properties of matter in 2nd grade, and this week we are trying to change the properties of sand! This field, "materials science", is fascinating! Here Mrs. Teuchert's class demonstrates: 

Here you can check out a video on "materials science" by the folks at Crash Course Kids: 

Our ingredients: mix 1 oz water with a teaspoon of dish soap and some food coloring. In a separate bowl combine 2 oz play sand and 1 oz corn starch. Combine both bowls and mix to desired consistency! 

It's like pigs live here!!

Kindergarten has been learning all about engineers in the Science Lab this month! We read The 3 Little Pigs and designed their very own houses. But beware, the Big Bad FAN is coming to test out how well they did! Here Mrs. Garrett's class shows off there work: