Science Fair Presentations!

Our 5th graders have been working hard on the Science Fair for the last two months! All this week they’ll be presenting their work to their peers in “judges circles”. The top three projects from each class will be announced on Monday the 10th, and on that day those students will present to guest architects, science communicators, artists, environmental scientists, EMTs and engineers! Take a look at the projects below:

Lupiani:

Gardner:

Blick:

Dino:

Pizzuto:

Stone: Coming Monday!

If you build it, they will come.

On the first day of Science Lab this school-year, our First Graders were introduced to a unique problem - Mylo, Suzi and Angelina are lost in the woods! Ever since the kiddos have been studying light & reflection and sound & vibration in order to figure out how to create an emergency signal to get the attention of the rest of their party. We’ve traversed the Tritt Nature Trail to get in the right mindset, and this week the students invented a communication device with only what was packed for the hike….

Fernandes

Moffett

Paine:

Foote:

McElwain / Woodall:

East:

Register NOW for Spring FAST classes!

Steady Paws MD with Mr. Giunta: In this 12-week course students will investigate biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering.  We’ll study how infections spread, create 3D printed models, solve biomedical design challenges, dissect animal organs, and of course, make fake snot. Does your student have a steady enough hand to get the job done? Classes will be every Monday afternoon from 2:30-3:30 between January 14th and April 22nd, with no class on 1/21, 2/18 or 4/1. Grades 4th and 5th. Class size is limited to the first 20 students to enroll. Minimum class size is 10. Cost is $200 per student.  Payment should be made by check to Blue Jay Education LLC. REGISTER HERE

Green Paws with Mr. Giunta: This 12-week course will provide students with the opportunity to explore student-driven STEM topics and to help keep Tritt Elementary Green! This hands-on class will spend time outside gardening, hiking, examining stream ecology, and creating awareness for the school’s environmental efforts! We’ll also make crafts like bird nest boxes, and goo for those rainy day blues. Games will teach students about food chains and habitats. What kind of paw print will your student leave? Classes will be every Thursday afternoon from 2:30-3:30 between January 17th and April 25th, with no class on 1/31, 2/21 or 4/5. Grades 2nd – 3rd. Class size is limited to 20 students. Cost is $200 per student, which includes all materials. Payment should be made by check to Blue Jay Education LLC. REGISTER HERE.

Green Paws Junior with Mr. Giunta: This 12-course class will provide students with the opportunity to explore student-driven STEM topics and to help keep Tritt Elementary Green! This hands-on class will spend time outside gardening, hiking, examining stream ecology, and creating awareness for the school’s environmental efforts! We’ll also make crafts and play games that will teach students about food chains and habitats. What kind of paw print will your student leave? Classes will be every Friday afternoon from 2:30-3:30 between January 18th and April 26th, with no class on 2/1, 2/22 or 4/6. Kindergarten – 1st Grades. Class size is limited to 20 students. Cost is $200 per student, which includes all materials. Payment should be made by check to Blue Jay Education LLC. REGISTER HERE.

I'll HUFF, and I'll PUFF, and I'll.....

Kindergarten students have been using fairy tales to learn more about engineering. In the pictures below, students constructed houses (our structure) that can stand up to a garage fan blowing on them (our function).

Aside: The thumbnail picture for this post is that of the endangered Red Wolf, which isn’t big or bad!

Bower:

Garrett:

Gillespie:

Smith:

Tommasello:

Wall:

The "Egg"le has landed!

After developing a mission to mars, 4th grade students were tasked with designing / building / testing a Mars lander. The best scientists in the world have only been successful every 2 out of 5 times with their own Martian mission. Would our students do any better with their egg-stronaut?

Burns:

Eichler:

Kappel:

Miller:

Swift:

Monday's Martian Landing!

UPDATE: Insight successfully landed on Mars!

As 4th grade continues their study on space, NASA is getting ready for to land on Mars. This Monday the “Insight” lander should touch down on the surface of the planet. While we send missions to Mars more and more often, interplanetary travels is no easy task. In fact, out of the 47 missions to Mars to date, only 2 out of every 5 are successful! The most amazing thing about landing on the planet is that it is all done by computers! Mars is so far away that engineers have to code the lander to work autonomously, or all by itself! Take a look at the videos below for more about this process, and what the lander will do if it touches down successfully!

Science Fair Updates

Hey 5th Graders great work on your Science Fair proposal forms! The hardest part is defining the problem!

  • If you turned your form in before the November 2nd, then I have already approved, provided feedback, made copies and returned.

  • Everyone who turned one in on the 2nd, I’ll have yours back to you Wednesday morning. Go ahead and proceed with your topic, and I’ll let you know any concerns I had then. Use Tuesday the 6th wisely, get some work done!!!

  • Anyway turning their from in late should leave it with my sub on Monday, and also proceed as if it were approved. We’ll touch base when I get back.

General pointers:

  • Sources - For your final project you should reference at least 3 sources as a part of your background research. This should be used to form your hypothesis, or prediction of what will happen based on what you’ve learned.

  • Variables - Great job on identifying those! The control was something a lot of you had trouble with, so that is on me! Most of us have talked about it individually or as a class at this point, but generally, you want to compare your experiment to something. For example, in the affect of sunlight on plant growth your control would be a plant in full (or recommended) sunlight. In our goo lab, the control was the standard recipe of 1 oz water, and increases / decreases in that amount would let us compare stretchiness.

  • Common Projects - Many of you are experimenting with plants. That is great! It might make it hard for you to really impress the judges however, unless your project really stands out. You could definitely get knocked on the creativity category though. Just something to think about!

As always, email me with any questions, or feel free to come by the lab between 7:20-7:50 AM with your teacher’s permission! ONE MONTH UNTIL PROJECTS ARE DUE!!!

Engineering & Design Writing Contest

EngineerGirl Writing Contest is Open! Write a story that celebrates engineering design and problem-solving.The EngineerGirl writing contest is, for the first time, asking students to submit works of creative fiction. We want stories about women and girls saving the day with their wits, skill, and whatever resources they can find to solve the problem. Maybe they are working alone, maybe they are part of an elite team. Maybe they just find themselves in an unusual situation that requires some innovative thinking.We want stories that inspire EngineerGirl readers to think, “I want to be able to do that” or “I can do that.”

WHO: Students in grades 3-12.

WHAT: Write an original, fictional story in which the main character is a female who uses engineering skills to solve a problem. 

WHEN: Submissions are due Feb. 1, 2019. 

Visit www.engineergirl.org for more information!

2nd grade is keeping it cool!

Our 2nd graders are wrapping a 9-week unit on the properties of matter. We looked at the three states (solid, liquid, gas), reversibility and irreversibility, and conductors and insulators. We capped off the quarter by designing / building / testing our own coolers made from household items!

Baer:

Cervi:

Smith:

Teuchert:

Toomey:

Waters:

Wiggins:

Nature In Your Neighborhood

In 2017 I was awarded a grant from the Georgia Science Teachers Association to study wild animals on our school grounds. Using Bushnell trail cameras placed by the students in Green Paws we were able to find a lot: a blue jay in flight, bunny, opossum on the move, grazing deer, lots of raccoons, a coyote drinking water, and a hidden coyote later on!

I can’t wait to keep this up and see what we see!

The 2019 Science Fair

What is it? The Elementary Science 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, an experiment to answer that question, and then share the results. 

How will they be judged? We will use the CCSD Elementary Science Fair Rubric (shown below) to evaluate projects. Students work, both written and oral, will be judged by their peers, teachers and outside judges.

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 Monday, December 3rd. Students will present their project throughout the week during their normal Science Lab time. Winners from each class will compete in the school-wide Science Fair on Monday, December 10th. The top five projects from our school will go on to the Cobb County Science Fair on February 9th.

How do you display the results? Each project must include a tri-fold display board, report and journal. The display board must include the: question/problem, 3 research sources, hypothesis, procedure, equipment, data, analysis (including graphs), pictures and conclusions. (The photo below is just an example, examining the top projects from previous years will give your student a better idea of what theirs should look like). The report will mostly consist of the same information on the display board, but with the addition of background information, next steps (think: how would this project be improved?), and any additional information your student wants to share. Though a composition book is more traditional, your student can use their Science Lab 3-ring binder as a journal, and should keep track of all hand-written notes they have along the way (be sure to date them).

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. All projects mush be approved by Mr. Giunta. Projects involving slime / goo, Mentos & Coke, or paper airplanes will not be approved.

What’s next? Our 5th-graders will spend Science Lab time learning the Scientific Method, and researching and discussing scientific topics that most interest them. By November 5th students must have an approved project by completing this form (time will be given in class to do so). We will continue to work on the Science Fair in the lab through November, but all experiments will be done at home. Your student’s topic may be limited by what they can accomplish at home!

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

I’ll end with this cute video, even though I know our kids would never wait until the last minute!

RoboPaws: VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team

New this year, 4th and 5th grade students can apply to join Tritt Elementary's VEX IQ Robotics Competition Team. We'll meet every Wednesday after-school to build / drive / program our robots to compete in this year's challenge (see the video below). Students (and parents) should expect to travel to Cumming, GA and Auburn, AL to compete 2-3 times throughout the Fall and Winter. There is a registration fee for each tournament. And of course we'll make t-shirts. Fill out the following form to apply today! APPLY HERE! UPDATE: The boys team is FULL, but there are still open spots for our girls.

Can you hear me now???

Our first graders are studying how light and sound can be used to communicate, demonstrated here by the vibrations on the string of their cup phones. (pictured: Mrs. Paine’s class)

Can you hear me now???

Steady Paws took a shot at bio-engineering their own hearing aids!

WELCOME BACK!!!!

Welcome back to school everyone! We've got a fantastic year planned in the Science Lab thanks to the Tritt Tiger Foundation! Okay, one quick plug, please donate :-). I had a pretty quick summer, teaching 4 weeks of Project Lead The Way to other teachers around the country (including Las Vegas), camping / mountain biking / paddling for 1 week, 1 week of Specialist Camp at Tritt with 83 of our awesome students, and 1 week of Space Camp for Educators in Huntsville, AL. Water Wednesday was a success with about 12 kids meeting up every week to harvest from and water / weed the gardens. We'll be spending even more time out there this school-year.

Here is a quick rundown of what to expect the first 9 weeks of Science Lab: 

Kindergarten - Starting with sink/float, we'll be studying the properties of matter using a new Project Lead The Way unit, and then move onto engineering design challenges lifted from fairy tales like Jack & The Beanstalk and The 3 Little Pigs. 

First Grade - If we got lost on the Tritt Nature Trail, how would we communicate over a long distance using only the items in our backpack: magnets, string, flashlights, a tennis ball, and others! Including studying weather (for hiking conditions), this will take the first 18 weeks. It all starts off with sound and making a "frog chorus". 

Second Grade - How can we keep an ice pop from melting in a homemade cooler? We'll study insulation and conduction with experiments on every day items!

Third Grade - There sure is a lot of rain this first week of school! These students will study the affect of erosion on soils and rocks. 

Fourth Grade - 3...2...1... Launch into space. We've got 9 weeks of space units starting with designing our own mission to Mars, and followed by building models of our own landers and rovers! 

Fifth Grade - We are studying the scientific method through inherited traits as we prepare for the Science Fair in December (more information to follow, but you can get a pretty good idea on this blog under the, wait for it.... Science Fair tab). 

That is about it! Oh yeah, if you misread one 1/2" binder as a 1 1/2" binder, that is probably my fault. That said, storage space is limited, and if you can track down a thinner 3-ring binder, that would just be, the best.

Steady Paws / Green Paws / Green Paws Jr are FULL!

It is already time to sign-up for FAST classes! Use the links below to enroll your student today! Cost for each class is $200, payable by check to "Blue Jay Education, LLC" before the first class. 

Steady Paws MD, a biomedical science and engineering class for 4th/5th graders, on Mondays from 2:30-3:30. Activities include making fake snot, studying bacteria and infections, using 3D printing to solve problems, and dissection! 

Green Paws, an environmental science and gardening class for 2nd/3rd graders, Thursdays from 2:30-3:30. Activities include nature hikes, stream studies, crafts (eg pine cone bird feeders), games (eg camouflage), and opportunities to grow / harvest / and eat food from the garden.

Green Paws Junior, an environmental science and gardening class for K/1st graders, on Fridays from 2:30-3:30. Activities include nature hikes, stream studies, crafts (eg pine cone bird feeders), games (eg camouflage), and opportunities to grow / harvest / and eat food from the garden. 

Email Mr. Giunta at Joseph.Giunta@cobbk12.org (or text at 772-532-3928) with any questions.