In class this week we are reviewing maps, and beginning our study of Topographic Maps. Below is a video that demonstrates the activity planned for this week. If you missed the activity, you can view below and see what we did!
Think back to Grade 6, Nature’s Classroom and Silver Bay, New York on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains.
Mountains are a great way to use and show the use of elevation maps. Think back to your time at Nature’s Classroom and the hikes that you took. Remember the hills?
In class this week we will start to study Maps and their uses.
TOPOGRAPHY shows us the shapes and features of the earth’s surface, and TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS use CONTOUR LINES to represent the changes in elevation. In class you are learning the vocabulary of contour lines, index contours, and contour intervals.
Below is a topographic map of the hiking trails and the elevations around the Nature’s Classroom location.
Click on the map to make it bigger.
Look at the contour lines and then answer the following questions:
1. What is the elevation of Jabez Pond?
2. What is the distance between the Index Contours? Remember, these are the darker lines.
3. How many contour lines are there between the darker Index Contours?
4. Therefore, what is the Contour Interval?
5. Challenge Question: What is the approximate elevation of the top of No 108 Mountain?
This week we begin our studies with a review of the Scientific Method, an organized approach to defining, thinking about and developing a process to explore a problem statement and to conduct a lab investigation. These steps were taught in the earlier grades, and we began our year with a review of the processes…and did an activity called CSI Bourne to understand the difference between Evidence (Data) and a Claim (Conclusion).
You can also look at a clip of MYTHBUSTERS – HOT or COLD BASEBALL to see how the students used the Scientific Method to conduct their experiement on how temperature may affect a baseball.
….we’ll be using this a lot as the school year gets underway!
There are many tools and links on the classroom website that will allow you to always stay in touch with what we are doing, where classroom handouts and notes will be, and dates of important events like projects and tests. In fact, this school year you will also be creating your own websites for your own work!
Even though no one is perfect, we must all try to do our very best in whatever we do. To be your best in Mr. Ruggiero’s class, the two most important things to do are stay focused on your class work and to keep a cooperative attitude with your classmates and teachers at all times.
Click on the link below to take you to the Classroom Overview for the school year. Understanding how our classroom works will help you to always stay focused and keep a cooperative attitude.
Below are videos to serve as an introduction to the Grade 8 Class trip to Washington, D.C. We have a video on the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the US Capitol Dome’s 150th Anniversary, and The Three Branches of Government: How They Function.
We have been studying the effects of unequal heating of the Earth’s surface, and the resulting wind patterns these cause. Land that is heated more directly absorbs more of the sun’s heat through radiation. The ground touches the air, and through conduction, heats the air – the air becomes less dense which causes it to rise. This creates an area of lower pressure in the atmosphere. As the air rises, it cools, becomes more dense, and then falls back to the earth, creating an area of higher pressure. The movement of the air creates a convection current.
AIR ALWAYS MOVESFROMAREAS OF HIGH PRESSURE TO AREAS OF LOW PRESSURE.
Moving air is called WIND.
The spinning of the Earth causes the winds to bend to the right as they move across the globe. We call this effect the Coriolis Effect. Global Winds are winds that move across large areas around the globe. There are three major Global Wind Belts – the Trade Winds, the Westerlies and the Easterlies. These wind belts are found in both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres. There are also areas of calm winds, called the doldrums near the equator, and the Horse Latitudes nearthe 30 degrees latitudes. See the diagrams below.
The same convection currents that cause the Global Winds also affect the atmosphere at the local level, especially at the seacoast. Here on Cape Cod we experience these local winds during the summer. Cape Cod is kept cool, sort of a natural air-conditioning, by the local sea and land breezes. The hot summer sun heats the land on Cape, causing the air to rise (low pressure). Cooler descending air from the water (higher pressure) rushes in to take the place of the rising warm air on land, forming a cooling Sea Breeze. This keeps the Cape comfortable on most summer days. At night, the land cools down much faster, the warmer ocean water heats the air, causing the air over the water to rise. Cooler air from the land moves in to take the place of the rising are, creating a Land Breeze.
Study the diagram below, and then CLICK on it to see the animation!.
Both Global Winds and Local Winds are caused by the unequal heating of the Earth’s surface, creating differences in air temperatures and air pressures.
Air (wind) always moves from HIGH pressure to LOW pressure.
We are studying the Layers of the Atmosphere as we start our new unit. In our graphing lab activity we learned that the temperature of the air definitely changes as we go higher in altitude…but it does not always go down, as you may think! Each of the layers of the atmosphere is defined by a Change in the Temperature Direction. The chart below shows the changes as we graphed them in class.
Remember your Silly Sentence to recall the layers in order:
T S M T I E
The Sun Melts The Ice Everyday!
The Aurora Borealis, also know as the Northern Lights, are caused by the sun’s high energy radiation ‘charging’ the air molecules in the Ionosphere, causing them to glow. This happens near the North and South Poles, as the Electromagnetic Field is less strong at these points.
The Northern Lights are one of nature’s most spectacular visual sights, and in this speeded-up video from National Geographic Videos, they provide a breathtaking display of light, shape, and color over the course of a single night in Norway.
And finally, for some fun, here is the link to the Classroom JigSaw Puzzle we did today…
We have been studying the ways that heat can be moved form one substance to another…through the three types of Heat Transfer - Radiation, Convection and Conduction. For an animation review of what we did in class, click on the picture.
In the diagram below you can see how each of these types of heat transfer is represented in the picture of the boiling water. Radiationfrom the campfire travels through open space to heat the pot. The pot then conductsthe heat through direct contact (touch) to heat the entire pot and handle, as well as the water inside the pot. As the water, a fluid, gains heat energy, the molecules of water become more agitated and move more quickly, becoming less dense. The warmer water then rises to the top of the pot, where it hits the air, cools, and then contracts to become more dense. It then sinks to the bottom of the pan, where it is heated once again. This forms a convection current in the pan.
In the atmosphere, the same three types of Heat Transfer take place…Radiationfrom the sun heats the ground. The ground then touches the air, and through this direct contact, conduction, the air is then heated. As the warm air becomes less dense and molecules move farther apart, the warm air rises through convection. When itreaches the upper levels, the warmer air cools, contracts, becomes denser, and then sinks back to earth. It then gets heated by the ground one more time, and the repeated actions form convection currents.
Watch this music video below…recommended by a classmate!
HEAT TRANSFER METHODS: RADIATION, CONDUCTION and CONVECTION
In the darkest regions of deep space, the temperature is a chilly -450° Fahrenheit. Closer to our Sun, temperatures reach thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. What makes Earth’s climate so moderate? Separating Earth from the extreme and inhospitable climate of space is a 500-mile-thick cocoon of gases called the atmosphere.
All planets have an atmosphere, a layer of gases that surrounds them. The Sun’s atmosphere is made up of hydrogen, while Earth’s is made up primarily of nitrogen and oxygen. Carbon dioxide, ozone, and other gases are also present. These gases keep our planet warm and protect us from the direct effects of the Sun’s radiation. Without this regulation, Earth could not sustain life.
Today we will start to learn WHY the earth’s atmosphere is so important to life. We will also discuss the major gases in the atmosphere and learn why each of them is so important.
From here we will then do an online activity called AstroVenture!
And when you have finished the AstroVenture Assignment,
The past few days have seen us focusing on the characteristics of the Inner Rocky Planets and the Outer Gas Giant Planets. We saw that all the planets have certain characteristics, but that the two main groups differ in several key factors. The Venn Diagram compares and contrasts these two classes of planets.
Using this comparison, you will have the basics to start the Planet Creation project. The project outline can be found under the Project Resources links to the right. You will also find a copy of the TrackStar Packet and the link to the TrackStar website.
InterStellar Exo-Planet Creation Project
You are a brilliant scientist and engineer that works for the IAU (International Astronomical Union – the same people that declared that Pluto was no longer a planet). You have developed an incredible machine that can actually create a planet! You have been commissioned by the IAU to design two new planets, one Inner Terrestrial Planet, and one Outer Gaseous Planet.
Project is due Tuesday April 8
Sample of a Student Project using Minecraft, by Tim Lowney