This week, our class did a Skype chat with a lady name Charis Walko. Charis is a stem cell researcher for a company called Stemcell Technologies. During the chat, Charis gave us a very informative and helpful lesson about stem cells. She told us how they worked, the different kinds of stem cells, and much more. A day before the Skype chat our class had put together some questions regarding Charis, her job, and stem cells in general. We asked her these questions at the end of our chat and gave us answers that exceeded what I had expected. I love the fact that she gave us such an in depth learning experience with stem cells. I understand stem cells much more then I did before and enjoyed the learning experience!:)
Here are a few of the many questions we asked Charis during our Skype chat:
How is your area of work (stem cell research) contributing to modern day medicine?
-In the future, we’re looking into having bank like buildings that yo can go to. If you ever are in need of stem cells to repair your body in any way, you can go to the bank. Under your name will be a healthy, living stem cells from your body that can be used to repair blood cells, or grow a whole new organ!
What types of diseases can be treated with stem cells?
– 80 diseases can be treated with stem cells, most of them connected to disorders. others include eyes, muscles, etc.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
– always trying to decipher things that no one has discovered before.
Overall I found this project enjoyable. I love writing and getting a chance to write a story about something that relates to both writing and science inspired me. I don’t think there’s anything about this project I would do differently, only that I should’ve finished sooner 🙂
Today in class we created a model of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). We used licorice, toothpicks, and coloured mini marshmallows to make a double helix, the shape of DNA when it’s outside the cell. DNA is a molecule that carries the genetic instructions for creating organisms, developing organelles, and reproducing cells and viruses. It decides what you look like.
A partner and I chose to do our power connections project on our school. We chose to look into how our school is being energy efficient and find some answers to questions we may have about it.
The first ting we did was write up a proposal with some questions we have and things we would like to find out about our subject.
Some questions we wanted to have answered were:
What is the school doing already to save electricity/energy?
What uses the most energy in our school?
How are we working to improve the intake/consumption of electricity?
Are there any perks to the amount of electricity we use? disadvantages?
Why does our school promote the 1:1 system?
Could the 1:1 system be improved in any way?
How is the 1:1 system improving our school?
Is there a possibility of our school being to energy efficient?
We then put our heads together to decide who would be doing what part of our project and some general guidelines and ideas.
We decided to interview the principal of our school, Mr. Ciolfitto to ask him about our school and possibly get answers for our questions we had. we arranged a date, and after some rescheduling met with him for an interview about our project. first by email, then in person. Here is a link to the audio of our interview if you would like to know all of the information and answers to our questions:
After our interview we decided we wanted to do a video representation of our meeting with Mr. Ciolfitto. We drew out a mind map and timeline of how we wanted our video to look and used that as our outline for our video.
We put together a video slightly different then the original format. After a few altercations and work, out came a video worthy of the viewing of our classmates! (and Mr. Ciolfitto)
In class today we did a lab including different types of fruits and vegetables. In the experiment we created a circuit using a lemon as a battery and hooked up two wires from it to a volt meter. One the two wires connected to the lemon, one wire acted as the negative electrode while the other acted as the positive electrode. One end attached to a copper wire was stuck in the lemon while the other had a piece of zinc attached to the wire and stuck in the other end. This circuit seemed to be used the most and the most effective.
We noticed at the beginning of the experiment, none of the led lights/light bulbs would light up. This was also true for other groups as no one else’s lights would light up. it wasn’t until later that we found out by reading the box, the lights only work when more 2 or more volts are produced. Our fruits didn’t even come close to that which is why they didn’t light. Since the electrons didn’t flow through the bulb we used a volt meter.
We did this experiment with more then one type of fruit/vegetable. We conducted our experiment with both a lemon and a potato. We observed when our fruit/veggie battery was hooked up to a volt meter that the lemon was negatively charged, while the potato was positively charged. I think this was because in the lemon, the negative electrode collected more electrons then the positive electrode, making the lemon emanate a negative charge. the opposite applies to the potato.
I don’t know if this would be the best way to combat the “next big thing” in clean energy because there’s so many better things the foods used could contribute to in other areas. Yes it acts like a battery but it’s also really weak and produces under one volt. To make it the next big thing you would need a lot of that food. Also instead of wasting food to power electronics, the food could be given to people that actually need it. I would rather the industry works on stopping world hunger then using the very thing that can help stop it for gadgets.
Over the past little bit Mr. Robinson’s class has been studying chapter 1.2 for science, Investigating Matter. To show my learning, I’ve put together a brief summary of what the chapter is about. Everything is made of matter, which is anything that has mass and volume. Sometimes objects go through chemical changes which is when substances combine to form a different substances, like when sugar is cooked to create caramel. Another form of change an object can go through is a physical change, where instead of the substance changing entirely, only the outward appearance is changed. For example, when a ice cube melts, it turns into a puddle while still remaining water. The kinetic molecular theory explains what happens to matter when it goes through particle changes. No matter how compressed particles are, they aren’t actually fully touching each other because there is empty space between them. There are three types of matter; solid, liquid, and gas. When a solid is changing in to a liquid, it’s called melting, while changing a liquid to a solid is called solidification. A solid to a gas is called sublimation and a gas to a solid is called deposition. The changing of gas to liquid is called condensation, while liquid to gas is called evaporation. Sometimes, a substance is made of only one type of matter, it is called a pure substance. There are only two types of pure substances, an element, and a compound. A element is a substance that cannot be broken down or separated into smaller substances. A compound is a pure substance composed of at least two elements, like water which is made of hydrogen and oxygen. during this chapter, we took part in a lab called bag of change. Within the lab we placed three unknown chemicals in a ziploc bag and observed the changes that took place. Our three substances were calcium chloride, sodium hydrogen carbonate, and bromothymol blue. From this lab I learned how substances go through chemical changes, and how the bromothymol blue is an indicator that tells you if something is acidic or not. Chapter 1.2 had a lot of interesting information and I learned a lot about chemistry and the way matter and particles work. i enjoyed doing this unit 🙂