Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Update now that I'm back to school....

Well, I'm back into the nitty gritty of school, correcting labs and tests, meeting with parents, helping students so the question is, how has my RET experience impacted my teaching?

I have not had time to do my lesson that was created this summer as we are not at that point in the curriculum. However, I do find that I talk about my experience quite a bit in the classroom as I'm teaching. I also put my you tube address on the board and suggested that they check out what I did this summer.... I have 97 Hits!. My students will come into the room and tell me that they checked out the video -- I then ask them if they understood it, and the reply is always no. I guess that I will have to make another one where the students have more models of what the Raman Microscope does and an example of what has been done with Ranjith's research to help the students understand it better.

I also have implemented science notebooks in a different way than I have in the past. I'm still not there yet - in other words, it's not where I would like my students to use them but we are getting started. Students did not reflect after they did a lab or an assignment before this, now I am requiring that they do after each unit, I think that, to some of them at least, this reflection is making science more meaningful to them.

My next step is the blog -- I will introduce that next , then the lesson. I hope that if I bring up this experience throughout the year, students will understand that things that are learned are built upon and used in many different ways.-- Also, with me getting turning 50 this year, maybe they will see that you are never too old to learn new things.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursday July 28 -- trying to get things done

Sorry, it seems that I have been a little remiss on giving information on the blog --

We have had a fun and yet busy week.

We are all trying to get things finished for our presentation next week.

It feels like a bigger deal than what I had originally anticipated.

I thought that we were going to present our labs to each other but I guess that is not the case-- invitations are going out to our superintendents, co workers, principals and such. Now I'm a little nervous....

So, I have been furiously working on my powerpoint in my spare time -- in between labs, when I get here, when I get home etc.

We checked out our digital microscopes using the defractions that we made along with some neat slides that showed the light defractions in the afternoon, we checked out the electron microscope-- we looked at a fly close up --- no REALLY,REALLY close up --

The photos follow... the first one is of a fly's head --

This is a little closer -- next we're going to stem in on the dots.
Or Eye area.....

look at the eye area-- that's what we have focused on.

Notice that each of these "dots" have boatloads of other dots- now we'll look at one of them close up. Remember, this is the eye of a fly- think about how small this is!

This is a picture from the electron microscope - these dots are on one of the dots of the eye of a fly. I can't believe the detail! I know, "Calm Down Mrs. Neagle" - it's just that I am truly in awe when I think about what we can do and see now with our current technology.

Anyway, some other neat news -- I got my own digital microscope to bring back into the classroom and have a lesson planned out for it. Another neat thing-- you'll have to check out my "BU Photonics Center" Lab coat-- I will be wearing it in school.
TTFN ..... Mrs. N

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday afternoon- week 5

So we have gone to Ted Morse' lab so that John could video tape the experiment for his poster/presentation. Bob started a new run - but we got there and the solution was cloudy - he stirred it with a magnetic stirrer and added acetate to it to dilute it - when he started to run it, there were several flashbacks and he had to scrub this test run - However, before ending the session, John WAS able to get a video of the lab as well as the run -- posted on you tube and on his blog - wildcat physics-- It came out pretty well .... Check it out.

I finally was able to upload my video on you tube and have also copied onto this blog - check out Ranjithe's Lab with the Raman Microscope.

While John was working on that lab, I ran down to Ranjith's lab -he was not there . I want to get the results and compare them on my computer - so that I can work on my presentation. I need to make sure that I have analyzed the data so that I can come up with some conclusions or redesign.... (note steps of the Scientific Method).

Hopefully, I will have the powerpoint presentation posted to the blog this week so that you can get a better understanding of the lab that I've been working in.

video from you tube on raman microscope lab

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Middle of week 4 - Crunch Time

It's crunch time and I'm feeling a bit anxious......

This week, we were asked to create our lesson plan,(check) add to the blog (doing it now) and create a video that we will put on you tube and later on a link to my website ( which I haven't made yet)

We attended a meeting on Monday that took the whole day - it was pretty interesting on Problem Based Learning (or PBL for short) -- It links local businesses with schools to help solve problems that they are having with something that they are manufacturing or plan to manufacture. The students are to brainstorm and try and solve the problem. It was fun but all of us felt that our time could have been better served working in the lab or working on the products that WE need to produce in only 2 1/2 weeks!

Tuesday we had another meeting but then I spent my afternoon creating my lesson plan - I am very excited about trying it out - yes, you current eighth graders are my guinea pigs for trying it out but I think you'll like it :) .... anyway, Mr.P and I then went with Prof. Morse on a presentation fo fiber optic history -- very interesting stuff - especially thinking about the fact that fiber optics were make in 1913 but really not utilized for another 60 years -- now, almost 100 years later-- look at how much we use them! In TV's. Cell Phones, Ipods, Xrays, etc. Pretty awesome stuff!

Today we went to 2 labs -- pictures will follow. My lesson is on identifying White powders using different equipment or different tests and determine what the Mystery white powder acts like.

We looked at several white powdery substances under the electron microscope - can you tell what they are?

Asprin, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cornstarch, Powdered Sugar (not necessarily in that order)

All White powders and yet .... They look so different up close!

The other lab was my lab with the Raman Spectroscopy Microscope. I used the portable one today. I got all the data that I needed with it. I will be needing to get the actual fingerprints so that I can show them in school. My students will have to figure out which is which, just like the above pics.

I spoke with Ranjithe about videotaping him tomorrow -- hopefully, it will go well and I can post it by Friday. He said that we can do that tomorrow afternoon.

All in All, it has been a good week, busy but productive. I feel much better having a plan for my poster and having my lesson plan done.. TTFN (Ta Ta for Now)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week 3 -- good days/ bad days


Using discs -, we put a film on the disc and put it in the centrifuge to spread it out evenly.

We then put it on a hot plate so that we could dry it on.

We put this disc into a machine which etched out the design.

After we did that, we put it on the hot plate again.

We then removed the film from the spots that were etched out.

We checked the disc through the microscope and checked out the design on the film,

Then cleaned our mess.

On Monday we were to meet early in the am with Helen Fawcett so that we could be introduced to our new lab. We got there on time but she was not there.

There was an emergency in one of the labs in the morning when we first were going to meet up with her but then she did come and find us so that we could learn and meet our new lab professor.

We met Ranjith Premasiri in the lab where he has a Raman Spectroscopy Microscope. He talked to us about what he is doing; essentially the machine takes a "fingerprint" of the substance - every material has its own unique fingerprint (like us -- the fingerprint is close but never the same) - they are producing a library of "fingerprints" of bacteria so that when someone goes to the doctor's office instead of the doctor saying try this - it looks like this virus etc- the doctor will be able to put this information in the Portable Raman Spectroscopy and give the correct medication or antibiotic right away .... Now I had to figure out how to make that work in my classroom. but that would have to wait until Wednesday afternoon as there were meetings to attend to....

Tuesday was pretty cool - we worked in the clean room again. We made our own plates which I took some pictures of. We will be working in the lab again next week. It was very fun - although it gets a little hot after a while with double gloves, double boots and such....

Then Wednesday came -- frustration again - what do you mean that we have to make a poster on our experiment and present it to our colleagues? We don't really have an experiment yet and don't have a lesson plan etc etc etc -- So after discussing my dilemna with the other RET teachers, I wrote up a proposal and spoke to "Randy" about it. I thought that seeing that I do a Physical / Chemical changes lab with white powdery substances where the students have to identify the mystery substance, I could incorporate the fingerprint of the same white powdery substances to show that they each have their own unique fingerprint - even though they LOOK similar -- He was okay with that so we did the lab on Thursday.

Thursday - lab day .... We brought all kinds of white powders to work with - Aspirin vs Tylenol, Cornstarch, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Powdered Sugar. We took 10-12 prints of each and created a data base -- then we checked on another program to show how the fingerprints were grouped together -- (all the fingerprints of the baking soda went with the other baking soda prints) -- it was pretty cool. All and All it was a very good day- we then looked at the bacteria through the raman so Randy could show us his project-- I think that it will be so beneficial - next week we are going to do the same tests but on the other smaller- portable machine to make sure that there are the same results.

Friday - Differentiated Instruction and then what's next -- The class on differentiated instruction was very helpful but I think it will be difficult to implement alot of it with so many kids in a class. Next week - we are to create a lesson plan and a video posted on You Tube about our experience here.

Mr. P, whom I work with said that it will not be difficult. I'm not sure what to do the video about. I will need more information.
Assignments this week, continue with blog, make a 5-10 minute video and up load it on You tube and begin lesson plan.