Gus Garcia Middle School After School Blog

Gus Garcia Middle School After School Science Club

Here you can see weekly hands–on activities, club officers, and pictures of our students having fun in the afterschool classroom.

Leadership

Club Coaches:

Mr. Bedford

Mr. Diaz

 

Club Officers

President

 

Vice President

 

Secretary

 

Historian

 

 

    

Club Blog 

UTeach Outreach applies inquiry-based strategies to help the students in the discovery process.

Lesson 1: “Today we discussed the topics of plate tectonics and collaborated with one another to visualize how stabilization, material strength, and trusses are essential in building bridges. The lab was about constructing a bridge that used toothpicks, marshmallows, and design to assist in the development of a student-built bridge. The students used the materials to ensure the most stable bridge was built within 20 minutes. At the end, the students were asked why their bridge could function versus why others broke down during a shaker-table process. Overall, it was great.”

Lesson 2: “Today we discussed the topics of the niches within an ecosystem, as well as, the different types of factors involved in maintaining a species. The lab was about simulating a winter/equator like habitat where students could figure out the different patterns involved throughout generations of bunnies. Moreover, the kids got a closer look at natural selection and adaptive radiation. At the end, the students were asked why natural selection took generations and why it isn’t immediate. Overall, it was great.”

Lesson 3: “Today, we discussed the different types of minerals that exist in the earth, as well as, what a mineral is. The lab was about simulating what it is like to be a geologist and conduct field tests on various minerals to differentiate between one another. Sadly, we thought we struck gold, but it turned out to be pyrite! Moreover, the kids got a closer look at what the different tests are in the field and felt justified in their results. At the end, the students were asked why it is necessary to do this. Overall, it was great.”

Lesson 4: “Today we returned to the topic of plate tectonics to explore how natural features of the earth are created. We learned about the three layers of the earth, the crust, the mantle and the core. To simulate the movement of the crust on the mantle we used oobleck (cornstarch and water) to represent the semisolid mantle and graham crackers to represent the thin crust. This let use test all the different plate movements and observe what happened. The class room got a bit messy but it was definitely worth it!”

Lesson 5:  "At our after school club today we explored the laws of space and learned why the planets are kept in order rather than drifting around the universe. The answer is that the forces of gravity pull the earth and other planets toward the sun and cause their orbits. We learned that gravity acts on all objects in the same way and is determined by the mass off the objects and their distance from each other. All objects are attracted to each other by gravity, even me and you!"

Lesson 6: “Today we discussed the different types of materials developed by NASA throughout their space program. The lab was about simulating how different types of products are innovated through science yet implemented in our day to day lives. We measured how space blankets are more efficient and lighter than the average cotton blanket and saw how different filters are used to purify water. Moreover, the kids got a closer look at what the products do and felt justified in their results. At the end, the students were asked why such products are necessary and how they are used. Overall, it was great.”

Lesson 7: “Today, we participated in a series of competitions, after all competition drives us to be better. We initiated our lesson by playing trashketball, a colloquial term used to describe basketball with a trash can and a paper ball. We began by splitting our teams into two groups who elected throwers after each correct question answered. The questions ranged from the beginning of our lessons involving plate tectonics and bridge design to the latter including space inventions and mineral identification. It was a wonderful day of fighting spirit and the bonds grew between each classmate as teams were re-made every round to ensure partners worked well in a collaborative setting. Ultimately, the prize is to win our competition, on May 10th, and we believe our team is prepared to come out on top and prove they are experts in the field of STEM!"

 

 
 
 

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