8th Grade Science Olympics

The 8th grade class began their science explorations with STEM challenges of Olympic proportions! The students were given 5 different challenges, Regatta, Dominoes, Aerodynamics, Cartesian Divers, and Slow Roller. After a brief introduction to each challenge the students, working in groups, chose three of the five challenges in which to compete.

The students then researched concepts associated with their challenge, discussed and formulated a plan of action and tested their hypothesis. On the day of their challenge the students had 15 minutes in which to create their final hypothesis based on their observations and results from the practices.

Regatta: Students researched buoyancy and created a boat from wax paper, aluminum foil, or copier paper. Once the students had their construction floating they would had gram cubes until the boat began to take on water. The winning boat held 1305 grams!

Dominoes: Students researcher force and inertia. They then designed how they would set up 100 dominoes to knock down with a single push. Each branch added an additional 10 pts. Each 110 degree curve added another 10 pts and any dominoes that fell up or down an incline would gain a two pt. bonus. Highest competitor was 295 dominoes!

Aerodynamics: Students researched Bernoulli’s principle in terms of flight and the force of air. Students designed a paper airplane that would fly as far as it could while remaining in a 90cm width. The longest flight went over 10 meters!

Cartesian Divers: Students researched Pascal’s principle. Placing three divers into a 2 liter plastic bottle filled with water. Students had to manipulate the density and buoyancy of the divers to make them descend on a specific order and rate. Very challenging but all teams were successful!

Slow Roller: Students researched force, inertia and friction. Using a variety of objects, such as, rulers, wooden dowels, and yarn, students designed a course that with a single push keep a marble rolling as long as possible without going off a large piece of construction paper. First and second were divided by a mere .01 second!

Each team earned 5pts for a first place finish, 3pts for a second place finish and 2pts for a third place finish. After all of the challenges were completed the totals were tabulated and the overall Science Olympic Winners for the 2018-2019 school year are:

First Place:

Trevel A.; Alexis G.; Brooke A.; and Karrion W.

Second Place:

Fidel R.; Jalen D.; Chloe N.; and Brenden D.

Third Place:

Maeve Mc.; Eric R.; Felix Z.; and Jalen J.

8th Grade Goes to Cultural Kitchen

Recently our 8th Grade students participated in the Cultural Kitchen. This is a program that is a part of the Hostelling International Chicago. Through an engaging curriculum, students gain cultural understanding, increase understanding of their world, and enhance research skills as they study a country of their choice.

Math Games in 1st Grade

In room 109, our mornings begin with breakfast and… MATH GAMES! Play is still a necessity for our early learners and playing math games allows them to think strategically as they work together to solve problems. They also have time to develop number sense and math fact fluency. This is probably our noisiest and most exciting part of the day!

Understanding Equivalent Fractions Through Activities

Students in room 222 are taking the fear out of fractions by learning through activities. Hands-on activities are engaging for all learning styles. They obviously engage students who are tactile or kinesthetic learners, who need movement to learn best. They also engage students who are auditory learners, who talk about what they’re doing, and visual learners, who have the opportunity to see what everyone else is creating.

These students remained actively engaged in each activity as they learned how to create equivalent fractions. One of their activities is featured on the April bulletin board on the first floor in the branch building. Good job room 222!

“Pi” Week at LaSalle II!

LaSalle II middle school students celebrated “Pi Week” the week of March 12th !

3.14 is the approximation of the number pi, which is why we celebrate typically on March 14th, but due to PARCC testing we were able to celebrate the entire week! During the week, students were able to discover all about the number pi (π). Students participated in the following activities: making Pi Shirts, watching videos about Pi, completing a discovery activity involving circles, making Pi cities, completed a research project about the number Pi, and more. We even had a digit competition where the two students in each class who memorized the most digits of pi, went home with a PIE!

8th Grade:
8A: Julia S. (71 digits) and Olivia Q. (44 digits)
8B: Isreal M. (172 digits) and Manuel R. (100 digits)

7th Grade:
7A: Souhaila B. (113 digits) and Monica C. (83 digits)
7B: Elliot D. (157 digits) and Jackson A. (34 digits)

6th Grade:
6A: Ellie M. (112 digits) and Nadiyah B. (43 digits)
6B: Najia B.(48 digits) and Joaquin I. (3. ∞)

You Be the Chemist

The You Be the Chemist team competed last weekend at North Park University. Nora L. took 5th place out of 52 students and will be moving on to the State competition. The Demonstration team, composed of Alex V., Grant L., Kania W., and Robert Z., took second place out of 26 teams on their understanding of chemistry knowledge and demonstration.

Learning about Pets in Room 103

Pre-K Room 103 is having a great time learning about pets! We have been focusing on a different pet each week (fish, cat, dog, bird, etc.) and learning all about that animal. We have read books about pets, done puzzles, sang songs, practiced identifying each type of pet, made art projects, and much more! One of our favorite parts of our ‘Pets’ unit so far has been welcoming our very own classroom pet- Fishy! We talked about the rules of having a fish and are learning how to care for our fish. We can’t wait to continue learning all about pets!

Mystery Science in 5th Grade

​Students in 5th grade have been engaged in a new science program called Mystery Science. Each class period, students are presented with a mystery and then conduct experiments to answer the mystery question. Students are currently in an introduction to chemistry unit. Taking notes from the Alchemists, students first tried to find out if magic potions are real as they attempted to turn something steel into copper. Next, students created experiments that could be used to determine if household food items are acidic. They used their test to explore different chemical reactions that resulted when combined with various acids. It’s been messy and quite smelly in our classroom for a couple of weeks for sure, but the conversations students are having about science are inspiring! If you see a 5th grader, ask them what they’re learning. Maybe they’ll even have a magic potion for you!

Science in 4th Grade

The 4th grade participated in the Colorful Chemistry Lab at the Science and Industry Museum! Students observed the different states of matter and learned about chemical reactions. This hands on lesson in a working science lab gave students a formal experience in chemistry using science inquiry.