Investigating Simple Machines

Learning about levers

“You Be the Chemist”

The LaSalle II “You Be the Chemist” team competed on March 19 at North Park University against 23 other teams. The “You Be the Chemist team met every Wednesday after school to discuss, learn and experiment with chemistry topics. Our team demonstrated their knowledge of exothermic and endothermic reactions.

Nora L. competed in the knowledge of chemistry challenge and place 10th out of 43 other competitors. The knowledge portion, consisting of multiple choice questions with 15 seconds to answer, ranged from knowledge of lab ware to chemical reaction balancing formulas.

Pictured are Michael K., Liam S., Dante R., Nora L., and Jazmin S.

Invention Convention

Second graders have been hard at work over the last few months preparing to take part in the LaSalle II Invention Convention that took place on March 9th. They were excited and passionate and this shined through in their creative inventions and their confidant presentation to the judges. What an enjoyable, rewarding, inspirational, and educational experience for all of us! Good luck to all of our LaSalle II representatives that will go on to compete on April 2nd against other CPS schools!

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Elementary Science Olympiad

From Mr Taff:

This year a select group of twelve elementary schools in northern Illinois including LaSalle II will compete in a Science Olympiad for 3-5th graders.


Mr Taff and Ms Aquino are leading a series of after school science sessions for the 48 students who signed up to participate. Up to 10 groups of 3, each focused on a unique science challenge will travel to the competition once that date is finalized.


The students have created egg toss vehicles, dissected a chicken wings, built straw bridges, and flown paper airplanes. Did you know that the bones and muscles of a chicken wing resemble the parts of a human arm?


The remaining practice sessions will be held every other Thursday at 2:45-4:00 through April. Please check the school calendar for specifics.


First Grade Science

First Grade Science

From Ms Waters:

Our first graders are learning about the states of matter (solids, liquids and gas).

While in the Science Lab, students worked in groups to explore a bag of solids. Some items included a cloth, triangle, screw, popsicle stick, plastic tube etc. They had to discuss what properties the solids shared and record their findings.

Seventh Grade Science

From Mr Taff

Our 7th graders are reviewing and practicing scientific inquiry and measurement. The students have used laboratory measurement tools to measure and calculate the mass, volume and density of materials. To demonstrate their expertise the students are creating a density bottle. The bottle must contain at least three different liquids of different densities with objects suspended in each layer.

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Science Team Goes to State

Our Varsity and Junior Varsity competed in a regional competition against many of the top grade schools in our area, including the academic centers for Whitney Young and Lane. Both teams did extremely well!

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The top Varsity teams from the region moved on to the state event, and our Varsity came in 4th place in the region!

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Our team traveled to the University of Illinois to compete in the state competition.

Good Luck and Thank You Mr. Taff!

Fifth Grade Science

From Ms Kolkmeyer

Students in 5th grade are learning about the scientific method. They are learning about dependent and independent variables, control groups, and the importance of having controlled experiments where the method of investigation remains constant.

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Recently, they conducted an investigation where they made a prediction about how many drops of water a penny could hold. Students tested their predictions using both uncontrolled and controlled trials. Many were surprised when their predictions, ranging from 3-8 drops of water, were incorrect. Many students were able to fit close to 45 drops on one single penny! In each trial, students recorded their methods as well as appropriate data. They learned that without controlling the method in which an investigation is conducted, the results cannot be valid, or trusted.

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This practice will be key as students prepare for the 5th grade science fair in 4th quarter!

2015 Science Olympiad

Our Science Olympiad teams were extremely successful in their recent competition. Each team, JV and Varsity, competed in 23 different Science orientated competitions like building events such as bridges, elastic launched gliders, wheeled vehicles, air trajectory and bottle rockets, to other competitions such as Fossils, Anatomy and Physiology, Green Generation, Meteorology and many more.

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Science OlympiadEach of our teams placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in 15 out of the 23 competitions in their respective divisions. We competed against 17 different schools. LaSalle II placed 4th overall. The top 5 teams win a bid for State competition. State will be held on April 18th.

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Varsity Team:
Carlos S., David M., Billy B., Alexis M., Maia C., Quin C., David S., Edgar M., Ricardo G., Jayson C., Oscar S., Emma Z., Ashton M., Jacqueline O., and Chloe M.

Junior Varsity:
Salam H., Adam H., Sean H., Eric S., Stella M., Karla D., Sylivia G, Elliana B., Ethan I., Jazmin S., Nathan B., Ethan D., Ian F., and Megan M.

A huge thank you to our coach Mr. Taff for working so tirelessly with our students!

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Invention Convention & Science Fair

Mr Taff provided this recap of the Junior High Invention Convention (7th) and Science Fair (6th and 8th) which were held last week. There were over 150 participants in the convention and fair.

The Inventions were impressive in their array of ideas. The inventions were ranged from making life easier, to having fun, or to practice a sport. The students presented their inventions to a judge as the culmination to the four month long process. As part of the exploration of the scientific method for inventions the students also created trading cards of 15 different inventions throughout history. These trading cards included their own which someday we are sure will be very valuable!!!

The winners of the Invention Convention are:

  • 1st Place: Angela S, Alexis M, Maia C
  • 2nd Place: Quin C, Tayvia R, Ariana K, Luz Z, Jayson C, William B
  • 3rd Place: Carlos S, Nicole R, David S, Alivia S
  • Honorable Mention: Fatima L, Mariah L

Here are the students and the inventions who participated in the convention.

Student Name Invention Student Name Invention
Genevieve P Boot Taker-Offer Edgar M Pen/Pencil
Mikeah P Book pad Benjamin C Cereal Saver
Mariah L Pet Chef Timothy W Zipper Socks
Kamari J Automatic Shoe Tier Angela S Purse/Portfolio Kit
Juan S Balloon Blower Selena C Wallet Glove
Fatima L Pack Lunch Maker Maia C Velcro Jar Top
Johana M Mist Tayvia R Soda phones
Angeline M Speakers to Headphones David S Soccer Bot 7
Justina G Quick Steam Imani S Magic Stain Remover
Frank P Charge-O-Matic Alivia S Remote Controlled Slippers
Jakob M Mug-2 in 1 Nayetzy M A Girl’s Best Friend
William B Newton Pack Jayson C Magnetic Jacket
Carlos S Heating Snow Blower Keny C Homemade Stress Ball
Tchara L Egg Ice Cream Blair R Pocket Notebook
Ghadi R Strap able Bottle Jacquelyn O Gas be Gone
Nicole R Adjustable Shirt Ashley R PB&J 27
Alex M Pen/Pencil Ricardo G Magni Fetch
Maricandy A Light maker Aaliyah R Baking Soda Teeth Whitener
Carlos G Stunt Air-bag Isabel R 2 in 1 Spatula
Quin C Bike Helmet Wipes Ariana K Indestructible Pocket
Jacquelyn H Sound Amplifier Dionne B Sleep Saver
Alexis M The Steam Cabinet Antoni R Reusable Cold Pack
Xavier R The L.S.S. Luz Z Zip-lock Bag Organizer
Damien P Inside Out Sports Glove


The Science Fair was equally impressive in the types of experiments that were conducted. Students in 6th and 8th grade also worked on their experiment for four months getting ready for the fair. Students presented their findings to a judge at the fair. The scores in the science competition were very close.

8th grade Winners

  • 1st Place: Sydney P, Maxum E, Emilia F
  • 2nd Place: Leigh T, Samantha C
  • 3rd Place: Persephone R, Yasmin N, Briyana M

6th grade Winners

  • 1st Place: Cecilia M, Samuel L, Lincoln B
  • 2nd Place: Sofia L, Mia M, Sean H
  • 3rd Place: Alexis M, Isabella A, Jahsim A
  • Honorable Mention: Joshua R, Ariel R