siphon, go extinct, timeline

As the Megaband moves into writing declarations for their projects this week, I wanted to go back in time to the explorations they were working on before break and the things they have learned since. Each student is writing his or her own blog, so instead of reporting on their weeks myself, I’ll let them do the talking:

“We were also working on water timers, or Clepsydras (which means water thief), where water flows out of the bottom of a jar or bottle into another jar or bottle and acts as a timer,” Harry writes. “The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Babylonians used it for things such as debates and trials. One problem with this invention is that when it got closer to the bottom, it would lose pressure and not be consistent with how fast it was going out earlier.”

“This week I learned that if you take a plastic tube and put it in one bucket of water and put the other end in the other bucket you make something called a siphon. Practical!” Tab said.


“We have been breaking into two groups lately to learn about history and math!” says Zada. “We have been reading A Little History of the World, and we are using things we learn from that to make a timeline from 3100 B.C.~2013 C.E. We had just been planning our time line until this week when we started making it! We took thin strips of paper and marked them with black, red, and yellow marks to show time periods. We tried to laminate them by putting clear tape on them, but we didn’t do it successfully and we had to redo the whole thing (great lesson demonstrating that quality beats quantity every time)!”


Alicia writes, “We are making a timeline that goes all the back to 3000 BC. That was a long time a go…That’s was over 5,000 years ago. In this timeline every 10 inches is 50 years so every inch is 5 years. So the timeline would be about 3,500 inches, that’s long!”

“Next our band got to see a developing game called go extinct,” Ian says. “The game is a game that shows you the relation of animals and how they are related to certain animals. Our band got to try playing the game I found it fun and so did many other fellow students.”


Quinn explained in more detail: “We had game designer, Ariel, come into our school as an expert. She shared with us the evolution centered game she is creating. She explained the goal and rules of the game and we broke up into groups to play it. I was put with Josh. G and Theo. B. The game is called Go Extinct and resembles Go Fish except instead of numbers it’s animals on the cards. The goal of the game is to collect the most clades, which means a group of species that are decedents from a common ancestor. clades can be very big or very small. All mammals are a clade because they share a common ancestor. You can get small and more specific though. For instance, monotremes are another clade but only consist of several animals. Monotremes are a clade within a clade. To help enforce and amplify these rules Ariel created a evolutionary family tree for the animals in the game. You could use this to see all of the animals you need to collect for each of the clades.”


“It is a game based on go fish but it is about the relationships between different animals and which animals have a common ancestor!” Evan says. “Then we were tasked with making an expansion pack. So it was really fun doing a beta test of the game!”


“The last big thing we did was watch some of a documenting on Stephen Hawking,” Josh writes. “He is the planets smartest scientist. And he can only use his eyes and brain! He had to do all the calculations in his head. No paper.”


Jack writes, in reference to looking for experts to talk to, “When I started my expert emails, I didn’t know what I wanted to learn about. Then I researched about our internal clock biology. I found this biologist’s page about our internal clocks and learned that if we damaged it, we might get insomnia, cancer or depression. Phillip said that the source that I had found would be better after some basic lessons in the topic so I continued my research. I have now identified a new resource that I hope to have approved so that I can write an expert inquiry.”