Tuesday, March 9, 2010

MHS Projects

So, I've been helping out in Steve's Environmental Science class teaching the kids about interpretive writing and artistic design so that they could create a presentation, a poster, and a pamphlet about their water quality studies. It's too hard to show you a presentation, but the poster and pamphlet are ready to go to print, and as usual, I'm going to share the final product with you. We did a lot of editing, but for the most part the kids did the majority of the design and writing in their groups and turned out great work!

So this is their final poster. The lines are where pages would be. Needless to say it will go to a printer that can do posters, but this is the way print preview brings it up.... The black box is where I've blocked out the kids' names.
This is the front of the final pamphlet. Once again, names are blacked out.
And the back of the pamphlet.The kids did great work! And it was great to get to use my degree, even if I think I've learned a few things about myself:
1 - I'm not mean enough to give bad grades very well.
2 - Minus the editing part of things, I would rather be doing this myself than supervising.

Hopefully I'll find some new work soon! Or finally find an affordable version of the program I want to make Steve's classroom posters based on the animals in the last post.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Long Overdue - Steve's Class

So this has been on our "upcoming blog" list for... months. And I was waiting for Steve to get around to it but finally got impatient today. So, welcome to Mr. Bennett's class room.
This is more what the students look at everyday.
And for the kids who have Mr. Bennett towards the end of the day, he looks a little more like this... (This is an older picture where Steve had long hair. Not so much these days.)
The first animals we added to the class were glofish.
In this picture the darker fish is what glofish actually looked like originally. However, scientists developed glofish by adding a gene from jellyfish found in Puget Sound to create 3 bright colors: pink, orange, and yellow. Eventually, the goal is to create fish that change color as an indicator of water pollution, and getting the fish to change color at all was the first step. Hence glofish. Steve uses these guys to help teach genetic engineering.
This was our next classroom addition. It's a tank of African Rift Lake Cichlids, all from Lake Tanganyika. This lake is completely cut off from other water sources, and science indicates that all the 100s of fish in this lake evolved from a single fish to fill different niches. Steve uses these guys as an illustration of evolutionary radiation.
As much time as I spent trying to get good fish pictures, I should be able to show you every spot and stripe on each of our fish, but instead these are the only 2 decent pictures I got...This tank also houses our two bristle-nosed plecostumus. We have one standard color and one albino, which allows Steve to have a great example of genetics and recessive genes on hand in his classroom.

And then came finches. Their connection to teaching biology and evolution should be fairly obvious since the ideas of natural selection and evolution are synonymous with Darwin and his study of finches from the Galapagos Islands.
Since we already posted pictures of the gouldian finches... And since finches are about as hard to get decent pictures of as fish.... Here are the society finches we added. It's hard to tell here, but the one on top has a smooth head and the one on bottom looks like old cartoon depictions of exploding cigars. It's a funny trait to look like a mop-head.
And our single caramel colored society finch. These aren't uncommon, but we only inherited the one. We'll pretend that the differences in our finches were on purpose and help teach about variation and genetics instead of the fact that this is just what we bought from a lady over near Seattle.
And, if we were up to date instead of using pictures I took months ago, then there would be a picture here of another tank the size of the cichlid tank, only full of small salmon. Steve got them through a local program that allows teachers to raise salmon in their classes and then release them into a local river in the spring. They're a great discussion piece for environmental science, global climate change, and the pros and cons of hydro-power, all big topics here. Also, as an unexpected bonus, Steve gets to talk about mutation now as one of his eggs hatched a two-headed salmon. He doesn't swim too well, so needless to say we don't expect him to last a real long time. But he keeps the kids coming in to check if he's alive every day! Oh the lure of Mr. Bennett's classroom... Part of the reason we plan to eventually add a mammal, reptile, and amphibian!

Since I've "Popped"

So Steve told me yesterday after church that I've popped. I know what he means by this, but I told him it just seemed like it because I was wearing my "I'm pregnant dress". You can see what I mean...

My "I'm pregnant dress": From the front, you can't even tell anything's changed. But thanks to the way it hangs...
It's a whole other story from the side.
Our only other pregnancy news is that I started into maternity clothes recently. I think it's funny because I think I look less pregnant in maternity clothes than my normal clothes, but boy are they more comfortable! And, I have learned to love Burlington Coat Factory. Having never bought clothes there before, I wasn't aware of my great love affair with this store until recently. Not only do they sell a ton of baby stuff, but in addition, whereas other stores sell maternity pants for $40+, Burlington sells them for $12.99!

A new pair of stretchy maternity capris and my one and only maternity top we bought the other day.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Back in February...

So I realized recently that I never put up our standard birthday/valentines day post for February. As usual, Steve and I never made it to his birthday or valentines day to exchange gifts. Steve bought me a great wool coat for valentines day and couldn't wait to find out if I liked it or not, so I got it the day he bought it, about a week early. After that, it seemed silly for me to wait, so he got one of the video games he's been wanting for a while.

Steve says that the long term cost of this game is much more than we paid for it as he has had some pretty sleepless days in Mabton since valentines day...
My favorite part of this story is that Steve apparently ran his top 3 coats by multiple female family members as well as a number of women at the store...
Then his birthday presents came. Steve got Wii Sport Resort and BBC's "Life" (basically planet earth part II). Thanks Dad, Kerry, and Juls! We enjoyed ice cream cake had a great time in general.