Science Update / Saturday Morning Solar System Fun

Dear Parents,

Here’s what’s going on in class:

(1). We are continuing to study the layers of the earth. Students completed a hands-on activity this week using eggs as a model for the layers of the earth. Their main goal was to determine whether or not an egg would be a reasonable model of the layers of the earth. That assignment will be due on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

(2). Next week, we will be looking at how the earth’s tectonic plates work. Specifically, students are responsible for learning about three different types of boundaries: Convergent, divergent and transform. Those boundaries are always interesting to kids because they result in natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes.

(3). If you are looking for something fun to do with your kid this weekend, think about getting up early tomorrow — like 5:30 AM — and go out to find the moon again. This weekend, Venus and Saturn will be on one side of the crescent moon and Jupiter will be on the other. It’s kind of cool to think that you can see three planets in one early morning view. Here’s an article where you can learn more.

(4). And if you want to talk to your kids about another neat science happening, talk to them about SpaceX — which is launching an unmanned crew capsule tomorrow morning. This is a test run for later manned flights. That’s important because since the retirement of the Space Shuttles, the United States hasn’t had a vehicle that can take people into space. SpaceX is looking to fill that void — and if this test flight goes well, they will be launching their first people into space in July. Here’s an article where you can learn more.

(Oh — and for you Sci Fi junkies, the dummy they are launching on this weekend’s rocket is named Ripley — after the lead character in Aliens! How’s that for random fun?)

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter