ACADEMIC BRIEFS: HS & MS Science

HIGH SCHOOL: FETAL PIG DISSECTION

Pressing down the tip of the scalpel just above the umbilical cord, senior Jose Estrada made the first of many incisions during a fetal pig dissection December 16.

Fifth period biochemistry students Estrada and senior Jared Violette first donned safety goggles, gloves and aprons in preparation for their examination.

“Biochemistry students have been studying human anatomy and physiology, and the fetal pig dissection was the final project for the unit,” high school science instructor Rachel Yim said. “The students did a very careful and thorough dissection.”

Cadets began by determining the animal’s gender (male) and securing each of the specimen’s legs to a corner of their operating pan to allow for easier internal incisions.

The duo began their examination in the thoracic (chest) cavity, dissecting the thymus, thyroid, heart, lungs and trachea. In the abdominal cavity, cadets identified and dissected the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, small and large intestines, kidneys, bladder and testes. Body systems explored included the respiratory, urinary, reproductive and cardiovascular systems.

IMG_9280_nguyenderek_bruce_HuckinsMIDDLE SCHOOL: SYRUP SALESMEN

Eighth grade science students Derek Nguyen, Kevyn Bruce and Thomas Huckins became syrup salesmen December 17, competing to “sell” their company’s product to their “consumer” LTC Willis Kleinsorge.

In the Viscosity Challenge activity, small groups of cadets argued that their brand was the best buy on the basis of viscosity. Before an audience of their classmates, each group demonstrated the superiority of their product when compared to both expensive competitors and cheaper generics.

IMG_9285_nguyenderek_bruce_HuckinsNguyen, Bruce and Huckins compared and contrasted Hungry Jack, Log Cabin, Country Kitchen, Mrs. Butterworth’s and generic Great Value syrups. The trio demonstrated the viscosity of each substance by pouring small amounts of all five down a short ramp and monitoring the speed of their descent.

Other groups of students reviewed shampoo brands and dishwashing detergent products. Each group of cadets developed a means of testing for the physical property of viscosity; ran trials while manipulating the variables; collected data; created tables and graphs of their data; and drafted a business letter to a company represented in their mock investigations. Students could also earn extra credit by developing an advertisement to sell their product to customers.

HIGH SCHOOL: PERIODIC CEILING OF ELEMENTS

In late September, each of Veronica Anderson’s students drew the name of a chemical element and decorated a ceiling tile with the properties of their assigned element.

RENE PADILLA — NA: Sodium
+ Used in streetlights, produces brilliant yellow light
+ Sixth-most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust

MIG GISA — ZN: Zinc
+ Atomic number 30
+ Used to treat: stunted growth, acute diarrhea, wound healing

DAVAASUREN DASHDAVAA — CR: Cromium
+ Discovered in 1797
+ Atomic number 24
+ First element in Group 6
+ Gray, lustrous, hard and brittle metal
+ Resists tarnishing and has a high melting point
+ CR Oxide used by Chinese over 2000 years ago to cast metal weapons found with the Terracotta Army

JOSE ELIZONDO — BI: Bismuth
+
Was discovered in 1753 by Claude
+ Ingredient in Pepto Bismol
+ Used to cure heartburn
+ Used in cosmetics

JOSE MEJIA — AU: Gold
+ Gold is edible
+ 24K gold melts at 1945 °F
+ Aurophobia is the fear of gold
+ Gold is a noble metal
+ Gold is extremely ductile

EUGENIO FELIX — SB: Antimony
+ Used in batteries
+ Boiling Point: 2,888 °F
+ Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
+ Density: 6.684 g/cm3