On Wednesday afternoon, Hamlin parent Dr. Diana Montgomery met with Grade 7 students via Zoom to speak about COVID-19. Dr. Montgomery is a pediatrician with Private Medical and a Clinical Professor at UCSF.
Dr. Montgomery provided an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic and also delved into the scientific aspects of how the virus acts on a cellular level.
She made the following points among others:
-The vast majority of COVID-19 cases are mild, current statistics put that number at 80.9%
-Many of the COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the common cold and the flu
-COVID-19 is not as scary as Ebola, Smallpox, or MERS, but it is very contagious
-COVID-19 expands through exponential growth with infected people spreading the virus to an average of two people
-We must flattened the curve because our capacity to take care of sick people is not unlimited and can overwhelm local hospitals
-Data shows that physical distancing is working in the San Francisco Bay Area and we are effectively flattening the curve
As a culmination of our Circulatory Unit, Grade 4 had the opportunity to dissect pig hearts. Dr. Brett Sheridan, a heart surgeon, visited the Lower School Science Lab. He answered questions about the circulatory system, as well as heart anatomy and function. Ms. Alfred, (Grade 7 science teacher), brought her class down to assist with the dissections. Ms. Ray, Ms. Gonzalez, and all of the Grade 4 learners are filled with gratitude to have had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Sheridan.
-Guest post by Ms. Irene Gonzalez
During the month of January Grade 8 students followed their scientific passions, created their own experiments, and learned a ton in the process. All of the hard work and investigation concluded Thursday with STEM Night.
The days leading up to STEM Night were an opportunity to go through the science exploration process, consider multiple proposals, then practice failing and trying again through many iterations (in some cases 15+).
All the projects involved energy/force in some way, working in the realms of physics, chemistry, and engineering.
Grade 4 also presented “The Physics of Sound.” The big and little sisters were able to share their projects with each other earlier in January and both grades (8 and 4) presented on STEM Night together.
Our students delved into the following projects (among others):
In Grade 4, our nervous system unit culminates with a classic egg drop experiment. Students work in teams as “helmet companies.” They design “helmets” to protect their raw eggs from a three-story fall onto a concrete surface. So far this year, 100% of the eggs have survived the drop unharmed thanks to some creative engineering!
-Guest post by Science Teacher, Konika Ray
Our youngest scientists entered the lab brimming with curiosity! We read the book, My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss and talked about how our emotions are controlled by a part of our brain called the amygdala. We also spoke about how we are in control of our emotional reactions. One student said, “We can change our attitude!” The girls explored a variety of color-themed centers including mixing wells and pipettes, prisms, and watercoloring.
(Photo) Kindergartener, Alex L. investigates colors by using a pipette to drop colored water into a mixing well tray. Using a pipette introduces our youngest scientists to a new tool and strengthens fine motor skills.
(Guest post by Science Teacher, Konika Ray)
During the month of March, lower school students are learning about the fragile lifecycle of fish through their participation in a program called Trout in the Classroom.
Trout in the Classroom is a community-based program which allows students to experience first hand the delicate balance needed for animals to survive in aquatic ecosystems. Using eggs provided by a hatchery, classes set-up and maintain an aquarium for the purpose of observing the development of fish from the eyed-egg stage until they become young fry. Students engage in a course of study which supports the learning experience across curriculum area. This program is run cooperatively by local schools, fishing clubs and government agencies.
-Provide a positive learning program for classrooms on the value of aquatic ecosystems through the hatching and release of trout.
-Help students learn about their local watershed and how human activities affect the quality of water in local streams, lakes and the bay.
The 49 healthy trout eggs (seen in the photo above) were received on March 6 and will hatch in the coming weeks. Once hatched, the fish will have their pure spring water changed twice a week, with a carefully monitored feeding schedule. Throughout the process students will see firsthand the various life stages of the trout as they move from embryonic, to hatching, to larval, to becoming juveniles.
On April 10, students will go to Lake Merced in San Francisco to release the trout.
To learn more about this program, please visit: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/CAEP/R3
On March 7, a group of eco-conscious students went to Cowell Theater (Fort Mason) to watch films from the 16th Annual International Ocean Film Festival. The films provided inspiration and crucial information about the need to preserve and take care of our oceans.
The International Ocean Film Festival is:
Dedicated to using film as a medium to increase public awareness of the environmental, social, and cultural importance of marine ecosystems and foster a spirit of ocean stewardship, IOFF is now the premier venue in North America for ocean-related films.
Every year, IOFF produces an acclaimed festival of ocean-themed films from all over the world that are largely unavailable to the general public. Themes range from marine science and industry to sports and adventure. We look for films that entertain, educate, and encourage active participation in ocean conservation.
Students watched several films from all over the world. Highlights included learning about:
-The lives of wild dolphins
-How little plastic actually gets recycled
-How much plastic a blue whale ingests
-7 species of Sea turtles on the planet -all endangered
-Education about turtle conservation
The film festival runs through Sunday, to see the schedule, click here: http://intloceanfilmfest.org/2019-festival-schedule
A film made by Hamlin students will be shown on Sunday at 10 a.m., to learn more, please visit: http://www.hamlinblog.org/blog/2019/03/05/student-film-selected-for-international-ocean-film-festival/
On Monday, students dissected pig hearts in their science class. This opportunity was made possible by Hamlin parent, Dr. Krista Ramonas and her friend Dr. Brett Sheridan. Dr. Ramonas is an ophthalmologist and Dr. Sheridan is a cardiothoracic surgeon who performs heart transplants. They both work at California Pacific Medical Center.
Dr. Sheridan began by asking our girls some questions like:
Why do we have a heart? How many cells are in the body? How many chambers are in the heart?
He then drew a brief sketch on the board describing the anatomy of the heart.
Our students had the opportunity to work in pairs to dissect their pig heart; observing frozen blood, the different valves, and the areas of the organ that are very thin, almost translucent. The experience provided a hands on opportunity to really see how a heart functions.
Grade 1 scientists performed their very first dissection last week as a culmination of their adaptations unit. The girls dissected a squid and observed the beak, ink sac, tentacles with suction cups, chromatophores for camouflage, fins, and siphon. They even used a part of squid anatomy called the pen to write with the ink. Squid pens, or gladii, are the vestigial internal shell of squid. They’re used primarily to support squids’ muscular tissues and organs. The flexible pen allows for jet propulsive swimming. Squeals of joy filled the room as several young scientists exclaimed, “this is the best day of my life!”
Another group of impressive young scientists completed their cow eye dissection last week. As part of the learning, we had an incredibly engaging guest speaker, Dr. Krista Ramonas. The girls were so inspired by her presentation. They asked many thought-provoking questions and approached the dissection with the maturity and interest of true scientists. They said their favorite parts were the tapetum lucidum, optic nerve, vitreous humor, and lens.
Earlier this week, Grade 4 students had the opportunity to visit the Hiller Aviation Museum. Students learned about various facets of aviation, including the science behind flight, and the history of several planes and helicopters. Our girls also had the chance to participate in flight simulation programs.
The Mission of the Hiller Aviation Museum is:
We use aviation as a gateway to embrace innovation and adventure while using tools of science to explore how the physical world works and how the dream of flight is made into reality.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.hiller.org/