Whew! Made it!

From: dlgsam@LanMinds.Com (Sandra A.M. & David G.)
Subject: Whew! Made it!
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 22:55:24 +0100

        We sent in our Weatherworlds submission about 45 minutes after
school ended today, and I felt very relieved after that.  It was quite a
lot of work getting it all coordinated for the past two weeks.  Our plan
was jointly created by students from eight different 7th grade science
classes.  Each class was assigned a different instrument, and about four
students from each class worked on the plan.  Early on, I had tried to
involve entire classes in the preparation, but eventually settled on having
a few students in each class work on the plan while I taught the rest of
the class.  I still haven't made good use of our one internet connection
during class time.  I get to use it every other day or so, but it hasn't
really clicked yet, and the last time I had it the computer crashed every
five minutes.
        I'm excited about an invention which I co-created with one of my
students.  It's a thermometer which measures the minimum temperature at
night by virtue of a lamp which casts a shadow of the thermometer dial onto
a piece of light sensitive paper.
        I am in the middle of a unit I call "Cycles in Nature," in which
planned to focus on elemental and ecological cycles on Earth, and some
celestial cycles.  When Weatherworlds "appeared" I figured that I could fit
that in well, because many weather phenomena are cyclical, but I had to
scramble, because I've never taught about weather before.  I'm actually
really pleased with the connections which are developing: the CO2 and O2
cycle between plants and animals ties in so well with the atmosphere and
weather on Earth and Mars, and just yesterday I was lucky to see and record
a NASA segment on the Lunar/Mars life support system experiment.
        I'm happy to have a little breather before phase 2 of Weatherworlds
begins.  After next week, I'll be scheduled to start my astronomy/physics
unit and then I can spend more time teaching about Mars.

David Glaser
Willard M.S.
Berkeley, CA