Bike generator FAIL :)

Glenn and Jarod had a mission this semester. They were creating a cell phone charger bicycle. We had plans to put it into the cafeteria for students to charge their phones at lunch. We were going to document (video) how it was created, the circuits involved in it and how it worked.

Unfortunately we ran into a bit of a barrier. The crank radio we took apart seemed to have fallen apart completely and we couldn’t get it to work again. With the help of Justin and a few others, Jarod and Glenn put in an excellent effort. Glenn found the information and instructions online, told me what materials they would need. Him and Jarod problem solved how every time we crossed a barrier. They really did try. The skills involved in problem solving and tinkering are more valuable to me than the actual creation of the phone charger.

It didn’t work out this time, and we have to focus on final exams now, but I just wanted to give three cheers to Glenn and Jarod who got up and presented their work on this project anyway.

Good work guys!

Camping in Grade 9 Science


The grade 9 academic science classes went camping on June 6th!

We chose the coldest, wettest June day possible to go camping. And guess what? WE HAD A BLAST!

When we arrived at the Wye Marsh around 5pm students cooked their own dinner in groups. Their assignment was to create a meal that supported sustainable ecosystems. As we cooked, we talked about how each groups meal supported sustainable ecosystems. Some groups brought litter-free or low-packaging meals. Some groups brought vegetarian meals. Some organic and others used locally grown food.

That evening we had a star party booked through Cosmic Connections. Due to awful weather we swapped the hands-on telescope activities out for a fascinating presentation and question period.

The rain went full force all night. Some of the tents hosted swimming parties. Air mattresses were used as rafts. At around 1 am the rain slowed down just long enough for Ms. Calder and Mr. Burns to hear some of our more energetic grade 9s serenading us all with their excellent tunes. After Ms. Calders evil twin lost her cool, all was quiet until morning (or the rain picked back up drowning out the singers).

Ms. Calder and Mr. Burns were the first to have the stoves running in the morning and with caffeine fixes underway decided to ensure there were no hard feelings, and sang show tunes at the top of their lungs as a sign of appreciation. I am still not sure why everyone wasn’t enthusiastically cheering us on.

To be honest, I was very impressed with students speed and efficiency “taking down camp” in the morning. Even with what had to be very little sleep, the team was quick! A breakfast of oats and fruit was followed by a wetlands tour and some dip netting while we discussed keystone species.

After refuelling with an obscene amount of hot dogs and carrot sticks the grade 9s were out to prove their strength and speed in a game of ultimate survival. There are rumours of carnivores and hunters jumping out of trees, and sliding down hills. Species joined forces to create alliances against Brent. These are all unconfirmed rumours as I was too busy trying to count the hundreds of rabbits surrounding the game area.

Thanks grade 9s. You were, as always, wonderful students and representatives of MSS. I had a blast with you this semester and will always be traumatized by your midnight singing… 🙂


Final Exam

Ok, we’re officially at the end.

Reminders –

  • only chemistry and physics (electricity) are on your final exam. The other units were addressed in other in-class projects.
  • you need a calculator
  • it is a PAPER exam, not on the computer (as per the request of the majority of the students)
  • your guidelines for making study notes are on D2L (and I gave you a paper copy)
  • I will be answering questions about all things chemistry on Monday June 17th
  • I will be answering questions about all things physics (electricity) Tuesday June 18th
  • I will be answering freakOUT questions on Wednesday June 19th 🙂
  • you should definitely “take up” or correct your electricity test by using the Pencast Videos for each question *they are linked right on the homepage of D2L for easy access. If you are lost after watching, come ask me!
  • I have linked all the lessons for chemistry and physics (electricity) to the home page of D2L for easy access
  • I have opened up all the make-up quizzes for chemistry concepts (matter, physical and chemical changes, structure of the atom, trends on the periodic table and bonding). You can use them for practice now (I am not adding any more upgrade marks now – show me on the final exam that you get the concept).
  • I am available by email anytime, and in the classroom after school on Monday, and at lunch and after school Tuesday and Wednesday. Please come work in there, ask questions as needed.

please excuse

Please excuse the fact that I have just posted a whole bunch of posts on the behalf of the grade 9 science students. Its that time of the year. We ran out of time. Students simply sent the work to me to post on their behalf to save a few minutes.

The last two projects we worked on were:

  • Ecology – after spending a unit blogging about various ecological issues, students were required to share their knowledge of their situations with their classmates. Some students presented in front of the class, some did poster presentations, some created models and presented them, some created videos, some podcasts. Students taught their peers about their ecological issue in terms of abiotic and biotic factors, limiting factors, carrying capacity, flow of energy, impacts of human activity and analyzing initiatives to fix or prevent the situation from getting worse. 
  • Space – this was a self-directed research project. Students chose a topic with the big idea of “The Universe” and researched then shared what they learned. Due to time restraints, we ended up being limited to one period for this unfortunately. It was planned to be a much longer project. I would liked to have seen what students produced if I had provided an appropriate amount of time!



 By: Brent

     In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. Constellations are just simply a group of stars that form a shape or pattern in the space. Such constellations like the big dipper, Hercules, Orion, Aries and so much more. The current list of 88 constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union since 1922 is based on the 48 listed by Ptolemy in his almagest in the 2nd century.


Back then constellations were used to guide a journey. Now constellations are now used to identify new stars in space. They also help us map out the night sky which helps us with direction if we are lost, they were also back then used as a calendar of some sort, so that the people would know how to sow and know when to harvest their crops or know what season it will be soon.