Tag Archives: science

Ever wondered what a space walk is really like?

This video, published by ESA (European Space Agency) gives some idea what it's like to take a space walk. Hollywood did a great job of recreating something similar in the movie Gravity, but there is nothing like seeing the actual thing. This movie was filmed on a GoPro that looked like it was attached to the astronauts arm. For the best view, watch this on the biggest screen you have and set it to full screen.

ISS Panoramic Tour

ISS Panoramic Tour

… And now for something completely different

Snake fossil discovered with legs

While I neither teach Biology, nor is it my primary area of interest, I do love all things science and this is no different. Fossils have been discovered that have found an evolutionary 'missing link' between snakes and other reptiles. The really interesting thing about these fossils is that they HAVE LEGS! The fossil is over a hundred million years old and was discovered in Brazil.

Check out the story here or click on the image

Fossil of snake with legs

Fossil of snake with legs

 

 

 

 

 

 

These legs come as no surprise to biologists who have predicted this as a number of species of snakes carry 'spurs' that are vestigial leftovers from legs that have long since evolved away (see image below).

Spurs are vestigial remnants of legs on some species of snake

Spurs are vestigial remnants of legs on some species of snake

Ever wanted to take a tour of the International Space Station

This is a really cool web page that allows you to do just that (without all that zero gravity of course). It allows you to navigate the entire space station and gives little snippets of information in your own time at your own pace.

Click on the image or follow the ISS TOUR LINK.

ISS Panoramic Tour

ISS Panoramic Tour

T-Rex wa a big chicken!

Fossilized feathers on the forelimb of a Zhenyuanlong dinosaur

Fossilized feathers on the forelimb of a Zhenyuanlong dinosaur

Ok, so that may be over exaggerating, but new fossils of a velociraptor relative have been unearthed with some evidence of soft tissue such as primitive feathers. While this is not my field of study, I (like many people) are fascinated by dinosaurs and would prefer the idea of scary (and scaly) beasties as seen in the Jurassic Park movies, but this discovery is interesting in another way. It demonstrates the evolutionary link between Dinosaurs of long ago and their feathery compatriots of today.

We used to think that this family of dinosaurs looked like this - scaly, probably brown and green and lean.

We used to think that this family of dinosaurs looked like this - scaly, probably brown and green and lean.

Of course the link between dinosaurs and birds has been something that paleontologists have been aware of for some time. Many dinosaurs have beaky snouts, stand on their back legs, have feeble front limbs (like chicken wings), lay eggs, make nests and other similar traits. However, the strongest link between the two groups is hips. There is a remarkable similarity between dinosaur hips and bird hips, and I believe (although I am no expert) that this similarity unites all dinosaurs.

Now we think they look more like a giant goose!

Now we think they look more like a giant goose!

The interesting question that paleontologists are asking now is: why did feathers evolve in the first place? This is why I love science: Just when you think that you know everything there is to know about nature, you realize that you're only just scratching the surface and there is another whole level underneath.

New Equipment for Physics and Physical Science

This summer,
I requested some resources for the coming year by fundraising through a crowdsourcing site called Donors Choose. I asked for some basic resources that myself and the other science teachers agreed we could use and posted a request.

Students using some of the materials we purchased with the DonorsChoose fundraiser.

Students using some of the materials we purchased with the DonorsChoose fundraiser.

Although the items only cost a few hundred dollars, I was astonished to find that within a morning of emailing parents about the fundraiser, we were fully funded.

 

With the money, we were able to purchase meter sticks, constant velocity cars and a high frame rate digital camera (that takes up to 240 frames per second).

Parents at Hawbridge are really awesome and I would like to take this moment to thank you all for your support. Without which we could not achieve so many of the things that we are able to do.

Shanee Cowland