Biology-Chemistry High School SMILE Meeting
5 December 2000
Notes Prepared by Earl Zwicker

Terry Donatello (St. Edwards)
asked this question

"How do you look at the properties of materials and relate them to the Periodic Table?

She had us pair up and then handed out a deck of specially prepared cards to each pair. The cards were all the same shape and size, and were yellow, green or gray in color. They were numbered 1 through 20, but the numbers were drawn with several different types of markers or pens. How could the cards be organized into some sort of order or pattern? Perhaps first according to the number on the card, or card color, or type of marker or pen marks. For example, they might be ordered first by number (1- 20) in several rows. Then the rows ordered in columns by color, say gray under gray, green under green, yellow under yellow. By doing this, we simulate an arrangement like the periodic table. Interesting analogy!

Next, Terry showed us the shapes of magnetic fields by sprinkling iron filings on paper, then holding a bar magnet underneath. The filings form a pattern outlining the shape of the magnetic field or "lines of force." But what does the pattern look like for different magnet shapes? Terry tried round magnets (disks), a horseshoe magnet, and refrigerator magnets. So we started to investigate the correlation between magnet shape and magnetic field geometry as shown by the pattern of iron filings. Different shaped magnets produced different shaped fields. All, however, had field "lines" connecting one pole of a magnet to its other pole. A beautiful way to lay a concrete basis for the ideas of magnetic fields and lines of force. Thanks, Terry!

Chris Etapa (Gunsaulus Academy)
(handout: 1997 Keep America Beautiful, Inc. - pp 47-50. "Understanding Waste Management.") Garbage Pizza - She told us that this is a recycling activity. It lists Objectives, Method, Materials, Vocabulary, Procedure. For example, Method states that "Students will construct a garbage pizza, a three-dimensional pie chart, which represents the MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) discarded in the United States; each slice of the pizza will represent a different solid waste category." Students bring in items from home such as these:

For the "pizza crust" you can use homemade play dough (see instructions), spread it on a 9 inch aluminum pie plate. Use the pie chart showing the percent of the various MSW component as the basis for cutting it into the appropriate number and size of slices, and bake until hard. Then paint "pizza sauce" (red tempera paint) onto the slices. Glue the waste items onto their corresponding pizza pie-chart slices. You could use plastic beads for waste "glass," and macaroni for "food waste," etc.

This brings home very graphically that the biggest slice by far is the paper category of waste (37.9 %), with yard waste next (14.6 %).

Among other things, students learn that Garbage refers only to organic or food waste thrown away. Trash represents broken or worthless things (rubbish).

So be careful how you sort your waste stuff! It's the first step to helping with waste disposal. Chris, thanks for the good ideas!

See you next year!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! Notes by Ben Stark