Today’s Wonder Wednesday was – literally – super cool! We listened to an episode of Radiolab centered around intriguing anecdote: on the Russian-Finnish border during World War II, hundreds of horses fled a forest fire and stampeded into Lake Ladoga. The lake was very cold but not yet frozen, and – according to legend – as soon as the horses entered the water, it froze instantly, trapping them all.
The scientific concept behind this story is called super cooling: pure water that is very cold but not yet frozen will freeze instantly when it comes into contact with something such as dust, bacteria… or maybe horses?
We ran out of time and were unable to finish the podcast so here is a link in case you want to listen to the whole thing again: Radiolab: Super Cool
During the podcast we also watched this video from Grant Thompson, aka “The King of Random”:
What do you think? Did the horses really cause the lake to freeze?
In the lead-up to this year’s Wonder Expo, the Grade 7 boys enjoy a “Wonder Wednesday” every week in order to build curiosity and excitement about the world around them.
Today’s theme was hexaflexagons! I’m pretty sure this is going to be a big hit because the boys were so fascinated and excited by the idea. Here are the two videos we watched:
And here is a tutorial if you’re keen to make your own!
Some Grade 7 students approached Mr. Weber this morning, telling him about 2 different research projects they’d developed: one regarding eating habits of fish in the aquarium, and one regarding reading and perception. The experiments that these boys have been conducting were not assigned as part of a class; in fact, Mr. Weber wasn’t even aware of what the boys had been doing! This makes us feel that the Wonder Expo has had a lasting impact on the Grade 7s.
Both projects are in progress, and as the students wrap up the collection of their data, they have agreed to write a reflection about what they learned to be posted on Curious[St.]George. Stay tuned for more information …
Last week, the boys in Grade 7 filled out an online questionnaire, reflecting on their experiences working on their Wonder Expo project. Have a look at some of these infographics that report what the students said:
Some of the boys followed up this reflection with a one-on-one interview with Mr. Weber. This video actually played during the Wonder Expo presentation event this morning. Many of the boys, teachers, and parents commented how interesting it was to see what some of the (other) students had to say about this experience. Check out the video for yourself below:
“To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.”
~José Ortega y Gasset
Today’s the big day! All term, the Grade 7 boys have been working on their Wonder Expo projects. The Wonder Expo is a revamped version of the Science Fair – we’ll write more about the process later.
But for now, enjoy some of the fabulous projects and tweets from today’s event!