Update from eCybermission


When it comes to research for an eCYBERMISSION project, this may be something new to some students. To introduce the idea of conducting research you can use “Video Lesson 4: Conducting Research,” found on the Team Resources page. Once they begin, there are many places that students can go to get information. We encourage them to use a wide variety of sources, not just Internet sources. Additional resources include:

  • Professional journals
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Books
  • Subject Matter Experts

There is no requirement on how many of each type of resource the students should use, and certainly reliable online sources are fine. Students are required to use AT LEAST 10 different resources, and they must be specific. So, for instance, “Google” is not considered a source. But the webpage they FOUND with Google could be.


It is very important that student cite their work in their Mission Folder, especially when they are completing the section about what they learned in their research. In addition, they should cite and give credit for any images they use in their Mission Folder. There is no specific format for these citations, so it’s up to you what format you direct your students you use. If you’d like some guidance you can find it in the Mission Folder Development section of the Team Resources in a document called “Conducting Research and Citing Your Sources.”


  • Next CyberGuide live chat: October 26, 2016 at 7 PM EST. CyberGuides will be available to answer any eCYBERMISSION questions. Whether your team is just getting started or close to submitting a Mission Folder, the next Live CyberGuide Chat will focus on utilizing tools such as Team Talk and the Discussion Forums. Both resources are excellent for navigating IRB and Survey Approval form questions as well as questions specific to a chosen Mission Challenge.

Oct. 19/20- Study Guide, A3K and Penda Updates

We are moving right along into the 2nd quarter.  In class students received a study guide for our Unit 2 test and guided notes on small bodies.  Students who were taking the PSAT should have the study guide from the previous class.

If you need another copy, click on the Class Resources link above.

Students were assigned the Achieve 3000 “Pluto: Full of Surprises” article. It will count for your Lexile if you do it during school hours.  It’s your first classwork grade for the second grading period. If you need an Achieve sheet you can download one from Focus.  You should have time in class to complete it after your test on Monday/Tuesday.

Penda Updates:

As I’ve said in class, Penda is ongoing home learning from this point on. There will likely be 3-4 lessons a week.  Students have 10 days to complete these assignments (Friday to the following Monday).  You should be completed by Sunday evening.  The report is finalized at 7 AM on Monday mornings and no late work is accepted.

If you have computer issues at home you can try to go to the local library.  Additionally, the JLCP Computer lab is open before school and I have tutoring on Wednesdays when there is not early dismissal.  You can come and work on Penda if you need to.


Home Learning: 

  • Review for Unit 2 Test  Oct 24/25 

  • Penda: Due @ 7 AM Monday 

  • Continue work on your Science Project

(Science Project) App Challenge Update

Mrs. Smith has signed up to be the school sponsor for the Verizon App Challenge project. The following information is from her blog – I wanted to repost it here for my app challenge students to read as well.

APP Challenge Update (direct link)

“I have registered our school. Students can not register. However, you must get started.

Although the Challenge is due on November 18 it takes time to upload everything so you must be prepared to start uploading the essays in school on or before 11/15. You also must have Student Release forms SIGNED by your parents as soon as possible. I will have to scan these and include them with your entries. We can not upload your video in school so you will have to do that at home.

If your group is not able to meet the deadlines then you will be disqualified and your project will not be eligible for full credit.

Your team’s submission  will include essay and video components. By November 15, 2016, you must be ready to submit essay responses to the following four prompts:
  1. Statement of the problem (200 words)
    • Clearly describe the identified problem or issue in your school or community.
    • Explain how this problem affects your school or community.
  2. Your mobile app solution (200 words)
    • Describe your team’s mobile app concept.
    • Explain how your concept solves the identified problem.
  3. Uniqueness of your mobile app solution (200 words)
    • Explain what makes your mobile app concept unique.
    • Clarify how your concept differs from mobile apps currently available.
  4. Mobile app features (200 words)
    • Describe the mobile technology features present in your app concept.
    • State how those features provide a viable mobile technology solution to the problem.
BEFORE November 15, you must submit a three-minute video demonstrating how your team’s mobile app concept will help users solve the problem you have identified. See the Make Your Video page for ideas and tips. In your video, be sure to:
  • Clearly articulate the identified problem and why it is important to address.
  • Convey your team’s vision for how the key features of your mobile app solution will solve this problem.
  • Use engaging visual elements, such as graphics, storyboards, role playing, and vignettes.
Upload your video link to either YouTube or Vimeo BEFORE November 15. In the title, include the hashtag #VZAppChallenge and provide the file link via the contest submission page. If you cannot upload to YouTube or Vimeo, exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Click here for contest-specific instructions on uploading your video.
Teams must also upload completed school/faculty/nonprofit authorization forms and student release forms:

“How can I bring up my grade?”

This is the question I hear the most from students.  Here’s an answer –

Have you done Throwback Lesson Check up corrections? Any time you score less than a 3/3 you should do your corrections. The format is the same for Test Corrections. The Checkups you can correct are:

  • Earth’s Evolution,
  • E-M Spectrum,
  • Plate Tectonics.

These should all be glued in your ISN next to the throwback lessons.

Additionally, as a final safety net I will accept Earth/Sun/Moon test corrections as well.  I have a number of students who have completed them and already received credit. However, several students who would benefit greatly have not submitted their corrections.

I will accept them if they are completed on Wednesday or Thursday (or Monday and Tuesday)

Finally, there is a BONUS due on Thursday if you choose to do it.

Oct. 11/12- Pocket Solar System

Reminder: There is a Bonus Opportunity that students can complete for up to 2 grade points (for ex. an 88% could become a 90% if all steps are completed).

To Scale: The Solar System

In class we made a foldable scale model of the solar system to help model the actual distances between the planets.  Modeling Distances analysis questions were completed in class.

To take this idea even further, check out this really neat model of the distances called “If the Moon were only 1 pixel”

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 8.49.46 AM

We also discussed our Science Project Next Steps so students could get their Science Project Journal started.  Reminder, we will have a SPJ check at the beginning of next week (Monday/Tuesday)

Finally, students were allowed time in class to work on “Comparing Terrestrial & Gas Giant Planets Part 2.”  This should be completed when students arrive next class.

Home Learning: 

Comparing Terrestrial/Gas Giants (part 1 &2) Due next class

Science Project Journal Check Monday Oct. 18 A Day/ Tues Oct 19 B Day

Bonus Opportunity due Thursday Oct. 20th 

Bonus Opportunity: Radon Poster

Design a poster to raise awareness of the harmful effects of Radon gas.  Create an 8.5″ X 11″ sized poster following the instructions below.  You may also get a printed copy of the instructions from me in class.  You must fill out the artwork submission form and tape to the back of your poster.

This is worth up to 2 points added to your first 9 weeks grade.

Submit finished project to me by Thursday Oct. 20th @ 3:00 PM.  No late submissions will be accepted.

Bonus: Radon Poster Contest Instructions

Oct. 10 – Quick update: Hurricanes, grades and more!

Just a few quick updates now that power is back on at my house and I’m getting back into the swing of things…

  • Test Corrections have been graded.  Students who submitted Test Corrections should have an updated score on their “Earth Sun Moon Unit Test” in Focus. Students received 2 points per question correctly recycled.
  • Re: Penda Home Learning that was assigned last week (10.3 folder).  I know that Hurricane Matthew caused major problems for a lot of people (myself included!)
    I will use the late assignment report for this grade.  If you lost power and couldn’t do the assignment you have until Monday 10/17 at 7AM to get them completed for credit.  If you’re already done, then you don’t have to worry about it! ..
  • Bonus Activity – Since FSCJ cancelled the event, I will introduce an alternative bonus activity in class this week for students who are interested.
  • Solar System characteristic project– Don’t forget I will be checking this assignment when you walk into class next!  Please don’t forget your cards or data table!!!

(Update)Bonus Opportunity International Observe the Moon Night CANCELLED

Update 10/8- looks like all events are cancelled at FSCJ this weekend due to Hurricane Matthew. I will post information on an ALTERNATE bonus activity next week.




This is an official bonus activity for all students in my classes worth two points added to your grade at the end of the quarter. If you participate you will need proof of participation – photos would be great! A short written report might also meet the need.

I have a previous commitment, so I may not make it out.  You should check this out. Dr. Reynolds use to teach High School and we hear he is very informative.

Read all about it.

International Observe the Moon

Update: Science Project Next Steps

We will have a Science Project Journal Check next week in class (Oct. 17/18).
You should have the following information completed in your SPJ to get credit.  

Students should be working together (or independently) on their science projects. It is time to develop a question and to put it into their Science Project Journal (the 2nd composition book that was on the required supply list).

All pages should be numbered!

Science Project Journal Setup
p. 1 Title page – leave blank for now.
pp. 2-4 Table of Contents
p. 5 Start with a description of what type of project you are doing and then write down your question.

Oct. 4/5- Throwback: Plate Tectonics + Planetary Characteristics (Day 2) Gas Giants

SC.8.E.5.7 “Compare and contrast the properties of objects in the Solar System, including the Sun,planets, and Moons to those of Earth, such as gravitational force, distance from the Sun, speed,movement, temperature, and atmospheric conditions”

  • Throwback Lesson: Plate Tectonics.  Students reviewed the different types of plate boundaries and how each of them change the surface of the Earth.
  • The Universe: Gas Giants – We watched a couple of clips from this video in class.  Here’s the rest if you’re interested:
  • Planetary Characteristics Project Day 2.  Today students should have completed their cards/data table for the Gas Giants and the Dwarf Planet Pluto.  Please check FOCUS if you need another copy of the rubric or instructions. These should have been completed in class today.
  • Compare/Contrast Planets Part 1: Terrestrial Planets- Students used their Characteristics Cards to begin comparing/contrasting the Terrestrial Planets.

Home Learning: 

  • Review for Plate Tectonics checkpoint (3 questions) at the beginning of next class. 

  • Penda- 10.3 Folder (4 lessons) Due by 7 AM on Monday Oct. 10th.