Friday, 6 November 2015

Year 12's Respiration Song

Hey Tyrone, what are you listening to? 

Oh it's a new song, it's called the Respiration Rap Trap!

How does it go, maybe I know it!

"oxygen and glucose, this changes to CO2 and water yaaaa, don't forget the ATP-"

"-ok ok, let's just listen to the full rap!

Here you go:


Tamaki Production
Biooo Babes

Oxygen and Glucose

I’m like hey what’s up? Respire.
Need some energy for my cell life pro-ces-ses.
I just wanna turn, (pause) some glucose into it.
Use mitocondria, oxygen and the glucose.
Show you how to change it, making ATP for sure.
Make some more stuff, like water and a gas.
Carbon dioxide, what a waste product.
Energy requires, four main reactions.
With in and outer membrane, and a cristae, matrix though.
Man I swear I love it how it works in me for,
Making energy, in my different tissues,
Muscles they have many, cause of work that they do,
Other tissues they have less, less energy on show.

Oxygen and glucose
this changes to, CO2 aaandwater, yeaah,
Don’t forget the ATP,
It’s the energy for the cell from respiration yeaah
Mitochondria baby,
The folded cristae in-crease surface are-aaahh
Mitochondria baby,
Found more in the tissues that need more energy

I’m like “hey whats up?” Respire.

Glucose enters the cell, in the cytoplasm it sits,
splits in two, this is called glycolysis.
I just might tell you now that the two molecules
Are called pyruvate, and now more reactions accelerate.
They go in mitochondria, and the link reaction happens,
on the cristae they roll through to the Krebs Cycle happy that they’re still on the cristae, there’s like a thousand reactions,
all you need to know is,
that the Krebs cycle happens.

Oxygen + glucose
this changes to,CO2 aaandwater, yeaah,
Don’t forget the ATP,
It’s the energy for the cellfrom respiration yeaah
Mitochondria baby,
The folded cristae in-crease surface are-aaahh
Mitochondria baby,
Found more in the tissues that need more energy

I’m like “hey whats up?” Respire.

Electron-tran-sport chain pumps out hy-dro-gen ions,
Falling down concentration gradient it’s own,
Makes the ATP, now you definitely know,
Cause respirate or nothing,
Re-re-respirate or nothing!!

You heard my class.
We sound like a million mitochondria on this track.
And there’s more mitochondria in cells and tissue that need more energy to do more work.
Put your mitochondria where your mouth is so it can keep running.
Mitochondria make cell money.
We rollin in it.
Tamaki Productions.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Year 11 Practical End-Of-Year Challenges..

The end of the year for seniors is closing fast, and my Year 11 class have finished all of their internals for the year. As their class doesn't sit any science exams at the end of the year, the last few days have been spent either sending students off to other classes to finish off any overdue work there, or... something else. 

"What should that 'something else' be?" I asked myself at the start of the last week. For some of my Year 11's, this week may be their last taste of science at school, ever. Others have chosen one of Tamaki's three science options in Year 12 and will experience another year or two. 

I decided that the best use of our last few days together would be to do practical science; designing a solution to a problem, testing it, making modifications, testing it again, and then of course a bit of healthy competition between the end-products.

Challenge 1

Our first challenge was to find the best launching strategy for the best shuttle, based off the activity from NASA and the Design Squad.

Full pdf of their activities can be found here: 

Litani found the best way to use the balloon as a launcher was not to have it full, but instead to have only the smallest amount of air in the balloon and clap it shut, to push it out all at one time. He also found that the bendy end of the straw needed to be fully inside the balloon.  

One of the students, Mac, spent most of that lesson designing an arm-propelled shuttle (i.e. a shuttle he could throw rather than launch with the balloon) He built a brilliant one out of straws that looked a little bit like a Star Wars fighter plane with the x at the back. He weighted the middle of it with some rubber tubing, and it flew beautifully. 

Challenge 2

Mac's design gave rise to the second challenge; designing a plane to fly the furthest when thrown outside. I thought Mac would re-build his Star Fighter but instead he made a new creation!

Mac's new creation

Litani and Jordan opted for streamlined paper planes reinforced with bamboo skewers and weighted in the nose. They were also held together with sellotape. 

Litani and Jordan's planes

Jordan and Litani had a close battle, after Alex threw his 'UFO' entry...

As for Mac's entry... 

Duui was skeptical about the prowess of Mac's plane, and went and stood about halfway down the field and said there's no way it'd be able to get past him! You can see where he's standing in the video, and whether Mac's plane went past him or not...

Challenge 3

Our final challenge was to protect an egg dropped from a height. Students were given packs of equipment to use, including a plastic bottle, bubble wrap, 2 plastic plates, 4 straws, 3 pipe cleaners, a small newspaper, tinfoil, styrofoam beads, 2 balloons, scissors and unlimited sellotape. Each pack was missing one of these items and students got to choose which pack they wanted. 

Mac created a landing pod space shuttle sort of contraption. You have to open at least 3 hatches to see the 'egg-stronaut' in the pod! 

Litani created a parachute sort of contraption, with balloons attached later. 

Jordan created a sort of indestructible tank and quite cleverly; a landing pad! 

Zeph created a brilliant parachute contraption using the tinfoil between balloons and a cushioned suspension landing base that the egg sits on. His fell so gracefully when it was dropped!

Our first test was off the Marae deck at my shoulder height - and 100% off all drops were successful! All of the eggs survived, even with Onesi's drop of Duui's creation hitting Zeph's on the ground and bouncing up and off. 

We had to step up our testing to determine a winner. We went to B-block and dropped them off the second story balcony. 

And would you believe it, 100% of the eggs survived AGAIN!! 

As a last resort we went out into the quad and students launched their egg protectors up into the air, throwing them up as high as they possibly could! Finally we had four out of nine of the eggs crack. 

I was so impressed with the creativity of 1104 in this last challenge. They were engaged with the challenge of protecting their eggs, designing, standing on chairs to test how hard their creation landed, making modifications... It was so cool to see! 

I hope 1104 had a good year of science, and if they're taking Bio next year I will see them again; if not then I hope they leave science proud of the credits they've achieved throughout the year and with positive memories of their time learning science at Tamaki College :)