Friday, February 22, 2019

SIU Day!

Completely by coincidence, we met with three different SIU professors all on Friday. We visited Dr. Karla Gage and Dr. Sedonia Sipes in Life Science II from 9:30 - 11:30 am for our lessons on hemp and indigo, and then Dr. Scott Hamilton-Brehm came to us from Life Science III as a Science Club guest from 4 - 5:30 pm for our lesson on the origins of life on planet Earth.

Thank you to all of these SIU professors who gave freely of their time and energy to help our small group of students go more deeply into topics which interested them. We are so fortunate to have this wonderful resource!!!

You can find my notes from Friday morning at my Fibers & Clothing Week 3 post. Here are my notes from Science Club, and some pictures from our day.

Shibori Dyeing with Indigo - AM


the "bloom" is the name for the top of the indigo vat

Arashi Shibori
this is the one which uses a pole

Dr. Gage lends a helping hand

Itajime Shibori
this is the style that Zac and I tried

Kanoko Shibori
this is the one which inspired American tie-dye

Dr. Sipes begins the dyeing process

items are a yellowish-green when they first come out of the dye

as they react with the oxygen in the air, they turn blue

now comes the excitement of washing the pieces

untying to reveal the final design

Zac's clamp design was so simple but it turned out great!

everyone is in love with the results of their project

Science Club - PM

First we "blasted off" to explore our third planet, the oh-so-speedy Mercury!

The two snow days which have interfered with our Science Club meetings in January and February have thrown off my timing a bit and we will have to look at the remaining planets after Spring Break. We are looking first at, and comparing, the 4 planets which are blueish and greyish. After Spring Break we will look at and compare the 4 planets which are reddish and yellowish.

To "visit" the planet of Mercury, we followed the same procedure as we did for Neptune and Uranus.

For our home planet, Earth, we followed a bit of a different procedure. We had Dr. Scott Hamilton-Brehm as our tour guide and I introduced him by laying out only the lowest branch of the Tree of Life and only leaf #1. This is the most ancient life, the Archaea. I believe that the thing that makes Earth remarkable among the planets is not that it is a "blue marble," for we have seen that several planets share its coloring. It is actually the GREEN on our Earth, the LIFE found here, that makes it stand out.

Dr. Hamilton-Brehm is a microbiologist who specializes in archaea and extremophiles, hunting for answers about earliest life and how it evolved (and he complimented me on our Tree of Life puzzle and how beautiful it was). He led us through many topics -- blending Astronomy, Chemistry, and Microbiology -- to explore the question of the origins of life on Earth as well as whether it may be found on other planets. He stayed afterwards to answer student and parent questions, and then to meet with me about the book we are collaborating on writing together. He and I are hoping to create new curriculum resources presenting more up-to-date scientific information which can be used for the Second Great Lesson in Montessori classrooms.

charcoal drawings of Mercury

calculating Mercury's distance from the Sun on our Solar System String

we're all supposed to call it the Great Inflation instead of the Big Bang now

Dr. Hamilton-Brehm staying late to talk one-on-one with a student
he went back through every single slide and answered additional questions

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