Drugs 1/10

Last week, we learned about drugs. Each of us could choose one specific drug to research, and I chose vaping. Vaping is a new, smokeless way to get nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that increases your heart rate, releases adrenaline, and makes your brain release dopamine, which is the chemical that makes you feel happy. Because vaping is so new, scientists don’t know what the long-term effects will be. When vaping was first introduced, people thought that it was a better alternative than smoking. They assumed that it came with fewer health risks, but it was so new that nobody knew much about it. They also liked the fact that it was smokeless and easy to hide, because it looked like a pen. In the beginning, everyone thought that it was a better, low-risk alternative to smoking. They were wrong, but they couldn’t know until it was too late. Even though vaping did seem like a better alternative at first, it’s actually as bad, if not worse, than smoking. It is addictive, and it can cause lung disease, cancer, raw and bloody throats and mouths, a chronic cough, and many other life-threatening problems. Vaping also affects special cells called fibroblasts, which are responsible for healing wounds. The chemicals in the vape weaken these cells, which causes wounds to heal extremely slowly. There are many people all around the world suffering the consequences of vaping, and teens make up the majority of vapers. No one knows exactly why this is, but some people think it’s either because they don’t fully understand the risks, were peer-pressured into it, or they are just attracted to the fruity flavors and become addicted to the nicotine.

I chose to research vaping, because it’s a newly introduced drug that no one knows much about, especially compared to other drugs like cocaine or heroin or crystal meth. I wanted to find out exactly how much we know about this new drug. Even though we still don’t know what the long-term effects will be, we are starting to find out more about the short-term effects. Also, one out of every ten teens vape. This is directly impacting my generation, and I wanted to know the full risks. I also think that more teens should be educated about the true risks of vaping, even though at the beginning, before anyone knew anything, teens couldn’t have been educated about this. Now that we are starting to understand more, we should try to spread the word about the life-threatening risks that come with vaping.

Would vapes be easier to resist if they didn’t taste like fruit? How do vapes work without the burning of tobacco? Were they designed to look like pens on purpose or was that just a coincidence?

 

 

 

 

 

Cracker Chewing 11/5

Last week we did an experiment using two crackers, water, iodine, and spit. With our partners, using a graduated cylinder, we poured thirty milliliters of water into two separate beakers. Then, we crushed up a cracker and put it into one of the beakers. We added three drops of iodine to the mixture, and it turned purple. For the second cracker, I had to chew it up for three minutes straight. It was very disgusting. For the first half of chewing it up, I had to try hard not to swallow it. But, after two minutes had passed, I had to focus even harder on not gagging and spitting it out. After three minutes had finally passed, I spit out the cracker into the second beaker. When we added the iodine to it, it didn’t turn purple. Instead, it stayed the same color. The reason that the chewed up cracker didn’t turn purple while the crushed up one did is because iodine turns purple in the presence of starch. The crushed up cracker had plenty of starch in it, but when I chewed up the other cracker, my spit dissolved the starch inside of it.

Doing this lab, I learned that spit doesn’t just mush up your food, it also dissolves certain ingredients found in different foods, like starch. I also learned that iodine and starch turn purple when they are mixed together. I was surprised by a few different things when we did this lab. One of them was how quickly the spit dissolved the starch. Another thing was how disgusting it was to chew a cracker for three minutes straight. Even though it was disgusting, it was very cool to watch two of the same type of crackers react completely differently in the same mixture with the only difference between them being one of them was chewed up while the other was crushed. I think that I participated a lot in this lab, and that maybe next time I would like to participate a little less. One thing that I would have done differently during this lab would be making my partner chew up the cracker instead of me having to do it.

Does spit dissolve anything else besides starch? How does spit dissolve the starch? What would happen if you just ate a spoonful of starch?

Chair Building 9/27

Last week in science we built chairs. We started out with a long wooden board, and we marked with pencil the areas we needed to cut. After that, we all went down to the beach to start building. There were only two jigsaws, so I had to wait to cut my board. While I was waiting, I was cutting out paper bones. A little while later, it was my turn to saw. When I first started using the jigsaw, it was a little tricky, but after a few seconds I got the hang of it. I had used a jigsaw a few times before, but that was over two years ago. When the cutting was done, the product was one large rectangular shape, one square shape, two small rectangles cut out from the bottom of the square, and a small slot at the bottom of the rectangle. I used the two small rectangles and drilled them on either sides of the slot. Drilling them was very tricky, because it was hard to get the screw to go in, and at first the drill did not have enough power. After everything was cut and drilled, I painted a grey base coat on the wood to help protect it. I had to be very careful, because that paint does not come off clothes.

Building these chairs, I learned a few different things. I learned how to use new tools, and I also learned that painting wood helps it last longer. I can use what I learned for future building projects, because now I know how to use a drill and a jigsaw. Also, I know that I can paint wood with strong paint if I want to make it last. When I was using the jigsaw, I was surprised by how fast it could cut. I was also surprised to hear that paint helps the wood, because at first I thought it was just for decoration. When all of the cutting and drilling was finished, I was so satisfied when I fit the two peices together, and it actually made a chair! Until it got stuck and I realized that I still had to paint it. It took some yanking and splinters, but eventually I got it unstuck. Next time I have a building project, I am not going to fit pieces together unless both of them are 100% ready.

How long can wood last without paint? How long does it last with the paint? How does the paint make it last?

Social Media Post – Walking Stick – 9/20

Hello, internet! I am Winston Phasmatodea the Walking Stick! I am at the ripe old age of two, and my grandsticks wanted to show me this “Insectagram”. I live in North America, and I have family members who live on all of the continents, except for Antarctica. I used to send letters to my old friend who lived there, but he was always complaining about how cold it was. His name was Frederick the fly. Anyways, I am a master of disguise. I have looked at myself in a puddle once, and I must admit that I look exactly like a stick. My enemies could be sitting right next to me and they would never notice a thing. Many a time have I seen young and foolish walking sticks try to do what I do, but because they don’t have my level of patience, they always twitch or move and get eaten. I have many enemies, but I don’t give a heck. I am old, I have survived for this long, and I know that when I am perfectly still, I am almost invisible. A few of my enemies are birds, primates, spiders, rodents, reptiles, bats, and of course, humans. Also, unlike all of these new young sticks, I am not picky with my food. I will eat vines, leaves, berries, and whatever I can find.

Today was a decent day. I walked around and met up with a few old friends, Martha the Mosquito and Jack the Yellow Jacket. They are both good friends of mine, but I am pretty sure that both of them are crazy. One of them drinks blood and the other attacks humans for crying out loud! After we were done catching up, I went to my favorite restaurant, The Oak. I ordered their signature oak leaf salad with blueberry dressing and vines on the side. It was very good, I recommend trying it out some time. After I had finished eating, I went for a nice relaxing walk. Unfortunately, my walk was interrupted by one of my thousands of children. I asked Wanda what she wanted, and she said that if I babysat her kids and at least half of them were still alive by the end of the day, she would give me a coupon to The Oak. I agreed, obviously. I went to her tree and sat on a branch close to her mob of one thousand annoying children. It wasn’t the worst experience I had ever had with them. They showed me how to use insectagram, and how to do stik tok dances. I chose the less annoying half of all the children and taught them how to use camouflage. I didn’t care about the other half. Later, about halfway through the experience, I saw a flock of bluebirds flying overhead. The sticks I had taught all knew what to do, but the ones I didn’t teach had no idea. They were running all around, and four of the bluebirds came down to eat them. When my daughter came back, she didn’t care, because the ones who got eaten were all super annoying, and she has five hundred other perfectly fine children. I used my coupon the very next day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media – Yellow Jacket! 9/13

Wassup Insectagram! I am Jack Vespula the yellow jacket! My close friends call me Jack the Stinger, because I’ve stung more humans than any other jacket I know. I live in North America, in the best nest with the best jackets. We’re about eight thousand strong. I am a worker, which means I do whatever needs to be done to keep the nest going. I feed the babies, I hunt for food, I go out and make sure that there aren’t any dangers nearby, and I do whatever needs doing. Drones don’t do as much. Their main purpose is to make sure that we all don’t die out, so they reproduce with the Queen. The Queen is our leader, and she lays all of the eggs. Whenever I go out to hunt for food, I look for sugary things like nectar, fruit, and sometimes this weird sweet sugary stuff that humans love to drink. Whenever I see a human with sweet stuff, I take as much sweet stuff as I possibly can, and if they try and swat me away, I sting them! They label me as one of the most aggressive insects for a reason! Watch out, humans!!

Today was actually the worst day of my entire life. When I was flying around the nest, I saw this stupid human walking right towards us! I told my fellow workers to attack it, so we swarmed it! But then! When we were stinging it, this stupid human kept going straight for our nest! That’s when we realized it was wearing a weird white thing to protect it! I have never been more enraged!! It got to our nest and started spraying it with this stuff that killed most of my swarm! The one thing that didn’t go horribly wrong was that the Queen had successfully made it out through the back exit. Now that we knew for sure that the Queen would survive, we kept on swarming this dumb human while it was distracted with trying to knock down our nest. Thankfully, it was too high for any of his tools to reach. I knew that I couldn’t sting it through that weird white thing, so I looked all around for at least one teeny tiny tear. A few seconds later, I found one! I quickly crawled through it and I stung that idiot 100,000,000,000,000 times!!!! After it had run away screaming, I called off the workers and we met up with the Queen. Then we started planning on where we should build our bigger and better brand new nest.

Social Media Post 9/6

Hello Insectagram! I am Culicidae, but my friends call me Martha Mosquito. I can live pretty much anywhere as long as there is stagnant water nearby, so watch out humans! This includes all of the continents, except for Antarctica, but that’s ok because I’ve heard that there are only weird feathery penguins and the occasional covered up human. My favorite time of day is night. If I stay out too long under the sun, it dehydrates me. Too bad humans aren’t nocturnal. My favorite food to eat is nectar, but when I have eggs, I have to switch over to blood so that they can grow stronger and healthier. My favorite type of blood to get is type O, and my second favorite is type A. When I find a human, I use my proboscis to stab them, inject something that makes sure their blood doesn’t clot, and then I take as much blood as I need. They never notice me because I am way too stealthy for them.

Today was a good day. There was this group of humans having a bonfire at night! And none of them had brought any bug spray! I was so lucky! They all knew that five thousand of my friends and I were there, but they were too slow and too outnumbered to do anything about it! I got so much blood from one of them!! After that, I went to a hidden puddle that only I know about, and I laid a cluster of two hundred eggs! After I had finished laying them, I rewarded myself with some delicious aphid honeydew. For those of you who don’t know, aphid honeydew is this sweet sugary stuff that these little green aphids secrete out of their butts. When I was full, I went for a joy fly. While I was flying, I passed those humans again. Next to one of them, I saw this dude mosquito flapping his wings in a certain way singing “Hey baby, hey baby!” I stopped to watch him for a few minutes, and then I decided that I was not impressed. I continued on my joy flight.