Our theme for this week was WEATHER! Our opening activity was “The World’s Worst Weather Channel” with Meteorologist Eli Beck putting on a weather show forecasting triangles with a chance of squiggly lines. To get us thinking about what constitutes weather and to get to know each other’s names better, we created weather-related nametags with elements such as clouds, sunlight, rain, etc. We then split into two groups for our experiment rotations. Group 1, led by Eli and Stephen, learned about condensation and pressure by making a cloud in a bottle and sucking an egg into a bottle with FIRE. Group 2, led by Emmie and Nina, did the Hot Water Rises Demonstration with different temperatures and colors of water, and an explanation of warm and cold fronts. Then we analyzed some real weather maps and made our own weather maps, presenting them news style. Yay!
-Emmie, Nina, Eli, Stephen
This week we had a blast learning about bodies of water. We started with an icebreaker where each mentor and mentee received a picture of a sea creature and had to find their fellow sea creatures. Then, each sea creature group received a map or a graph about ocean conservation and had to analyze it and report back to the whole group about what they learned. After that, we split into three larger groups: overfishing, eutrophication, and ocean acidification. In the overfishing group, Luke illustrated the issue by providing mentees with different tools to “fish” M&Ms from a cup. In the eutrophication group, Noah presented the process of eutrophication with candy. In the ocean acidification group, Jeremy tested the pH of water before and after the mentees used a straw to blow into the water. We finished the workshop off by showing that despite a variety of tools and time, it is really difficult to clean up an oil spill!
-Luke, Noah, Jeremy
This Wednesday we had oodles of OLEEP fun learning about how our land was shaped. We started out learning what everyone thought about landscapes in a four corners activity. Then we headed outside to make our own landscape. First we set up the glacier (chocolate pudding) and sediment (crushed oreos) and let it flow. Then we split into animal/yard maintenance equipment groups and grabbed our sediment (actual sediment this time). We blew through straws to simulate wind, dripped water to make a river, pushed water around and made waves, and built a sand mountain to finally erode with water, wind and glaciers made or water, air, and random objects. By the end of the activity, we were all Level 4 Landscapers. We then used our landscaping skills to become cartographers, making topographical maps on our knuckles, on the land, and on paper. After millions of years of geologic work, we enjoyed a well-deserved snack: our pudding glacier.
– Nina, Eli, Allison, Jack
The west (or east) wind blows to everyone who showed up to OLEEP this past Wednesday! On October 14, 2015, OLEEP members met for the first time in Equality. We had a fantastic time learning about what kitchen item each person embodies. Lots of blenders out there. Then we scrambled around the common area searching for the red post-its as we played “Where the wind blows.” Finally, we explored the science of ice cream making. But as all things with science goes, mistakes happen. Hypotheses are made! Aka our ice cream did not solidify, but we had a great time getting to know each other. Stay tuned for more. Until then, OOOOOOOOOOLEAP!
-Lauren and Melissa
On Saturday OLEEP ventured out to the wilderness of Lincoln Woods. After a bit of a rowdy game of “Ye-Ha” we embarked out into the woods. We made three pit stops to discuss how much geology ROCKS!! The first stop we talked about the different types of rocks and how they form. We commandeered some samples from the geo department and broke out into small groups and hypothesized possible methods of formation. Our second stop was a trip back in time (several billions years in time!) where we outlined the relative timescale and attempted to put the history of earth on a calendar year to better understand the relative timescale. We also then acted out the various types of tectonic plate boundaries and then applied that knowledge to see how that directly related to the topography of our world. Finally, we broke up into four small groups and discussed the cultural and scientific relevance of geology in our modern day. We discussed natural resources, water stability, climate change and seismology!
This week, Abby, Marina, and Lauren brought a little diversity into our workshops—biodiversity that is. Through fun true or false games and rotating stations, the workshop brought fossils back to life through conversation about the fundamentals of evolution and how fossils and lineage trees can map out life. We started our workshop with an open discussion about evolution and then broke out with crazy facts for both mentees and mentors to choose a side and discuss. Then we went straight into our fantastic stations—Survivor (a battle of whose animal was the fittest for survival), mapping lineage trees to use our knowledge to see evolutionary progressions, and fossil making to explain the importance of fossils. We finally wrapped up with adaptations we would make to best fit our own lives.