Friday, 1 December 2017

Hour of Code 2017 Activities

Here are some interesting activities to try during Computer Science Education Week or Hour of Code activities!

Video - "Anything worth doing doesn't come easy"
Sequencing Activities - headphones required for videos
Animation - headphones required
Games - headphones required
Art with Java - Intro - headphones required
Solar System (images are broken)

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Viscosity; Newtonian and Non-Newtonian Liquids

Viscosity is a measure of a fluid's resistance to flow. It describes the internal friction of a moving fluid. A fluid with large viscosity resists motion because its molecular makeup gives it a lot of internal friction. A fluid with low viscosity flows easily because its molecular makeup results in very little friction when it is in motion.

Consider how these liquids look when you pour them:
  • Water
  • Milk
  • Oil
  • Egg yolk
  • Honey

Newtonian Liquid: only temperature affects its viscosity

Non-newtonian liquid: other forces/factors affect its viscosity

Examples of Non-Newtonian Liquid: 

Corn starch and water
When a force is applied to the polymer chains, they straighten out and entangled with each other, raising the viscosity 

There is a product that is used in some safety equipment (knee pads, maybe helmets) that is like cornstarch and water and works to absorb the force and protect you called D3O. See for more details.

Neat Videos:

This next video demonstrating D3O is not something you can try yourself. Watch this only after asking permission from your parents when you are at home.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Paper Airplanes

Why do airplanes fly? It's harder to explain that some people might think. Check out this website for an approachable, yet comprehensive overview of the myths and reality of what makes airplanes fly:

It is Newton's three laws of motion that are the key to the explanation (not Bernoulli's Principle, which partially correct but overly simplistic.)

Newton's Three Laws of Motion

Newton's Three Laws of Motion in Plain English 
Ultimately, what best explains what gives wings lift is that the wing must push a lot of air down.

What a better way to explore flight than by making paper airplanes. Here are some straight forward instructions:

Very Easy:


The Tail Spin

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Caribou Math Contest: Calcrostic Questions

Calcrostic style questions are very common on Caribou Math Contests. Here are video solutions to several questions of this type:

  • April 2013, grade 3/4 question 11
  • April 2014, grade 3/4 question 12
  • October 2015, grade 3/4 question 11
  • November 2012, grade 5/6 question 18

  • There are also a lot more tips and suggestions available here:
    After watching a couple of solutions, try out the interactive calcrostic puzzle here:

    Thursday, 6 April 2017

    Scratch Program Ideas

    Ask Gobo Game

    Use the Gobo sprite, or any other character, for this game.


    Use the ball sprite, or another small sprite for this project.

    Tuesday, 4 April 2017

    How to Publish and Archive a Weebly Website

    The video above explains how to publish and archive a Weebly website.

    To log into Weebly, click here: Weebly Login

    • Make sure you uncheck "Remember me"!
    • Use your own school email to send the archive file to.
    Note: Weebly does not provide a very good archive of your blog. Blog posts themselves are not saved, so be very, very careful not to accidentally delete posts or the whole site.

    Friday, 31 March 2017

    Invasive Species in Ottawa

    Using, find pictures of these different types of plants, all of which are invasive species in Ottawa.

      1. yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus)
      2. garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
      3. purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
      4. European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica),
      5. Manitoba maple (Acer negundo)
      6. dog-strangling vine (Cynanchum rossicum & C. nigrum)
      7. curly-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)
      8. Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
      9. Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
      10. Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
      11. periwinkle (Vinca minor)
      12. wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)

        What is an invasive species?

        An invasive species is a plant or animal that would not naturally live in a particular habitat, but can be found there because of human actions. Furthermore, invasive species make it difficult for the native plants and animals to survive because they take over the habitat.

        Tuesday, 28 March 2017

        PYP Expo Quiz in Scratch

        Students in grade 6 participating in the PYP Expo are required to write a quiz related to their topic of inquiry for the Expo.

        • Include 5 - 10 questions
        • Create multiple choice questions or questions with  single word answers
        • Allow the user to enter all possible correct answers, e.g. If a multiple choice question has correct answer “B”, accept “b” or “B”. If the answer is one word, such as “water”, allow “water”, “Water” and “WATER”
        • Keep score of how many questions the user gets correct

        Bonus Work:

        • Make special pictures or sprites for your quiz
        • Make an introduction page that explains how to play

        How Google Searches Work and Google Search Algorithm Improvements

        Google has created some videos and websites to explain how their search engine works and is updated:
        Something to think about:
        • What are the dangers and risks of Google trying to predict or guess what someone is searching for?

        Internet Security

        The Goodwill Community Foundation has a collection of webpages that provide an good introduction into the basics of internet security.

        Tuesday, 21 March 2017

        Truth and Internet Searches

        It is important to learn that information from the Internet is not always true, even if it is one of the first results in a Google search:

        Explorers Activity

        Use this link as a starting point to learn about the information on the Internet:

        Note: To be able to keep your question page open in one tab while continuing your work, click on the links while holding the key - the link will be loaded into a new browser tab.

        Internet Search Engines for Kids

        It can be fun for children to search the Internet, but some websites are not designed for children to be able to understand them, and some post inappropriate content.

        Try these two search engines to find content on the Internet that should in general be suitable for kids:

        The Internet, Privacy and You

        The Internet is a lot like a shopping mall. It can be fun to visit, serves a very useful purpose, but children and adults alike need to keep their wits about them to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

        Try this Privacy Pirates game to test your knowledge of privacy on the Internet:

        Tuesday, 7 March 2017

        Pi Day 2017

        This year March 14 (3/14) is in the middle of March Break, so we will be celebrating Pi Day a few days early.

        The website that says it all:
        Here are some fun links:
        Pi's relationship with all things circular is well-known. But pi turns up in some other surprising places:

        Tuesday, 21 February 2017

        Electricity Safety and Conservation

        We will be having a special presentation on electricity safety and conservation tomorrow. But what is electricity? Here are some good links to help you learn more:

        Sunday, 8 January 2017


        The interactive game in the next Caribou Contest (on Wednesday January 18) is Chomp. This is a game that is simple to play, but without practice, can be difficult to win! Here is a link to the Caribou webpage where you can learn about Chomp and practice playing:

        When starting out, it is a good idea to figure out positions on the board from which there is no hope of winning, and then try to never give your opponent a board that is one step away from these losing positions.

        Here is a "cheat sheet" that shows some losing positions. (Note that for the Caribou Contest, the minimum board dimension is 4 x 4.)

        Here is another worksheet that can be used to keep track of the winning opening move for various sized Chomp games.

        Thanks to Serge Mister for preparing both the losing positions and winning opening moves sheets.