lunes, 18 de diciembre de 2017

A cave full of crystals

We are reading chapter 3. This is the first morning after professor Lidenbrock, Axel and Hans climbed down through the crater. The journey continues and they go into a big, dark tunnel. They are walking for a long time when they find thousands of beautiful crystals in the wall of the cave. Crystals, beautiful crystals... Would you like to have some crystals? You don't need to go to the centre of the Earth to get crystals. In fact, it is very easy.
We are going to prepare an experiment to get crystals in our laboratory. But you can do it at home too; in this case you need the help of your parents.
Take hot water and stir salt until no more salt will dissolve. As hotter the water more salt you will dissolve. Carefully pour the solution into a container and leave it somewhere it will not be disturbed (no movement, constant temperature...). Wait and you will grow beautiful crystals.
Take your crystals to our laboratory. You will get points to go to the centre of the Earth.

After Christmas hollidays we have the result of our crystallization experiment. Hear your have some pictures. Have you got your crystals? Take them to the laboratory!

Copper sulphate crystals obtained in our laboratory.

Crystallization I (Maxi Morteyrú)

Beautiful salt crystals, by Claudia Moreno Villegas.

miércoles, 29 de noviembre de 2017

Compasses for Professor Lidenbrock

Fortunately, we have compasses to give to professor Lidenbrock. You have made some compasses, so the journey is going on. Here you have one picture with some of your compasses. You can see that all of them work correctly, all of them point to the North.
By the way! What have you learn about magnetism? How does a compass work? Why is there a magnetic field in the Earth?
Don't worry!!! These are difficult questions for students of the first course of ESO. But that the study of magnetism has been very important to know the inner Earth structure. Try to answer them. You know... extra points to travel to the centre of the Earth.

lunes, 27 de noviembre de 2017

A compass to travel to the centre of the Earth

Axel, Hans and Professor Lidenbrock have begun the Journey. Now they have climbed down the crater and they are 2.000 meters from the top of Snaeffels. In this morning, after breakfast, professor Lidenbrock looks for his compass to continue the travel but.... he has lost it. So, you have to help him and you are going to make your own compass.
Basically, a compass is a magnetic needle that points to the North. But how a needle becomes magnetised? It is very easy. Take a sewing needle and a magnet. Rub the magnet against the sewing needle at least forty times always in the same direction. The needle should be magnetized.
Cut a circle of craft foam, cork or EVA foam. Take a glass of water. Place the needle on the circle and place it on top of water, just in the centre of the glass. If every thing is correct, the needle will begin to slowly turn around and finally the needle will point North and South.
Make this experiment at home and take your compass to our class. If your compass points to North  our heroes will continue the journey and you will win points.

martes, 21 de noviembre de 2017

How many stars can you see from your house?

We are learning about the atmosphere in class. As you can read in our book, air pollution is the presence of various substances or types of energy in the atmosphere in quantities that are harmful to living beings and the environment. Gases, solid particles.... perhaps these are the most known pollutants. But there are more. Noise, for example, is a type of energy that causes important effects on living beings. And light? Can light pollute our cities?
In my opinion we are lucky because some of you live in the city and some in villages surrounding Granada. I want to propose you an experiment. I want you to look at the sky at night. Take a sheet of paper and cut a frame of 3 cm each side. Through this window look at the sky to the area with the highest number of stars. Count them!!! We will discuse your results in the classroom.
Please, write comments with your conclusions!!

(Marc Imhoff/NASA GSFC, Christopher Elvidge/NOAA NGDC; Image: Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon/NASA GSFC)

An experience listening to music from your mp3 player

Are you fond of listening to music from a mp3 player? Do you always listen to music at the same level? Probably not; why? There is a lot of noise surrounding us. Cars, motorbikes, advertisements... every time is more and more difficult to hear to sounds we want to listen. I mean, our voices, conversations... This is what we know as noise pollution. And it is harmful to living beings. Humans can develop cardiovascular diseases due to noise pollution; in animals, reproduction or navigation can be altered. All of them will have hearing loss.
I propose you a simple experiment. You are going to listen to music in different situations. At night, when everything is silent; in a noisy environment (street with lot of cars and motorbikes, shopping malls...) and in an intermediate situation. Adapt the volume to the minimun you can hear and write down the number you read on the screen of your device. We will calculate in the classroom the average values. 
What are your conclusions of our experiments? Write them as comments. Try to do in English. I will pay special atention to your solutions for noise pollution!

lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

About volcanoes

This is amazing!!! Our heroes are going to travel to the centre of the Earth. They have discovered the entrance in the Snaeffels volcano. But we have read other messages with other volcanoes to begin our journey. But we have a little problem: we know the name of the volcanoes but we don't know where they are. 
If you want to go to the centre of the Earth you will have to discover where these volcanoes are: Mounts Etna, Apoyeque, Barva, Krakatoa, Kilimanjaro, Vesubio, Fujiyama and Mauna Loa. 
And I have found a postcard in an old book with a message that says that we can begin our journey from Spain. This is the picture. And I could only read a name: Santa Margarita. Where is that volcano? Are there other volcanoes in Spain? The answers as comments, please. You will win points!

And finally... If we want to begin our journey from a volcano, we must know how a volcano is.  Professor Lidenbrock is a geologist and of course he knows. But do you know how a volcano is? Please draw a volcano, locate all their parts and give it to me. I will put in this blog the best drawings, with extra points.
Iris's volcano 

 Claudia's volcano

Maxi's volcano

Pablo's volcano

 Rosa's volcano

 Ana's volcano
Lucia's volcano

And there are more volcanoes in this link.

Professor Lidenbrock, Axel and Hans arrive to Snaeffels

When Professor Lidenbrock and Axel arrive to the top of Scartaris, it is midnight but they can see the light of the sun in the sky. Probably the same image that you can see in the picture below. How it is possible to see the Sun in the midnight? What happens if you go to the Snaefflels volcano just in Christmas? Write your answers as a comment. You will win points to reach the centre of the Earth.

View from the Snaeffels on the summer solstice by Anjali Kiggal - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, (

miércoles, 8 de noviembre de 2017

The indecipherable messages

We had lot of messages. In my opinion there are several volcanoes to begin our journey. But two of them couldn`t be translated and I think that they are very important. Here you have those two texts. You will have extra point to your Journey to the centre of the Earth if you are able to read them. Please write the translated messages as comments.
 Ana's secret message
Pablo's secret message

domingo, 22 de octubre de 2017

Journey to the centre of the Earth. The secret message

"Go down into the crater of Sneffels before the last day of June, when the shadow of Scartaris falls across it, and you can go to the centre of the Earth. Arne Saknussemm".

This year we are going to read a fantastic book. An adapted version of Journey to the centre of the Earth, by Jules Verne. Everything begins when Professor Lidenbrock finds an old paper inside a book written by a scientist centuries ago. But he is not able to read it. Finally, with the help of his nephew Axel they can read the message. 

You are going to go to the centre of the Earth!! To begin with, you need to write a secret message similar to Saknussemm's. Read chapter one and invent your own code. Write the message in the same way that Arne but you have to choose another real volcano to begin your journey. Sign it as Arne Saknussemm. If you want, you can use invisible ink. Your mates will have to guess your message. Good luck.

Snaeffels volcano (Iceland), the door to the centre of the Earth.
(Axel Kristinsson from Reykjavík, Iceland - Snæfellsjökull in the Morning, CC BY 2.0,

And our first secret messages

Alejandra's secret message

Elena´s secret message

Nuria's secret message

Iris's secret message

Rosa's secret message

viernes, 20 de octubre de 2017

Halloween is coming.... and this year is special

But what do we know about Halloween? Since the fifth century B.C. Halloween has been celebrated as a cross-quarter day, a day halfway between an equinox and a solstice. Nowadays, Halloween modern celebration retains historic roots in dressing up to scare away the spirit of the dead. This is the reason why lot of people wear fancy dresses that day. As you know, we are learning about Astronomy in our clases in these days. In my opinion it would be funny to dress up your favourite planet, moon, comet, galaxy or nebula as a Halloween ahd write a short story about your character. I will put in this blog the best drawings and your stories.
But this year the 31st of October is a special day. It is the Dark Matter Day. Most of the matter in the Universe is Dark Matter. But... do you know what Dark Matter is? Never mind!! Time to look for information!!! Please, write your results as comments.
Have a Happy Halloween.

Halloween party at the Solar System

In Halloween, Harley Queen appears in the Sun. Harley Queen is an evil. Her boyfriends are the Joker. She calls the Joker Puddint. When Halloween finishes Harley Queen disappears in the Sun.
Laura Domínguez.

Once upon a time the planet Saturn became a zombie and wanted to eat. the stars. One day, at night, there was only the Moon and there were no stars because Saturn had eaten them.
Maribel Zamora.

Once upon a time, children were saying that in Halloween the wicked Moon was frightening the kids in the dark place in the city.
Nahia Souza

Rocío Fernández Rodríguez

In space was a very standard day for the Moon less for the Earth because it was Halloween. One day of disguise, eating candies and pass it very well. The Moon bends to the land how well it tas happening. I asked the Earth that it is Halloween and it answered that Halloween is a party where people disguise themselves as terrifying beings and they go to ask for sweets by the houses. And the Moon said that if it was a party superamusing and that party of America. The Moon very astonished asked to the Earth if you could joing and the Earth told that she was delighted but the Earth had to disguise herself. The Moon prepared a disguise of a bat and the Earth was very happy and she told the Moon that if someday there is a party they can disguise together and the enchanted Moon said yes and this story is over. Happy Halloween to the Moon.
Silvia María Gámez Calvente.

Iris Luque Barrio

This planet is called "black planet". There, live all the black cats in the universe. It's said that when someone lands in that planet all kind of misfortune happens to him for the rest of his life. Therefore, it is not recommended to aproach there.
Rosa Lens

Moon Charpy
This was once, in a country far away about 9000 years ago or so. A wizard from the country of Fancer made the moon dissapear. The inhabitants could not sleep. It was impossible. One of the girl or a magician or someone to make to the moon return the siquires ran to look for them. The next two days they brought a witch named Charpy and mixed up several spells and made the Moon appear. Everyone happy was made to sleep from that day in the country of Fancer. The moon was called Moon Charpy.
Every Halloween the children of that country draw the moon with the charpy face the witch who saved them.
Ana Cañas

About three millions years ago a star exploded very close to Mars. He was not a normal star because he had a strange illness after a few days and Mars noticed changes. Fangs had grown and he wanted to beat other planets. And from there Mars became the owner of the Solar System.
Lucía López Quesada

Once upon a time a vampire boy who did not like Astronomy... Astronomy and all subjects. His teachers always scolded him and he said that this was not his job to suck blod the humans. The sky learned of this and the cast was become in a very big star that gives a lot of light (the sun). Since then, he follows up by ignoring what was told.
Claudia Moreno Villegas

martes, 7 de marzo de 2017

Sundial Project

If you want to know what time it is, you probably watch at your wristwatch or mobile phone. But imagine that you live some centuries ago... Sundials are the oldests known instrument for telling the time. In fact, the earliest known sundial was made by Egyptians about 3.500 BC. As the Sun moves across the sky, the shadows objects cast move too. And people use this movement to know the time.
There are two parts in a sundial. One of them is called a gnomon; normally a stick that cast a shadow. The other one is a flat surface with marks, one for each hour of the day, where the shadow is projected. This is the dial plate. Those marks are usually numbered lines, the hour lines, that show the hours of the day. As the day passes, the gnomon' shadow moves around the dial; the shadow falls on a new line every hour.
Our Science Week is coming; and as every year, we are going to work about sundials. We are going to learn about these instruments, how they work, different types of sundials. And the most important... you are going to build your own sundial. Don't worry; it's very easy. Here you have some sundials made by students last year.

But, in my opinion, it is important to know about sundials in Granada too. How many sundials are there in Granada? Where are they? What kind of sundial is every one of them? Answer these questions as comments. Please, and if you can, take photos of those sundials. Send them to me and I will include your images in our blog.
And now, a very difficult question: where is the sundial of the picture below?

Construcción de relojes solares. Incluye la descripción de los principales tipos de relojes de sol así como plantillas de los cuadrantes solares para relojes orientados.
Algunos modelos de relojes solares.
Relojes solares otras semanas de la ciencia del IES Zaidín Vergeles.
La sombra del tiempo. Relojes solares del IES Zaidín Vergeles en el diario Granada Hoy.
Son muchas las páginas web dedicadas a la gnomónica y a la construcción de relojes solares. Algunas de las más representativas son:
Relojes de Sol de Mallorca.
Reloj andalusí. Web andaluza de relojes solares.
Relojes de Sol de la provincia de Málaga.
Asociación Amigos de los relojes de Sol.
North America Sundials Society.
Sundials on the Internet.

lunes, 13 de febrero de 2017

Life in a drop of water

A drop of untreated water is a very small world. Hundreds of small microorganisms like protozoans, bacteria and algae live there. We have colected different samples of water; in the laboratory we have deposited drops of water onto a glass slide, we have covered it with a cover slip and observed with a microscopy. There are lots of different small organisms living there. Here you have some pictures taken in our laboratory. We have observed protozoans like Paramecium or Vorticella, algae, even small pluricelular animals as rotifers, also known as wheel animals. We have found some parasite eggs too! 
What do you think about our experience? Try to draw one of these small organisms; I will publish the best drawings in our blog.

Parasite egg.
And here we have some of your drawings:

A Rotifer. Ainhoa Yolanda Monero Duperón, 1º ESO B.

A rotifer watched with a Foldscope. Ignacio Mengíbar, 1º ESO C