Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 California Missions and Hearst Castle Trip

Following the California Missions trail along El Camino Real and seeing Hearst Castle along the way

We spent three days visiting as many of the California Missions as possible between San Mateo and San Luis Obispo. We managed to see seven of the 21 Missions in the chain, and we visited Hearst Castle, too. We learned so much about the Spanish desire to build churches to convert native peoples, and how their colonization of California still impacts our state today. The trip was the culmination of all of the research we have done into California history so far this year.

In the doorway of Soledad Mission
Mission San Antonio de Padua - the most remote mission.
Very beautiful scenery!
Because Mission San Antonio de Padua was closed,
we could only view it from afar
So close to an old tank near Mission San Antonio - it's on a army base.
How the Spanish made candles from tallow
The "Sheep Gate" at San Miguel. The drive the sheep through into the quadrangle to be sheered.
Everyone agreed that Mission San Miguel was their favorite interior
Inside Mission San Miguel
Courtyard at San Luis Obispo

Hearst castle exterior

Hearst Castle decorated for the holidays
The indoor swimming pool at Hearst Castle. Real gold on the floors!
Very beautiful view from the castle

Seals, elephant seals and the beach.
Beautiful scenery on Big Sur coast

McWay Falls

Fr. Junipero Serra Monument at Carmel Mission

Looking at models of missions

Signing the visitors book

Courtyard at Mission San Miguel

Bells at San Luis Obispo
Playing board games in our hotel room at night

Carmel Mission exterior
Interior of Carmel Mission

Very old music!

The Spanish were very small!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Erdkinder's Last Trip to the Farm for 2016

Green oaks Creek Farm, November 2016. 

We spent the day working in the ornamental garden, weeding and trimming. It's amazing how green and lush the farm is after the recent rains. All the shrubs and plants have suddenly grown so much!

We enjoyed our time at the farm. And on the way home, we stopped at Gazos Creek Beach off of Highway 1. It was a fresh and windy beach trip, but we were glad to enjoy our time together.

The jasmine has grown so much

Look how green the grass is!
Getting ready to weed the paths and patio.

Standing on the creek overlook

It's hard work, but we have fun!

Even the teachers go up to the tree house sometimes!

Overlooking the empty strawberry fields.

Showing our love for the farm.

Gathering our belongings and getting ready to leave.

Beauty at the beach

Skipping stones
So many birds at the beach

Discussing our beach findings.

The wind is getting up - it's almost time to leave.

Rock with a hole inspires artistic photo!

Creek empties into ocean.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The EK observes Mars!

As November draws to a close, we continue our way into the winter with the usual colder weather and less daylight - perfect conditions for Astronomy! EK and Robotics students this year have had the opportunity to use scientific equipment from the California Academy of Sciences including optical lenses, an Arduino-powered rover, and several carefully designed Astronomy labs. Below, you can see the students planning out the orbit paths of Mars and Earth using mathematical ratios, the Cartesian Coordinate Plane, and a laser to track retrograde motion! The experiment is conducted in three dimensional space and data is recorded in two dimensional space to explain the backwards motion of Mars in the night sky.

Looking up information about Mars.

 A student uses Cartesian Coordinates to sketch out the approximate planetary orbits.

Reviewing key terms and begins typing up her Lab Report.

 The approximate orbits begin to take shape as we add more data points.

Time to double check the math and perfect the approximate orbits!

 Our two-dimensional "night sky" where we will record planetary movement using a laser and marker.

 Students begin to model the planetary orbits in three dimensions. 

 Adding stars to the night sky for a more realistic background.

 The night sky looks great!

After making points with the laser, students connect the dots to simulate the movement of Mars. 

 Connecting two spaced out data points.