Welcome to Ms. Case's website! You'll find information and resources here for Life, Earth, and Environmental Science.

Middle School Weekly Overview with learning goals and homework: https://sites.google.com/a/hatfieldps.net/middle-school-weekly-overview/

Grade 7 Tech Ed website: https://sites.google.com/a/hatfieldps.net/technology-education/

For Ms. Case's quizlet dashboard, visit: http://quizlet.com/user/MsCase/

Cheek Cells

posted Oct 22, 2015, 8:42 AM by Emily Case   [ updated Oct 22, 2015, 8:54 AM ]

Students have been examining their own cheek cells under microscopes, and have been able to photograph what they see using their phones and iPods. Here's a great shot of a single cell, with the nucleus clearly visible in the center of the cell. Thanks to student G.B. for the microscopy and the photograph.

Human cheek cell stained with methylene blue. 400X.

Experiment Presentation Template

posted Mar 25, 2015, 9:18 AM by Emily Case

Experiment Presentation Template

What is the mass of the apple gourd?

posted Jan 18, 2013, 8:14 AM by Emily Case   [ updated Aug 26, 2013, 6:45 AM ]

In the fall, a student brought me an apple gourd (thanks!). It looks like a huge apple-shaped watermelon. My student told me that last year, he brought an apple gourd to his teacher and at the end of the year, it weighed much less than in the beginning. So, of course, we are measuring the mass of the apple gourd.

I returned from summer vacation to find the Apple Gourd in this condition (and yes, I had considered the possibility of this when I decided to leave it over the summer). It felt very light but I didn't weigh it for fear of contaminating the balance scale!

Egg Drop

posted Jan 18, 2013, 5:28 AM by Emily Case   [ updated Jan 18, 2013, 5:33 AM ]

Seventh graders in my Inquiry in Physical Science enrichment class faced the challenge of designing a vehicle to protect an egg dropped from the top of the bleachers. They had limited materials to work with. (For a list of materials they could use, see http://www.raftbayarea.org/ideas/Egg%20Drop.pdf). Check out our first round of results from the two teams!



Graphic Organizers

posted Nov 15, 2012, 10:06 AM by Emily Case

A graphic organizer is a visual way to portray information. They are useful for learning new material and as review and study tools.  Here are some good websites where you can find blank graphic organizers:


Lots for writing and planning essays: http://projectwritemsu.wikispaces.com/file/view/graphic+organizers.pdf

Transit of Venus: Tuesday, June 5

posted May 16, 2012, 5:29 AM by Emily Case

The transit of Venus will occur on June 5, 2012, when the planet Venus travels directly between Earth and the Sun. The next transit of Venus will not occur until 2117, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity (or twice, if you caught the last transit in 2004). Venus will appear as a small, dark spot moving across the Sun. Like solar eclipses, transits can only be viewed safely with protective eyewear; permanent eye damage or blindness can result.

Here's a website that describes safe viewing techniques: http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/how.html

Here are some local transit events:
Quabbin Reservoir, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomers' Association (5A's): http://www.amherstastronomy.org/venusindex.htm

The Astronomy Department of Smith College will hold a Venus Transit Viewing at the McConnell Rooftop Observatory on June 5 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm: http://www.smith.edu/astronomy/events.php (They also have regularly scheduled public stargazing events -- check it out!)

EarthSky News

posted May 4, 2012, 8:32 AM by Emily Case

Several students have expressed an interest in learning more about how to find constellations, stars, and planets. I subscribe to EarthSky News for updates on astronomical events and other scientific news. I think many students will enjoy their clear explanations, pictures, and videos. Their website is earthsky.org.

In Memory: Lynn Margulis

posted May 4, 2012, 8:29 AM by Emily Case

In November of 2011, my mentor and friend Lynn Margulis passed away at age 73. I worked in her lab at UMass during the summers since 1997. She was best known for her "serial endosymbiotic theory," which described the origin of eukaryotic cells and some of their organelles through the acquisition of free-living bacteria. The green, photosynthetic chloroplasts of plant and algal cells are one organelle that arose through endosymbiosis, as are the energy-releasing mitochondria. She was also a proponent of The Gaia Hypothesis, first proposed by Jim Lovelock, which proposes that the atmosphere, oceans, and surface of the Earth are regulated by the interacting activities of living things. Those interested in the work of Lynn Margulis can find more at her website, http://www.geo.umass.edu/margulislab/Margulis_Lab_Site/Welcome.html, or at this article which explores the development and impact of her theory: http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/endosymbiosis_01

Some of your favorite books

posted Dec 2, 2011, 12:30 PM by Emily Case   [ updated Dec 2, 2011, 12:31 PM ]

I asked some 8th graders what their favorite books are, and what books they would recommend to a fellow middle school student who does not enjoy reading. Here are some responses:
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (they're making a movie -- read the book first)
  • Maximum Ride by James Patterson ("It got me reading again")
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Percy Jackson series (starts with The Lightning Thief)  by Rick Riordan
  • A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

I have not read these books (except for the Percy Jackson series), but I did check out the reviews. You can check out my favorite books on the "About Ms. Case" page. Comment on this post to add recommendations or e-mail me your favorites.

Halloween snowstorm rated category 3

posted Nov 8, 2011, 6:50 AM by Emily Case

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration has rated this October 31 snowstorm a category 3, or "major" storm, on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale. Only five storms in the past decade have been rated a 3 or higher. Approximately one million people lost power across the northeast as a result of the storm. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2010/20100108_snowstorm.html

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