Jefferson High School Science Department


Science Department Homecoming News Archive::
Mole Day Goodbye Mrs. Hageman
New Teacher
Lena Taylor    
Science Presentations Mrs. Vogel
ISTS Conference
Sir Isaac Newton's Birthday Long Term Substitutes
Winter Solstice
Science Bowl at Regionals 2007
Staff Changes 2007-2008
Astronomical Conjunction Staff celebrates homecoming
Lunar Eclipse KCC STEM day
Science Bowl 2008 Vernal Equinox
Taking the cell to Kindergarden Foundations of Science
New Science Teacher2006
New Trees Planted
Wing of the Building
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The Jefferson Science Department 
celebrates the fun of Homecoming 
week with "Twin Day" 

Goodbye Mrs. Hageman

Chemistry teacher Kara Hageman has taken a position at the University of Iowa in order to pursue her PhD.  You can contact her at  The sub for spring term is Sam Rozen. You may contact him at   

We wish Mrs. Hageman and Mr. Rozen the best in their new positions.

Science Presentations:
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The JHS science department is pleased to welcome Amy Sanford to the staff.  Amy is a 2008 graduate of Mt. Mercy College.  She student taught last term in biology with Mr. O'Connor.
We also want to welcome back Mrs. Vogel and Mrs. Taylor.  See below: 


Happy  Birthday 
Sir Isaac Newton!

Sir Isaac Newton was a scientific genius and is generally regarded as the first physicist.

  Christmas Day 1642                      Birthday:January4,1643 

This is because of the shift in the calendar system from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.  Calendar history

Interesting fact:  1642 is the same year as the death of Galileo
Books include: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) commonly known as the Principia, 1687:  Opticks (1704)
Famous quote: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" from a letter to another English scientist Robert Hooke in 1676.


Newton's cradle

Major work includes: 
including gravity and his laws of motion
What really happened with the apple?
Check this link.
Optics:  discovered white light can be divided into the spectrum with a prism and returned to white light.  

His was the theory that light was a particle.

Mathematics:  including the development of Calculus along with other mathematicians. 01-Courses/current-courses/08sr-newton.htm Newton/RouseBall/RB_Newton.html

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Welcome to the Winter Solstice
Celebrate the Seasons !

December 21, 2008 at 11:59p.m. Central Daylight Time, will be the winter solstice.  This is the time the Sun  reaches its farthest southern point in the sky.  It is the shortest day and longest night of the year and marks the beginning of winter. 

Read about how the tilt of the Earth's axis causes the seasons at this nasa site
DEC-21 @ 11:59   2008 

For a list of times and dates of the winter solstice check here.  The exact date varies from year to year. This site also lists the summer solstice and the equinoxes for each year.  Times given are UTC or Universal Time.

DEC-21 @ 17:49 2009
DEC-21 @ 23:38 2010

From the Astronomy Picture of the Day:
this composite picture below shows how the sunrise moves throughout the year:  
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Explanation: Does the Sun always rise in the same direction? No. As the seasons change, the direction toward the rising Sun will change, too. The Sun will always rise and set furthest to the south during the day of Winter Solstice, and furthest to the north during Summer Solstice. Today is Winter Solstice, the day of least sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere and of most sunlight in the Southern Hemisphere. In many countries, the Winter Solstice brings a change in season, as it is the first day of winter in the North. The solar heating and stored energy in the Earth's surface and atmosphere is near its lowest during winter, making it usually the coldest months of the year. On the brighter side in the north, daylight hours will increase every day from now until June. Pictured above are the different directions of the rising sun throughout the year above a small town in Greece.

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Long Term Substitute Teachers
The following teachers will be joining us for a while and we thought you might like to know who is filling in for whom. When Jessica Vasquez transferred to Harding a few weeks ago, Steve Pisarik joined our science team. Tracy DeMoss is teaching science for Sue Vogel while she is recovering from surgery. Barb Taylor is teaching physics and astronomy while Nora Taylor is on maternity leave. 


As mentioned above, Sue Vogel is recovering from surgery. When John Hegarty and Darius Ballard stopped by to deliver Sue a Cowboys’ football jersey with her name and room number on it, Sue was up and about, talkative, and looking wonderful. Of course the recovery is much slower than Sue would like but she’s being patient and taking good care of herself. We look forward to her return.

Lena Dorothy Taylor was born on October 24th at 5:41 p.m. to Nora and Bill Taylor. Lena was 8 lbs 1 oz and 20 inches long. She is doing well and changing every day. 

Welcome to the world! You will have a most amazing time with such wonderful parents.


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Iowa Science Teaching Conference
Traci Maxted was conference chair for the 2008 Iowa Academy of Science, Iowa Science Teaching Section (ISTS) annual fall conference held in Des Moines October 22 and 23. There were over 450 science teachers, presenters, vendors and exhibitors in attendance. Bryon Stump was also one of the participants. It was a very successful conference giving professional development opportunities to teachers and pre-service teachers around Iowa.

The keynote speaker was Brian “Fox” Ellis of Fox Tales International appearing as Charles Darwin, in honor of the 200th year of Darwin’s birth. The featured speakers included Dr. John Dunkhase of the University of Iowa on inquiry learning; three long time science fair and Iowa Junior Academy of Science supporters: Ms Alicia Schiller, Ms Nadine Weirather and Ms Amanda Kite, speaking on student opportunities in the state and Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director National Center for Earth and Space Science Education in Washington D.C. Dr. Goldstein spoke about the Voyage: A Journey through the Solar System project. This project includes a scale model of the solar system currently standing on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Voyage takes cosmic learning outside the walls of a classroom, offering a perspective that goes beyond science textbooks with field trips and online resources for teachers. GWAEA science consultants are working to make Cedar Rapids one of those Voyage communities.

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Lunar Eclipse

This is a picture of the February 20, 2008 lunar eclipse taken by astronomy teacher Mrs. Taylor. 
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2008 Science Bowl

For the fourth year in a row, the Jefferson High School Science Bowl team had a strong showing at the regional competition in Ames, IA on January 26, 2008.  This year the team was led by third year starters Daniel Frey and Julie Gudenkauf,  with team members sophomore Stephanie Wheeler and freshman Mary Elise Elam.  They were encouraged by team mascot, Seymour Squeakers, The Albino Rat of Death.  See if you can locate him in the pictures. 

From the left: Julie Gudenkauf, Mary Elise Elam, Sponsor Mrs. Vasquez, Stephanie Wheeler, Seymour Squeakers, Sponsor Ms. Herr, Daniel Frey.
The team was able to advance to the afternoon rounds which consisted of the top 16 teams out of the 48 participating. They went 4-1 in the morning round robin rounds and their only loss was decided by less than 10 points.  Jefferson had a very strong showing and were able to easily march into the top 16. They are already preparing for next year where they have aspirations of doing better and winning it all could be a reality.

For more science bowl pictures: Science Bowl 2008

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Mr.O'Connor's biology students from Jefferson High School took their class on the road as an outreach to elementary learners. The "Cell Day" focused on the study of human cells and paired the Jefferson students with kindergarten learners at Truman Elementary School. Together they worked on several unique learning activities.
To get the complete story go to
Cell Cookies! Going inside a "Cell" 
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Mole Day is October 23 (10-23).

          Chemistry classes celebrated today by meeting at 6.02 am for a viewing of Mole Men and mole & chemistry related treats.

           A mole is a number used in chemistry equal to 6.02 x 1023.   It is also known as Avogadro's number. This is the number of atoms present when the number of grams of a substance is equal to its molecular weight.  A molecular weight in grams (mole) of any substance contains the same number of molecules, 6.02 x 1023.

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