vargas island, summer, 2010

Monday, December 17, 2012

Group Assignment: Geology Test

Without using any electronic or paper materials, get together in your group and be prepared to answer the following questions on Wednesday.  You will be given 11 by 17 paper and you will be asked to write full answers with illustrations.   You may work in groups of two or three.  
Each question below in bold is worth 4 marks. total:  44 marks.

1.  Draw a diagram of the earth illustrating:
a. the layers
b. the types of rock
c. where you might find uranium, iron, nickel, silica, granite, basalt
d.  where the three different earthquake waves might be found

2.  a. What evidence supports the theory of continental drift?  
b.  explain how mantle convection relate to the theory of plate tectonics? 

3.  In the following hypothetical situations, 
i.  decide what type of plate boundary or geological phenomena  are most likely involved
ii. and give evidence for your conclusion.
iii.  what other geological forms can you expect to find, besides the ones mentioned?  (ocean ridges, rift valleys, tall mountains, earthquakes, tsunami?
iv.  draw the plate interactions or the mantle interactions involved.

a. The islands of Antony are a series of  northern islands located in near the arctic circle.  It contains shield and cinder volcanos but has never had a really large volcanic eruption.  There's never been an earthquake in the history of the island chain.

b.  The Trek Triassic Trench is an ocean trench containing mysterious deep sea creatures such as anglerfish and giant squid, and trek creatures....  Occasionally these animals get washed up on a long coastline.  This coastline is a very popular vacation spot because a visitor can spend the morning scuba diving and the evening skiing in the mountains, a 2 hour bus ride away from the coast.  If you ride a train from the coast, then after about  three weeks travel, then  miles of farmland can be explored.

c.  A series of islands named Palejko, have tall, violent volcanoes that erupt every 500 years.  The mountains have snow on them, and the tropical rainforest below contain a biodiversity of organisms.  black rock dominates these islands.  Occasionally a tremor shakes things up.

d.  The town of Asteneh is known for being a grape growing region, producing award winning merlots.    The town is located at the junction of two rivers.  But otherwise, the land is totally flat for 500 miles around.  Last year, the town was shaken by a strong earthquake.  As all the astenehnians live in yurts, they were totally unaffected.

e. When the town of Asteneh had an earthquake, several waves were sent out.  draw two seismograms:
i.  one depicting the seismograph of a town that was 50 km away and
ii. another depicting the seismograph of a town 100 km away.

4.  What are the 3 kinds of earthquake waves?  compare and contrast them by indicating
a.  the nature of their wave
b.  the material they tend to move through
c.  how they might look on a seismograph
d.  their speed.

5.  Draw how earthquake waves move through the earth indicating the P-wave and S-wave shadow zones.

6.  Explain how an ocean ridge can produce magnetic striping patterns.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

geology stuff

   -the provincial exam study package, do chapter 12 section only.  chapter 10 and 11 are no longer on the provincial. answer key at the end of the package. 

   -any of the older exams I have posted in the past, including those from old grade 12 provincials . Note that from those gr. 12 tests, the following kinds of questions only:  plate tectonics, Continental drift theory, volcanos, earthquakes, including the kinds of earthquake questions practiced in class.
   -any of the old grade 10 exam questions on geology.  A few of the more challenging questions would be questions from some of these old  provincials -  gr. 10 and 12 so you would gain a great advantage by poring through them.

you must be very familiar with key examples of geological features found at the correct places.  for example, Hawaii is an island system which has shield volcanos, is associated with hot spots.  African Rift Valley is a divergent boundary,  pacific north west is a subduction zone and nearby there is a trench, volcanos, earthquakes.  Japan is a volcanic island arc, etc.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

test on geology diagram on Nov. 23

Test on the geology diagram covering:
intro to continental drift theory
intro to plate tectonics and basic plate movements
layers of the earth

The provincial study package for our new unit, geology is here.  Please note that ONLY CHAPTER 12 APPLIES.  chapters 10 and 11 are no longer on the provincial exam.

some of you mentioned that the chem study package might be useful to you.  here it is.

Monday, November 5, 2012

test coming up on november 15

We have finished chapter 2 and started chapter 3.  We did a practice test based on provincial questions. You will get a test on the biology unit on November 15.  these resources may be useful to you:

This is your checklist of studying:
This is your most useful resource showing practice questions.  
Biome notes (teaching notes)

there were also notes on carbon cycle, ecological succession and a handout on evolutiony
and your practice test ought to tell you where you need to study the most.

The test will be very similar to the practice test but will include more questions from chapter 2 and 3.  it would be provincial exam style questions again.  all multiple choice.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Section 2.1, Energy in Ecosystems

Summary: Today we studied

  •  the 4 trophic levels in an ecosystem:  the producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer
  • the different kinds of consumers in an ecosystem, including: herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, detrivore, decomposer.  
  • a food pyramid of biomass, and explored how abiotic factors may change the pyramid shape.

Homework: Read the text 2.1 and

  • make a list of vocabulary words (in bold) and their meanings.  
  • Do practice questions from section 2.1 in the   BC provincial exam study guide for biology unit.  do the fill in the blanks and the multiple choice questions.  The answer key is at the end of the document so check your work.  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Summary of our Carbon lesson

This is a summary of our notes today (below).  You can see that glucose production and consumption are driving forces for many of our adaptations.  You eat, breathe, and get rid of waste to serve some basic biochemistry going on inside your cells.



1.     CARBON IS A BUILDING BLOCK for all life

Thursday, September 27, 2012

quiz october 2


3 QUESTIONS the textbook Check Your Understanding 1.1 AND 1.2
4 QUESTIONS from the  BC provincial exam study guide for biology unit sections 1.1 and 1.2
3 QUESTIONS ON Camosun Bog
5 questions from the key words and concepts from the diagram I gave out (ecosystems).  

Monday, September 10, 2012


1.  review your biome notes.  and diagram

2.  from your text:  do all the section 1.2 questions.  I'll have an answer key for you next day

3.  from your BC provincial exam study guide for biology unit, do the 2.1 section on a SEPERATE SHEET. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DOWNLOAD THIS STUDY GUIDE.  This will give you practice in provincial exam style questions

4.  YOU DO NEED TO DOWNLOAD THIS CONSENT FORM AND BRING IT TO CLASS NEXT DAY.  If I do not have your parent or guardian consent, you will stay behind on friday.  Note that I'm not in the school on a day1.  

On another note, have  a look at this Northern Flicker: I saw two this morning on school grounds.  look around for it!  It sounds like this: I heard the "week, week" sound...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Welcome to Trek Science - log into nicenet

Welcome to Prince of Wales Secondary and congratulations for your acceptance into the Trek Outdoor Education program.  I will be one of your science teachers this term.  In my class,  we will study the following topics:  biology, geology and radiation.  We will learn using discussion, class activity, labs and field studies.  There will be two museum visits to enrich our learning experience.

We will be using the nicenet internet classroom assistant to send and receive messages and to view documents.  This trek science blog will be used for all homework notifications.  

Please go to the nicenet website.
Sign up with your first and last name and enter this class key:  S337036B55

Sunday, June 17, 2012

office hours

my office hours this coming week are as follows:  Bring your text, sample exams or anything you would like to review.
Monday: 12 - 1pm (I'm supervising exams morning and afternoon)
Wed:  1 - 2:30
Friday:  10 - 12

Monday, June 4, 2012

Amazing Race field trip, Friday June 2

Please alter this field trip form with changed dates, initialed, or, alternatively, if you have already handed this in, then have your parent/guardian write a note attached to this form permitting you to go on a postponed field trip to UBC on Friday.  Your cheque also needs to be handed in. On Friday we will be doing AMAZING RACE.  Meet at the Beaty Museum at 1pm. for attendance.

map is here

The three locations for amazing race is:
The Beaty Museum
the CIRS Building
The Earth and Ocean museum

If a student has not handed in a consent note (the one I described in class), and did not hand in a cheque or request financial assistance, then your name will be given to the math teacher, you will stay back at PW on Friday.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Radioactivity study guide and summary notes

BC provincial exam study guide for Radioactivity is at the end of this document:
Unit 2 study guide.  start on page 58. Answer key at the end of the document.

my study notes/summary may be downloaded here.

today I am absent in the AM but present for our lesson in the PM.  we will go over radioactive decay problems. after school I am here til 3:45

Friday, May 25, 2012

Going over test next block

Last period's test is a preview of the kinds of questions you may expect for the provincial exam, and will help you become used to the wording.  We will consider it a practice test and review the questions next period.  Have your Geology Study Package and all your notes ready for this review exercise.  Then we will test this material again next monday.  Questions?  see me after school on day1s for help.

Monday, May 21, 2012


a reminder of the geo test on FRIDAY. it will be all multiple choice and based on

   -the provincial exam study package, chapter 12 section only.  chapter 10 and 11 are no longer on the provincial

   -any of the older exams I have posted in the past, including those from old grade 12 provincials . Note that from those gr. 12 tests, the following kinds of questions only:  plate tectonics, Continental drift theory, volcanos, earthquakes, including the kinds of earthquake questions practiced in class.
   -any of the old grade 10 exam questions on geology.  A few of the more challenging questions would be questions from some of these old  provincials -  gr. 10 and 12 so you would gain a great advantage by poring through them.

you must be very familiar with key examples of geological features found at the correct places.  for example, Hawaii is an island system which has shield volcanos, is associated with hot spots.  African Rift Valley is a divergent boundary,  pacific north west is a subduction zone and nearby there is a trench, volcanos, earthquakes.  Japan is a volcanic island arc, etc.

In case you wanted to see this, the provincial exam study package for chem.  here it is.  
Good luck

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Camosun Bog and Amazing Race

consent form for two field studies can be downloaded here:
Camosun bog and UBC Amazing Race Consent form.

download and return to me next class please. all fields must be signed.

On May 9th, you will go to Camosun bog to learn about invasive species, human interaction in an ecosystem and a classic example of secondary succession.  You will go to the bog during your science block only and not during math class, though you may need an ED from math if you are the last block. BRING SOMETHING TO WRITE WITH . Your cheque for UBC is due on this day. 

Both classes will participate in Amazing Race where you will need to photograph your entire team with certain specimens, artifacts and sustainable features of a sustainable building within three buildings:  beaty museum, CIRS building, and Pacific Museum of the Earth.  only Beaty and PME has admission/donation prices (Beaty museum has a group cost of $9 and PME has a recommended donation of $5 for group visits) = total is $14.   CIRS has no cost.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

UPDATE - Earthquake assignment

From feedback I have received:

Backpack is due tomorrow.  A one page list of the contents of your pack and the group names ought to be handed in.

For those of you who hand in all the pages in a completed assignment tomorrow, your hard work will be recognized with extra marks.  for those who choose to hand in the pages on Monday, you will not lose marks.  Final deadline is Monday.  See the links on Earthquake preparedness and Tsunami preparedness for ideas on how to do these pages.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Geology stations, examine rocks, review worksheets

We will be rotating through three stations next period:  Each station will be 17 minutes.

station 1 first row:  examine rock samples, observe the properties and conclude how they relate to our geology unit.

station 2 second row:  complete a worksheet on continental drift and plate tectonics. put your answers on a seperate sheet.  hand in your answers and keep the worksheet for study purposes.

station 3 teacher's bench:  Mini lesson on convergent plate boundaries:  Learn about convergent boundaries and make sure your previous worksheet notes are complete.

those who are retaking quizzes will do so in the fourth row

HW:  note the EARTHQUAKE group assignment due on this coming thursday to coincide with the district wide earthquake drill.  Up to 4 people may work on one assignment.  Each person can take care of one page.

look through this DYNAMIC EARTH website, which summarizes many of our concepts so far.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Earthquake assignment

photograph from the Globe and Mail article:


Picking up the pieces after Japan's tsunami, giving ‘garbage’ new meaning

In addition to our quiz in the post below, you also have a group assignment.  This is a research assignment on earthquake preparedness. Download it here:
Due on May 3, the day of the "big one", a government mandated earthquake drill that every public school must do once a year: an annual reminder that the big one is an expected event on our BC coast.

BC Earthquake Preparedness website
BC Tsunami Preparedness website

Quiz next block: note correction

first, a correction of typo:  the core of the earth.  I mentioned magnesium in the outer core.  this is an error. there is no magnesium

According to many sources, the core has sulfur and iron and nickel.
      outer core is liquid iron and nickel
      inner core is solid iron (and nickel too but this is not noted in provincial exams...)

Here's a geophysics site with more details.

Quiz next period on:

parts of the earth:  name the layers and write a short description of their properties
types of plate boundaries:  divergence, convergence, transform
hotspot movement

We will examine rocks next period too.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

test next period on April 17th, updated!!

The test is a unit test for our biology chapters 1,2, and 3. This test has very few surprises... one goal of this exam is to help you familiarize yourself with the language and images for our high stakes provincial exam.

There will be 50 multiple choice questions 

Study the following sources: The first two sources will prep you for the final.
Some questions will be either directly from here or reworded from these questions, with edits:
Ministry website for provincial exams  find all the sample exams, biology portion only:  20 MC questions

BC provincial exam study guide for biology unit  look at the sample multiple choice questions. 10 MC questions  based on the MC and  fill in the blank questions in this guide.  there is an answer key at the end of the guide.

Next sources ensure you have reviewed and studied your notes:
Some questions will be from our class notes:  10 MC questions

biome notes 1
biome notes 2 pyramids.
Nutrient Cycles
This class diagram

Add to this:
5 MC questions from our
The evolution worksheet we went over last day.

5 MC questions regarding our class work in the kerrisdale ravine, and PW garden and our Carbon dioxide lab.

bonus marks to make a song about our biology unit. perform it to the class the day after the test.
example of a song by ex-trek students: amount of bonus marks based on the cleverness and catchiness of the song.

DNA replication song
this one by P Carwana's sister: Not so complicated

and this one by a human biology professor from Stanford (Tom McFadden, he's the lead singer): a song about the stress response: (human biology topic, biology 12). You inherited your stress response from fleeing predators on the savanna:  but the response may be stimulated by mental stress...such as studying for exams.
The Lion the Watch and the Hormones

and if you want to re-watch the dancing spider video, google the words "jumping spider" and "Wayne Maddison".  Dr. Wayne Maddison is the director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and his research subject is the jumping spider.

I'll be checking school email frequently this weekend so please email any questions to clear up stuff

good luck

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

chapter 3 and homework for Thursday

finish 3.2 and 3.3 questions.
Look at the Ministry website for provincial exams. Click on Sample Exams


On a page, collect 4 challenging questions that relate to our biology unit so far.  Identify which topic it covers and explain why this is challenging (in a sentence).
topics are:  chapter 2: biomes, climatographs, ecosystems, food pyramids, food webs, food chain, nutrient cycle, and chapter 3:  ecological change due to succession, evolution, disaster, human impacts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Work Party on Wednesday and quiz on Friday. Hand in Carbon dioxide lab

QUIZ ON FRIDAY: There will be a detail-oriented quiz on Friday on the  Nutrient Cycles notes.

WORK PARTY:  On Wednesday, be prepared for outdoor work in any weather.  We will be using garden tools to move plants, dig out turf and also move 6 yards of soil up a hill.

You did a Carbon Dioxide lab on the day before spring break.  You were to write up a summary of what you learned in one page. Summarize at least five properties of Carbon dioxide that you observed that day.  10 marks.  Hand that in on Friday.

IF YOU WERE ABSENT FOR CARBON DIOXIDE LAB:  Those of you who have an excused absence for that day, your alternate assignment is this, also 10 marks:

Prepare a map and answer the questions below.  Your assignment is two pages.  page one is a labeled map and page two answers the questions in short answer, sentence form.
Page one:
On a map, find places in Vancouver that act as all the different types of carbon sources and carbon sinks:
Page two:
Carbon sources come from many activities in Vancouver.

  1. Identify at least 5 of them
  2. write about how citizens of Vancouver can find an alternative

Find one example each of Carbon sinks that can be found in the form of

  1. forests
  2.  bogs, 
  3. bodies of water
  4. areas where there are shelled marine invertebrates. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Homework update and BC Green Games

Hello Treks.  please have a look at the Nutrient Cycles notes.  Read this.  It summarizes section 2.2 of your notes.

Some good news during this difficult time:  BC Green Games:  take some time to be inspired:  Log in and cast your vote for some inspiring action for sustainability created by your peers, supported by their teachers. I'm amazed at the number of projects out there. Truly this site demonstrates the power of collective and collaborative action as we have thousands of youth and their teachers working towards positive change.

I know many of you are from different schools, and each school is unique in its contribution.  Show your support to those students who put their energies into sustainability! The following projects are PW projects which involved students from the Trek Program, Mini and Main School (plan-it earth had ex treks as leaders!) and also from our bi 11 program (bog buddy) and mini (sustainabiity prezi).  Finally the Garden club blog highlights our PW community Garden.

log in, get inspired and vote!

PW sustainability Prezi

bog buddy program

PW Community Garden Blog

Plan-It Earth Student Conference

Monday, February 27, 2012

ecological pyramids - QUIZ NEXT PERIOD!!!

Today we went over the Check your Understanding questions in the text, section 2.1.  There will be another quiz last period.  the class average on the last quiz was pretty good so lets keep up the great work!

The ecological pyramid notes are here.  Next period we will do an assignment examining ecology in the school yard.  be prepared to complete an assignment illustrating a pyramid and an ecological web for a section of PW.  It will be due the same period so you would need to work fast!

Read over section 2.2 as it is on nutrient cycles.  Look at carbon cycle particularly.  Our lab on Friday will be on carbon cycle.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kerrisdale Ravine

Yesterday, we took a walk.  In the middle of the field, we reviewed the concepts of two ecological pyramids: The pyramid of biomass and the pyramid of numbers.  This involved an example about students mowing lawns and shooting rabbits, and putting snakes in bags to be weighed.

Next, we walked through the kerrisdale ravine.  We explored the impact of the urban environment on a natural ecosystem.  There were some remnants of the original ecosystem still recognizable in the ravine, including a modern version of the creek that was once there.

Write a one page summary of what we learned that day.  Include your
 observations on

  • native species you observed
  • native species you saw evidence of but did not directly observe
  • competition
  • parisitism
  • abiotic factors
  • generally anything that interested you about the ravine
This is due next period.  one page only please.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chapter 1 quiz next period

We finished up chapter one.  First block, we looked at a typical day of an organism.  second block we tested Cole and Joelle's eyes to see if they could be good predators!  They both had great binocular vision!

Homework is to do the BC provincial exam study guide for biology unit for chapter 1only.  don't worry about chapter 2.  Note that an answer key is provided at the end of the study guide.    There will be a quiz on this next day on everything we have done so far. Email me if you have any queries.

Some of you asked for the biodiversity diagram.  it may be retrieved by clicking on the image below:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review of biomes. p. 33

Today we went over the questions on p. 33 and reviewed the major factors affecting biomes.

 For homework, I gave out an 11 by 17 inch diagram summarizing section 1.2 in your text.  You will write two statements under each word I wrote based on what you read in the text.  this is due next period.  I read more of your reflections on the wilderness and the city.  I noticed that many of you wanted to see the city "intertwined with wilderness" and offered a view of a city that reflected this.

If you have an electronic device that you bring to class, download this useful study guide.  I will be assigning homework from this guide, which has an answer key at the end of it.  when you do this homework, do it on another sheet of paper.  
I do not expect you to print this document: 
BC provincial exam study guide for biology unit

Friday, January 27, 2012

Welcome Spring term off-Trek Students

You wrote eloquently of your trek experiences.  This writing exercise was meant to be a transition for learning about our biosphere and biodiversity.  As I read them I notice a common theme:  Your outdoor experiences engaged your senses.  In the wilderness, you experienced great beauty and drama in your surroundings.  Your mood was happy, peaceful, joyful.   But you were physically very tired due to all the exercise.  In the city, as it is now, you experience noise, car exhaust.  The mood is mentally tiring and stressful. And you do not experience as much physical activity.  Interesting contrast.   You also observe that Vancouver does have pockets of nature in the city which you would like to expand. And you point out that the city has its advantages as density adds liveliness, culture, art, community.   It has been fascinating to read your accounts of the contrast between the wilderness and the city.  I will share your ideas with a planner next week.

Class notes for the biology section are here:
Biome notes, for chapter 1, section 1.1 and 1.2
 Next period, Jan 31, you will receive a worksheet to make notes on section 1.1.

keywords are:
biomes, biosphere, ecological heirarchy, abiotic, biotic, factors influencing biomes, climatographs. 

familiarize yourself with these concepts for thursday class.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

biomes, motion

provided by our text for use by our students:
bc exam study guide for unit 1
and also for unit 3

and the BC SCIENCE website links to the  provincial exam website to try sample exams
we will finish radiation in one week