All posts by lspady

Science Mini Spark #12 What is Nanotechnology?

Listen to what these kids think of when they hear about Nanotechnology

Click here

Watch this short video a few times to learn about the tiny world that makes up pretty much everything.

When you are done watching the video one time all of the way through, get out a piece of paper and rewatch while you record some information. Pause as needed.

1. Record the measurement for

 *the human hair in nanometers (it is on the little piece of paper)

*the red blood cell

* when you are smaller than he wave of visible light

* the Rhino virus

2. What are nano materials? 

3. How can nanotechnology be used in the future?


2022-23 Challenge #3

It’s Fall Y’All and when I think of Fall, I think of FOOTBALL!

For this challenge, you will need to…
  1. Build football goal posts out of materials you have around your house.
  2. Fold a paper football (instructions linked below)
  3. Design an experiment, create a competition, or come up with your own original idea to use what you built.  Your project should include collecting some sort of data and analyzing it.
  4. Share your project with your EY Coordinator.

Paper Folding Football Instructions:

Football Image Source:

#90: A Ridiculous Long Way to Find Out the Day of the Week You Were Born

Do you know what day of the week you were born on?  If not, you could…

  1. Ask your parent(s)/guardian(s) if they remember the day of the week.
  2. You could “Google”: What day of the week was May 16, 1975 (that’s my birthday)


You can do this ridiculously long way…which is more fun IMO!

Step 1: Take the last 2 digits of the year in which you were born.

Step 2: Divide that number by 4 and ignore any remainder.

Step 3: Add the day of the month.

Step 4: Add the month’s key value.

  • January and October:Key Value = 1
  • February, March, and November: Key Value = 4
  • April and July: Key Value = 0
  • May: Key Value = 2
  • June: Key Value = 5
  • August: Key Value = 3
  • September and December: Key Value = 6

Step 5: Subtract 1 for January or February of a leap year.

Step 6:

  • Add 0 if the date is in the 1900s
  • Add 6 if the date is in the 2000s
  • Add 4 for the 1700s
  • Add 2 for the 1800s

Step 7:  Add the last 2 digits of the year.

Step 8: Divide by 7 and take the remainder.

  • Remainder 1 is Sunday
  • Remainder 2 is Monday
  • Remainder 3 is Tuesday
  • Remainder 4 is Wednesday
  • Remainder 5 is Thursday
  • Remainder 6 is Friday

Now double-check your work by searching on Google!  Bonus: Create a product that shows your work!  Look below for an example.

#89 Matrices


Matrices are rectangular arrangements of rows and columns.

In this mini spark, you will learn about the basics of matrices by watching 2 videos and taking notes.  You can extend your learning by completing the Marvelous Matrices badge!

Step 1: Start by taking out your math notebook.  Put the date at the top and put the title of this mini spark.

Step 2: Watch the 2 videos below and take notes with the new information you learned.

Step 3: Show your notes to your EY Coordinator and/or classroom teacher.

Peculiar Pets 2022 | Poetry Contest for Elementary

Peculiar Pets poetry writing contest is now open to 

elementary school students ages 6-12 years old.

What would your perfect peculiar pet be? An acrobatic bunny? A tech-savvy puppy? A vegan crocodile? A bird that’s scared to fly? A giraffe that likes to race? A superhero cat?

You can create an animal mash-up, be inspired by your perfect pet, or make your own awesome animal to write a poem about.

Visit the website for more information!

Download the Entry Form HERE!

Deadline:  Friday, October 28, 2022.

2022-23 Challenge #2

Newspaper Challenges

NOTE:  You don’t have to get the daily newspaper to do this challenge.  Ask your neighbors, ask your teacher and/or EY Coordinator and have fun!

Challenge # 1:  Build the tallest freestanding tower with only 2 sheets of newspaper and 12 inches of tape. No wedging or taping to the table or floor! You can manipulate the newspaper in any way you wish.

Challenge #2: Using 10 sheets of newspaper and 18 inches of tape, build a tower that holds a textbook 6 inches above the table for at least 3 seconds. The tower must be free-standing, which means no taping or holding to the table.

Challenge #3:  Use 3 large sheets of newspaper and 24 inches of tape to make a piece of clothing that you can wear.

When you’re finished with your challenge, take a picture and email it to your EY Coordinator.

2022-23 WMS EY Learning Opportunities

Welcome to the 2022-23 School Year!  EY at the middle school looks a little different than elementary.

You will not be pulled out of class regularly like you were in elementary.  Instead, there will be various contests/learning opportunities offered throughout the year.

In addition, your WMS teachers work extremely hard to offer voice and choice in their individual classrooms and provide many opportunities for your to challenge yourself.  Make sure to take advantage of those opportunities and continually seek out ways to take ownership of your learning.

The list below is not all-inclusive, but gives you a starting point for some of the opportunities available this year.  Be sure to fill out the Google Form so Dr. Spady can contact you when these opportunities become available.

Battle of the Books: This contest is a mix of comprehension book knowledge along with project based activities specific to the books. Students are not required to read all ten books, but instead the reading can be spread out amongst the team members.  Check out the list of books here:

United States Academic Pentathlon (USAD): Academic Pentathlon tests students in five different subject areas (math, literature, fine arts, science, and social sciences).  Students can choose to compete in 1, 2, 3, 4 or all 5 subject areas. There will be review sessions prior to the competition and the regional competition will take place in February.

Quiz Bowl: Quiz Bowl will meet on a weekly basis after school on Mondays from 3:20-4:00.  Additional after school times and Warrior Time may be added.  Quiz Bowl members will have an opportunity to participate in various Quiz Bowl competitions throughout the year.

Cribbage and Chess Club (CCC): CCC will meet on a weekly basis after school on Tuesdays from 3:20-4:00.

MATHCOUNTS: MATHCOUNTS provides engaging math opportunities to students of all ability levels in order to build confidence and improve attitudes about math and problem solving.  The WMS MATHCOUNTS Team will meet on a weekly basis after school on Tuesdays from 3:20-4:00.  We may also occasionally meet during Warrior Time.

Writing Contests:  Various writing contests pop up throughout the year and there are usually prizes involved.  If you’re a writer and would like to be notified when a contest starts, mark it on the Google Form.

Spelling Bee:  All WMS 7th and 8th graders will take a qualifying spelling test in their LA class sometime between Oct. 10-21.  Approximately 50 WMS students will be invited to participate in the WMS Spelling Bee which will be Friday, Nov. 18.  This will be an online test provided through Scripps.  The top 2 WMS students will be invited to participate in the District Spelling on December 16.

Geography Bee: All WMS 7th and 8th graders will take a qualifying geography test in their Social Studies/History class in early January.  Approximately 50 WMS students will be invited to participate in the WMS Geo Bee which towards the end of January/early February 2023.  During the WMS Geo Bee, students will also have an opportunity to participate in a Science Bee and a History Bee.

Don’t forget to fill out the Google Form!