The past month was particularly busy for students in the Westwood Science Department. Beyond the exciting inquiry-based instruction that regularly happens, three different classes went on field trips to expand learning opportunities and bring science to life!
Marine Biology visited Woods Hole Oceanic Institute, or WHOI, on Cape Cod. It was a cold and rainy day but everybody had a great time! Students had the opportunity go out on a research boat through the Zephyr Education Foundation. While on the research cruise, students used a towed camera to see live images of the bottom while also performing bottom trawls to collect living organisms. Students were also able to see all of the different potential careers that are critical for the success of any research cruise. It was a truly remarkable opportunity. Afterwards, students learned about ongoing research on topics such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's utilizing the myriad of biodiverse organisms from the ocean. Students also had the chance to learn more about the WHOI’s submersible Alvin and take a look behind the scenes at the Woods Hole Aquarium.
Anatomy and Physiology students attended a Genetics Update Conference with Indiana University Professor Emeritus Sam Rhine. The conference pulled students from several local communities together to learn about topics such as polygenetics, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), and new research with CRISPR. Sorry! No photos allowed at the conference for copyright reasons!
Environmental Science students traveled to North Andover to visit Greater Lawrence Sanitary District (GSLD). Students learned firsthand about what happens to water when it goes down the drain. They marveled at the 26-million gallons of wastewater per day treated by the facility. GLSD is one of two plants that make fertilizer from the biowaste and they’re about to install two 1.6-MegaWatt generators that utilize the biowaste gasses to make the plant net zero energy.