What is the Renaissance Festival? The Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 13-stage theatre, a 30-acre circus, an arts and crafts faire, a Jousting Tournament and a feast, all rolled into one non-stop, day-long, family adventure!
The 4th graders look forward to this field trip each year, and Ms. Anaya & Ms. Williams (don't let them fool you) love it to. Please be on time to school the day of the field trip, February 28th as the bus will leave promptly at the designated time. If you have any question please contact either Ms. Anaya or Ms. Williams at 480-924-1500.
When geologists from the University of Toronto discovered water dating back 1.5 billion years at the Kidd Mine in Ontario, Canada, in 2013, they thought they had hit the jackpot. However, digging further inside the world’s deepest base metal mine led to an even bigger discovery — water that has been locked in the earth’s crust for at least 2 billion years!
The team, led by Dr. Long Li, now an assistant professor at the University of Alberta, said the lukewarm water, discovered in May 2016, was flowing in abundance, often even splashing the researchers in their faces as they worked. The geologists were able to verify the age of the water by calculating the concentration of the various gases — helium, argon, neon, krypton, and xenon — trapped in the ancient liquid.
Photo Credit: University of Toronto
While discovering the world’s oldest known water is certainly exciting, what is even more so is the presence of sulfur, both in the latest sample and the one discovered in 2013. As you may know, all living organisms on Earth receive energy from chemical reactions that move electrons — electrically charged particles — from one place to another. Humans and most living creatures do it by a process called aerobic respiration, which takes the electrons derived from the food they consume and transfers them to the oxygen they breath. However, some types of bacteria have evolved to use an alternate method. They get their electrons from hydrogen gas and transfer it to sulfate, a dissolved form of sulfur. The energy released from the chain of chemical reactions is enough to sustain the microbes.
The researchers were already aware of the presence of abundant hydrogen in Canada’s ancient water. Their latest research showed that there was enough sulfate to sustain life. More importantly, Dr. Li and his colleagues found that the sulfur was produced by the mineral pyrite present in the rocks surrounding the water. When rock’s organic radioactivity split some of the water into its elements, hydrogen and oxygen, the latter dissolved with the sulfur to create the sulfate. The fact that the chemical is produced at the site, rather than coming from surface water, suggested that any microbes present are billions of years old.
Sulfide particles in the rock around the water (Photo Credit: University of Toronto)To investigate the possibility of living organisms in the water, the researchers measured the quantity of sulfate and found that it was 100 to 1,000 times less than would be expected. This led Dr. Li and his team, who published their findings in the journal Nature in October 2016, to speculate that the water is harboring a tiny population of microbes that are using the sulfate for energy. The researchers are now working with a team of microbiologists to try to trace the suspected “aliens” that may have been living in the ancient water for billions of years.
Dr. Li says, “Because this is a fairly common geological setting in early Earth as well as modern Mars, we think that as long as the right minerals and water are present, likely kilometers below the surface, they can produce the necessary energy source to support the microbes.” The researcher adds, “I’m not saying that these microbes definitively exist, but the conditions are right to support microbial life on Mars.” However, the researcher does recommend looking below the surface or the Red Planet.
Photo Credit: University of TorontoAlex Sessions, a professor of geobiology at the California Institute of Technology who was not involved in the study, agrees and says regardless of whether any single-celled bacteria are detected in the ancient water, the discovery that the sulfate is being generated by radioactive decay is a significant find. According to the scientist, it opens up the possibility of alien life surviving on water, sulfur, and radioactive elements on planets that do not have Earth’s hospitable environment.
In case you are wondering, according to Barbara Sherwood Lollar, a University of Toronto geochemist and the study’s senior researcher, the ancient water is “very salty and bitter.” Of course, the biggest reason to avoid taking a sip is that the liquid is “scientifically too valuable to waste like that.”
As is the case every February 2, thousands of people gathered at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania early in the morning to witness legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predict the length of this year’s winter. Given the gloomy weather and scattered snow showers, it appeared highly unlikely that the animal would see his shadow, the indication of an extended winter.
A mako shark is being dubbed the “Energizer Bunny” after traveling a distance of half the globe, or 13,000 miles (just over 21,000 km), in less than two years. According to researchers at the Nova Southeastern University's (NSU) Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI), it is the longest track recorded in the Atlantic Ocean by a tagged mako shark.
February 13, 2017
This week’s Snack Menu
Tuesday – Broccoli
Wednesday --- Strawberry
Thursday ---Banana Squash
We want to THANK MRS. Morgan for coming to our classroom two days last week to make sure that all of our cereal boxes were wrapped and ready for our party.
We want to thank Mr. LeBlanc for spending some time in our classroom and helping with our testing last Friday.
Thanks to those parents who are going to come and help us with our Party on Tuesday.
We have two new students who will be joining us on Monday, Justina Llamas and Mariah Mosqueda.
Your child’s daily, on-time attendance is critical to their success in school. And while some challenges to your child’s school attendance are unavoidable, it’s important to understand the impact of each absence.
A student is considered chronically absent if they miss only two days of school per month (18 days in a year), whether the absences are excused or unexcused. This is true for children as early as elementary school, when they are at a higher risk of falling behind in reading. Even one year of chronic absence can cause a child to fall behind academically and decrease a child’s chances of graduating from high school, which can have long-term consequences on their financial independence, physical well-being and mental health.
The good news? Attending school every day increases a child’s chances of success in school and in life.
Learn more at the following website; http://absencesaddup.org/