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Showing posts from August, 2010

Traditional plants of Pohnpei

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The SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany class visted the Pohnpei Traditional Plants ethnobotanical garden at the Pohnpei campus. This term Totoa had Ben lead the presentation. As I had explained to the class, ethnobotanical knowledge resides within a cultural and linguistic context. Having Ben present the plants in the language of their usage on the island on which the field trip was held was most apropos. The students had the opportunity to experience ethnobotany as an ethnobotanist might on an initial visit to a foreign culture.

Ben presents topwuk and oahr above. Although I had coincidentally brought oahr to class on the first day, many of the students appeared to have forgotten the plant. Topwuk and oahr are both consider Premna obtusifolia, although oahr is both vegetatively and florally distinct from topwuk.
A close up of topwuk.
The group listens attentively to Ben. Kasinta and Edelyn down in the front. Arrayed behind them are Dayne, Sharon, Antoinette, Rophino, Lloyd, Kimberly, Nixon, Saman…

RipStik accelerated motion

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In a previous article I shared the use of a RipStik in SC 130 Physical Science to demonstrate linear constant velocity motion. The ability to generate a relatively constant velocity by swizzling at a constant rate on level ground was useful to that demonstration. 

Today I first introduced the calculations necessary to determine the acceleration as the change in velocity divided by the change in time. I used a hypothetical example where the acceleration was 2 m/s² thus y = x². I made a table time (s) versus distance (m) with x-values at 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 seconds. I squared the times to generate artificial distances. 

I used the table to calculate the velocity from zero to two seconds and from six to eight seconds. I then used the two velocities and the overall time difference to calculate the average acceleration.


With this example given in class, I moved to the porch to generate actual data.

I began by explaining the set-up. The previous week I had measured the inter-pillar distance at 4…

Nihco KSO, birthday, and Wone

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A three picnic Nihco Saturday started off with a visit to the Raleigh Welly's birthday boy, celebrating his first birthday.


Gordon, Emliana, daughter, and the birthday boy.
Tulpe and her twins Sharon and Vanessa.

A second picnic celebrated Edwig Miguel's principalship at Wone Elementary school, Kitti, Pohnpei.

Edwig enjoys the moment with Daina to his right.

Jacelyn and her nephew.
 Rocketson Herman.
Making the power.

Volleyball.
Neelma and Chelsea.

The third picnic, hosted by the Kosrae Student Organization included a sleeping lady from the island of the sleeping lady.

Lycophyte and monilophyte presentations

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Students in SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany gave presentations on the botany and local names of cyanobacteria and the primitive plants.

Antoinette and Monalisa present the moss life cycle.

Kimberly and Samantha cover lycopodium morphology including microphylls and strobili.

Dayne gives a lively presentation on the pronunciations of fern names in Pingalapese .

Elizabeth and Deisleen cover the dialectical sound differences on Pohnpei.

Rolling balls and linear relationships

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Physical science laboratory two was revised spring 2010 to include five different rolling ball speeds including a stationary ball. Coupled with a Monday RipStik time versus distance data gathering activity that led to a linear regression homework, the week now builds solidly on the concept of linear regressions introduced in the density lab the week before. The use of five balls speeds leading to five linear regressions provides a good basis for a discussion of how slope relates to velocity.

Ceasar releases the ball from the top of the ramp in an early morning run.

The roll from a quarter ramp was done by Ceasar and I only. I had broken up a branch of Albizia lebbeck and was using the pieces as timing marks while chasing the ball. Thus when the rest of the class rolled in between 0815 and 0820, the procedure of using sticks was was already in place.

As Loioshi calls out the seconds, Anna Belle leans in to place her stick. Evelyn waits for the two second mark to be called by Loioshi. S…

Wading, Waiting in the River

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Wading in the dark river just waiting...

...waiting in the fading light of dusk knowing that it will come...

...waiting in the growing gloom sure that the water must push it exorably down the river...

...and then it appears.

Ethnobotanical garden clean-up

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The ethnobotany class includes work on the Palikir student learning ethnobotanical garden. The garden was already cleaned up, possibly by groundskeeping crew members. This left only lightweight tidying up for the students to engage in.

Lanze working around the Areca catechu tree.

Nixon tends to a banana.

Kasinta continued to display strong knowledge of her traditional plants.

Rosalinda works while Deisleen and Strick make some decisions concerning the sugar cane plants.

Density of Soap

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Laboratory 01 in SC 130 Physical Science focused on the linear relationship between volume and density for soap. Harmony beauty soap with a density greater than one gram per cubic centimeter was used along with Ivory soap with a density of less than one gram per cubic centimeter. The soap was carved into square chunks so the volume could be calculated from length × width × height.


Sanolyn and Rihter carve their soap slab.


Loioshi and Evelynn mass a slab of Ivory soap.

Senioleen enters data into a computer.


While engaging in data entry, Norma experienced sudden and catastrophic failure of the computer she was working on. The monitor would prove to be functioning. On reboot the CPU issued a three beep POST code, a proverbial bell tolling.

River Time

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Tropical rain water is cooling but never cold. Liza in the river.

The smaller of the two with Shrue is the braver one.

Opportunities for styling in the water abound.