Phytoliths and Campfires

By , February 6, 2012

Nightly campfire during our third year of study with LacCore has provided opportunity to walk through the process of making a clay pot, firing it, and hopefully using it as a utilitarian piece of pottery. Clay is one of the art  forms that lasts overtime allowing years of use by the maker as well as a wealth f information to scientists later on.

Cone-shaped sandy paste vessel from a Mossy Grove site in Polk County, Texas. Whole Mossy Grove pots are rare. TARL archives.

They tried to form there pots in the traditional cone shape. Pots were then bisque fired to cone 06 and then returned to the next camp where the pots were fired in the campfire. The smoke and wood ash  created beautiful greys and blacks in the clay. Olive oil was brushed into the hot pots curing the clay. Curing the ceramics we hope will keep food from sticking to the clay.

Signs of a Chemical Reaction

By , February 5, 2012

Students worked with a number of “reactants” which when put together created a “product”. Our reactant options included cabbage juice, citric acid, calcium chloride (CaCl2), baking soda or water. Everyone got to pick what they wanted to mix together. Mixtures could use only two reactants up to all five.  Students worked in groups of two – one gidaa student with one college student. Groups were able to complete up to ten experiments. It was really fun.

Baking soda and cabbage juice was the most curious combination for Chelsey. “It turned green! (and smelled bad)”. She added CaCl2 to the mixture and it created massive foam and turned from green to pink right away.

Gye put baking soda, citric acid and CaCl2 together and it made a white foam that got thicker over time. It had chunky white spots with cold and warm in different parts. It was really fun.

Geo Cashing in Ojibwe

By , February 5, 2012

Students participated in geo cashing! Teachers prepared a course in the woods outside at the Cloquet Forestry using GPS coordinates. Students had to decipher the Ojibwe math problem to find the correct coordinates to ultimately find the hidden prize.

James liked the running around with Patrick. James Paunu enjoyed the challenge of using the GPS itself. Even though it was difficult, being out in the winter night sky was great. Bob was firing the clay pots in the fire (curing with olive oil) in hopes of getting them ready to cook wild rice in them next camp.
Ojibwe Numbers

1 = bezhig
2 = niizh
3 = niswi
5 = niiwin
5 = naanan
6 = ingodwaaswi
7 = niizhwaaswi
8 = ishwaaswi
9 = zhaangaswi
10 – midaaswi
11-19 Examples:

16 = ashi  ingodwaaswi                        16 = and (ten)  six

15 = ashi  naanan                                  15 = and (ten)  five

Numbers 201-219, 301-319, etc. Examples:
201 = niizhwaak  bezhig                     201 = number root two hundred    one

513  = naanwaak   ashi   niswi           513 = number root five   hundred  and (ten)  three

Numbers 220-299, 320-399, etc. Examples:
231 = niizhwaak  nisimidana   ashi   bezhig
213 = number root two hundred    number root three  tens  and  one

487 – niiwaak  ishwaasimidana  ashi  niizhwaaswi
487 = number root four  hundred  number root eight  tens and seven

Macroinvertebrate Tag

By , February 4, 2012

Students spent time learning about the transparency water and dissolved oxygen in specific areas (Hwy 11, Hwy 7, Jay Cock and Chambers Grove). Each place a specific level that told them if the water was healthy or not. All spots checked were very good.

Water samples were taken and invertebrates were counted. Over time the invertebrates that were tolerate to pollutants grew in number. That’s bad. The invertebrates that were sensitive to pollution started to die off – also bad.

Each student was then ID as either a stone fly, caddis fly, mayfly, a scud, or a blood worm. Students lined up and on the mark “go” ran from one side to the other side of the field. The person who was “it” who represented pollution. If they tagged one of the invertebrates  the invertebrate became a “bloodworm”. A bloodworm is a symbol of polluted waters. It took only three or four runs across the field to shake out the “waters” showing how the pollution grows fast and leaves a negative impact.

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