Category Archives: Science

Exciting InSight into the Red Planet

Eric Sorge ‘19
EE Co-Managing Editor

The InSight Mars lander touched down on its new home just before 3 PM on November 26th, completing a rapid descent through the Martian atmosphere and its nearly seven month journey across 300 million miles of space. Cheers erupted from Mission Control in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and across the nation when signals finally arrived confirming the landing; with this first successful landing of a robot on mars since the Curiosity rover in 2012, there is much to be excited about.

“It was intense, and you could feel the emotion,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a member of the InSight team at JPL. “It was very, very quiet when it was time to be quiet and of course very celebratory with every little new piece of information that was received.”

The Surprising Traditions Behind the Winter Solstice

Kathryn Wilkinson ‘20
EE Science and Tech Editor

The darkest day of the year is approaching: December 21st, 2018. This annual astronomical phenomenon, known as the winter solstice, produces a day with the least amount of sunlight, and the longest night of the year. On this day, one of the Earth’s poles experiences it maximum tilt away from the sun. On December 21st, at exactly 5:23 PM, the time when we will experience the solstice, the north pole will be tilted away from the sun. This happens twice a year, one time in each pole.

The significance of this event is observed by various cultures. Ultimately marking the beginning of shortening nights and lengthening days, it is celebrated differently in each country. It was first recognized by the Pagans thousands of years ago, and has direct ties to the Christmas traditions of today. An emperor by the name of Aurelian established December 25th as the birthday of the “Invincible Sun” during his reign. This was part of the Roman Winter Solstice festivities, also known as Yule. However, in 273, the Christian Church recognized this day as the birth of Jesus, therefore Christianizing the celebration.

Flu Season Arrives

Neya Kidambi ‘22
EE Staff Writer

As the temperature begins to drop, and retailers stock up on Holiday decorations, we witness the return of two infamous winter “criminals”-those horrible frosted sugar cookies, and flu season. Yes, it’s that time of year where everyone around you is sniffling or hacking up germs. Ah, influenza, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

But why does flu season strike in winter?

According to Earth Network, some theories say that the virus itself survives better in the colder, drier conditions of winter, as opposed to the hot and humid conditions of summer. This is because in the summer, the water droplets, which are heavier than the humid air, fall to the ground. In doing so, these water droplets bring the influenza virus with them. On the other hand, the air is less humid in the winter, so the water droplets, and the virus, stay in the air for a longer amount of time.

The Science Behind The Flood

Adith Velavan ’19
EE
 Contributor

On September 25th, Trumbull experienced flash flooding and over seven inches of rain, the second most in the state, resulting in excessive damage in town. The high school was closed for three days, entire streets and areas were closed, and the fire department responded to 80 calls, rescuing 45 people, according to Assistant Fire Chief Alex Rauso. He went on to describe how the wet roads and ground could no longer hold any more water, and that the torrential downpour filled the storm drains, eventually overflowing and flooding the Town, four to six feet in areas.

Trumbull was hit with a weather event termed a flash flood. A flash flood is categorized as such when it occurs within six hours, in a mostly low lying area, and is often predated by a storm or other rain related event. While these floods can occur in a variety of situations and geography ranging from poorly absorbing soil to volcanoes that cause the melting of glaciers, all of these flash floods are predicated on the fact that they occurred within a short period of time.

Most people learn about rain as a simple process, and in terms of the weather cycle. Water evaporates, condenses, and then precipitates. Much of the evaporation, however, occurs in large bodies of water, which arise as a result of runoff. Due to the hill and valley topography, of Trumbull, the rain pooled in the lower areas of the town, acting as watersheds, and creating flash floods. Moreover, the amount of rain that fell in the short period of time was increased by a scientific process called coalescence, which is when rain droplets join together, as a result of a cold front, to form larger amounts, thereby allowing a greater amount of rain to fall in a shorter period of time.

National FFA Convention 2018: Just One

Kathryn Wilkinson ‘20
EE 
Science and Tech Editor

This year’s annual National FFA Convention and Expo was held in Indianapolis, Indiana from October 24th through the 27th. Trumbull Agriscience sent eight students on this once in a lifetime trip to represent Connecticut and the Trumbull FFA chapter. These students included sophomore John Novak, juniors Margaret Brady, Kathryn Wilkinson and Thomas Acri, and seniors Cade Toth, Klaudia Poplawski, Dana Jurgielewicz, and Kaitlyn Marcinko.

This years theme was titled Just One, focusing on the actions that one student can make to leave a long lasting impact on others and also their community. Over 69,000 FFA members were inspired by the words of keynote speakers like the National FFA 2017-2018 President, Breanna Holbert, and also motivational speaker and comedian Kyle Scheele. This year was also incredibly noteworthy because of  president Donald Trump’s address at the final session of this year’s convention. Donald Trump is among the few presidents that have spoken at the convention in person, including Harry S. Truman, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter in past years.

At the convention, students had the opportunity to attend workshops  in order to build skills such as leadership, interpersonal skills, and communication. They could  talk with past national FFA officers and alumni and FFA members from every US state and territory. The convention also boasted a huge exposition full of  vendors. FFA members could talk with numerous colleges and also individuals working in every different field of agriculture.

Hope for Pluto

Pluto holds uncertain fortunes: planet or dwarf plantet?

Amaya Mikolic-Berrios ‘21
EE News Editor

Most students currently in school would agree that Pluto is not a planet. This simple idea has been taught since the dwarf planet was demoted from a planet in 2006. Although weak attempts have been made to regain Pluto’s planetary status, none of them were of much gravity. However, on September 13, a University of Central Florida professor proposed a shocking notion that may give Pluto another chance at being a planet.

According UCF professor Philip Metzger, as reported in the Orlando Sentinel, there are hundreds of planets in our solar system. He and several coworkers labored through over two centuries of planetary science reports in an effort to unearth exactly why and when the definition of a planet had been altered.

When the International Astronomical Union voted on its definition of a planet, the criteria came entirely out of the blue. As many students are familiar with, the IAU’s measure of whether a celestial body qualifies as a planet is split into three parts: the body must orbit the sun, have a nearly spherical structure, and be the only celestial body in its orbit. The last point, which was the cause for Pluto’s demotion, is what many scientists since the IAU’s decision have disagreed with.

The Eastern States Exposition: A Big succEss

Lambs chilling at the Big E; photo courtesy of Kathryn Wilkinson

Kathryn Wilkinson ‘21
EE Science and Technology Editor

On Tuesday September 25th, the students studying at Agriscience took their annual trip to the Eastern States Exposition. The Big E, showcasing livestock, horses, poultry, and plenty more, was a great opportunity for agriscience students to enhance their knowledge of their specific subject area.

Over the course of the next year, juniors and seniors enrolled in the UCONN ECE Equine and Animal Science course offered at Agriscience will increase their comprehension of feeding and caring for the animals, understanding their anatomy, physiology, and genetics as well as judging and evaluating them. While at the Big E, these students had the opportunity to talk with individuals that raise and show their animals and learn more about their area of study.

The Orionids and More to Come

Amaya Mikolič-Berrios ‘21
EE Staff Writer

The evening of October 20th featured a spectacular show for everyone who happened to be looking at the night sky. The peak of the Orionid meteor shower, also known simply as the Orionids, sparked star gazers’ interest for more than just its beauty.
According to astronomer Bob Berman from an interview with Doyle Rice of USA Today, these meteors are special because they are actually “fragments of the most famous comet of all time, Halley’s Comet.”

The shower is caused by Earth’s orbit passing through the debris created by Halley’s Comet. This debris is what makes up the “shooting stars” we can see in the night sky. Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office predicts, “Bits of comet dust hitting the atmosphere should give us a couple dozen of meteors per hour.” In comparison to the average, about ten to fifteen meteors per hour, this is a much higher rate.


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