Science Rules!

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year at Travis Ranch. This year I am teaching 8th Grade Science periods 1-5, and the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) Elective period 7.

This is my eleventh year at Travis Ranch, and I look forward to sharing my passion for all things science! If you are an 8th grade Science student, you can find all assignments, handouts, and links in the "8th Grade" menu above. If you are a STEAM Elective student, all of your assignments are in-class!



  • If you are interested in applying to the Medical Sciences Academy at Esperanza High School, then this is the club for you. It is intended to help students make a seamless transition into this outstanding program.
  • Meetings are Thursdays during 2nd lunch in Room 33A.
  • Please visit our website for meeting agendas, calendar of events, and information on the State Leadership Conference:



To access your first homework assignment for this class, please follow these directions:

  1. Open Chrome as your browser.
  2. Log into your Gmail account (your email is your 6-digit permanent ID and your password is the password you normally use to log into computers at school).
  3. Visit the link below to open the Google Forms survey. Make sure you are sitting with a parent as you complete it and that you read over the BLUE Class Syllabus first.

8TH GRADE LAB SAFETY TEST (Periods 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 only)

You need to score 100% in order to be allowed to do labs. Please follow these directions:

  1. Open Chrome as your browser.
  2. Log into your Gmail account (your email is your 6-digit permanent ID and your password is the password you normally use to log into computers at school).
  3. Visit the link below to open the test.


Academic dishonesty is the act of  participating in obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for work by the use of dishonest, deceptive, fraudulent, or unauthorized means. Collaborative studying is not academic dishonesty when specifically permitted or required by a teacher. 

Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following list:

  • Copying or letting another student copy homework
  • Looking at another student’s paper during a test or assignment
  • Exchanging answers with other students, either before, during, or after a test
  • Taking someone else’s assignment and submitting it as your own
  • Using material from the Internet or a written source (whole or in part) without clearly identifying it as such
  • Helping another student to cheat on an examination or assignment

Any instances of academic dishonesty will result in a score of 0 for the assignment.  No opportunity to make up the assignment will be allowed.  Additionally, an immediate administrative referral will be issued.  Integrity is a value on which I put great emphasis, both inside my classroom and in my life.


Welcome to your child's final year of middle school! This course will be taught using a blend of the California State Standards and the forthcoming Next Generation Science Standards ( The shift in science education is to teach students critical thinking skills which will serve them well in any science class, as well as their everyday lives as they move toward adulthood. Scientist Neil deGrass Tyson is quoted as saying, "Science is not a body of knowledge. It's a way of thinking and querying the world around you." He could not have said it better! We will not be focusing on memorizing minutia, but instead will learn to problem-solve and simulate real-life situations.

How can you best help your child succeed? The following are suggestions I offer from my experience as both a teacher and as a parent of a child who also attended Travis Ranch:

  • Help your child come to school every day on time.
  • Require that your child uses the binder reminder to write down homework for ALL classes EVERY day. This is an important life skill. Check up on them from time-to-time to make sure they're doing this.
  • Check your child's homework against my website for completion.
  • Check Aeries to see their grades and if they are missing any work.
  • Make school work a priority activity daily.
  • Help your child stay organized. Once a week, dump out his or her backpack and prune out anything that does not need to be in there. Save any school papers in a file until the end of the year just in case. Make sure your child still has plenty of all school supplies (pens, pencils, colored pencils, gluesticks, etc.)
  • Send your child to see me during my office hours for help if they are struggling or confused
  • Have your chlid take advantage of my re-grade opportunities (see the blue letter in his/her notebook for more details on this).

I am here to help your child succeed. Every day before I leave school, I automatically email out notifications via an Aeries query to all students who are missing assignments. This will help keep you in the loop if your child has make-up work from an absence or simply did not get an assignment graded due to it being incomplete. If you ever have questions or concerns, email is the best way to contact me: but you may also phone me at 714-986-7460 x47333. Thank you for supporting your child! I hope all students end the year with some great memories of SCIENCE in action.


  • Spiral notebooks (2 total, one for each semester) with the following criteria
    • The paper inside should be 11 inches x 8 ½ inches in size (you should be able to set a piece of printer paper on a page in the notebook, and it should not be hanging off the edges.)
    • minimum of 100 pages
    • plastic cover (cardboard covers will fall off)
    • pockets inside for storage
  • Pencils with erasers
  • Glue sticks or white glue
  • Highlighter (any color)
  • Correcting pens (red, green, blue, or purple)
  • Colored pencils (Twistables are ideal)
  • Personal small pencil sharpener
  • Small post-it notes to “flag” certain pages in the notebook

Most of these items can be found inexpensively at discount stores and even grocery stores.  Students are required to bring all items everyday.

Parents: If you are unable to provide these items. Please let me know so I can make arrangements to supply your student.


We are doing some fun stuff this year but we need help for materials. Please check out my latest project in need and donate if you can: