Animating a GIF in Scratch + Adding Program Documentation

by 6:27 AM
Hello and welcome to Scratch 101! In this tutorial we will be learning how to animate a Gif in Scratch & add program documentation. 

Learning how to add program documentation. 

Final Project:

Graphical Setup:
The graphical template is located here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/220142226/

Common Mistakes:
  • Filling in the numbers correctly (0.09 vs .009)

Documentation Step:

Next right click on the "when green flag clicked" block and press add comment. Explain in your own words what this script is doing. 

The completed version can be found here

Scratch 101: Monte Carlo Simulation

by 10:33 AM
Hello and welcome to Scratch 101! In this tutorial we will be learning how to use the Monte Carlo Simulation by using randomness to find the area of a 2D circle. 

Learning about geometric figures in Scratch, Operators, Data and Randomness. 

Final Project:

Graphical Setup:
The graphical template is located here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/214097089/

Common Mistakes:
  • Filling in the numbers correctly. 
  • Make sure to have the correct order of operations (which you define by where you place the operators)
  • Make sure not to confuse positive and negative numbers
  • pen up vs. pen down. 

The completed version can be found here

Scratch 101: If I Designed Monopoly...

by 7:13 AM

Hello and welcome to Scratch 101! In this tutorial we will be learning to use the graphic paint editor (vector mode) by developing our own monopoly sprites. 

To learn how to use the paint editor effectively. 

Final Project:
Your student-made Monopoly cards! :)

Graphical Setup:
The graphical template is located here: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/212983212/

Activity 1 (Editing the Title):
Highlight the "text" symbol and click on the "Title Deed" statement. 
Activity 2 (Adding a Description):
Highlight the "text" symbol and click on an area where you wish to add the description. Click somewhere outside the text box to change the size of the text box. 
Activity 3 (Adding an Image)
Find an image which you would like to add to the card and download it to the computer. Use the "important button" to bring the file into your editor. Work around with the dimensions to finish the card.
Once you are finished with the activities you may:
  • Create another card
  • Create a script to randomly generate cards when you hit the space key. 
  • Add more features, images, or options to your card
  • Create another project with "custom sprites" (self-made) using the "Create a story" tutorial scripts available in the tutorial bar (you can see how to access that below). 

What is a "Site" Notice?

by 12:57 PM
An Example of a "Site Notice" in the old Google Sites.
A site notice is "a disposable message that will be shown to site visitors" when they first enter your Google Site. The site notice is useful for informing visitors of possible "cookies" or recent updates on you website. Visitors can remove the notification by clicking 'Ok, Got it' button.

How do you add this feature?
>Click the settings icon
>Click 'Manage this site'
>Navigate to the "General" settings
>The second setting allows you to add a "Site Notice"

You may also configure a "More Details" button which can be linked to any page you wish. This
is convenient for especially lengthy messages such as major updates.

The Lewis Dot Structure for NH4+

by 7:32 AM
Created by MakeTheBrainHappy
The Lewis Dot Structure for NH4+ (Ammonium) is shown above. These kinds of structures can also be shown by representing each of the bonds with two dots. Each atom in the bond has a full valence shell, with nitrogen having access to eight electrons and each hydrogen having access to two (this is why hydrogen only needs two). The covalent bonds between the N and the H are similar to the ones formed between two Hs because the relatively small difference in electronegativity between carbon and hydrogen. The whole structure is a cation due to the fact that Nitrogen is missing an electron. Neutral Nitrogen atoms have five valence electrons which are a part of the original structure, while this central atom has four. Therefore it has a +1 charge.

Ammonium is a tetrahedron structure in 3D space similar to methaneSource
The positively charged cation allows ammonium to act as a weak acid and occasionally revert to its original form (NH3 = Ammonia). NH4+ takes up a tetrahedral shape (as shown above) due to the fact that there are no lone pairs on the central atom. It is an important source of nitrogen for certain types of plant species.


Ammonium is known for forming different kinds of salts which would be classified as ionic compounds. In the image above, there are two salts shown which involve the ammonium ion. These are Ammonium carbonate and Ammonium sulphate. 


The Lewis Dot Structure for CH4

by 7:10 PM
Created by MakeTheBrainHappy.
The Lewis Dot Structure for CH4 is shown above. These kinds of structures can also be shown by representing each of the bonds with two dots. Each atom in the bond has a full valence, with carbon having access to eight electrons and each hydrogen having access to two (this is why hydrogen only needs two). The covalent bonds between the C and the H are similar to the ones formed between two Hs because the relatively small difference in electronegativity between carbon and hydrogen.

Methane is a tetrahedron structure in 3D space. Source

This Lewis Dot Structure also explains some of the fundamental properties of this particle. Since there are no lone pairs on the central atom (or any atom for that matter) there are few dipoles created and the minimal electronegativity difference means that these bonds can essentially be treated as nonpolar covalent bonds. This means that all attraction forces inside the molecule rely on weak London Dispersion Forces which only strengthen in far larger atoms. In fact the molar mass of Methane is so minuscule that it is sometimes mentioned as a possible lifting gas because its density is less than that of air. It boils at -161˚C due to the weak intermolecular forces present and normally exists as a colorless, odorless gas at STP (Standard Temperatures and Pressures).

Methane in a Solid State. Source
Does Methane exist in other states?

Yes- it is theoretically possible to find methane in other states of matter (liquids, solids). But it is extremely rare. Solid Methane is found in hydrates which have trapped methane in a more solid state. Scientists have also theorized that the lakes of Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, are composed of Liquid Methane. Due to the low boiling and melting points, it is rare to find these other states present.

Is it soluble in water?

No- Methane is not soluble in water because it does not have polar/strong intermolecular forces needed to break the hydrogen-bonds found in water. Therefore is is classified as insoluble.

Methane from a gas burner stove. Source
How do Methane Emissions affect the Earth?

This article should have more information about to answer this question.


The Seven Kings of Rome

by 9:51 AM
Romulus, the first King of Rome, after a victory in battle. From Meisterwerke der Malerei.

The Roman Monarchy was founded in 753 B.C.E. and lasted until 509 B.C.E when it was replaced by a republic after a popular uprising. In the Roman system, King's did not receive their power through hereditary means. Instead, King's were elected by the senate after a period of interregnum (meaning time between kings). Even though the King was elected, the position still had absolute authority concerning judicial and leadership matters. The kingdom was geographically centered near the Tiber River. During this time their were seven kings, whose achievements will be summarized in the following sections.

While Latium Tribe's were autonomous during this period, they found themselves more and more reliant on the Roman state for military defense and were eventually incorporated into the then Roman Republic. 
1st King- Romulus

Romulus was the first King of Rome and the son of the God Mars and Rhea Silvia, who was the daughter of Numitor, a former Alba Longan King. Numitor's brother Amulius had seized power and forced his brother off the throne. Since he did not want their to be any competing claims to the throne, he had Romulus and Remus thrown into the Tiber River once they were born in order to kill them. A she-wolf found them and raised them. The brothers were later educated by the shepard Faustulus and his wife Acca Larentia. 

The two brothers later became statesmen themselves, yet they wanted to found their respective cities in the same area. Romulus first stayed on the Palatine hill, while Remus stayed on the Aventine hill. They tried to settle their dispute with religious techniques, but these proved unsatisfactory for some of the parties involved. A battle ensued between the two brothers and Remus was killed. Rome is then founded on April 21st, 753 B.C.E. 

Romulus maintained an open-door policy for all immigrants and allowed granted asylum to criminals from the other tribes. In order to create a stable gender structure, he commanded that the Sabine women be seized. This initiates a war with the Sabine people. After capturing Capitoline hill, they are convinced to settle their dispute by the seized women and unite the two tribes. Romulus takes the Sabine Hersilia as his wife and ruled jointly with the former Sabine King Titus Tatius (you can read more about him at the bottom of this article) from that point on. He also established the senate while he was King, selecting 100 of the most noble "paterfamilias" (wealthy fathers) to be patricians/senators. Legend has it that he died in a storm shortly after offering public sacrifice on the Campus Martius. However, historians speculate that the senators killed him in ordering to gain more power for themselves.

2nd King- Numa Pompilius 

He was originally a Sabine and the son-in-law of Titus Tatius. Personally he was said to be a very peaceful man and took the nymph Egeria as his lover. His actions as king include introducing the vestal virgins as an icon in Rome, establishing the Pontifex Maximus, adding January and February to the calendar, and founding the Temple of Janus. He died peacefully of old age after a reign of more than 40 years. 

The remains of the Temple of Janus (which was apparently built by Numa Pompilius)

3rd King- Tullus Hostilius

The third king was from the Latin tribes and had a warlike character similar to Rome's first king. He initiated war with the Alba Longan people which they decided to settle with a battle between the best fighters from each army as opposed to using the entire military. Each military sent three brothers to fight against each other. The Romans wpn this small battle but the Alban king Mettius Fufetius did not follow the terms which had been originally agreed upon and incites more violence. Once this insurrection was put down by Tullus Hostilius, he had the Alban king drawn and quartered for his violation of the original terms. The Alban people were integrated into Roman society and the town Alba Longa was completely destroyed with only the temples being spared. In addition to his military success, Tullus built the first senate house known as the "Curia Hostilia." Rome began to suffer when a plague fell on the city, which Tullus is unable to manage, leading to a prolonged period of crisis. He died around this time when his house is struck by lightning.

A modern-day photo of where Alba Longa was before Tullus ordered it razed to the ground. Source

4th King- Ancus Marcius

The reign of the fourth Roman king was characterized by infrastructure projects with some warfare. Ancus Marcius was a Sabine and the grandson of Numa Pompilius. He created a new type of priesthood called the "Fetiales" who were responsible for mediating disputes and declaring war with/on other tribes. It was through these priests that he declared war on other Latin tribes. Marcius also supported the expansion of the city of Rome by ordering that the Aventine and Janiculum Hills were to be settled. He established a salt water port at Ostia, which would eventually develop into the trade connection between Rome and the rest of it's empire. He also built the Pons Sublicius, which was the first wooden bridge across the Tiber River. He also died of old age after ruling for 24 years. 

The Pons Sublicius. Source

5th King- Tarquinius Priscus

Legend has it that an eagle took Priscus's cap off his head and then returned it again. He interpreted this to mean that he would become King some day. Lucumo (Priscus's first name), the son of Demaratus, was originally from Corinth and therefore was not of Italian origins. He married an Etruscan woman named Tanaquil, and together with her they settled in Rome. When Ancus Marcius died, he seized the throne through force and distracted the sons of Marcius by telling them to go hunting. He added 100 members to the senate. He ordered the construction of the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill and the Circus Maximus. He was killed by assassins hired by the tons of Ancus Marcius.

Construction of the Circus Maximus began under the rule of Tarquinius Priscus. Source

6th King- Servius Tullius

Servius Tullius succeeded the fifth king of Rome as his protege, having been married the daughter (Tarquinia) of the king. Tanaquil, the wife of Priscus, saw a flame on his head and interpreted this to mean that he would serve as the next king. Originally he was either a slave or the son of a captive woman from an Etruscan town. He built the temple of Diana and Fortuna. Creating the notion of a modern census, he split the people into five classes. He introduced coinage in Rome and completed the first defensive wall (the "Servian Wall") around the city. After a reign of 44 years, he was assassinated by his daughter Tullia the Younger and her husband Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. 

Part of the Servian Wall in Rome. Source

7th King- Tarquinius Superbus

Tarquinius Priscus ascended the throne through the assassination of his father-in-law. He ruled with an iron fist, building the Cloaca Maxima (a sewer system). He finished both the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus and Circus Maximus. His son, Sextus Tarquinius, raped Lucretia, the wife of a nobleman which caused the city to rebel against the harsh rule of the King. In 509 B.C.E., Superbus fled to the neighboring Etruscans and attempted to restore the monarchy several times while in exile without success. A republic replaced the fallen monarchy. 

Model of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome. Source

A coin with Titus Tatius on it. Source

Honorable Mention- Titus Tatius 

Titus Tatius was the King of the Sabine people who jointly ruled with Romulus as King of Rome for five years after the unification between the two peoples. Together they were said to have conquered another Latin tribe and founded a few religious institutions. When disputes arose in various judicial matters, Tatius tried to intervene in a manner which was not approved by Romulus. He was therefore assassinated shortly after or during the dispute. Tatius is not considered to be one of the traditional "seven Kings of Rome." He was a direct ancestor of some of the other Roman Kings, namely Numa Pompilius and Ancus Marcius. 

Note: Historians dispute the existence of Romulus and Titus Tatius as real figures. Therefore there may have only been six Kings of Rome. 

The information in this article is sourced from this packet
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