My students need models, a photographic periodic table, and a poster to help them learn about atomic structure and elements.
Do you remember learning about atoms and their structure? I didn't think so. Eighth grade is the first year that my students are exposed to atomic structure and they need hands-on materials to make this potentially abstract material understandable.
My students are energetic 8th graders who love learning science with hands-on, inquiry based techniques.
These students, as most students, do not want to learn about concepts by just reading about them. They want to get their hands on materials, manipulate things, take things apart and put them back together again. My students are interested in how things work. Eighth graders in general are very kinesthetic and visual learners.
Our school is a junior high in Arkansas. It is, like most schools in the nation, very serious about providing a rigorous and challenging educational experience while working under the strain of budget issues. My students display a lot of school pride and enjoy and value their education.
My students need models, a photographic periodic table, and a poster to help them learn about atomic structure and elements. The materials requested in this grant will allow my students to learn about atomic structure in a very hands-on way. Students will be able to manipulate the models to create various atoms and clearly see the difference between protons, neutrons, and electrons. Through inquiry activities, students will be able to use the materials to determine why and how atoms are identified. The three dimensional models will give students a new perspective of atomic structure, different from the flat rings drawn on paper. The photographic periodic table of elements will show students the relevance of the elements and how they are found and used in their world. These materials will provide a much richer and interactive experience than the textbook could provide.
This will be my students' first real taste of learning about atoms and atomic structure.
I want this to be a positive experience for them because so many students fear chemistry and physics because they believe that it is difficult, confusing, and abstract. When my students finish this unit of study I want them to want to learn more and to be eager and curious to learn more about chemistry and physics. I simply cannot afford to provide these materials to my students without the help of this grant.
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