My students are high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have accepted the challenge to do college level work in Biology class to prepare them to take the Advanced Placement exam in the spring. They will gain the knowledge needed for the AP exam, and investigate problems of their choosing.
I teach in a large, urban high school that serves about 4000 students.
Our kids come from all over our city and have a wide range of backgrounds. Many are educational trailblazers in their families. Many do not look like the stereotype of college-bound science students. All are hard-working, fun-loving, dedicated students who have a blast studying, investigating, and experimenting together.
My classroom is in a building that was constructed in the 1950s. Access to electrical outlets is challenging and on days when we get out the microscopes (that we share with multiple classrooms), the extension cords running across the floor are a major safety hazard. I would love to be able to break out cordless microscopes at a moment's notice when a student asks a probing question. If students ask, for example, if there are really microorganisms in damp soil it would be great to say "go get some and let's see!" Having the tools readily available at a moment's notice will enable us to take advantage of those "teachable moments" when an intriguing question presents itself. It will also allow us to do much more in-depth microscope work as the scopes will not have to be rotated between classrooms. We use light sources for a variety of investigations ranging from measuring photosynthetic rates to observing changes in animal behavior resulting from manipulation of their environment.
Donations to this project will bring my classroom closer to being a "real" lab in which students can investigate their questions and indulge their curiosity.
Lab experiences make learning real and tangible in a way that no book or video ever can.
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