The cost of 4 triple beam balances with pans from Frey Scientific, Inc. is $687, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
The sixth grade science students at my elementary school enjoy hands-on activities, like "digging up" rocks and minerals (some of which have been planted strategically by me, and some they find naturally). We bring the rocks inside, find their mass and volume, then compute their density. It isn't easy to find an accurate density, however, because all we have to work with in our elementary school are plastic balance scales and plastic gram masses. We really need some triple beam balance scales. Finding the mass of an object is one of our sixth grade state science standards, and the students could even be expected to recognize a triple beam balance scale on the statewide test, but our students have never been able to use one.
I would love for my sixty sixth graders to have a science lab experience that makes them feel like they are real scientists-with real equipment. The little plastic scales that they have used in so many other grades just don't do that for these students. Our school is an inner-city school with an eighty-eight percent poverty rate, and our resources are stretched, so we have not been able to purchase the triple beam balance scales that I think would make our sixth graders "dig" density. Being in an elementary school setting shouldn't hinder our students' opportunity to work with equipment that they are mature enough to handle, and I would love for someone to help my students "dig" science and perhaps foster a future scientist.
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