My sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes love to be engaged in the mystery and excitement of hands-on activities. Each day, we learn, discuss, and discover parts of their world that they didn't look at as closely as they do in a science classroom. I encourage students to debate and question the world around them.
This year I have the pleasure of having brilliant young sixth, seventh and eighth-grade scientists.
They love to get their hands messy in science experiments. With every unit of study, their understanding of the world around them sparks engaging discussions and debates of science. Unfortunately, budgets are tight and lab activities and experiments that require ordered materials each year rarely get funded. Every year I am surprised by how weak my students' science vocabulary is. Learning vocabulary is not always enjoyable and I work hard to come up with new and exciting ways to present the material.
Genetics is an incredibly abstract topic for my living environment students. We discuss DNA, genetic engineering, and testing with great detail, however, they have no real hands-on lab connections to it. These mini gel electrophoresis DNA refill kits bring a college-level experience to the middle school classroom. Students will be able to handle DNA samples and run them through the machine to find the killer in a crime scene scenario. Without these types of lab materials, students find a lack of purpose and importance in the topics they are learning about. Giving that purpose and meaning will impact my students learning exponentially.
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