I teach 100 Chemistry students at one of the largest high schools in Connecticut with over 3300 students. While walking through the halls of this urban school, you can hear more than 40 different languages spoken by students. Many students do not have access to technology at home and more than 50% of my students are English Language Learners and 85% of my student are participate in Special Education. They are bright students who want to succeed in school and achieve their fullest potential but are limited by their circumstances. My English Language Learners are more likely to be failing classes because their lack in language proficiency prevents them from accessing the required content. Our special education students struggle to pass their core academic classes because many of them are not reading on grade level. In academic classes with difficult language and concepts not being a strong reader puts our students behind academically and makes it less likely for them to graduate on time.
As our school has transitioned to using the new NGSS science standards, our expectations of students have changed with the expectation that students become engineers designers and builders within our classroom.
In the new NGSS science curriculum students are expected to not only learn science content but apply that knowledge to solve problems. During our gases unit students explore the relationships between pressure, volume and temperature.
We need supplies to build hot air balloons to observe gas laws in action.
Students will use skills learned in math as well as science to construct hot air balloons. Students will use rulers and protractors to measure and calculate the angels necessary to construct their hot air balloons using tissue paper, card stock and glue sticks. When the hot air balloons are constructed we will us the propane tank to launch the balloons outside and conduct a small hot air balloon race. By completing this project students will get to design, build, test and revise their final product as well as developing important skills in communication and team work.
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