Using the scientific method to solve real world problems is one of the most important and most difficult of tools that a student can learn. By the end of the year, my students will be skillful in analyzing graphs, drawing conclusions based on data found and translating information into useful knowledge.
My students are eighth grade middle school students who have had extremely mixed experiences with science.
This group of students are an expressive, skeptical, lively, but intelligent group that need a non-conventional, extraordinary eighth grade science experience. The majority of my students are Black American and Latino American students who live in neighborhoods that struggle with educational, social, economic, and racial equality. These are students who have grown up in low income-high people of color communities their entire lives and have lacked holistic educational exposure for these reasons. Our school is placed in the middle of one of the neighborhoods described, but has kept a culture that embodies the idea that education equals life and liberation.
When we were children, our imaginations fueled our interactions and games with other children. The props provided by our teachers, day care providers, and guardians made our interactions and games that much more real. My students will use the same materials that real world scientists use, in middle school appropriate labs and experiments. These experiments will act as the connection piece between what we are learning in class on lecture days, and how we can apply it during the labs. The lab coats will be put on everyday upon entrance into my class. Putting these coats on will put my students in the mindset of scientists. When the lab coats are on, they are certified scientists that use scientific thought to solve the presented issues. Lab coats and safety goggles will be used for any and all experiments and labs to ensure complete safety. They will act as guards for students' eyes and clothes when dealing with substances that act as irritants.
Donations toward my cause will help in changing the mindsets of what science is and how science is done in middle school.
It will allow my students to have an eighth grade experience that challenges their perceptions of what it means to learn. The lab coats and goggles are more than physical safety precautions, but it plants the idea that my students are real scientists that are using scientific material and experimenting with scientific concepts to solve real world problems.
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