I teach Regents-level earth science to 9th-11th grade students in a poverty level school in a large city. Our district is dealing with a large budget deficit, so there isn't money to purchase any more supplies.
Our Earth Science program is growing in popularity, but I don't have enough supplies to meet the demand.
I would like to be able to allow my students to have a hands-on experience with labs to help with their understanding of various concepts.
I also teach ESL students, so having concrete objects that they can touch will help increase their understanding of both the science concepts and their English vocabulary.
Students learn best when they can manipulate the objects to reinforce concepts taught in class. Since our school does not have its own planetarium and trips are expensive, I am trying to do the next best thing.
By having hands-on lab activities, my students will be able to internalize the difficult concepts that the NYS Regents tests them on.
Solar motion is a difficult concept for my students to understand; trying to explain that stars are made from gases and die well before their energy travels to the Earth is mind-boggling for many students.
Allowing the students to repeatedly perform these hands-on experiments will deepen their understanding of these complex phenomena.
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