Last year, our school created a more lab-centered chemistry curriculum. When we had our unit on gas laws, I found that I had to do a great deal of describing and computer simulations to illustrate properties. The reusable resources in this project will allow them to see properties first-hand.
Our school is an urban high school in Nevada.
Our student population consists of many students from low income families. As the school's only honors chemistry teacher, I am privileged this year to work with 119 students that have a strong desire to learn not only by participating in classroom discussions, but by doing hands-on lab activities. My students are often afraid to ask questions in a large group setting and the labs inspire much more active questioning from my students due to the small group settings that they use. Additionally, labs expose these students to some of the real-world problems that can occur during experiments. My discussions with these students have shown me how much they can accomplish if given the proper resources. Many of them express an interest in going to college and it is my hope that increasing our lab resources will better prepare them for higher education lab courses.
Last year, during our gas law unit, I found that my students had difficulty grasping the concepts of pressure and absolute zero. I looked back through my high school chemistry notes and found that I understood the concepts because we did labs that involved reading a barometer and calculating the value of absolute zero. I looked through our supply room and I was able to locate a barometer. However, the barometer contained mercury and had to be removed from the school for safety reasons. I have been looking to find a replacement barometer for my students and unfortunately, costs have prohibited us from acquiring one at this time. I also found that we have no equipment to do any gas law related lab other than computer simulations. Previously, the computer simulations have had limited success as they can only tell you so much. By acquiring a class set of absolute zero demonstrators, I hope to allow my students to learn about absolute temperature through a lab rather than a simulation.
In any science curriculum, lab activities are the single most important component to lessons.
Labs allow our students to learn through interactive activities rather than passive listening. Our school has a severe shortage of necessary lab supplies. It is my hope that this project will increase our reusable lab supplies so that we can continue to build our lab-based curricula.Read More
|Absolute Zero Demonstrator • Sargent-Welch||$133.20||3||$399.60|
|Barometer - Ecocelli • Sargent-Welch||$269.10||1||$269.10|
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