More than half of students from low‑income households
Never Before Funded
Science Can be Messy: We Need Paper Towels!
My students need basic paper products like hand towels and tissues for housekeeping use in the high school science laboratories.
I walked into the physical science classroom yesterday and saw them. Lying in the middle of the acid-proof countertop were two brand new packages of tri-fold paper towels. "JOY! HOW DID WE GET THEM? WHO MADE THIS POSSIBLE?"
Then the bad news: students "liberated" (okay stole) them from the restroom.
Our students love hands-on learning!
Based on student-interest surveys, hands-on learning is the most preferred learning style among our students. So we strive to provide meaningful hands-on activities to develop our students' potentials.
But hands-on can be messy. Unfortunately, we lack funding for basic housekeeping materials such as tissue and paper towels.
Currently, our high school is overcrowded by 800+ students. That is an entire extra student body! Class sizes are very large, averaging 30 to 40 students per class. Messes are...voluminous.
Such supplies are not covered by the custodial budget; hence the "liberation" of towels from the student restrooms. Custodians, not to mention restroom users, will certainly frown upon such nefarious activity.
Science teachers are provided a modest budget for curricular supplies, but those funds would be quickly devoured by the surprisingly high cost of tissues and paper towels. We need you to help us maintain a safe laboratory situation!
You might think of paper towels and tissues as "peripheral" materials, but they are frequently used as actual required materials in the laboratory. Yes, lab buckets need protection...paper towels have lined every lab bucket from time immemorial. Yes, students should wash their hands at the end of a lab to prevent contamination...paper towels are needed for drying. Yes, students occasionally have spills at their lab benches...paper towels are needed for wiping and cleaning. But, did you know paper towels and tissues can be used to illustrate capillary action, as a chromatography substrate, to test for the presence of lipids, to test air resistance among varying shapes, as projectiles in projectile motion studies, to demonstrate coefficient of friction, and to demonstrate Newton's Laws? Truly, paper towels and tissues are transformed out of the ordinary in a science laboratory. It is inconceivable to contemplate offering hands-on science activities without them.
School is supposed to be about preparing students for the future.
We hope that many of our students will go on to participate in science at the college level, too. And even if a student never takes another science course, he or she will enter labs for other reasons like doctor visits. Imagine visiting the doctor and there are no paper towels. Paper towels and tissues are part of real life. We are teaching real life skills. Please help us provide the basics for our students!
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