Getting kids excited about science and technology means giving them access. Our school, built in 1947, is beautiful and historic, but hasn't undergone any major renovations. This is especially evident in our outdated science classroom.
Our school is located on the slopes of a volcano in beautiful rural Hawaii.
People tend to think of Hawaii as paradise, but for families who live and work here, life is far from easy. Our small town was once a hub, when sugarcane plantations ruled the islands. A generation ago the plantation economy crashed, leaving behind little in the way of jobs. My students are mostly the descendants of the various immigrant groups who came from all over the world to work in the plantations. The community is a close-knit one, and family is important. Young people are often forced to leave the island to seek work. My students are great kids - easy-going, friendly, but often with a deep lack of self-confidence and confusion about their futures. When given the chance, they can become effusive about new discoveries and are full of surprising, funny, and sometimes very deep insights.
The closets in my classroom are a wonder trove, full of many interesting items that have been out of use for years (even decades). While this can be fun, it is often limiting. To be college and career ready, students need access to modern technology. We had a few microscopes donated by our local university and my life science (7th grade) and biology (10th grade) students just lit up when they saw them. Students began coming to me and asking to "look" at various things under the microscopes. They tried bringing in their own samples of random objects. At lunch, I had students from my other classes showing up to examine slides under the scopes! With the donated scopes, we now have a total of 8 working microscopes (some pretty battered). Some classes are nearly 25 kids, leading to long waits to use the resources rather than time spent exploring the world under the scopes. We also need some new slides, to replace the yellowed slides from the 1960s which we are still using!
Before entering teaching, I worked in science here in Hawaii.
I saw that groundbreaking science is being done in ecology, climate change research, astronomy, marine sciences, agriculture, and so many other areas. Most of the time, positions in these fields go to people from outside of our state, because there are few qualified applicants from here. I know that that can change, if schools can provide an education that will help students prepare for college and career paths in science.Read More
|Wolfe Introductory 45 Degree Inclined Student Microscope • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$132.05||5||$660.25|
|Beginners Fungi Slide Set • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$48.69||1||$48.69|
|Basic Meiosis Slide Set • Carolina Biological Supply Company||$30.64||1||$30.64|
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