More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households
$0 still needed
We Don't Want to be Blinded by Science
My students need 5 lab stools to sit on during lab activities and 20 safety goggles to protect their eyes.
Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. This ancient Chinese proverb is how I want my students to experience science. Instead of them reading about science in a book, I want them to learn how to "do" science.
I teach 8th grade Science in a rural area of Mississippi.
In Mississippi, we take a state standardized test that places the students in their high school courses. Most students come from low income, single mother homes. 76% of the 8th grade students read below grade level. While our district scored a successful ranking, our middle school scored an academic watch which would be considered a "D".
I have inherited a large classroom, and it also includes a large science lab as well. There are 32 spots for students in the lab section; however, we only have 8 functional lab stools. The majority of my classes contain 12-15 students. Also, we only have 8 goggles that students can wear. The students complain about how uncomfortable the goggles are, and often forget to use the goggles during experiments. With the lack of goggles, some students can only observe the lab activities because I can't provide protection for their eyes.
Since a majority of the students in my school read below grade level, it is hard for them to grasp science concepts by reading them in a book. However, if the students can use their hands and see that what they read about actually does occur, it would help them understand the concepts versus just memorizing facts. Many children in our area have not had the opportunity to explore the world around them on their own because they come from homes that do not cultivate a learning environment.
The purchase of the stools and goggles would allow more students to safely participate in the hands-on activities. I would be able to use stronger chemicals than baking soda and vinegar. The students' excitement about science is enhanced when they think they are using "real" chemicals. One of my objectives to cover is chemical reactions along with acids and bases. Several lab activities call for hydrochloric acid, calcium chloride,and 90% hydrogen peroxide.
By giving to this project, students would be given the opportunity to enhance their education in science.
An early exposure to how science works in their everyday lives would give the students an advantage in future academic endeavors.
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