My students are budding scientists! Being in an urban school system, many are experiencing a lab class for the first time and they are finally finding a love and curiosity for science! These awesome kids are overcoming some strong challenges at home and our school has become the safe space where they can finally branch out and learn more about themselves and the world around them. It’s such an incredible sight!
I want to give these budding scientists as many opportunities as they can take on - they deserve the same lab experiences that students get in higher income schools.
Chemistry is a rare opportunity for these students to work in a lab setting with their peers, and to be challenged in new and innovative ways. Unfortunately, our limited funding often leaves our science classrooms in the dust and without the items that seem like "basics" for a chemistry lab room. These amazing student deserve the chance to show their capabilities in using the equipment and materials in our chemistry lab, and preparing themselves for college and beyond.
Thanks to the donors of DonorsChoose.org, our lab is equipped with ring stands, test tube equipment, high heat items (crucibles, etc), and a small set of Bunsen Burners that we just received. Now, we are aiming to get a few more bunsen burners so that our group sizes can be down to 3-4 instead of the 5-6 kids crammed around each burner that we have.
This project is something that my students are requesting so that they can do proper lab experiments when flames are required.
For example, when we did the fireworks labs, students put wood sticks soaked in different solutions of metal salts (NaCl, SrCl, BaCl, and KCl) into the flames. The sterno cups and candles that we have did not give us enough heat to see each of the fireworks colors. After doing the lab, we had to do a review that included videos of other schools doing the same lab that we found on Youtube to see actual results. The kids are excited to finally get to do these types of projects, and having smaller groups would make the experience even better!
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