Students in Andrew Perera’s seventh grade science class at Saint Lawrence Elementary and Middle School wasted no time in getting straight to business this school year.
Prior to the first day of school, Perera outfitted his science lab with lab coats for every student with a grant he received over the summer, “It is important to instill an appreciation and respect for science early on in education. I want them to know they are scientists!” Plus, as one student chimed in, “Lab coats are cool!”
In their second lab experiment so far this year, students used microscopes to compare human cells to plant cells. The best part? Students were looking at their own human cells! Each student had to prepare slides of human cells by taking a cheek swab from the inside of his/her mouth and compared that to a slide prepared using grass from the lawn outside. As Perera observed, “The students loved looking at their own cells because it’s no longer an abstract experiment for them. They are immersed in their science lesson – as both researchers and subjects!”
One young scientist shared his excitement with Principal Margaret Reynolds, “This is so cool! Look at my cells; they look like little bubbles with crystals in them!” After studying each slide, students drew the different cells on a lab sheet for reference before writing the first draft of a lab report. As every scientist knows, the follow-up to labs are never as fun as the lab itself, but the students enthusiastically completed their lab reports in anticipation of the next experiment: investigating the properties of convection and conduction!
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