As a graduate of a Maine public school district, I know first-hand how dull the science curriculum set by the Maine Learning Results can be. I had no idea as a grade school student that I would ultimately declare a chemistry-biochemistry major at Colby College. My goal in taking this course was to develop engaging experiments that would inspire students that may not otherwise have done so to pursue a higher education in the sciences.
My first experiment, The Case of the Stolen Sports Drink Recipe (Spectrophotometry Teacher Kit), allows high school biology and chemistry students to develop an understanding of spectrophotometry by having them help a baseball player who has misplaced the formula for his lucky beet juice sports drink. In addition to spectrophotometry, this experiment gives students practice using Microsoft Excel to create a standard curve.
My second experiment, You Are What You Eat (Nutrition Teacher Kit), provides students the opportunity to help the same baseball player, this time with his nutrition. It introduces students to the three macromolecules most crucial to nutrition: carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, and it allows them to make connections between the food they eat and the energy they need to live.
My final experiment, Cleaning With Chemistry (Cleaning with Chemistry Teacher Kit) presents younger students (Grades K-8) with the concepts of acid-base chemistry, and it demonstrates to them how common household acids and bases can be used as cleaning products.
This course has truly been a wonderful experience for me. Students never ceased to surprise me with their creativity, senses of humor and unwavering enthusiasm for learning. I hope they enjoyed the experiments as much as I did, and I hope that the learning can continue with future students. Have fun!