My name is Jordyn Smith and I am a first-year student from Toronto, Canada. Spending time with young children has always been an important part of my life – whether as a summer camp counselor, tutor or youth mentor. This course allowed me to help young students see why science is such an important and engaging discipline. I created three activities in which students performed hands-on experiments that allowed them to complete corresponding Worksheets and understand scientific concepts. My goal for this Jan Plan was to encourage students to see how the science they learn in the classroom is applied in the world they live in.
My first experiment was a simulation of the primary treatment of waste water in treatment plants (Water Purification Teacher Kit.) Students understood the purpose of filters, the role of density in oil skimming and the importance of electrostatic attraction in flocculation. As students cleaned the water, the placed all waste they produced in a cup that they weighed at the end of the experiment. This illustrated how much waste is produced in the purification of small volumes of water.
My second activity, Chemistry Carnival, challenged students to repair broken carnival rides and games using Chemistry (Chemistry Carnival Teacher Kit.)
When repairing the waterslide park they understood the impact of friction and viscosity. In order to fix the duck pond they examined the science behind magnets. Fixing the three-ball-bounce color game prompted a discussion of acid-base chemistry and indicators. Finally, in order to repair the High Striker, students built popsicle-stick catapults and discussed the importance of tension in simple machines.
My last activity, Medical Diagnosis, was created with the goal of showing students the connection between the concepts they learn in class, such as solution concentration and acid-base chemistry, and the diagnoses medical professionals make daily, such as dehydration and acid reflux (Medical Diagnosis Teacher Kit.) Students also watched a demonstration of hydrogen peroxide decomposition by yeast, which helped them understand lactose intolerance and the importance of the lactase enzyme.
The teacher kits above explain how to reproduce these activities. Modifications can be made based on the ages of the students. I’m very thankful to have taken part in this class! I hope you find the teacher kits useful!