Hi, my name is Josh Goldman from Pelham, New York. I am currently enrolled in the pre-health track and planning to major in chemistry. During my first Jan-Plan, I was allowed to test my ideas and work with fellow students in the Maine community. As I worked with elementary and high school students, I gained a new perspective and appreciation for the field of science. The Jan-Plan allowed me to teach and spread my passion for science. My goal for this program was to get practical experience working with children and to excite other students about science. I was thrilled to take this program over the past month. I had a great time presenting my ideas and working with students.
My first activity, Matter Exploration, included two separate demonstrations that focused on different phases of matter. These demonstrations included the use of dry ice and liquid nitrogen to demonstrate different stages and changes in matter that may not be seen outside a laboratory setting. Following this, students participated in an activity where they collected data and presented their findings in a graphic organizer. With the younger grade students, the focus was more on gathering data and showing their results; however, with the older students along with the data collection and presentation, the difference in freezing points was explored. Through this activity, students practiced applying the scientific method to better understand specific physical changes of matter.The final part of this activity was to create oobleck that helped students have a physical experience with solid and liquid physical properties. (Matter Exploration Teacher kit)
My second activity, Volcano Vacation, explored different physical and chemical tests to identify specific minerals and elements. This activity contained three separate stations and a final chemical reaction. For the first station, fluorescent minerals were identified through UV light. Following this, simple chemical tests were used on chemical compounds to identify a compound. Finally, the last station used physical properties to identify a mineral. This activity finished with an elephant’s toothpaste reaction as a hands-on activity to end the day. Students practiced their ability to use indicators to identify materials. (Volcano Vacation Teacher Kit)
The final activity, A New pH Scale, focused on the pH scale and the water cycle. The first demonstration used a universal indicator and showed the range of colors produced when an acid and a base are placed in solution.The second demonstration showed how acid rain is formed and reviewed the water cycle. Next, students created a pH scale with everyday items found at home. This activity gave students experience using different tools such as a pH meter and litmus paper. Finally, students worked with goldenrod paper to show how indicators work. (A New pH Scale Teacher kit)