“Learning in the Lab”

The following post is from Mrs. Emily Frayser. Mrs. Frayser teaches 8th grade science and is beginning her 6th year here at Lewisburg Middle School. She loves teaching science and is a Nationally Board Certified teacher.

Here at Lewisburg middle school we believe that teaching science requires exposing our students to a variety of learning experiences in order to grasp the concepts at a higher level.  We don’t want our students to just memorize concepts; we want the students to learn how to apply the concepts to other situations instead of seeing them as separate entities. In order to achieve these goals, we work together as a team to create an eclectic educational experience that will reach as many learning styles as possible and provide our students with lessons that spike their interests. Incorporating hands-on investigations in the Science classroom plays a vital role in helping our students think deeper about the objectives we are teaching.  In the last several years, thanks to Homer Skelton and the Excellence in Education Foundation, we have been able to stock our lab with many of the necessary tools and technology required to enhance our hands-on investigations. We also have awesome parents that have contributed many of our consumable materials whenever we ask for items. This school year our students have already explored what it’s like to be an engineer in the marshmallow challenge. They also saw the unexpected happen when we tried to dissolve sugar in alcohol as we learned how to apply the steps of the scientific method. With each unit we have at least one lab that engages our students to explore the concept for a deeper understanding or discover something new. Just last week, we explored the Laws of Motion through a rotation lab for our first major unit of the year. During this lab, our students explored how friction and the laws of motion can be applied to sports like hockey using an air hockey table. They also explored the effects of collision and momentum using a small pool table. Then the students launched different size balloon rockets to see how the 1st law brought the rocket to a stop, how the 2nd law affected the acceleration and how the 3rd law caused the motion with action-reaction forces. Last, the students found the average speed of a radio control car in order to use that data to make a prediction about how long it would take the car to travel a further distance. The students really enjoyed playing with the car, but they also thought it was cool to see how their predictions were right on target when it was tested. Although it takes time and commitment to provide inquiry and hands-on learning experiences for our students, it is worth every minute after seeing the excitement our students have as they are learning. Our hope at Lewisburg Middle School is to inspire our students to love learning and expose them to as many experiences possible, so they can see that there is a world of possibilities for them to explore in their future! My students and I are looking forward to a school year full of new learning experiences that will create fun memories and hopefully a lasting impact on their future.

By, Emily Frayser NBCT 8th grade Science

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