Sarah Perlitz’s science teaching philosophy is that great scientists always ask questions, are not afraid to fail, and are always learning something new. Students must start with a foundation of facts and use the scientific method to learn more about the world around them. Her students have learned to be comfortable when they don’t know what will happen. The current classroom-size science lab has seen little renovation since the late 1970s. Equipment doesn’t work and there is a lack of consumables. An upgrade is needed to seat the students properly at functioning lab tables so that experiments may be performed with accuracy. An upgrade in supplies is needed because so many non-consumable samples and displays are outdated or falling apart. A new lab would allow Perlitz to provide authentic supplies and materials to accompany her lessons, instead of struggling to fit the constraints of an old, outdated lab. Instead of just talking about what an exploration might be like if they had the materials and resources, students would actually be able to do it!
Morgan Whittemore’s passion is for all her students to fall in love with science and learning. Her goal is to reach every student by making class interactive and engaging. She uses demonstrations, lab experiences, real-world connections and anything edible to engage students’ curiosity and help students make sense of the science concepts. Whittemore’s school is constructing a STEM/Innovation lab and an outdoor garden/greenhouse to use with science classes. Having enough resources to construct these new areas, including functional lab equipment, for an increasing student population is a challenge. The current STEM/Innovation labs houses CPO equipment but needs a facelift for students to utilize the area for innovation and creating. In the STEM room, teachers would like to add maker spaces, tools, as well as materials for students to build and learn from. In the atrium /outdoor area, they would like to provide students with the opportunities to grow plants outdoors as well as in a greenhouse. Using tactile methods of teaching would benefit students, especially struggling learners and English Language Learners.
Brandis Willis’s science teaching philosophy is that every student is a scientist in their own right, whether economically disadvantaged or dispassionate and uninspired. She connects subjects that may seem abstract, like Biology, to daily life experiences. When science is made relatable, students take ownership of the subject and become the teachers. The school has approximately 40 dissection kits but all are missing key parts and suffer from rusting. Due to construction/renovation, teachers have lost a majority of lab basic lab equipment such as glassware, graduated cylinders, and test tubes. Teachers are lacking hands-on practical application of science in a real-world lab setting. Having a growth light system for growing plants would also allow for transpiration labs with self-grown specimens as well measuring dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide for transpiration/cellular energy labs. Techniques such as gram staining and dissections of different organisms for comparative anatomy will give students the cutting edge they need to delve deeper into science with the confidence of competence in the subject due to hands-on experience.