To purchase equipment for life science courses so that there are microscopes for the study of microorganisms. Currently the microscopes being used are over 30 years old and result in large lab groups.
The microscopes at Truckee High School over 30 years ago and have been maintained by measure A funding. Along with the microscope request, come slides; of which are currently belonging to the department, many are broken and unmaintained; a majority of our slide collection have rigid edges from being broken and many are too scratched to see through. The slides being requested include organism samples from every animal kingdom and most common bacteria, along with forensic slides to examine the role of crime scene investigators. At the time the equipment was purchased, it was highly functioning and met the needs of the smaller class sizes and fewer sections of life science courses. Currently, our average life science course is 30 students and we have multiple life science courses being taught at the same time of year. The microscope cabinet will allow for safe transportation of the new microscopes from room to room. The slide cabinet will protect the slides from breakage as well as aid in the organization of up to five hundred slides. With a class set of digital microscopes and new pre-prepared slides, we can decrease lab group sizes. With the purchase of a class set of microscopes, each student will have the opportunity to develop this skills on their own and then present, from their digital screen, what they discovered. Smaller lab groups make access to lab experiences equitable to all students allowing a greater understanding of the concepts.
The purchase of a class set of digital microscopes and slide equipment will lead to more students working with the materials. These requested items will help implement Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). With the adoption of NGSS, the life science courses need to change the way scientific content is being presented to students. The grant would allow for a much needed, inquiry-based, hands-on science experience for all students; since all students at Truckee High School are required to take a life science course. The digital screen on the microscopes and recording abilities allow for more presentation opportunities within the science classroom increasing content area literacy. This transition of materials would influence the pedagogy utilized during instruction allowing an increase in the number of project-based, personalized learning experiences completed within our science courses.
Equipment will be utilized as soon as it is purchased. All equipment is used in experiences in all biology courses (Honors and AP included), as well as the life science electives being taught (Marine Biology and River Ecology). Microscope labs are apart of all units taught in my life science courses.
The equipment will be shared with all other life science teachers at my site. Every student in the school will use these microscopes as all students are required to take a Biology course to graduate. The older microscopes will be used with the freshman science courses to introduce them to the microscope
Measure A funds could be used to purchase the equipment, but it would be purchased at the rate of one or two microscopes a year, taking a potential decade to meet the needs of our growing classrooms.
The life science supplies at Truckee High School have not been updated in some time. With new teachers coming into the department, and a new building about to house us, we need to updated our supplies to best meet the needs of our current students.