Webster County High labs offer students hands-on experience
PRESTON — Rob Bailey has been teaching at Webster County High School for five years now. As a science teacher he teaches biology to the freshmen, physics to the sophomores, chemistry to the juniors, and anatomy to the seniors. In all four classes he is able to direct multiple labs. While some think of labs as involving test tubes and goggles, there are some less complicated labs in anatomy where students take each other’s blood pressure.
“I love labs. The students enjoy labs and varying their classroom experience. For me labs not only prepare them for college and future instruction, but it sharpens the ability to observe,” said Bailey. Adding, “I constantly look for better labs and better ways to demonstrate what is to be learned in biology, physics, chemistry, and anatomy.”
Of course, after the labs and working in small groups or pairs, the lab report follows. Lab reports are designed to chronicle what happened in the lab. To have the students write about their hypothesis, the observations, and the outcomes. Lab reports can be as short and one page and as long as 10.
“Lab reports not only allow me to assess the lab and the results from the experiment, but to get a good look at the student’s ability to communicate effectively in writing. I enjoy reading what students have to say about science,” said Bailey.
In the past months physics students have painted color wheels learning about waves and color, had a lab with prisms and lens while the freshmen did a lab to demonstrate they exhale carbon dioxide, and the juniors in chemistry made mock burgers to better understand limiting reagents.
In the next few weeks the seniors will be dissecting bullfrogs and a wild hog. Bailey is looking forward to the labs, but maybe the students’ reactions even more.