Being away from a lab is no problem for Santa Catalina School's science students. Whether constructing contraptions or improvising tools for data collection, students are getting plenty of hands-on experience. Here are a few snapshots:
Freshmen in Conceptual Physics were each mailed an erector set-like physics kit at the beginning of the year, and they're making good use of it. Recently, they built a lever postal scale and a ship's lantern for a unit on inertia, force, and Newton's 1st Law of Motion.
Seniors in AT Physics with Trigonometry worked on their estimation skills, using a variety of tools and techniques to figure out the measurements of everything from a car to a favorite walk to the thickness of a sheet of paper. One common method included measuring the length of their stride. The students posted videos of themselves explaining their method, and their classmates responded in kind with helpful suggestions for improvement.
In Biology, students learned how to conduct biological surveys. They chose areas near their home, including yards, parks, and the beach, and counted the various species they found there. Students used items like string and a jump rope to create their transects—lines along which they observed and recorded plant and animal life.