In the world of science there is so much going on which is reflected in our classroom as well. I start the day with a little physics and chemistry. The sophomores and I are playing with different types of cars and paying close attention to what is happening while they are moving. The data collection is not the nice, neat data they are given in practice problems, so learning how messy science can be is definitely a tough one. In our senior physics class we are working our way through the properties of friction. We have already played with cars in the previous units, but are working our way toward marble roller coasters and figuring out bouncy balls. Lots of playing around, but a lot of math too … lots of math. Chemistry is chemistry: fire, chemicals, candy, and math.

The afternoon is filled with biology and forensic science. Sophomores are in the middle of learning genetics. They will get to see a little of how they became the person they are today. We will be moving on to the theory of natural selection and ecology shortly. At that point, they will get to see how everything we have learned this year matters in the big picture. Biology 2 is another story. We are studying the diversity of all animals. Watching their faces as they learn that, yes, insects are animals too is fun to watch. We will then start studying human body systems. That’s when the fun begins with all the various dissections I have planned. Those will include the eyeball, a kidney, a heart, and a pig. We are all excited for those.

We end the day with Forensic science. This class always has a lot to do, from DNA and fingerprint analysis to blood spatter and drug testing. In between our labs and lectures we are studying the forensics from a historical murder at an old farmhouse, online of course. One thing new this year is evaluating past “famous” crimes. Last semester we studied the Jean Benet Ramsey case. This semester we are choosing between three cases, one of which is the West Memphis 3 case. 

In all of the science classes students are learning that science is messy. It never has the exact numbers you want; it never works out the way it’s supposed to; or it is just plain tedious. They are getting a real taste for the difference between messing around and science; that is, writing it down!