Mr. Kwong, one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from parents is how you are able to effectively lead students to explore science online. How would you answer that?
Science is the human endeavor to answer questions about natural phenomena in the universe. Mastering content in any of the sciences challenges students to memorize, understand, and apply concepts and the vocabulary to explaining the natural phenomena in our world.
Within the online classroom, the wealth of resources available to students helps offset the lack of physical materials on hand to perform labs, demonstrations, and experiments. I perform demonstrations live in class so students can follow along, or observe so they can perform the demonstration or experiment on their own.
So, are students required to purchase lab kits?
The short answer is no. Families should contact teachers to see which demonstrations from the text the teacher plans to do as there are many and class time is limited (the teachers will provide this information prior to class, of course)
Thankfully, the Apologia curriculum purposefully creates demonstrations with materials available at the market, drugstore, or the home. Virtual labs and simulations from websites like PHET Interactive cover instances where materials are not readily available.
The Apologia lab kit for chemistry is certainly convenient, but individual pieces of equipment can be purchased online so that families only buy what their student will use.
As an online teacher, I’m continually looking for ways to create experiments that generate data for students to analyze and gain further insight to the phenomena at hand. For example, I have deepened the acid base titration lab in chemistry to require each student to perform the lab with a unique acid of their choosing to see how acid concentration affects the acid volume necessary to equalize a set amount of ammonia.
It sounds like your online students are doing a whole lot more then just reading a book and looking at the computer.
The Logos Online science teachers deeply care that students have engaging, authentic learning experiences in our classes. The challenge of creating these through the online classroom is an ongoing adventure with learning opportunities for students and teachers aplenty.