$2,000 from Lubrizol goes to BG sixth- and seventh-grade teachers PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD/Sentinel Education Editor   
Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:07
Sixth grader Taylor Shepard (left) analyzes fake blood  from a forensics kit under a telescope as science teacher Susan Harms observes. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
The science teachers at Bowling Green Middle School are having fun spending a $2,000 gift to the program.
The Lubrizol Foundation, along with the Lubrizol plant in Bowling Green, have each given the middle school science program $1,000 to purchase instructional material and supplies.
Sue “Chip” Harms, sixth-grade science teacher, explained that Principal Joe Zabowski told her he had money for the science program, and asked if she had any ideas on how to spend it.
She sure did.
She has purchased four forensic kits for her CSI lessons at $145 each, plus six refill kits at $80 each. Harms, who used to teach sixth-grade at Kenwood Elementary School before those grades moved to the middle school last year, used to teach a Kenwood CSI — Crime Scene Investigation — unit for the past 10 years at the elementary. It was paid for each year by the Kenwood PTO.
This year, Harms and Tomas Roman purchased kits and plans with the money from Lubrizol to accommodate the 230 sixth-graders at the middle school, so they will have the opportunity to participate in the forensic program, The Case of the Lost Skull, in May.
Forensic science is a popular way to spark student interest in real world science. Each of the eight sixth-grade classes will participate as forensic teams in the lesson, led by Harms and Roman.
Sixth grader Taylor Shepard (left) and science teacher Susan Harms (right) are seen typing blood using a supplies from a forensics kit.
In the case, a mysterious animal skull has been left outside the school with money stuffed inside it, a shoe print beside it, and other potential trace evidence in the area. Students will perform detailed experiments using collected evidence found at the “crime scene” to determine who is responsible. They will dust for fingerprints, complete fingerprint analysis, blood type analysis (using simulated blood samples), and fiber and hair analysis, all the while documenting their evidence as their investigation proceeds.
“They will have to solve the crime,” said Harms.
The teachers will change the name of this unit to Bobcat CSI.
Trying to involve the community, the teachers plan to bring parents in to help with blood-typing or other evidence stations. Plans are to have Bowling Green D.A.R.E. Officer, Robin Short, visit the classrooms to speak about investigations and fingerprinting basics.
The lessons, Harms said, follow the current Ohio sixth grade science standards. Focused on implementing the new Common Core state standards for sixth grade, Roman said he and Harms also will work with English and math teachers on cross-curriculum lessons.
The seventh grade teachers got the other $1,000 to spend.
Paula Williams, seventh-grade science teacher, attended a Teachers in Education program in October, and came back with so many ideas.
She had “all sorts of ideas but no money for it.”
With the donation, she purchased
• Three electronic balances; the school had six, but only one worked. The balances cost $300 each.
• “Bomb bags” that explode when compressed to demonstrate the transfer of energy and chemical change. After exploding the bags the students can test the mix of powder and liquid that is inside.
• Small plastic animals to use a timeline lesson offered through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. She’ll use the animals and timeline to study the physical attributes of Ohio’s landscape and biodiversity. This activity will model the impact humans have had both positively and negatively on Ohio — such as pollution or over hunting, — causing the removal of a number of animals in the state.
She’s considering asking the high school shop class build a large outline of Ohio to use in her lesson.
She and Kristi Krupp, the other seventh-grade science teacher, will lead two teams from the 10 classes.
Matt Paquette, manufacturing manager with Lubrizol and also a tutor for the middle school and high school, said as part of the community, the company wanted to provide funds for classrooms.
He said he asked the principal, “What do you need?” and got the response, “I don’t know, what have you got?”
The local company does not have an application process for donations.
“It’s wonderful to have them here in our community,” Williams said about the company support.
“A blessing,” added Zabowski.
With current budget constraints, the district couldn’t afford such purchases without Lubrizol’s help, he added.
The company is a leader in specialty chemicals.
The Lubrizol Foundation provides financial support to educational institutions and charitable organizations in communities primarily within the United States where Lubrizol operates major facilities.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:22

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