by Avery Harmon
Throughout the course of the three weeks, Chemistry students have had a routine. They come to class in the morning and watch a cool-off video (usually a documentary where students learn the history of chemistry), then start on the morning lab, followed by some worksheets. After lunch, they do another lab and take notes over their book chapters. The notes and homework have given students a grasp of the basics of chemistry, and the labs have given students the experience of fun, hands-on demonstrations of the content they have learned in the notes and book chapter.
At the beginning of VAMPY, the students learned basic lab procedures (I’m sure all the families are glad to hear this) and did a lab where they dyed their lab goggles. Later labs included working with tie-dying and dyeing shirts in colors of their choosing. Another involved making a rainbow by mixing differently colored dyes; this lab helped students grasp the measuring systems used in chemistry. For me, the most fun lab involved using freezing point depression to make ice cream.
Overall, the students have fully grasped the basics of chemistry through coursework and enjoyable labs, the perfect mixture of work and fun.