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Science Labs Active with Student Projects

Friday, September 19, 2008 (Fort Myers, FL) This week the Science Department has been busy with labs taking place in Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Classes.

Students from Mr. Hansons Physics class race cars down the courtyard of the school in order to calculate distance using velocity and time.Mrs. Vocu’s and Mr. Hanson’s Physics and Integrated Science classes were busy chasing motorized buggies around the campus last week. Students are following the buggies in order to mark their positions at set time intervals. Once the positions have been marked, students will measure the distance from the starting point and record the data. Next, students will produce a distance vs. time graph and calculate the slope. The resulting slope will equal the velocity of the toy buggy. The information will be used to write an equation for the graph which students will hopefully notice, is the equation for calculating distance using velocity and time. This activity leads students to our next lesson on creating distance vs. time graphs, velocity vs. time graphs, and acceleration vs. time graphs, and being able to recognize the relationships between the three.

Ms. Obrien's Chemistry classes were testing the solubility of water and kerosene with different types solutes. Water, which is the universal (polar) solvent, will show to dissolve many more things than nonpolar substances such as kerosene.

Students in Ms. Obrien's Chemistry classes can relate this to the real world of getting stains out of clothes. "You know you can’t get a grease stain out of clothes with water, but you can with a nonpolar solvents, like the dry cleaners use to get out grease and body oils from clothes" Ms. Obrien stated.

It's the like dissolve like concept. If the substances are alike in some way then one should dissolve the other. Polar substances will not dissolve nonpolar substances because they are not alike.