Chemistry labs in highschool
posted by ~christina~ .
I was curious to know whether it was standardized practice to have labs for chemistry classes in highschool.
I personally have never had labs for chemistry in highschool. In my state we have the Regents. You may or may not have heard of this test, but the reason I mention it is that one night I was watching tv really late and was ...falling asleep b/c I was studying for my analytical chem test final. Well, I kinda ran out of instant mix coffee lol so I was attempting to get myself to drink soda. I hate soda. I turned on the tv and I see this review for chemistry for the regents exam. Well they start doing what they call "cool" experiments with HCL which they dub, "the good stuff." Well this worked in effect to wake me up and I started watching. I just thought about this show I saw for no particular reason and the question as to whether chemistry lab classes are standard in chemistry highschool classes came up.
(I actually had a lab but only went in there to do 1 bio lab which was to dissect a frog which we weren't taught how to open up by the way but I NEVER did any chem labs in the lab and was wondering if I missed out on something good)
I had lab when I tok chemistry in high school and think that was standard practice. However, more modern times have arrived and there are many schools that teach AP chemistry without labs. I suppose they save money that way. I am not in favor of that but I don't get a vote. I don't know about chem classes that are not AP classes. Perhaps they still have labs. Some other tutor may know.
Thanks for commenting on you own experience in hs.
I didn't actually have AP chem in my school that I know of. The only AP classes in my hs was History, Calculus, English, Bio and the year after I graduated they added Physics.
I took AP history and English but didn't score high enough for college credit. That test is expensive I must admit though.
What kind of labs did you do in hs?
I bet it wasn't as complicated as in college right Dr.Bob?
It is possible to teach carpentry without tools, or a lab, as long as the test doesn't require any skills being demonstrated.
I am not a fan of AP classes for many reasons, the principle reason being that kids think they are getting college experience, and in fact, many are not getting any experience at all.
Well Bob we didn't need to actually do experiments on that test so I guess lab wouldn't have been necessary. However in bio we didn't need to go and dissect a frog to know anything for the test but we did so anyways.
Not a fan of AP classes? Well the setting of the normal classroom in highschool and having constant quizzes really doesn't imitate the college experience at all I must admit. Especially since in college we only have 3 tests each semester in general.
I can't even imagine what students would learn in from a chemistry class that had no lab.
Basically we learned through books and pictures and just did practice with problems but not through actual aplications in lab. (we talked about things that happen in experiments like we mix stuff together and what should theoretically come out of that without actually doing the experiment)
First of all, I think freshman chemistry class without a lab deprives the student of what chemistry is all about. I learned as much from the labs as I did from lectures and in some cases I learned more. I will go further than Bob Pursley and say I'm not a fan of AP chemistry class at ANY level. I taught an AP freshman chemistry class at the university level twice and a colleague taught it twice. We gave entering freshmen a test and selected entrants to the class based on the results of that test. Our classes were about 20 students and they performed quite well in the class; HOWEVER, while they knew the ins and outs of many advanced pieces of chemistry, they never really learned the basics. I saw them falter in later classes, I saw them falter in grad school and medical school and I felt it was because they didn't know the basics. All were able to overcome that handicap for all graduated with degrees in chemistry, all were admitted to grad school and all were admitted to medical school BUT it took more than just grades to accomplish their purposes. That was in the days before the (I forget the name of the medical school test that is so important now) were the overriding factor in admittance to medical school. So much importance is placed on that test now that I doubt those students would be admitted in this age. At any rate, the department was so displeased that we voted to delete the course from the catalog. Using Bob's analogy, would you want a carpenter to build your house if he/she had seen only a TV screen showing how a house was built. Possible, yes, but the guy/girl who actually built houses might be far better qualified. I'll get off my soap box. There are other things I don't like about chemical education, too, but that can wait.
If your speaking of AP classes hosted by a college then I don't know about that, but I was speaking of AP classes in actually taught by highschool teachers. To get into those classes we didn't have to take a test but rather ask permission from the head of the department (who taught the class) and they also had to review our grades.For history it was the previous grade on the Regents exam.
In both my classes we had about 15-20 "select" students. (I seriously don't know how some people got into this class)
What I can say about chemistry in highschool on the topic of learning the basics is that I didn't remember anything chemistry related (the only thing I remembered about pH was the word and that it had to do something with acidity) by my 4th year in highschool. I took a year total in chemistry my second yr of highschool and I forgot everything. I personally have to say that you would have to be interested in a subject before you remember anything for a long period of time.
If your speaking of basics in terms of math skills, critical thinking and such well I would have to say that I know that graduate school is a while away but I'm kind of aprehensive when I think about the GRE exam since from what I've seen online it's just like the SAT's. I didn't do well on the SAT's maybe b/c I didn't practice but I've never been too good at tricky math problems or critical reading. I think it's WRONG that they go and determine how good a student is by a single exam on things you don't even learn in highschool. My friend did great on the test and I did better than her in class. (I get mad just thinking about it).
I don't know if the GRE is very important in entering a grad program but would know by any chance?(even though they probably didn't have this test back then)
With my major now I can actually enter medical school (that test by the way is the MCAT) but I don't want to.
Wow you must have been really close to your students to know that all of them were admitted to medical school.
(I would have to say it's rare as I don't know my teachers and I'm probably just a name on their list)
I guess I wouldn't want a carpenter to build my house if all they knew was from observing rather than actually doing.
P.S I really don't mind about hearing about what's wrong with chem education but maybe that's b/c I don't have much to do until school starts.lol But if you don't want to elaborate that's fine.
Chemistry class without a lab would be like a photography class without using the cameras and enlargers.
I agree with Bobpursley and DrBob222.
I missed out on something then Writeteacher.
That test I couldn't remember for entrance to medical school is the MCAT test. That is the biggee for med school now, and has been for a number of years. And the GRE has become about the same for grad school. In Louisiana now, we have promotional tests, one in elementary school to see if the student repeats a grade or goes to the next highrer grade, and one for graduation from high school. There is much wailing, weeping, and gnashing of teeth but the tests are still the in thing to do. And we wonder why grade school and high school students have high levels of stress and anxiety, why we must have metal detectors at school entrances, and levels of AHAD have shot upward.
Yep um I said that the test was the MCAT in the post response to the previous post by you...
Aww come on..you can't blame tests for the metal detectors..
That is not true Dr.Bob.
My point is that people aren't going to bring unacceptable items into school because they are stresed about tests but rather because of the drama of school and their aquaintances. Usually the troublemakers don't exactly excell in school. (I don't want to make that generality but it's true [I used to be picked on by them so I know])