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As students were not attending school in-person last year, Carnegie Vanguard High School teachers found solutions for teaching classes virtually.
Biology students expected to experience a class-wide dissection, and chemistry students presumed flame test labs would occur. No magnesium was to be ignited, and the COVID-19 pandemic arrived uninvited.
From elephant toothpaste to creating fireworks, experimental learning in science and math classes helps enhance learning with observation and inference. The Bulgarian Journal of Science and Education Policy states that “teaching classes with experiments causes the acquisition of knowledge and skills.” Experiments help students learn and, in fact, make up a large part of the curriculum for several classes.
But with the coronavirus pandemic blindsiding teachers’ curriculums, educators found solutions for teaching science classes virtually. Many learning tools involving video learning to virtual labs were helpful. It was a great substitute, and I applaud my school’s efforts to provide students with adequate resources for success while maintaining a challenging learning environment.
I couldn’t be any prouder to be a Rhino, the mascot that symbolizes strength. Our principal, Ramon Moss, rightfully said, “We expect our students to push themselves academically, intellectually, and socially in preparation for leadership in an ever-changing global society.” The change brought by COVID-19 was uncertain. The Rhinos, however, weren’t deterred by it and instead came together as a community during this past year. We managed to celebrate each event, from social to academic, even in a virtual environment.
The good news is that the CDC has declared the COVID-19 vaccines safe and effective. Even though there are many concerns, the vaccine might be our best bet in getting through this rough patch. We should be working to get as many shots in as many arms.
I feel lucky to be protected in some way against a disease that has hurt people worldwide. Knowing that I can go back to school next year and be involved in activities in person gives me hope that everything will be alright.
Not only will this vaccine give students back the opportunity to create chemical reactions in class, but it might also allow us to enjoy a more traditional and more efficient way of learning.