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Thread: Let's talk about biology labs

  1. #1
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Let's talk about biology labs

    Do you find it hard to do science labs in the home? Do you do virtual labs? Since starting high school we've only been able to do the virtual labs since the lab kits are so expensive. Has anyone purchased a lab kit before?
    Last edited by Robin; 07-14-2014 at 03:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    Being a former ps high school physics teacher, doing hands-on labs is very important for my kids. For physics, I was able to make or order a lot of what we used for labs.

    For biology, I find the most expensive equipment to be a good microscope, but we invested in one when they were in elementary school and used it often, so I figure I could spread the cost out. For the rest of the biology materials (mostly slides, dissection kit, and dissecting specimens) I used Home Science Tools (www.hometrainingtool.com. I also used them for the materials for physics). Other things can be used from home--plants for botany, sytrofoam meat trays for dissecting pans, local bodies of water for ecology...

    Now for chemistry, I had the kids take a dual enrollment course at the local university. The largest reason was that there was NO WAY I was going to have the necessary chemicals in my house; too much of a danger. They also got a chance to work in a cool lab environment with "real" materials, other students, and with the demands of a college prof. They loved the class.

    I have also used the virtual labs to either reinforce their hands-on learning or to replace a lab where I couldn't find materials.
    Mrsstuckinthesand likes this.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa sophomore double majoring in English with Creative Writing and Journalism

    Son (19), a Purdue University freshman majoring in Computer Science

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    For more expensive materials (microscope), can you ask around your local group to borrow one, or do you have a ps teacher connection to borrow one?
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa sophomore double majoring in English with Creative Writing and Journalism

    Son (19), a Purdue University freshman majoring in Computer Science

  4. #4
    Administrator Robin's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Inmom! My daughter is against dissection, did you find it a necessary part of your child's biology course?

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    My daughter LOVED the dissections; however, my son is definitely NOT looking forward to them. I'm going ahead and having him do them though; I'm a former high school physics/science/math teacher, and hands-on labs are very important in MY opinion. BUT, the virtual dissections are so good now, I wouldn't say the actual dissections are necessary. Sometimes, though, it can be interesting when the anatomy doesn't always turn out the way it should/where it should. It opens up "why" kind of questions--that usually don't have an answer--that can be fun.

    On another topic, if you ever want some physics simulations, try here: The Physics Classroom
    Robin likes this.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years

    Daughter (20), a University of Iowa sophomore double majoring in English with Creative Writing and Journalism

    Son (19), a Purdue University freshman majoring in Computer Science

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