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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Experiments expand educational horizons

Students of Rod Atchley’s chemistry class are making a leap from dependent children to independent-thinking young adults. A chemistry lesson in analysis of unknown compounds will teach them to make their own conclusions and not depend on their instructor’s wisdom.

The class will sample compounds and determine the presence or lack of different chemical entities. Eventually students will be given undisclosed chemicals and be asked to find trace elements of several different chemicals.

“It’s like a cooking class,” Atchley said. “You give them some basic rules and a few recipes, and soon enough they’ve learned.”

Atchley is working to expand the educational horizons of his students. This set of experiments moves students to the upper tier of Bloom’s taxonomy in the area of chemistry. The concept of Bloom’s taxonomy states that there are three levels of understanding: 70% of all understanding is comprehension (facts, plot, etc?), 20% is analyzing, and 10% is evaluation and application.

With the ability to evaluate and apply many students have embraced the class.

“I feel more confident in my abilities in chemistry,” Tim Westra, ’05, said. “I don’t have to worry about struggling to figure anything out. I can think for myself and draw conclusions as to the content of different compounds. This assignment has really expanded my knowledge in the realm of chemistry.”

Many students feel like Westra and have begun to enjoy the class.

“This class has been a lot more exciting since we started this project,” Erin Elmore, ’06, said. “I had enjoyed chemistry before, but now I really look forward to the class. I feel like an active participant and not just a sponge for knowledge.”

Throughout the month of March, Atchley will be continuing sets of chemical experiments. For more information, contact Atchley at 297-9464, ext. 142.

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