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Time to actually do something FOR SCIENCE: I’m a science teacher at a low-income rural middle school. We were just given 5,500 dollars to make a science lab. What do I get?(r/AskReddit)
This is probably how I would spend the money, based on the provided curriculum:
1) Life Science – Ecology to Intro Cell Biology:
I would buy around 6 compound microscopes. They are not very expensive and I found a decent model for roughly $280.00 a piece (free S&H). With this, you can cover both ecology and cell biology. If you have prepared slides of plant cells, it would be nice to see those under the scope (xylem, phloem, root tip structure, stomata, etc.). If you have H&E stained slides of animal cells, it would be nice to see different phases of the cell cycle when going over something like mitosis.
2) Physical Sciences – Electricity and Newton’s Laws
In my mind, this will probably not be too expensive to cover. For Newton’s laws of motion, you can probably buy a bunch of hotwheels car tracks and do simple group experiments with those. I had something like this in mind (~ $15.00 a piece). With these and a bunch of sweet hot wheels cars, I think you can cover the three laws just fine. For electricity, I had some simple kits in mind which would cover things like resistors, capacitors, power source and circuits but I don’t know how much detail you would be going into in class. Nevertheless, on sciencekits.com, they have this, which is something like what I had in mind (~ $14.00).
3) Earth and Space Sciences:
For this, I would primarily want a nice sized globe (~ $550.00). With this, you can talk about continental drift, ocean currents, tilted axis on which the earth rotates, etc.
Some large maps of the world and the solar system would probably also be nice to have.
Earth Map (~ $15.00)
Solar System Map (~ $15.00)
For discussing geology, you can also look in to ordering a bunch of rock samples from here (~ $5.00 a piece)
4) Other Items:
If the class does not already have one, a nice projector would be great (~ $600.00). Hooked up to a computer, you can show videos and simulations of pretty much any topic you will discuss during the course. Maybe you can also get students to do mini-powerpoint presentations on whatever science topic – just to get them in the habit of doing presentations in front of their peers.
Also, if the class does not have one, a nice laptop would be great as well. You can hook it up to a projector and do whatever you want. From peering into the wonders of what Carl Sagan has to share on Youtube to whatever Jenna Jameson has to share on Xtube, it can all be done!
All in all, this should roughly come out to:
6 Microscopes: $1680.00
10 Hotwheels Car Tracks: $150.00
Hotwheels Cars: $10.00 (for a pack of a bajillion)
10 Science Kits (Electricity): $140.00
1 Globe: $550.00
10 Rock Samples: $50.00
Misc. Items (Magnets, Timers, Crafts): $200.00
1 Projector: $600.00
1 Laptop: ~$1000.00
p.s. i would spend the remainder on dry ice.