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  • In the Classroom
  • Remote Learning
Marc Drougal, Upper School Science Faculty
Students in a science class using laptops for data analysis

Students titrating with probes and software

The joy of learning science and the path to connecting kids to their world lies in creating experiences and connections that open their eyes or instill wonder.  As we embrace an EPIIC approach to educating our kids, it is critical to creating opportunities for kids to make memories..

In AP environmental science and AP chemistry, this includes

AP environmental science at DTE Energy Monroe


During this pandemic, it’s important to make connections to LIFE OUT THERE while we may still BE IN HERE. It may look different in the various disciplines and divisions, but here are a few strategies I have used to keep my students engaged during our urbanization and sustainability unit:

  1. Guest speakers offer expertise and a new voice. While remote, our
    Class on Zoom
    class invited Mr. Jeffrey Kahan, City of Ann Arbor urban planner to discuss sustainable cities in a Zoom meeting. Mr. Kahan discussed current and future sustainability initiatives in Ann Arbor, as well as the challenges that cities like Detroit face. Students asked many challenging questions for Mr. Kahan from public housing to mass transit to the gentrification of the city. Though we have had many guest speakers in the past, some are more available via conference, since they do not have to travel. Mr. Kahan will certainly be back next year!
  2. Projects allow students to incorporate places/experiences that are important to them. While they may not be able to visit these places due to the pandemic, they can enjoy reflecting on them as part of their studies. In our Urbanization and Sustainability unit, APES students picked a city important to them to present its history and important infrastructure. By calling the municipalities, researching their websites, and creating a mini-documentary, students gained an understanding and appreciation of how zoning laws, drinking water, sewage treatment, energy generation, sanitation, transportation, and urban planning come together to make the city that is so special to them function. Here are a couple of examples from this past April:

    South Haven, MI - Madison Salzenstein

    Vancouver, BC - Victoria He
  3. Stop motion videos were created as a culminating project in AP chemistry in lieu of a final exam. Students could pick any physical/chemical process to show how that phenomenon occurs at both the macroscopic and particle level. Using household items, craft materials, software, or any other media, students constructed a stop motion video that could incorporate structure, bonding, geometries, stoichiometry, and energy concepts as appropriate. Not only did the project ask the kids to review concepts from throughout the year, but also allowed them to apply them in a creative way to a phenomenon they enjoy!

    Lighting a Match by Anna Uzieblo

    The Chemistry of Cookies by Maria Sicilia

With the uncertainty of what the next academic year may look like, these are experiences that are transferable whether teaching face to face or in a remote environment. Stay safe!