February 20, 2012

Home-schoolers’ field trip

Emilie and Elizabeth Kim, who are home-schooled in Montgomery County, learn about chemical reactions by making raisins dance in a Johns Hopkins MCC lab. Photo: David Chisham

Fifty home-schooled students grades pre-K to seven—all part of the LEAP Co-op in Montgomery County—got a hands-on science lesson on Feb. 6, thanks to representatives from the JHU Center for Biotechnology Education. After a brief primer on lab safety from Audrey Moshfeghian, CBE senior lab coordinator at Johns Hopkins’ Montgomery County Campus, the pre-K through second-grade students learned about chemical reactions by making bouncy balls and getting raisins to dance. They also got a lesson on how well—or, in some cases, how poorly—they washed their hands. After the younger kids were done, the third- to seventh-grade students got their opportunity to learn about chemical reactions and DNA … and to practice their CSI skills through three activities: making silly putty, creating DNA necklaces and undertaking a blood-typing exercise.