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Philadelphia Science Teachers Attend A Lab Session In Getting Students Excited

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(Don McKinney, second from left, leads science teachers in an experiment they can repeat in their classrooms.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Don McKinney, second from left, leads science teachers in an experiment they can repeat in their classrooms. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  It’s the middle of summer, but Philadelphia schoolteachers are learning how to engage students in the world of science when school resumes in the fall.

“Test it, and record your results.  Go!,” advised Don McKinney from the Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition as he led 20 Philadelphia science teachers in an experiment to identify five “mystery powders” by dropping water, vinegar, or iodine onto them.

The session today at the Franklin Institute gave teachers a chance to share ideas about how to get kids curious about science.  For example, McKinney advised, have experiment materials laid out before the students walk in.

“They don’t have to know all the answers,” notes Wagner Middle School eighth grade science teacher Ruth Penning (second from right in photo).  “They can come in with an open mind and learn something themselves.”

These teachers are among 100 districtwide who will be getting classroom science kits that include safety glasses, eyedroppers, and reams of paper, all courtesy of Philadelphia-based FMC Corporation.

“It’s like gold, actually, to have something that you can immediately use and put to use is always awesome,”  Penning says.

And in these lean times in Philadelphia schools, Penning says the paper is especially welcome:

“If you want to make a teacher happy, give them a ream of paper!”


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