Juniors move to in-person science labs

Biology teacher opens opportunity for students to go into school


Emmy Pearson

Due to some labs requiring equipment at the high school, Park students have been allowed in the building to use laboratory stations in science classrooms to complete their labs.

Jack Kroells

After performing online labs with her students because of social-distancing guidelines, biology teacher Julie Schilz decided to give her students the chance to go into school for an in-person lab experience.

“I think the students that came in to take advantage of it (they) seemed really happy to be at school and in the classroom with each other and me,” Schilz said.

Over distance and hybrid learning, Schilz has held three in-person labs for her students to come in and have a more normal science lesson. The most recent was the extraction of DNA from strawberries.

“It’s like a ten-minute lab,” Schilz said. “It’s not super time-consuming or stressful, it was more just a fun thing for them to come in and do.”

Junior Renee McSherry said this change of pace from online labs was well needed and engaging.

“It’s just a different experience from online labs where everything is done for you,” McSherry said. “It’s an awesome experience to visualize what DNA looks like.”

According to junior Natashia Johannes, it was easy to adhere to social distancing guidelines in the classroom while taking part in the lab.

“We were all at a different table and we each had our own supplies to work with,” Johannes said. “Everyone followed protocol and wore their masks the whole time too.”

Schilz said the labs helped her students learn the material better and connect with the curriculum in a more in-depth matter.

“I definitely think the microscope lab and the strawberry lab helped,” Schilz said. “They were both helpful in learning the content, getting to use the microscope and visualize the DNA.”

McSherry said she also appreciated making connections with new people and would attend another lab.

I got to connect with some people that I don’t normally talk to.”

— Renee McSherry

“I definitely would go again; it was really fun,” McSherry said. “I got to connect with some people that I don’t normally talk to.”

Schilz says she wants to open more opportunities for students to perform in-person labs in the coming months through distance learning.

“I definitely don’t expect everyone to come in, but I still plan on having at least one lab per unit starting after the break,” Schilz said

Students can sign up to attend on the Student Support Time app.