In his second year of teaching at the Ron Clark Academy, Daniel Thompson has certainly found his stride in the realm of physical science. A graduate whom received his undergraduate degree in Secondary Science/Biology Education from Auburn University, he has spent three years at the middle and high school levels cultivating students’ skills in chemistry, physics, and biology.
During the month of February, Thompson produced hands-on lab lessons that turned experiments into reality. To study the affects of physical activity on the heart rate, he utilized Globisens Labdiscs. Seen as next-generation science appliances, the compact, wireless lab devices consist of 15 built-in sensors, which replace more than 20 traditional pieces of science equipment. Students were given visual feedback immediately within multiple graphs in order to analyze their data.
Also, students were responsible for building miniature model houses and tasked with wiring the houses with electrical series and parallel circuits. Inspired by the show Deal or No Deal, students were challenged to sell their houses to visiting educators who had been given counterfeit money and instructions upon arrival. The student group that sold their house for the highest amount received priority seating in the classroom and special white lab coats.
When discussing his motivation for such creative lessons, Thompson elaborated, “My inspiration comes from a desire of wanting to better myself in both the field of education and science. I believe that an overall depth of scientific knowledge gives you a better outlook on life. Knowing what is going on with the weather, the atmosphere, or even my body and bones pushes me to know more and it means more to give that back to a group of students!”