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Rancho Minerva Middle School

HomeMeet the FinalistsRancho Minerva Middle School

Rancho Minerva Middle School | #RMMicroscopes

San Diego, California 

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At a Glance

Funding will allow 6th grade students to see life through the eyes of a scientist. With the purchase of new microscopes and petri dishes, students will discover firsthand the characteristics of life, beginning with the most fundamental unit of all organisms:  Cells.

Address: 10515 Mathieson Street, San Diego, CA 92129
Phone Number: (760) 579-3644 
Email: benjamingaines@vistausd.org
Website: https://rmms-vistausd-ca.schoolloop.com/

Rancho Minerva Middle School

Students will be completing a school project revolving around identifying living specimens. They will be taking samples of different areas of the classroom and school and cultivating the microbes on petri dishes to learn about microbial diversity in different locations. The culminating assessment will require them to argue the criteria for life (cells) based on evidence. We need to purchase microscopes, petri dishes, agar (growth medium), slides, coverslips, and streakers.

Cells can only be viewed under a microscope, so those are crucial to the project. I’m a first-year teacher and don’t have any supplies needed to complete this project. Also, I would like to obtain petri dishes because they can be kept sealed easily, which is necessary for safety reasons and to prevent harmful aerosols from the colonies from being exposed to the students. Lastly, receiving pre-made agar will help yield reliable results, because we will know the bacteria wasn’t formed in the agar, but from the sample.

With this funding, students will discover the characteristics of life (cells!) by themselves, rather than reading from a book or watching videos. This hands-on project will allow them to meet the NGSS 6th grade standard of conducting an investigation to provide evidence that living things are made of cells, among others. NGSS standards are amazing because they require students to actually do the work of scientists which can only be done with the use of microscopes!

Votes: 104
(updated 11/12)

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