How Hands-On Science Can Improve Writing Skills

Feb, 8 2017

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Scott Hogan, an adjunct instructor at the Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College in Surprise, offers a unique study tool in his high-school equivalency preparation courses. Part of the exam is a writing portion focused on the scientific method. So Hogan uses actual hands-on experiments and lab work to promote deep understanding.

Hogan has created several science experiments so that students can apply and understand the scientific method they will need to explain on the test. Students build a paper bridge to support a rolling car, use a flotation diver in a bottle as a form of measurement, and explore independent and dependent variables using magnets. Hogan says all projects have rubrics, and include math measurement cards.

“The labs help visualize and actualize the process in experimentation,” says Hogan, “I have had amazing results – students passing GED science and being excited about what we do. Students enjoy the activities and think they work.”

Hogan, a full time math and physics teacher at Desert Edge High School in Goodyear, has been teaching at Rio Salado part-time for four years, and using the hands-on labs in his class for one year.

For more information on courses offered at the Lifelong Learning Center at Rio Salado College, visit the website or call 480-384-9001.

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