Equipment acquired online can be used in science classrooms

I am still learning how to use the software that lets me create blog posts with embedded content so my posts may not be as organized as I would like them to be. Please bear with me as I go through my learning curve. So where were we? 

I started buying science classroom equipment online before there was an Amazon or an eBay. I knew about science equipment companies because I did a Masters degree that required me to participate in buying things for our lab as well as figuring out how to use or fix the equipment that was already there. Because I worked in a university lab, I was familar with Fisher Scientific and BioRad. To me, those were the staple companies- that is just where you bought equipment when you needed to replace something. Well, we did not buy from BioRad often because as graduate students we had to make all of our own solutions and do everything from scratch. Many consumables, though, are acquired through Fisher Scientific. 

It was only natural that when I became a classroom teacher that I would search online at these company websites for equipment. Of course I was aware of classroom science equipment companies, but I was a snob and did not want any of that cheap imitation equipment. By golly, my students were going to use the real things!  Well, it turns out that since I was buying this out of pocket, sometimes the real things were not as professional as what might be at a biotechnology company, but it was still some pretty impressive stuff. Now since it has been over 15 years since I started buying science classroom equipment online, I don’t remember what all of my purchases were in the beginning. Fisher Scientific used to have “Value Added” pages where they listed inventory they really wanted to unload. I know I bought some burettes that way and several chemicals. 

During this stage of my classroom career, I scavenged equipment in any way I could, and went through a stage where I contacted local companies begging for their “trash”. I also approached my former professors and asked if they had anything to get rid of. Fortunately there were several labs going through moving to another building so there were boxes of equipment and glassware in the hallways for anybody to take. Of course I asked first, and nobody minded seeing the equipment go to a public high school teacher. 

My time at that school ended in 2004 because of the Multiple Sclerosis, and I was incredibly fortunate to get a part-time job working at a local universtiy as a student teacher supervisor. I was determined to have my students have a better experience than I did while they were student teachers. I swore they would have more opportunities than I did and would be better prepared than I was. Unfortunately my co-instructor did not feel the same way and stifled all of my ideas. I did “win” though by asking each student teacher to do a science demonstration for everybody else. Since I could not get a real science classroom to do the demonstrations, I set things up so they could see that they could still do science even if the room was not ideal. I did this because of the excuses I saw many science teachers make for not being able to do labs and it realy ticked me off. I did not want “my” student teachers to go out in the world being lazy, excuse-making teachers who went into teaching to have summers off as well as a week at Thanksgiving, two or three weeks around Christmas, and a week in the spring. I’ve met teachers who fit that description and I found it very difficult to be around them. 

To get my students to do demonstrations, I had to buy kits. By this time in my career, I had learned that Flinn Scientific was THE place to go to get demonstration packages that are quick and easy to use. I spent my own money (again) and bought the equipment for my adult students to use to do their demonstrations. Once again, this was done online because that is what buying high school science equipment has become- shopping online. 

I was offered a chance to get back in the classroom in 2007 and thought I could handle it. The MS had continued to do its thing but it was going to be only 1 section of biotechnology, so of course I should be able to handle it. I was wrong and in 2009 I became dizzy and had vertigo continuously so I retired again in 2010. In the three years I was at that school, though, I learned about eBay and how easy it was to buy science equipment at a very reasonable price. I bought both used and new equipment. I had fun. My kids did labs they would not have been able to do otherwise. I am proud of what I was able to do with my students even if they, and my teacher colleagues there, have no clue what amazing things they did. 

Among the labs they were able to do because of equipment I bought, mostly from eBay, although I did buy a lot of chemicals from Diagger, my kids did include: 

  • spectroscopy labs with spec 20’s or some other type of spectrophotometer because I piece-mealed together about 10 spectrophotometers so that I could have 7 specs that worked
  • protein gels with Coomssie Blue staining- bought the rotating gentle shaker online and it was necessary to have the staining and destaining work
  • Gram stains- bought chemicals at Daigger. Slides and other necessities for that lab came from RAFT or direct donations from Bay Area biotechnology companies to local teachers. 
  • I can’t remember everything we did, but you are welcome to look at my curriculum stuff at BiotechBiotch.   

So they could do other labs, I bought various consumables or reusable equipment at eBay including water bottles, alcohol swabs to clean Sharpie off of test tubes, glass rods, thermometers, chemicals, and other things I can’ t remember at the moment. 

To make the posts more interesting, here are some other articles or tidbits that cover similar information. 

Standards are fine, but get real science into our classrooms – San Francisco Chronicle Fri, 13 Dec 2013 04:05:06 GMT

Standards are fine, but get real science into our classroomsSan Francisco ChronicleThe world of K-12 science education is again bubbling with talk of new curriculum standards (the Common Core State Standards) about what areas of science need to be ta …

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Science education

Science education is the field concerned with sharing science content and process … science education that link classroom science to …

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Classroom Science Equipment

Buying science equipment for the classroom. I had to see if the software was working so this is a very small passage at the moment. It will get longer as I go into more detail about how I furnished my curriculum with equipment I bought online. I’d say it was for the classroom, but since I paid for it and not the school, the equipment stays with me. Plus I was sharing a classroom and the person whose room it was did not appreciate there was equipment for students to do labs. Perhaps it was because it would mean she’d have to step outside of her comfort zone, find the time to prep for them, and do hands-on messy labs with her kids. 

So many books, too little time to read…. or um, listen….

One thing that I buy online are books. I buy lots and lots of books. My dear husband (DH) and I are trying to reduce the amount of dead trees in our home and buying a Kindle and having iPads are helping with that goal. Two objects I’ve bought online in the past few years to hold the numerous eBooks I’ve also bought or merely downloaded for free.

Reading in a digital setting took some getting used to doing. I am still somewhat old fashioned and enjoy folding down pages, flipping through the book and seeing the words waiting to be consumed, and smelling the pages of quality masterpieces. The process of sliding my finger behind the page as I anticipate turning it is one of the most difficult habits I’ve had to find a way to not regret giving up. Digital reading is definitely a paradigm shift that I went into stubbornly. I still buy most of my books for my graduate school classes in paper because I am still finding it easier to make annotations in paper books as well as flip through the pages looking for something. Mastering the flipping through the book is still a challenge for me with my digital books.

One thing my digital books can do, though, is read to me. I am still learning how to do this with the Kindle, and many of my books will read to me, highlighting the words as it reads aloud. I can’t figure out how to do this with textbooks yet, though, which is ideally what I want to do. If the book has been published in a Kindle edition, I may be able to have it read to me. I do have a couple Kindle textbooks and I’ll have to see if the audio part will work there, too. I prefer the books that have been converted deliberately for audio use because those readers put emotion into what they are reading. The text reader that turns letters into sounds is better than some I’ve heard in other places, but it is still not as cozy as a real human voice.




Adapting to E-books

Electronic books are now having a major impact on library collections. This book provides models for acquisitions policies and reports on several surveys of faculty and librarian attitudes toward e-books. It discusses issues in acquiring cataloguing and collection development regarding this important new library resource. Its subject matter deals with the different types of e-books, statistical data available for e-book usage, the development of e-book collections, learning environments, integrating e-books into local catalogues, acquisitions and usage monitoring of e-books. This book will be of interest to librarians across all educational sectors, library science scholars and e-book publishers. This book was published as a special issue of The Acquisitions Librarian .

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The Digital Reader

The rapidly increasing availability and low cost of e-book technology make it perfect for schools and educators looking to expand their resources for readers. This book introduces the unique features that have established e-books as a powerful, effective learning tool for all grade levels and for students with special needs. It includes descriptions and illustrations of the most popular e-book formats and programs, as well as dozens of practical ideas for using e-books for reading instruction, personal productivity, and curricular enrichment. Brimming with interactive lesson ideas, teaching tips, and online resources, this book is a must-have for teachers in all content areas as well as library media specialists. Descriptions of the most popular and affordable e-book devices, software, and content for educators Guidelines for accessing free digital library resources available on the Web and for creating your own e-books using basic software tools Strategies for using the annotation, reference, and hyper text capabilities of electronic text to promote active reading Comprehensive index Also available: Differentiating Instruction with Technology in K-5 Classrooms – ISBN 1564842339 Interactive Videoconferencing: K-12 Lessons That Work – ISBN 1564842517

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The Illustrated Guide to Assistive Technology and Devices

This practical guide looks at the use of AT/AD (assistive technologies/assistive devices) to help those with disabilities perform functions that otherwise might be difficult or impossible. These include mobility devices such as walkers, wheelchairs, and mobile vans; as well as hardware, software, and peripherals; talking ATMs; and strobe light alarm systems. Featuring 100 black-and-white photographs, the book includes real-life examples of how people with disabilities are successful utilizing AT, and it presents strategies for dealing with the emotional issues related to AT/AD.

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Crash Course in Library Services for Seniors

Crash Course in Library Services to Seniors provides a refreshingly positive approach to working with older adults—one that focuses on the positive effects of aging on patrons, and the many opportunities that libraries can create for themselves by offering top-notch services delivered with a concierge mindset. The book offers page after page of great programming ideas specifically for reaching out to Baby Boomers and older customers—a population that is predicted to double over the next 20 years.||Organized in only six chapters, this easy-to-read book provides practical suggestions for making any library a welcoming place for older adults, covering topics such as assessment, planning, programming, services, marketing, and evaluation. This title will be invaluable to public librarians interested in expanding and improving their current programming for older adults within their community, and for those looking to create entirely new programming for seniors.

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The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan

The inventor of the Intel Reader shares inspirational ideas for accessing the tools and learning accommodations needed by dyslexic students in school and life, outlining a three-step strategy for skill building and advocacy while sharing advice on how to harness personal strengths to advance long-term goals.

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How to Use Technology in Education – National Review Online (blog) Mon, 16 Dec 2013 10:15:07 GMT

How to Use Technology in EducationNational Review Online (blog)News accounts whipsaw between breathless tales of digital learning and horrific accounts of troubled virtual schools. Last year, Forbes ran a cover story titled One … Indeed, we know o …

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Personalized Book Reader Follows Kids As They Turn The Pages – Digital Book World Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:26:37 GMT

Personalized Book Reader Follows Kids As They Turn The PagesDigital Book World… people’s thoughts go directly to ebooks. But digital applies to imaging and audio, too. The folks at Sparkup have come up with a new use for visual and auditory tec …

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Food choices abound online

Today I’m focusing on food because that has become one of my easiest ways to shop. I may have mentioned that I use a rollator to help me walk. A rollator is a walker with wheels, but it is much more than just a walker. It is equipment that lets me leave the home so I can go shopping. My legs don’t always want me to leave the house to go shopping, which is why being able to buy things online is so helpful.

Oddly enough, you can actually buy healthy food online. I still go to the grocery store to buy produce, but I used to get deliveries of organic foods weekly. For those of us with mobility challenges, we are not limited to eating potato chips and salsa, especially if salsa is on our forbiddent foods list.

I will probably go on a rant about my forbidden foods in another post or ask you to check out one of my other websites where I rant about such things, but in the last year I have gone gluten-free, dairy-free and had blood tests and stool tests done to see what is living in my gut and what I’ve managed to develop antibodies to in my blood stream. If you’ve read eariler posts, you’ll know I have Multiple Sclerosis. I though all of my idiotic bodily functions were due to the MS. I was wrong- I had nasty critters living in my gut that were releasing toxins into my gut and because I have a leaky gut, their toxins were going into my blood stream.

Here are some other articles dealing with FOOD

!Meeting of minds on innovative food technologies – CORDIS – Europa

http://cordis.europa.euThu, 03 Oct 2013 00:00:01 GMT

CORDIS News is a daily online news service provided by the European Union’s official research and innovation information service, CORDIS. Available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish, the interactive 

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Feds Spend $224,250 to Change How Kids Order Food Wed, 11 Dec 2013 20:40:23 GMT

NIH grant awarded for ‘restaurant-based intervention’

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Food Allergies Less Deadly Than Accidents – Fri, 06 Dec 2013 15:47:05 GMT

A new study finds that people with food allergies have far less chance of dying from an allergic reaction than from an accident.

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How to substitute egg in recipes – Kids With Food Allergies Mon, 30 Mar 2009 17:43:42 GMT

This cooking guide explains the difference between egg replacements and egg substitutes, how to replace eggs used as binders or leavening agents, how to replace egg white glaze and provides a list of featured egg-free recipes for those 

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Did dated recommendations contribute to spike of food allergies in Mon, 02 Dec 2013 20:36:59 GMT

This advice was all handed out in the name of hoping to keep allergies at bay in children. Meanwhile, organizations suggest food allergies have doubled between 1997 and 2011. On Monday, the Canadian Paediatric Society 

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Cooking for kids with food allergies: my fave resources Fri, 13 Dec 2013 19:30:29 GMT

A post listing all my favorite and most valuable resources for recipes and ideas on cooking for kids with food allergies (or sensitivities/intolerance).

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A Letter from Santa to Your Child with Food Allergy – FARE Blog Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:11:29 GMT

We all know that Santa Claus loves when kids leave him milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. Santa knows all about food allergies though and wants your kids to help him spread some cheer! You can download and 

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Are Food Allergies Serious and Legal Issues? | Crystal Kids Radio Wed, 11 Dec 2013 07:43:55 GMT

Food allergies affect approximately 15 million Americans, including one in 13 children under 18 years of age, or two children per school classroom. [1] Furthermore, food allergies have increased about 50 percent between 

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How To Love A Food Allergic Kid | Mom Vs. Food Allergy Thu, 05 Dec 2013 13:50:10 GMT

Food allergic kids are normal kids. They run, play, throw tantrums, love LEGOS, eat (safe) ice cream, and have friends-and they want to FEEL ACCEPTED. Food allergic kids may eat differently than most, but they’re still kids 

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6 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with Food Allergies – FARE Blog Thu, 12 Dec 2013 15:54:33 GMT

Whether you’re a guest or hosting a party yourself, food allergies shouldn’t hold you back from seeing family and friends during holidays. Here are some tips that could help alleviate worries and allow you to enjoy Offer to bring safe food so that you know there will be something there that you or your child can eat and your host doesn’t have to worry about separate food preparations. Share dishes that would be allergen-free and a delight for everyone attending.

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3 classic holiday treats for kids with food allergies – Cool Mom Picks Mon, 09 Dec 2013 20:00:12 GMT

Finding allergen-free holiday treats can be a challenge for parents of kids with food allergies. So we love these 3 nut-free, allergy-friendly options!

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In Food Cravings, Sugar Trumps Fat – Fri, 13 Dec 2013 05:01:00 GMT

An intriguing new study suggests that what really draws people to rich desserts and prompts them to eat much more than perhaps they know they should is not the fat that they contain, but primarily the sugar.

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One reason I shop virtually

Virtual Shopping is a space where I will be compiling information about the latest concepts in shopping in the virtual realm as well as adding anecdotes of the shopping I now do online. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 15 years ago and it has progressed to a point where I just don’t want to go into a store, with the equipment I use to help me walk, unless I really have to.

 Virtual shopping forces Thanksgiving sales – Emory University News and Events Wed, 27 Nov 2013 17:40:11 GMT

Virtual shopping forces Thanksgiving salesEmory University News and EventsOnline retailers extended the holiday shopping sales extravaganza with “Cyber Monday” to capitalize on folks’ buying mood on their first day back at the office after Thanksgivi …

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Christmas shopping: click, click merrily online, the virtual tills are Sat, 30 Nov 2013 00:11:31 GMT

Cyber Monday is the combined result of Thanksgiving in the US and the British tradition of shopping online at work.

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