How are science classes completing labs during CDL?


Rand Weyler

A picture of what your typical high school lab classroom looks like. WHS students are currently not allowed to complete their laboratory investigations in similar labs on campus.

As we all know, the beginning of this school year is starting off in a new way for everybody — both teachers and students. During this first quarter, WHS is taking part in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL), a form of learning that is all online. Online classes are challenging for every subject, but some of the hardest classes to do fully online are science lab classes.

Since everything is online, labs for science classes such as chemistry and biology are unable to be done in person; something that is key for those subjects, especially for those who are in the advanced placement versions. However, not being able to attend school in person is not stopping teachers from still putting together labs. 

AP Biology teacher, Jay Schauer, explained the main way he will have students do labs this year. “There are a few labs I can send supplies home for students to conduct there – that will involve putting kits/supplies together for each student or when we have limited supplies because they are for lab groups instead of individuals we may have to rotate who does different labs.” Schauer also shared that he will be able to conduct some labs at school and share footage of the process to the students, where they then can make changes so he can run the lab again.

Another science class that is facing laboratory challenges is AP Chemistry. The AP Chemistry teacher, Roxanne Kilpatrick, shares, “My AP chemistry students are using an online program called PIVOT interactives that allows students to view videos of laboratory investigations.  As a teacher, I can assign questions about the lab and give feedback about student answers to lab questions.” Kilpatrick also mentioned that she plans on running some demonstrations with her students over her daily zoom meetings.

Just as much as everybody else, science teachers are holding out hope for the chance of being able to gather in small groups at some point this year to do in person labs.