We believe that students deserve the opportunity to dig a little deeper into the sciences.
Our students take three hours of Chemistry per week from 6th grade through 8th grade, in addition to Physics and Biology. As high schoolers, they can choose to continue their exploration of this fascinating science in either Honors Chemistry or AP Chemistry.
Leading our future chemists is Subject Expert Teacher and founding faculty member, Dr. Blaine Hartman! You can read her faculty biography here.
Tell us a little about the exploration camps you led as part of BASIS Independent Summer.
I taught two hands-on science camps (grades 1-4 and 5-8) where we conducted labs in biology, chemistry, and engineering. My main goal was for the kids to get excited about science and to have fun.
We did a cool lab with Mentos and soda that demonstrated physical change and showed how gas collisions increase under higher pressure.
Another activity we did involved learning about the element nitrogen and how liquid nitrogen is made. We then used the liquid nitrogen to freeze flowers, ping pong balls, and slime and to make home made ice cream.
We also worked on group-based projects such as building towers and creating hot air balloons.
What is your approach to teaching chemistry for middle and high school?
I enjoy imparting a sense of appreciation and curiosity for chemistry.
I introduce concepts slowly and do worksheets and activities to reinforce these topics. I am patient and develop a foundation to go back to when concepts are getting advanced.
What do you like about teaching?
I enjoy opening kids' eyes to new concepts, helping them make connections, and seeing them learn new vocabulary. I like doing labs in my classes because it helps students see the connections and it challenges their minds to think about why they are performing each step in a lab.
For example, in one of our labs we were able to demonstrate how heat capacity works by showing students how much heat is released when putting an ice cube in cold water.
What attracted you to BASIS Independent McLean?
The opportunity to teach highly motivated students that are engaged and have an interest in learning. I also like the flexibility given to teachers that allows us to use our own approach to teaching the material.
BASIS Independent McLean is a preschool-12th grade private school located in Tysons. To learn more about our acclaimed liberal arts and science program, please register for an upcoming informational event. We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 school yearr.