Science department gets financial boost

Published 9:44 pm Friday, April 17, 2009

Isabella science instructor Jay LeCroy knows it takes more than a classroom and textbooks to teach science.

He knew this was true when he borrowed microscopes from the University of Montevallo through the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) for his classroom to use, and they spent more than two hours looking at specimens. They were only supposed to spend 10 minutes on the project, but the students were so interested that they kept going.

“We got the nurse in here and started looking at blood,” LeCroy said. “We looked at single cells of different areas from water samples to tissue samples.”

A $5,000 grant the school received Friday will allow LeCroy to purchase microscopes and other lab equipment for his classroom to have permanently. It is this kind of hands-on learning he says is essential to teaching science.

“If we want a student who’s educated in science, we’re going to need more equipment they can work with,” he said. “If it’s just you and a chalkboard, those days are gone.”

The grant from Sen. Hank Erwin will allow the school to purchase not only microscopes but also equipment such as beakers, flasks, soil test kits and other lab supplies that will help improve the education experience.

LeCroy also hopes he can bring in special guests, such as engineers, to talk to the students about the importance of math and science in real-life careers.

“The only people they really know these days are us (teachers),” he said.