THS to get new microscopes with PEECh grant

Published 3:42 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thorsby School will soon have new lab equipment thanks to a $1,500 grant from the Chilton Education Foundation.

One of the uses of the PEECh grant will be to get additional microscopes, because the school currently has just two available for the 100-plus students that take part in Bridget Caton and Billy Jackson’s science classes.

“The equipment was either outdated or we didn’t have it,” Caton said.

The new equipment will cover a broad scope with seventh to 12th graders benefiting from the upgrades.

One of the ways of balancing having just two microscopes for a class of 34 students is to break up the class into groups and rotate time at various stations.

“Still, six people around a microscope is hard, but you just have to manage,” Caton said.

According to Jackson, one of his classes recently learned about cell division by cutting a slice of onion and looking at it under the microscope to see the process take place.

However, it took two days for each group to complete the task due to the lack of microscopes.

“Sometimes it’s just not feasible and you have to cut stuff [from the lesson plan],” Jackson said. “This will help to where we don’t have to do that.”

According to Caton, general lab kits will also be ordered to help aid in class instruction.

“In the back of our mind we were talking about it [PEECh grant] and really hoped that we would get it,” Caton said. “I know that the kids will be happy.”

Thorsby librarian Vanessa Langston was also a recipient of a $985 PEECh grant.