Conducting experiments in high school

Teacher explains why labs are necessary for students' educations, as seen through her class' study of the relationship between the temperature and pressure of a gas sample.

AP Chemistry is one of six AP sciences offered at Glen Rock High School. Mary Ann Battersby, head of the Science Department, discusses the importance of labs in science classes. Her AP Chemistry classes usually do one lab each week in preparation for their AP exam in May.

The class watches a demonstration from Mary Ann Battersby before dispersing into separate groups.

A student takes materials out of his drawer.

Kenneth Vergel De Dios and Jack Algerio attach a stopper to their Pasco aluminum can.

“I’ve been told by students that by doing the labs, they get a much deeper understanding of what they’re doing...To me it’s an absolute no brainer, you just have to be doing labs.”

Mary Ann Battersby

Taylor Fried and Tess Friedenthal remove water from their beaker.

Amanda Lota records data.

Tomás Collado removes the can from his beaker as Max Katzman reviews with a classmate.

Paraspreet Kaur documents results.

“[For] any given topic you could just skip the lab and probably get the same outcome on pencil and paper, but there’s so much more to what a student picks up in class besides what they show on their paper.”

Mary Ann Battersby

Jack Algerio, Kenneth Vergel De Dios and Anthony Scotto construct a graph of Pressure against Temperature on their computer.

Mallika Sinha and Max Katzman clean up water that spilled from their beaker.

Mary Ann Battersby reviews the lab procedure.

“You can learn about equations as much as you want, but its when you actually do experiments that you get the best understanding.”

Ty Scherer, former AP Chemistry student

Alyson Novick analyzes her data.

Bryce Siggers inputs data into Excel to create a graph.

“Chemistry is...uninteresting if you don’t really see it in lab, and your future is about using it somewhere in the world. If you’re just doing it on paper and in the book, to me you're not going to spark someone's interest to pursue science in career.”

Mary Ann Battersby

Mark Tuttle and Andrei Mircea clean up their materials.

Amanda Lota discusses data with her lab partner.

Mary Ann Battersby teaches a student a chemical equation.

Malika Sinha and Maya Chari consider how varying temperatures affected the pressure of the gas.

“And that’s the lab part. It’s that intangible feeling you get about a course and a subject whether you like it or not. The outcome might not show up as a grade but I feel like it shows up in the person.”

Mary Ann Battersby