Monday, November 21, 2011

Field Trip, Part 1

The fifth graders' visit to campus on Monday, November 7 was a huge success! We had a great time and our visitors did too. I'll be posting more pictures just as soon as the Rankin teachers and I have an opportunity to screen out any pictures of students who don't have a signed photo waiver, but in the mean time, I wanted to put up some pictures of my A&T students and the experiment we did with the 5th graders.

After an opening welcome at the Student Union, we had a group photo (to be posted!) and then the 5th graders went on a campus tour with 4 great Aggie Ambassadors! Then the four classrooms split into two groups and went either to lunch at the dining hall first or came to do the ELISA experiment first.

For the ELISA, our essential questions were (1) what is an ELISA, and how does it help us detect pesticides in our water? and (2) which water sources are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides, and why?

The picture in the background of our title slide shows the Graham Paddle Put-In along Hwy 54, where I obtained the Haw River water samples that my students tested (see previous post).

To begin, each laboratory group of A&T students from my class explained to their 5th grade partners how an immunoassay works. The 5th graders followed along on a worksheet.
 We had the 5th graders test 6 simulated samples representing run-off from a corn-field, water from a drinking fountain and bathroom sink, water samples from streams 1 mi or 5 mi away from the corn field, and water from the Haw River. The picture below shows Jacqui and Shaylon describing our 6 samples to the students in Ms. Weyant's class.

The 5th grade students worked in groups of 4 to test these samples using a re-purposed Simulated ELISA kit from Carolina Biological. My students helped me aliquot all the reagents from 2 kits into color-coded, labeled vials, and we used color-coded visual aids to help keep everyone caught up and on task.

The CHEM 432 students led the classroom in the activity (see Talibah below) and worked with individual groups of 5th graders.

Each group of 5th graders also had an adult partner who helped them follow the procedure. Thanks to Jazz, Justin (below), Vicki, Laurel, and Jill for coming out to A&T from Chapel Hill to help. Thanks also to Dr. Powe's 9 am chemistry class for helping with the experiments and with preparations!
During the incubation step, the 5th grade students made predictions (hypotheses) about which water samples would test positive for pesticides. Then, the CHEM 432 students (see Julalak below) helped them read out and discuss their results: a purple color indicated that pesticide was present.
More pictures to come soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment