Isha Savant: Hands-on Science 

isha water beads.jpg

Leland senior Isha Savant chose to create a variety of hands-on science lessons which she taught to 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students.

To demonstrate the residue that builds up in lungs from smoking, she used a plastic water bottle with a lit cigarette inserted into its cap and a cotton ball inserted inside. She squeezed the bottle like a bellows as smoke was drawn in, depositing a carmel colored residue on the cotton ball. She then passed the cotton ball around to students to show them the residue that collects in the lungs each time a person smokes—a vivid way to show the damaging effects of smoking.i

She used Germ Glow (and a blacklight donated by the Gmerek family) and disclosing tablets to show students areas missed when washing hands and brushing their teeth.

Isha also had students perform hands-on lessons using San Jose RAFT’s (Resource Area for Teachers) Roller Racer ( and Hovercraft ( science activity kits.

She demonstrated how Mentos chemically releases supersaturated carbon dioxide rapidly from Coke in a geyser in the famous Coke and Mentos experiment.

She then suspended an egg in the remaining Coke over three days. The Coke gradually destroys the egg’s shell in a similar way to how it chemically damages our teeth.

Your donations funded our purchase of a class set of 40 foldscopes (, very low cost microscopes, that Isha gave students to use to view slides they made of specimens they found outside their classroom. Yes, ants were a very popular specimen….

(Upper left) Our English/computer teacher Saveng, who translated Isha’s lessons, tells students to wash their hands. (Upper left middle) Isha uses Germ Glow and a blacklight to show a student places he missed when washing his hands. (Upper right middle) A girl shows her teeth after brushing and chewing a disclosing tablet—her lack of red dye shows that she brushed thoroughly. (Upper right) Boys race their Roller Racers to see who will qualify for a class race-off. (Lower left) A girl release her hovercraft—a balloon harnessed to a CD that floats on air across her table. (Lower middle left) Boys look at the foldscope slides they made from specimens gathered outside their classrooms. )Lower middle right) A boy looks at the foldscope slide he just made. (Lower right) Leland parent Sandilya Garimella mounts a boy’s foldscope over his iPhone camera to have students view their slides on his iPhone—an excellent method the Foldscope geniuses have created to view slides.