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 (http://www.raftstore.net/s.nl/it.A/id.1512/.f) and Hovercraft (http://www.raftstore.net/Hovercraft-10-Pack.html) 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 (https://www.foldscope.com), 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.