June 4, 2019

Science and Hands-On Labs

This past month, CalPac students showed up for one of three Wet Lab Days offered from CalPac to meet the A-G college acceptance requirements in California public universities. We offer Wet Lab Days in three different locations around Southern California and plan to expand to one more location in Northern California in the Fall of 2019! Currently we meet in Torrance, Riverside and Escondido. The students show up for a full day of laboratory investigations around the content covered in the Biology, Chemistry or Physics courses.

Biology students complete four labs for the Spring semester. One of the labs incudes dissecting an owl pellet to use a dichotomous key to identify what the owl ate! Many students were able to identify their specimen as a vole, a rat or even a shrew. Another Biology lab that students enjoy is around the concept of Natural Selection. Student imitate the behavior of birds with different beak sizes feeding on three different types of food available in the area. Data is collected, a second-generation test is conducted, and graphs are used to analyze the bird’s effectiveness at eating the foods available and on passing on their traits.

Students also get practice in Chemistry labs at titrating, comparing chemical reactions and chemical bonding!

Physics students get opportunities to work together analyzing speed, motion and acceleration!

We also participated in a field trip at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California where we were able to collect data on tiger sharks, pet a shark and discover the squid they eat from the local area!