Leader Blues

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

NEIGHBORS>> Science class featured in magazine

Teacher Kelly Chaney photographed a group of three to win national contest

A photograph of three students at Cabot High School is reprinted in the latest edition of The Science Teacher magazine.

Casandra Russell, Ashely Burkhead and Taylor Paymaster were photographed by their chemistry teacher, Kelly Chaney, who teaches chemistry and pre-AP chemistry, as they were completing an air pressure lab.

The photo (at right) was selected as the winner in the National Science Teachers Association photo contest. Chaney received $100 for use in her classroom and the girls are featured in the April/May issue and will be again in the December issue of the magazine.

The Science Teacher Magazine is a publication of the National Science Teachers Association and has a circulation of more than 150,000 subscribers.

Chaney’s photograph is entitled “The Power of Air Pressure.”

It shows Casandra being shrink-wrapped using a vacuum cleaner and a trash bag. Since the air is removed from around Casandra, the 14.7 pounds per square inch of air pressure a person normally feels, but is totally unaware of, becomes very evident.

Students are unable to move inside the bag and are effectively shrink-wrapped as long as the bag remains closed. Students in Chaney’s class participate in this lab every year.

“It’s a great way to let students actually feel the force air pressure can exert,” Chaney said.

“Many students go home and try this with their families, so it is a great way for them to learn by teaching others this concept, and they really remember this lab.

“I take pictures of my students in lab all the time and keep a yearly scrapbook of our activities. It is a nice way to let students each year see what fun they can have in science.”

Russell and Burkhead are juniors while Paymaster is a sophomore. They said they were excited to be featured in the national magazine. They will be provided with their own copies of the magazine by the National Science Teacher’s Association.