Story originally published on March 23 2017 on lakecentralnews.com

By taking their notes and applying them to real life, Mr. David Harnish’s, Science, Honors ACP I Chemistry class started part of a lab that reinforced what they just learned. This lab is an example of Mr. Harnish’s hands-on teaching method used in his classes.

“[This class] gives the students an opportunity to learn a lot about chemistry, but also to do chemistry. I’m a big believer in that you have to do chemistry; it’s an interactive thing. I don’t want them to memorize a bunch of information and spit it back to me, I want them to use it for something,” Mr. Harnish said. “We just finished a section on chemical equilibrium which can be a very dry topic. What they’re doing now is creating an equilibrium and they’re going to alter it just like they did on paper but now they get to see what it does. Th[is] equilibrium they’re doing, is nothing like what they had in their notes; it’s a new thing so they get to apply what they learned in that to this situation.”

The hands-on learning aspect of this class comes from the amount of labs performed by the students. It is one thing to learn the material, it is another thing to apply it.

“We do about 20 labs a year. The labs are definitely a big point. I think the [students] like the lab work because it not only gets them up and doing something, they also can see how what we’re doing in the “lecture” fits in real life,” Mr. Harnish said.

Honors ACP I Chemistry is more than just a dual-credit class. It is a chance for interested students to take a college course right at Lake Central.

“It’s a dual-credit class through Indiana University Bloomington so it’s an actual IU class that is accepted at all IU campuses, anyone in that state that is a public university and then outside of Indiana, whoever takes IU credit. Normally this class would be done on campus in one semester. At the high school level, it takes the whole year to get through the course. Essentially, this is Honors Chemistry, but with additional topics you would not normally see in Honors Chemistry. This is a good class for anyone going into the sciences, like medicine, and of course students who want a lot of lab experiences,” Mr. Harnish said.

Honors ACP I Chemistry student Safia Mohiuddin (10) enjoys being able to perform these experiments in class. She credits Mr. Harnish with her understanding of the different topics they learn.

“My favorite part was getting to work with the chemicals and see them in action. Mr. Harnish is a great teacher and makes it easy to understand everything. He does a great job of that,” Mohiuddin said.

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