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Author: Subject: Embarrassed to ask science teacher about doing experiments in science lab
Cou
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 02:00
Embarrassed to ask science teacher about doing experiments in science lab


I have three things against me here:
#1 is that I am persian, and if I hold a test tube, people will probably shout "TERRORIST!!!!" Which is frustrating because the persian empire is peaceful, the arabs are the ones they should be targeting. But to americans, iran and iraq are the same thing.

#2 is that I am kind of shy, so I always look like I am perpetually lying. I say I just want to do copper electroplating, but my eye movement says "I want to make meth with these"

#3 I'M IN GODDAMN TEXAS

So I'm not sure if I should ask the science teacher if I can do experiments after school in the science lab. What if she hates me forever and puts me on the DEA watch list? Is this a good idea? Also I am 14, in 8th grade. I'm not trying to blow stuff up or anything like most 14 year olds want to do. I just want to do copper electroplating and extracting copper from copper carbonate. GOD, I wish I had been born in the years when a store would gladly give you the most dangerous chemicals. "Alright, here's your 99.9999% sulfuric acid! Do you want some nitroglycerin with that too?"

[Edited on 19-5-2013 by Cou]

[Edited on 19-5-2013 by Cou]

[Edited on 19-5-2013 by Cou]

[Edited on 19-5-2013 by Cou]
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Finnnicus
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 02:44


A. Your just as bad, the stereotyping...

B. I know that feel, bro. My teachers shun my interests too, and always patronize me :mad:.





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Cou
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 02:53


Quote: Originally posted by Finnnicus  
A. Your just as bad, the stereotyping...

B. I know that feel, bro. My teachers shun my interests too, and always patronize me :mad:.


But my question is, do you think it's a good idea to ask, what is the worst that could happen?
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Finnnicus
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 02:57


Oh right sorry. Yeah go for it! If they don't support you that's how it is, look elsewhere. But, if they do that's awesome, roll with it.

On the consequences, the worst that could happen is some weird looks, and possibly bad words. I'm sure you'll argue that, but there really is no problem here, unless you have bad intentions.

Edit: I BELIEVE :D

[Edited on 19-5-2013 by Finnnicus]




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amazingchemistry
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 13:36


Unfortunately, your teacher's answer will probably be a resounding no. Not because you are Persian or because you're in Texas but because you are are a student. If anything happens to you while conducting your experiments (and I mean anything, slipping, falling or injuring yourself with broken glassware also count) the school is held liable if they in any way sanctioned or had knowledge of the experiments. They obviously won't like this. It's a sad but real consequence of our litigious society. It gets better in college though. You can take so-called "independent study" classes, where you present a tentative project to your advisor and get approved.
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elementcollector1
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 13:47


Surprisingly, my chem teacher lets me borrow materials, and more recently reagents from the school. I first expressed interest over a year ago, and have slowly been gaining competence since then - so maybe you have to prove yourself first?



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Cou
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 17:01


I think the problem is that she thinks I'm doing the experiments for the wrong reasons; I say I want to make iron chloride, but I'm just doing it for the heck of it, not an experiment to discover something new. Which teachers don't really like, reinventing the wheel.
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elementcollector1
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 17:28


Did you tell her you wanted 'to study the properties'? ;)



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Gearhead_Shem_Tov
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[*] posted on 19-5-2013 at 19:07


Quote: Originally posted by Cou  
I think the problem is that she thinks I'm doing the experiments for the wrong reasons; I say I want to make iron chloride, but I'm just doing it for the heck of it, not an experiment to discover something new. Which teachers don't really like, reinventing the wheel.


A few observations:

1) Don't assume a teacher doesn't like/trust/care about you, even in Texas.

2) Teachers in Texas are some of the lowest paid in the nation (at least this was true a few years ago), but even states where pay is better, teachers are in the profession at least as much for the love of teaching as for the money.

3) Teachers are all about reinventing the wheel; they don't expect students to innovate, they just want them to learn.

My guess is your teacher would be delighted if a student of hers showed enough initiative to ask for help doing extra work in the lab. Write up a few ideas about chemistry you'd like to explore, and why. "The heck of it" should not figure in any of this. Think in terms of what metal ions go where when, say, you make ferric chloride react with copper. What happens to the Fe ions when the Cu displaces them? What are the relative environmental consequences of disposing of CuCl & CuCl2 vs FeCl3? Note that FeCl3 is used in sewage treatment and drinking water production. Google the MSDS information for CuCl, CuCl2, and FeCl3, and read them -- this alone may suggest additional experiments to try. Mention that you've read this information in your note. Use complete, grammatical sentences, and present a coherent list of things you'd like to find out. Don't make it a long document; a page or two should do it.

You do have to allow for her work load -- you are not her only student. Ask her what times or days she would be open to supervising you in the lab. Any responsible teacher will want to at least be present while you do your experiments, so take that as a given. She might suggest further lines of inquiry.

Overall, don't expect the worst, be prepared and informed, and hope for the best. And, most of all, be appreciative of her time and help, insha'Allah, should she agree to help you get started with your experiments.

Good luck, mate

-Bobby
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Nitro-esteban
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[*] posted on 5-8-2013 at 18:03


You should ask him, my teacher helped me make RDX in the schools lab for a science fair project about triazines.
I am from Costa Rica, there is absolutely no terrorism here so no one cares about explosives being made in schools.
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[*] posted on 14-10-2013 at 13:10


As a former high school chemistry teacher, I do want to echo a few things:

1) Your teacher will be delighted that you are so interested in chemistry, but

2) The insurance company will not.

When I was a teaching assistant at a university, undergrads weren't even allowed in the teaching labs doing their assignments outside of certain hours, simply because the insurance company only covered those hours (EDIT: it didn't matter if I offered to supervise them or not). That being said, your teacher may be able to get around that by making you a "lab assistant" or doing an independent study (maybe your school will be more flexible since it is smaller... who knows?).

I hate being told "no" and getting shut down too, but you should take that chance as much as you get, if only to become more comfortable with it. It happens a lot in life, and the less you let it hold you back, the better.

[Edited on 14-10-2013 by WPK0129]
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[*] posted on 14-10-2013 at 14:21


I fondly remember the hours I spend with the chemistry lab assistant after hours or during lunchbreaks. We'd test out all kinds of spectacular experiments they were considering performing later during class. Ofcourse, we had to try out just how far we could go (in terms of amounts etc.). Good times!

[Edited on 14-10-2013 by phlogiston]




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[*] posted on 17-10-2013 at 03:35


the chemistry teacher in my last school was very unsupportive. but now in my new school the chemistry teacher is very nice and supportive, then I showed him my lab, which is better equipped than the school lab in the way of chemicals. after that his attitude changed... now every time he sees me he gives me a big smile and greeting, then every time he passes me in class he gives me a pat on the shoulder.
I think he wants to be nice to me because he think i'm going to get killed with my experiments. but at least he is helpful :)




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testimento
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[*] posted on 20-10-2013 at 10:45


In my country, you would probably end in all the government lists and transited through incarceration into a mental institution in the day you'd say in school that you are intrested in chemistry and want to do some experiments. I asked for test tubes from drugstore and got a visit from state pigs(a no-knock raid, to be exact). The same school I was that time was evacuated one day because one student clapped his hands in the corridor. And hell, I've even got the newspaper left for this "tragic event". I don't want to live on this continent any more.
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[*] posted on 28-10-2013 at 14:16


Cou, don't overthink this kind of thing. Ask her out.
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