Our chemistry laboratory is a classroom on the fourth floor, at the end of the hallway, far removed from Healy Hall, the computer lab, and the other hubs of activity in our school. In some ways, the lab is a little world of its own where students conduct a wide range of experiments, like testing the reactivity of hydrochloric acid or examining the macro-molecular composition of various foods and cooking products.
But ask any high schooler how he or she feels about chemistry and that student will no doubt have something to share. For many it’s a love/hate relationship with this important science. Here are a few things our CRJ chemistry students said about the class and its impact on their future:
“Chemistry has influenced my college plans because it is giving me an intro of what I should expect in college. I am going to school to become a pediatrician, so I have to major in chemistry or biology.” Kaylin
“I know that I want to major in science and I thought that I would like chemistry, but when I took the class I realized that I should choose something else like biology or anatomy.” Cheykira
“Chemistry class has influenced me to study business in college, because chemistry is not for me.” Tatyana
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in. I do plan on studying biochemistry and/or biotechnology. Chemistry has given me a brain rush of wonder of how I can improve the human body.” Tony
“I would love to be a mortician and majoring chemistry in college is just my first step to having a successful funeral home.” Jazmine
“Chemistry is a tough subject with a lot of concepts, but when I step back I see the connections.” Kevin
CRJ’s chemistry teacher, Dr. Joe Mitala, knows just the name of class alone can make high school students cringe. Often, it’s because they assume it will be a hard course. But even if someone doesn’t like the sciences, there is a lot he or she can learn in chemistry.
“There are a few things I hope every student can take away from chemistry. Aside from building an arsenal of new concepts and terminology that can be applied throughout the sciences, this chemistry course is intended to push students to think more deeply and develop adequate support for their answers, un-package complex problems, and become more familiar and comfortable with some of the different tools and techniques used in a scientific laboratory.”