STEM

Forensic Biology - Marijuana on Trial

In our High School Forensic Biology class, we are currently studying Toxicology. We are learning about the different types of substances that are used for medical purposes. Some of these substances are abused for recreational uses and cause major problems in our society and to one’s self. A hot topic in society today is the legalization of marijuana. 9 states have legalized recreational and medical marijuana and 30 have legalized the use of medical marijuana, per businessinsider.com. We put marijuana on trial.

Crimes are often solved using forensics. It is important for the students to understand the procedures of court and how testimonies can affect a court case. They were encouraged to dress the part. Legalizing marijuana is a controversial topic and comes with biases. A good forensic scientist does not use any bias and lets the evidence speak for itself. In order to create an unbiased atmosphere, students had to argue against their personal views in an attempt to understand the preparation and procedures of a court trial.

Students were broken into two teams. They called 5 different witnesses or experts to the stand. The 5 fields were: Government, Education, Youth, Medical/Health, and Law Enforcement. Each team divided roles equally and teamwork was used to build a plan for their case. They were to research the effects of marijuana in their field of study and come up with questions that their teammate would ask them. They also had to research the other side because the opponent had a chance to cross-examine each witness.

All in all, the trial was used to understand court procedures and effects of testimonies.

Mr. McManus
HS Forensic Biology

RCS Upper Elementary BizTown Fun!

Rancho Christian School Upper Elementary students were given the opportunity to visit Junior Achievement BizTown of San Diego this year. Teachers underwent training at the start of the school year, and implemented BizTown’s Economics curriculum for 5 weeks prior to the field trip.

This program encouraged confidence in our students and motivated them to achieve a personal, an educational, and a career goal. Our students studied, actively engaged, and applied their knowledge in each designated program; work readiness, entrepreneurship, and personal financial literacy.

On Thursday, September 27, students walked through the doors of JA BizTown to 21 life-size businesses. Jobs included being the Mayor of Biz Town, working in TV and radio, running a variety of businesses, marketing and advertising, police work, creating a newspaper, and many more.

Students worked the simulated community and were encouraged to use critical thinking skills, learning about key economic concepts. The students were supported by many parent volunteers who went to the venue ahead of them in order to attend a 90-minute training on the simulation.

Nicole Nestor
5th Grade Teacher

Rate of Reaction - Chemistry & Physics

One of the things that students study in Chemistry is the rate of reaction; how fast it goes and what are the factors that control the rate of these reactions. An example from everyday life might be— if you put an iron pipe out in your lawn, how long will it take for it to rust and what factors influence this rusting; like temperature, water, acidity of the water, etc. We often do kinetics studies by observing color changes over time. However, one of the demos I do at the end of the year is the chemiluminescence of luminol (a compound closely related to the materials in light sticks). Luminol produces light when reacting with a strong oxidizer such as ndhydrogen peroxide. After reflecting on this, I thought it might be fun to design an experiment around the rate of this reaction as affected by temperature and concentration.

Integrating a little Physics into the lab (and therefore making interdisciplinary), we used light sensors from the physics lab to measure the intensity of the light in terms of luminous flux. We connected these sensors to a laptop through a software called Sparkvue and we were able to plot out the exponential decay of the intensity of light over time as the reaction proceeded. The graphs produced allowed us to determine the half-life of the reaction and we were able to show direct correlation between rate, concentration and temperature. And if that was not enough, the reaction glows in the dark, which for most of us is just cool and lot of fun.

Michael Rea
HS Chemistry & Physics

Welcome!

Mrs. Betsy Kunau, Executive Director

Mrs. Betsy Kunau, Executive Director

Welcome to Rancho Christian's Learning Blog: "University Ready & Life Ready." This is a unique space where our fantastic teachers have the opportunity to share fun activities, experiments, and lessons that they teach our students on a daily basis.  While on the surface, and perhaps to the kids, these seem like an escape from curriculum learning - they are in fact, an excellent way of reinforcing a wide variety of concepts - truly preparing our students to be University Ready-Life Ready.  We are thrilled to give you the opportunity to see these!

We hope you enjoy learning about these student adventures almost as much as they had learning from them!