At SWVGS, students have opportunities to enroll in lab-based science courses to acquire scientific and technical knowledge through laboratory investigation and research.
Lab-based classes give students opportunities to test or experience principles or key points discussed in class.
Sophisticated, advanced equipment is available for use in classes and in student research projects. Students use LabQuest2 interfaces to collect data from sensors. For instance, students use oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors to measure production and consumption of gases during student-designed inquiry experiments investigating aerobic respiration. Other sensors are used in anatomy and physiology labs to collect data in grip strength comparison experiments and to analyze lung function.
Students learn from instructors who each LOVE their subject areas. Teacher enthusiasm and extensive knowledge are obvious and inspiring to learners.
Students are able to collect and analyze data related to class content.
Students can repeat work similar to fundamental experiments. For example, in biology students complete a simplified Miller-Urey experiment to investigate synthesis of organic compounds from inorganic precursors to understand how conditions present earlier on Earth may have facilitated production of amino acids. In chemistry, students investigate chemical kinetics and the proposal of mechanisms, which is the process of determining how a reaction proceeds, using a modified Landolt reaction. In physics, students traverse the paths taken by physicists starting with basic experiments explaining the laws of motion and ending with practical demonstrations of how electricity works. Students use a combination of data loggers, computer simulations, and physical manipulations to achieve understanding of topics such as constructive and destructive interference, forces, acceleration, direct and alternating current, and electron energy states.