MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

April 14, 2014

Weighing in on science: Grant enables school to purchase new scales

Fort Gibson Middle School science students no longer have to take turns to get the most accurate weights.

A grant from the Fort Gibson Education Foundation helped the school buy three new electronic scales for the school’s lab.

“These are electronic digital scales that basically provide a more accurate reading than our triple-beam balance,” eighth-grade science teacher Tammy Delmedico said.

She said the middle school received three electronic scales three years ago, also through an Education Foundation Grant.

However, the middle school lab has six work stations, so not all work stations got an electronic scale.

“Now, we’re able to have equipment at every station and kids can work quicker and get more practice than when we had three and we had 30 kids waiting to check their work,” Delmedico said. “Due to the budget, we just add a little bit as we go.”

She said the electronic balances cost about $200 to $300 each.

“The balances also help teach students the importance of accuracy in the work force,” Delmedico said.

“The students think that as long as they’re getting close, they think they’re doing well.

“We’re trying to get them to realize the importance of being as accurate as possible, because in construction, if you don’t cut the board accurately, you’re losing money.”

She said the labs already have triple-beam balances, one for each lab station.

Those balances are used by sliding counter-weights along three beams.

“During the labs at the beginning of the school year, we work on learning the equipment and focusing on precision,” Delmedico said.

She said she received the new electronic scales about a month ago.

Students will start using them after they are finished with the state testing period, she said.

“We’ll use them for more practice, so that when they’re in high school, they’ll have better skill with the lab equipment,” she said.

The middle school’s “Precision in Science” grant was one of five teacher grants the Fort Gibson Education Foundation awarded this year.

Fort Gibson Superintendent Derald Glover said the foundation supports the district in several ways.

“They support our robotics program and our Chinese teacher program,” Glover said. “We can’t do the projects without their support.

“They go out into the community and talk about our programs, and they get input from the community.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee

phoenix.com.

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