The First Life Science Program

$1,575 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 27 people in 45 months
Hello everyone!

My name is Dr. Christopher Williams.  I am a geneticist and biology researcher in the Washington, DC area. I have started an after-school science education program called The First Life Science (FiLS) Program. The FiLS Program is committed to bringing memorable and educational science experiences to elementary school students.  We are currently partnering with Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, DC, where we provide an after-school biology program for 5th grade students.

I am raising money to purchase supplies and equipment for science activities for the students.  Equipment such as microscopes and magnifying glasses will be used to show the students about the awesome biology that is everywhere around them.  The equipment will be used for the after-school program and for regularly-scheduled science demonstrations and events for the students and families in neighboring communities.

It has been my dream and my mission to show as many children as possible the joys and excitement of biology. I am looking to continue the partnership with Bancroft Elementary School for many years as The FiLS Program is spread to neighboring schools in the Washington, DC area.  Any contributions that you can make will bring me a step closer to providing unforgettable science experiences to elementary school students and positively changing their lives.

The FiLS Program aims to ensure the next generation is scientifically literate and prepared with the proper skills to contribute to a world that is becoming more dependent on science and technology. This is especially true for students from minority backgrounds, as they are underrepresented in science careers. The FiLS Program is working to develop a diverse scientific workforce by providing early and consistent access to memorable and educational science experiences for students.

To learn more about The First Life Science Program, please go to www.filsprogram.org
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It has been four weeks since the students began their journey to understanding human vision. The purpose is to introduce the students to what their eyes can and cannot do. We began very superficially using a combination of poetry and models of the eye to learn about its parts and functions. However, in the past week we have literally gone inside a cow’s eye to learn what its parts look and feel like. So far the students have:
• Used models to understand parts of the human eye
• Performed tests to observe how light effects the size of the pupil
• Demonstrated their ability to separate white light into the visible light spectrum
• Created all colors of the rainbow using only the primary colors
• Increased their understanding of what normal (20/20) vision is
• Performed a cow eye dissection in groups

In coming weeks we will perform tasks that test the limits of our eyes before we begin using technology to increase our ability to see microscopic and distant objects.
First look at a cow eye!
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Hello everyone! I am back at it. I will be back at Bancroft Elementary School in Northwest Washington, DC starting this week. I am thankful for everyone who has been able to help me take these first steps either through financial support or with words encouragement. In case you were wondering, I am still accepting donations and words of encouragement! ;-)

Thank you dearly.

The purpose of this 6-8 week module is to introduce the students to their sense of sight. They will learn through experimentation and testing what their eyes are capable of and what tasks are impossible without the use of technology. The students will
• Be able to explain how the eye sees an object and how the signal is relayed to the brain
• Be able to identify eye structures and their functions
o Examination of human eye model
o Create their own model eye
o Drawing, art, magic eye books
• Demonstrate their knowledge of light and color
o Learn to separate white light using a homemade prism
o Use food coloring and water to create rainbows (using basic colors only)
• Test the limits of unaided human vision and compare their abilities with vision aided by technology
o Take eye tests
o Identify their dominant/weaker eye
o Compare unaided eyesight vs technology enhanced sight (microscope, binoculars, magnifying glasses, etc…)
o Compare human vision to animal vision

Be sure to check out the website at filsprogram.org
Your donations paid for these. Thanks!
Scopes, books, and more...
More scopes and eye ball models.
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A gift of laughter and learning

In the fall of 2015 I became an entrepreneur.
I created The First Life Science (FiLS) Program to provide a fun and educational science experience for elementary school students ( www.filsprogram.org), and Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, DC was my starting point. For years I had been a science educator working with programs such as the AAAS Senior Scientists and Engineers Program and the Carnegie Academy for Science Education’s First Light Program, but at Bancroft I had the chance to take the lead and develop my own curriculum. I was nervous and excited. I visited the school once per week for seven weeks teaching lessons focused on biology. I acted as a guide as the students explored the world of plant biology at macro- and microscopic levels. I constantly wondered, ‘Are the students learning? Are they having fun?’ Instead of asking the kids if they were having fun, I observed them. I saw plenty of smiles, heard the occasional outburst of uncontrolled laughter and I was summoned to their respective lab tables to share in their discoveries – they were definitely having fun!

“Mr. Chris come look at this! Wow, what are those tiny green bubbles?” one student exclaimed. During our final three weeks the students were examining Elodea cell structure, and the green bubbles were chloroplasts (the energy producing compartments of plant cells), as seen through a microscope. Each successive week came quickly and our sessions passed in a hurry. At the end of our seven weeks together, I felt great about the experience. I made positive connections with the students and parents and I identified my strengths and revealed areas that needed improvement. Two weeks have passed since the last session ended and I went back to the school to grab the Venus flytraps and Sundews in order to care for them over the holiday break. Upon my arrival to the classroom I found a few pieces of art mixed amongst the plants. One sign reads “Danger! Man-eating plant! Grows fast! Will eat you! Big Stingers!” The other artwork, even with its misspellings, gets its message across loud and clear. After reading them, I laughed aloud and a tear may have come to my eye.

Their art let me know the students learned and had fun! They enjoyed their experience and learned some important plant biology concepts. As for me, taking a chance and leading this program was one of the best experiences I have ever created
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Read a Previous Update
Gordon Williams
45 months ago
1
1

Scientifically positive or positively scientific.

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$1,575 of $4,500 goal

Raised by 27 people in 45 months
Created November 1, 2015
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AH
$100
Aaron and Lauren Howard
28 months ago

Go Chris go!

HS
$25
Harry Stokes
41 months ago
DF
$25
Douglas Finley
42 months ago
SB
$25
Sweta Batni
42 months ago
$10
Anonymous
44 months ago
KL
$50
Keith Lippwe
44 months ago
JW
$100
Joycelyn Williams
44 months ago
JB
$50
Joshua Bulluck
44 months ago
KL
$15
Katie Lupo
44 months ago
JS
$50
Jenn Saunders
44 months ago

Work some insects in there, will ya? :)

Gordon Williams
45 months ago
1
1

Scientifically positive or positively scientific.

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