Borrow lab equipment such as microscopes, multimeters, glassware, and pH meters, in sets of ten.
Borrow a class set of eight Vernier LabQuest2 interfaces and associated sensors.
Get remote, behind-the-scenes help with your class project or your student's science project
We empower public school science teachers in Los Angeles to increase student engagement by lending teachers our equipment and by helping them to use their own equipment. We specialize in serving teachers at schools of limited means. We are also an approved vendor for the LAUSD, vendor number 1000011276.
We are a non-profit organization, 501(c)3, founded in December of 2012.
Do you know about owl pellets? Here is a link to our Owl Pellets Page for the details. Fun, and suitable for the NGSS for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.
This year, we assemble NGSS lessons using our equipment, for grades K-8 at Downtown Value School. Our professor, Dr. Ellen Harju, presents our hands-on lesson ideas to DVS teachers during an inservice session once per month, and we leave the necessary equipment there for a loan period of one month. Great idea, thanks to Ms. Chavez, the DVS principal!
Last year, we made our first Vernier equipment loan to South Torrance High School! It was to their new physics/engineering teacher, who had been to a Vernier presentation in Pasadena previously. About the Vernier presentation, this teacher said, "I just felt so powerless there because I knew I could not have such equipment for my own class." She has applied for grants since then, and of course the wait is long. Now, with our help, the wait is gone!
In the second photo, you can see Mrs. Denisiu's students sharing their results using her large white boards. What a great idea, Ms.D. We have obtained ten of these, too, which all you other teachers may be able to borrow for your class from us.
Christine of Vernier Software and Technology noticed that we are lending old Vernier data collection tools to public school science teachers in Los Angeles. She has replaced most of our old Vernier stuff with the corresponding Vernier new stuff! This represents the first large grant for LESS, and our participating science teachers will feel the effects soon!
Ms. Le at the LAUSD School for Visual Arts and Humanities (one of the R.F. Kennedy Community Schools) had us re-organize her physics supply closet this summer. We removed many of her old cardboard boxes and brought in clear plastic boxes to replace them, hoping to make it easier on the teacher when looking for equipment; we labeled these boxes clearly and re-organized the shelves the way Ms. Le wanted them.
We also cobbled together an air pump and an air track for Ms. Le to use (previously they were incompatible because the pump and track are from different brands). We showed Ms. Le how to use a cheap shop-vac and some PVC plumbing hardware to power her other air tracks, using an idea by Frank Lee of the Roybal Learning Center. There was a new vacuum pump there too, which needed pump oil: we brought Ms. Le the proper pump oil, and we identified the tubing that she should use, which had been hiding in a mislabeled grocery bag elsewhere in the closet.
We have one Bukito 3d printer, from the Kickstarter by Deezmaker.
Glen assembled it at the Deezmaker store in Pasadena.
This device prints in PLA and nylon using 1.75-mm filament; here is a link to the inventors' specifications.
Would you like to borrow it, to have a few of your students see their own designs printing? Please let us know, and please try to find your own filament to use (until the day when we find the funding to provide you with filament ourselves).
The charter school group called Cloud and Fire has a continuation school that is still new, in Van Nuys. We've been working with the science teacher there, as you can see. We didn't have a full-size centrifuge so we lent them a microcentrifuge and they made do with that, along with a few basic reagents, a simple gravity filatration apparatus, plastic pipettes. Chemistry is not this teacher's specialty, but this was no problem: we provided technical advice on how to use all of the above!
At 7:15 am on Friday, March 7th, we dropped off about five liters of liquid nitrogen at Green Dot's Animo Venice charter high school. Yes,
we had done this here exactly 365 days ago, too, and Mr. Topham the chemistry teacher is still inspiring young minds there!
The teacher's comments on the results of his liquid nitrogen demos are posted on the About page linked here.
During Animo Venice staff in-service meetings on March 26th, we dropped off a 6-cfm vacuum pump with polycarbonate bell jar to Mr. Topham. Glen trained him on the safe operation of the pump, and Mr. T. practiced the Marshmallow Man demo, the Inflating Balloon demo, and the Triple Point demo. The equipment and Glen's skill with it came from AVS, the American Vacuum Society, which offers a Science Educator Workshop every year in October; teacher attendees receive a pump and bell jar and all the necessary training with it, funded completely by the local AVS chapter!
On Thursday, March 6th, we brought two UCLA science-major volunteers to Ms. Merz' classroom at MSA-4 again, but this time with liquid nitrogen! The volunteers were from the undergraduate chemistry society Alpha Chi Sigma at UCLA, thus they had their own repertoire of fun low-temperature demonstrations. We also provided 125-mL Erlenmeyer flasks, electronic balances, balloons, vinegar, and baking soda for Ms. Merz' students to do stoichiometric gas law calculations themselves, later!
Starting on 2/19, we provided a UCLA biochemistry undergraduate volunteer as a Science Olympiad coach for Ms. Merz' chemistry team. The coach was great, we're so lucky to have found him! We flyered the engineering and chemistry buildings at UCLA as a recruitment strategy.
The week of February 8, 2014, Ms. Merz at Magnolia Science Academy 4 borrowed hot plates, evaporating dishes, tongs, two electronic centigram balances, and watch glasses from us. We threw in some power strips to get all the hot plates plugged in, and a carton of Epson salts for kids to work on.
Merz' students drove off the water of hydration from samples of MgSO4 . 7H2O, and calculated the "7" in 7H2O. Some students came up with 6, and some calculated 7. Nice job, kids!
The teacher's comments on the results are posted on the About page linked here.
The UCLA chapter of the Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry society provided two knowledgeable volunteers, and LESS provided the lab materials. Ms. Merz, new science teacher at Magnolia Science Academy #4, made our offerings work for her students and supervised the whole thing.
These are chemistry students, using reagents to create and observe chemical reactions for themselves. Such experiments give the students a hands-on context to engage and cement their learning processes.
|STEAM Nation, an annual exhibition of science and art activities for K-8 students, was at West Los Angeles College on October 19th this year. LESS rustled up a few crafty ideas and materials, and AXE of UCLA provided fourteen volunteers to interact with the kids. It was a great time, and there were a lot of other organizations with cool booths, too. Of course, the AXE chemistry society of UCLA made our booths the most well-staffed of all.|
In October (2013), we lent compound microscopes with mechanical stages to Ms. Merz' class at MSA-4. We also provided live Daphnia magna organisms for students to observe, along with dilute solutions of nervous-system-active agents such as ethanol, for students to administer to the Daphnia and to record the behavior changes. The live creatures were healthy specimens, leftover from a nearby private school's recent experiments.
|A private donor gave us a box of 48 wirebound notebooks. Wow! We went on DonorsChoose.org to find a teacher near us who happened to need a bunch of notebooks. We found one at Webster Middle School, very close to our lab, and we delivered. Teacher was surprised but glad, because her students go through a lot of notebooks over the course of each school year. Everybody wins.|
|We have supplied Ms. Meade, A.P. Chemistry teacher at Jordan High School of Long Beach, with an HP 5890 Series II gas chromatograph. The instrument had come to us as a discard from a biotech industry donor. Amazingly, Ms. Meade's campus has a 20-amp electrical circuit available, which is exactly what this instrument needs to eat. Ms. Meade will also need three gas cylinders (a carrier gas such as nitrogen for the column, and hydrogan and compressed air for the flame ionization detector. This is a research-grade instrument, so maybe Ms. Meade's kids will publish some analyses someday soon!|
|Last school year, we found a new science program and an experienced science teacher, Ms. Hahn, in the San Fernando Valley. We established contact, and since then Ms. Hahn has been visiting our west LA lab location as needed, for pickup and return of basic items such as graduated cylinders, Erlenmeyer flasks, and electronic balances. Hooray for hands-on learning.|
Just to raise awareness about our project, we sent Glen with a 10-liter dewar of liquid nitrogen to several public schools in west Los Angeles.
At Animo Venice charter school, Glen was lucky enough to have shown up exactly at the moment when a liquid nitrogen YouTube video was to be shown to a chemistry class. Using liquid nitrogen from LESS, that demonstration was done live instead, and some more LN2 demos were done for some learning fun.
At Webster Middle School, Glen was lucky enough to run into an Assistant Principal who had used LN2 before, and he guided Glen directly to an eighth-grade science teacher's classroom.
At Magnolia Science Academy 6, Glen visited the office at the moment when the 8th-grade science teacher was having a prep period. Glen poured LN2 for her into polystyrene foam cups; we hope she still had enough for a demo by the time her class started.
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