Equip Your Students By Borrowing Lab Tools Here (For Now)

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.

Our non-discrimination policy stands.

We are, and will always be deeply committed to serving interested teachers and their students with all of our services and lab equipment loans. We don't care if you or your students are undocumented, documented, Muslim, Vulcan, Klingon, or whatever. You want to bring hands-on lab experience for your students? You can borrow equipment from us.

Everest Value School and Downtown Value School love our microscopes.

DVS has a science coordinator on staff to help with the set up of the class set of microscopes. EVS used the on-site technical support services of our lab technician Ilse, who set up and cleaned up the microscopes and specimens for Ms. Aguilar's sixth-graders.

Many thanks to the South Dakota Discover Center for a generous donation of Vernier data collection devices!

SD-Discovery in Pierre, SD is a hands-on science museum but also offers science camps, science classes, birthday parties, and such. We only had one of these Vernier Labquest data collectors, but now thanks to them we have a full set of four. These devices connect to various Vernier sensors for automatic data collection in your classroom. We have eight more of a different model, for a total of twelve, so now you can have smaller group sizes for your hands-on science times. Smaller groups = higher participation = higher engagement = higher learning, right? Ask for Ilse, Neyda or Glen's on-site technical support on your science experiment day, for help facilitating all those little groups.

We assisted Ms. Escobar's 8th graders at Downtown Value School with the measurement of kinetic friction.

LESS staff and some helpful students from Los Angeles Trade Technical College helped eighth graders to measure the friction coefficients of their shoes. We used spring scales and rocks, and then graphed the results to find the friction coefficients on Microsoft Excel (the laptops belong to Downtown Value School, not to LESS).

This is an interesting way to start your students' preparation for the NGSS performance expectation MS-PS2-2.

Here is a link to our Cloze-style lab document for the students.

Here is a link to the answers to our Cloze-style lab document.

Here is a link to the Google Sheet we use to get the friction coefficient quickly.

We presented a chemical craft booth at the LAPL Mini Maker Faire.

Using materials and technical support from LESS, Chem-101 students from Los Angeles Trade Technical College guided makers young and old in the chemical reduction of silver ions in aqueous silver nitrate. Makers did the chemical reaction inside a clean, 10-mL glass vial, resulting in a mirrored inner surface. The result was a DIY holiday ornament!

Would you like to try this at your school? Be careful: the reagents are toxic, so you need gloves and lab coats. You also need safety glasses. Here are the procedures online, from Flinn Scientific. Here is a link.

NGSS poster tool available here.

You're into the NGSS. You would like to put the NGSS on the wall. But you haven't seen a convenient poster for this. How about this one, designed by one of our participating classroom teachers?

Support our work with a $12 donation via our donation page, and we'll send you an 18"x24", laminated copy of this as a token of our thanks. We'll blank the upper right quadrant called "3D Storyline", so that you can attach your own lesson plans, NGSS checklists, or grade-level notes in that spot.

Many thanks to Eastside Prep for a generous donation of Vernier EasyLinks!

These valuable tools allow the TI Nspire or TI 84 Plus calculator to connect with a Vernier analog sensor, for data collection directly to the calculator. The private school in Kirkland, Washington was selling these, but decided to donate them to us instead when they read about our non-profit mission in Los Angeles. Many thanks to Eastside Prep indeed!

Do you teach math using TI 84 Plus or TI Nspire calculators in Los Angeles? Borrow from us a set of EasyLink adapters and a set of Vernier sensors, for some high-impact, real-world applied math using data that the students collect themselves.

Many thanks to the multidisciplinary X-Lab at the University of Florida for a generous donation of Pasco Force Platforms!

These electronic weighing scales work either horizontally or vertically, so your students can make Newton's Third Law measurements while standing on skateboards and pushing the wall. These are also great for graphing the force of a basketball bounce as it dampens as a function of time. The X-Lab has given us nine of these, for your class lab experiments. Many thanks to UFL!

Many thanks again to the multidisciplinary X-Lab at the University of Florida for a generous donation of Vernier/NI SensorDAQs!

These valuable tools allow a PC running LabView visual programming software to talk to multiple Vernier sensors. If your school uses LabView for robotics, and if your kids want the robot to make decisions based on data sensed in real-time, then borrow some SensorDAQs from us. Many thanks to UFL indeed!

We have an online store!

Proceeds from the sales of science stuff at this store will support our non-profit work here. We are still looking for items to add to the store, so please tell us what you'd like to see there. Here's a link to the store: online store for LESS

We bring hands-on NGSS work to Downtown Value School and Everest Value School.

Last year, we assembled NGSS lessons using our equipment, for grades K-8 at Downtown Value School. Our professor, Dr. Ellen Harju, presented our hands-on lesson ideas to DVS teachers during an inservice session once per month, and we left the necessary equipment there for a loan period of one month. Great idea, thanks to Ms. Chavez, the DVS principal!

This year, we continue to lend equipment and ideas to DVS and we're also serving their sister school EVS. Thanks to the EVS principal Mr. Medinger, and to our #1 customer, science coordinator and teacher Taylor Wheeldin for this addition!

You can support us through your shopping habits.

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Use Giving Assistant to save money and support Learning Equipment Supply Service

Join Giving Assistant now to start donating 3-30% of every purchase to Learning Equipment Supply Service while you shop online at places like Michaels (3%), Kmart (6%), and Macy's (7%).

Use Glen's referral link to sign up, and get a free $5 from Giving Assistant.

We lent Vernier probeware to Torrance High's new award-winning physics teacher.

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 Vernier is helping 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!

We found, fixed, and re-organized SVAH physics tools!

neat shelves with labeled clear plastic boxes of equipment

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.

closer view of neat shelves with labeled clear plastic boxes of equipment

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.

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Portable 3d Printer

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).

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Hands-on chemistry at a continuation school!

teacher's layout of lab supplies for students' use at client school

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!

Low temp and low pressure at Animo Venice!

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!

Gas law investigations at MSA-4!

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!

More with LESS at MSA-4

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.

College science volunteers at MSA-4!

Volunteer assisting students at work Closer shot of student at work on chemistry experiment
Students recording their observations

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.

We presented STEAM booths at a STAR Education Saturday event for public afterschool programs!

Kids creating circuits using homemade play-dough (Squishy Circuits) at our booth Kids creating colorful chromatography using black ink at our booth
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. Kids experimenting with liquids and gases of various densities at our booth

Microscopes and Daphnia at MSA-4!

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.

We found school supplies, and we found somebody who needed them!

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.

An HP 5890 Series II Gas Chromatograph for high school use!

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!

Science students at YouthBuild Charter, Van Nuys: Learning more with LESS!

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.

We gave away liquid nitrogen to science teachers on Tuesday, February 19th, 2013!

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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Learning Equipment Supply Service provides students, teachers, and other learners the opportunity to benefit from all of our products and services irrespective of their race, color, religion, gender, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Learning Equipment Supply Service provides employment opportunities to job seekers and to independent contractors of all races, colors, religions, genders, handicaps, familial statuses and national origins. All of our products, services, and employment opportunities are mentioned on this website and are available on an equal-opportunity basis.

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