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Arron Leer and Susan Roberts
Sarasota Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012 9 years ago

Brookside teacher makes learning fun

by: Nick Friedman Managing Editor of Arts and Culture

Brookside Middle School teacher Susan Roberts rarely experiences a dull moment in her classroom. Over the years, her students have built robotic soda-can bugs, crafted hand-made rockets, carved pumpkins and attempted to take a shower with only five gallons of water — all in the name of science.

Most recently, to conclude their chemistry unit, they studied water purification, complete with a water-tasting experiment that demonstrates the importance of environmental awareness. Roberts compiled seven different types of water for her students to sample in a blind taste test and then had them record the differences they tasted in their lab reports.

“Water is just another chemical compound,” she said. “The different elements in it are affecting the taste, but it’s the same water that’s been on the Earth forever. The dinosaurs drank this same water.”

Roberts fielded questions and did her best to steer conversations back to chemistry amidst students’ mixed reactions.

“This is just Publix water,” guessed one student.

“Ew, this one tastes like dirt,” another remarked.

“See what I mean?” asked Roberts with a grin. “Never a dull moment.

“I want them to learn skills that they can take with them,” said Roberts. “Science is a way of life, and we need to respect it.”

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