In an effort to show students some real world applications of concepts covered in class this year, I invited Tanya Johns ( Nuclear Medicine Science Officer for the Vermont National Guard ) to speak to students in the 7th and 8th grade. Mrs. Johns is the operator of a highly specialized truck that the Army uses to investigate potentially dangerous situations involving chemical, biological, or radiological agents. Mrs. Johns presented an overview of the science that she needs to do on samples to quickly determine the level of risk. Her truck is equipped with a specialized microscope, a spectrometer, and DNA analysis tools to help her determine what substances are present in the samples that are provided to her. In some ways, what she does is a lot like a very sophisticated game of “Clue” involving chemistry, biology and physics. Students were able to go into the mobile lab and ask Mrs. Johns questions about the science that she does for the Army.
Middle School Science Teacher