Teri Vance: Teacher is in need of help to buy microscope | NevadaAppeal.com

Teri Vance: Teacher is in need of help to buy microscope

Teri Vance

A teacher at Riverview Elementary School in Dayton is asking for the public’s help in procuring a digital microscope for her science labs.

“(My students) are eager to get their hands on every project we begin,” said teacher Jill De Pasquale. “Our biggest challenge is limitations. Our school is limited with technology. We are able to access the computer time at most twice a week. That time is used for other subjects in addition to science. Computer time is the only time we are able to see pictures up close; many of the science websites may not be available.”

She said the digital microscopes will help solve that problem.

“The digital microscope will give the students the opportunity to see their discoveries up close,” De Pasquale said. “Students will be able to take pictures in between computer times, then during our allotted computer time, they will be able to create and present their projects.”

It will also teach them a new set of skills.

“Due to funding, our school doesn’t have microscopes so many of the students have never used one,” she said. “The digital microscope will teach them the technical side. They will be able to take pictures of their discoveries and use the pictures in a creative way with other technical resources.”

De Pasquale is just one of several area teachers to utilize the website, DonorsChoose.org, to ask the community to help fund items needed for the classroom, including a similar project posted by a teacher at Mark Twain Elementary School.

Anyone interested can go to the website and browse nearby schools for projects they may be interested in donating to.

The website was started in 2000 by Charles Best, a teacher at a Bronx public high school. He wanted his students to read “Little House on the Prairie,” but didn’t have enough copies for each student.

“As he was making photocopies of the one book he could procure, Charles thought about all the money he and his colleagues were spending on books, art supplies, and other materials,” according to the website. “And he figured there were people out there who’d want to help — if they could see where their money was going.”

He sketched out a website where teachers could post classroom project requests, and donors could choose the ones they wanted to support. It started with 11 posts from his colleagues.

Today, it’s open to every public school in America.

De Pasquale said the telescopes would help her students in every aspect of school, not just science.

“They will get their hands-on learning in a way they have never experienced before,” she said. “They will be able to write and draw more descriptively in their science notebooks. They will be able to compare their pictures to other printed digital resources. Students above and below grade level will be able to communicate through speaking and writing their personal experience. Preparing them to use technical tools is preparing them for the future.”

To donate to De Pasquale’s classroom, go to donorschoose.org/we-teach/ 2847007/?active=true, or browse other projects at DonorsChoose.org.