General Question

Bigfish's avatar

What was your most memorable experience in high school science?

Asked by Bigfish (110points) July 8th, 2007
28 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I teach science and am just curious about what people remember over the years.

Topics: ,
Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


hossman's avatar

Most memorable would have to be when I oh so stupidly confused a beaker of water with a beaker of some organic compound (I can't remember what) and in a hurry to distinguish which was the water, TOOK A BIG WHIFF of the liquid.

After regaining consciousness in the hospital, I had a bad nosebleed and a pounding headache for a day. Evidently, I came close to killing myself in an inadvertent "huffing."

max1685's avatar

This story isn't science related and is completely petty and smug...
My chemistry teacher hated me. On the last day of class, he set up a lottery to determine the order of our presentations (most people didn't want to go in the beginning), and I suspected that he fixed it in such a way that I would be called on to go first. So I secretly exchanged my lottery ticket with that of a friend, the only student who wanted to go first. I assured him that he would win and then I waited in anticipation for the moment the teacher called out the first number. When my friend heard his ticket called he shot me a look of baffled amazement, but more importantly my teacher turned as white as a sheet and wouldn't look in my general direction for the remainder of the extended two-hour class, probably because he realized I was grinning at him.

sarahsugs's avatar

When my teacher demonstrated that boiling water has nothing do with heat but instead with the pressure different (i think?) between the molecules at the surface of the water and the molecules in the air. He made ice-cold water boil.

Also learning about the Doppler Effect, because it made so much sense. And watching a video of that bridge that did that wierd thing where it got all wavy and then even wavier until it broke, because of some strange wavelength phenomenon which I can no longer remember.

Perchik's avatar

I liked a lot of the times we actually applied stuff. We built a catapult once to demonstrate physics concepts. That's the stuff I remember, hands on stuff, not lectures.

peggylou's avatar

In chemistry class, a girl behind me pulled my chair out and I sat down heavily on the floor. The teacher let her have it! It was great! But my tail bone sure hurt!

evander's avatar

After a year of learning and practicing methods for separating and identifying substances in my intro to physical science class, we had a week long activity called "the sludge test." Each group of partners was given a beaker full of a different "sludge"--a mixture of 6 to 8 solids and liquids-- that we had to strategically separate and identify using everything we had learned. Our experiment exploded when some fumes ignited and we lost a fair amount of our sludge, but we still were able to do salvage the experiment and identifying most of what was present.

nomtastic's avatar

dissecting a fetal pig was amazing. also, making any liquid turn colors.

Perchik's avatar

Ah. The fetal pig. I remember that one. However I remember that one for bad reasons. Really strong fermaldahyde causes unpleasant gagging. In our biology class, I think about 10 people (out of 20) disected the pigs, the rest of the class was vomiting into a trash can. Yay fermaldahyde!

dans85's avatar

Memorizing the entire Table of Elements by making up sentences (i.e., Libby BcNofnee and her friend Namig). Still remember it all! Getting the Most Improved prize in Biology was extremely satisfying.

fuse1921's avatar

Making methane bubbles and lighting them on fire. When my teacher wet her hands with water and then dipped it into the methane and told me to light it, I thought she was joking...but now I can honestly say that I lit my Chemisty teacher on fire. =)

newsdan's avatar

Accidentally diluting pure sulfuric acid with water, by putting one into the other in the wrong order, and creating a cloud of dense acidic gas.

thebalrog's avatar

We had a substitute one day, and we were in the lab working with Magnesium, which, when touched to a flame, burns very brightly with a lot of heat. We had an entire roll of magnesium strips, and we were supposed to tear one strip off, hold it with tongs, and place the tip in the Bunsen burner. Then, we were to watch the miniature explosion through safety goggles.

However, my lab partner (whose name, oddly enough, was actually Steve Martin) decided that one strip was not enough. Instead he took the entire, two-inch-diameter roll of magnesium and placed it in the Bunsen burner. Besides creating the brightest light I've ever seen, the flames attacked a nearby paper towel roll, lighting it instantly on fire. Desperate and unsure what to do, Steve picked it up and threw it across the room, and we watched as the flaming paper towel roll streamed across the lab tables, slowly unrolling until it landed at the substitute's desk.

Needless to say, Steve had a rough weekend.

Jill_E's avatar

I love arts..I would remember drawing cells and label them. Our biology teacher would give us credit for drawing. He made it fun.

gooch's avatar

Disection of cats was pretty cool. But watching a girl in my class throw up in class upon see it was even better.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

I disected a deer freshman year. I say “I” because the rest of the class was out in the hall vomiting except for one other person and myself. Which was great because we got to spend an hour and a half alone with this deer, and took apart the stomache but soon lost interest when the digesting food started coming out. We then went on to the heart which was AMAZING to take apart and actually see. Then, we played around with the eyes, but the best was giving birth to the baby!! Yep, she had been pregnant when she was hit by a car and we took out the baby and while we left it in its plasma shell, you could see the entire bone structure of the baby, yet it fit in the palm of my hand. Best day of science yet.

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

We were discussing animal systems.
our Bio teacher told us that fish/reptile spines go side to side to move, and mammal spines go up and down. For examples, she gave us snakes and sharks as compared to humans and dolphins.
She went on to tell us that trying to move like a snake or shark just wouldnt work for us. We’re simply not built like that.
I considered this a challenge, and immediately dropped down on the ground trying to see if she was right.
She was.
Later in a pool, i tried to shark along… I had a little more luck, but not much…

skfinkel's avatar

One of the more memorable moments was when a group of students each had to spit into a test tube for an experiment, and Ellen’s test-tube was all pink because of her lipstick. It was gross.
Also remember the smell of formaldehyde when we were going to dissect something.
We made cameras out of a shoe-box that was kind of cool. And I loved all the memorizing. Don’t know what I would remember of that now, though.

Ganzyman's avatar

The most memorable for me, was clapping my eyes on the 5 kilos of Mercury our science teacher poured out into a bowl. I remember dipping my 10 year old hand into it and feeling the resistance of the metal due to it’s density…Amazing!!

I’m ashamed to say that I stole that same bottle of Mercury 2 weeks later, I was so fascinated by it. (I know, depriving all those other kids of the experience I had)

It was short short lived though. Several days later, I found my 8 year old brother and his friend melting lead pipes in an old frying pan, over a small fire on some wasteground.
just as I was approaching he was pouring out the last few drops of mercury into the frying pan….Noooooo!!!! I shouted, I was hopping mad.

Well, I drive excavators for a living now, and 4 years ago I was tearing down an old electrical sub-station. I went inside to see if there was any booty to salvage before it went to the landfill. Opening up this dis-used electrical rectifier, I find this big glass bulb, just like a tungsten filament bulb but 12 inches across and 2 feet high. And to my amazement it contained around 6 kilos of mercury inside haha!!!

So after 20 years of never feeling that mass in such a small space, I have it back ;)

I have been growing my collection of elements from the periodic table over the years, I have around 35 now, and the mercury is the pride of my collection. Although I have a lot more respect for it now! Double sealed in plastic bottles! kept in a cool dark place…

Crazy thing is, I never really liked science at school.

I wish I had the enthusiasm then, that I have for it now.

Anyway, thanks for exorcising that out of my tired brain. I’m sure you are an inspiring teacher.

Time for bed, got to be up in 4 hours to go and dig some dirt!!!!

Goodnight ;)

sarahsugs's avatar

I thought you couldn’t touch mercury with your bare skin, because it’s poisonous or something…is that wrong? I remember someone telling me to be careful if a thermometer ever broke not to touch the mercury from inside. Please explain!

hossman's avatar

Mercury is a toxic poison, but many people have been exposed to mercury, apparently without ill effects. I also played with mercury that my father, a physician, had in a beaker in his office (he didn’t know about it). Many people can smoke for 50 years and have no ill effects, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bad stuff.

gooch's avatar

Mercury is like all heavy metals and builds up in your system. It never leaves your body and once a level is reached then it makes you ill.

Bigfish's avatar

Apparently there is some truth to the story of th Mad Hatters from Alice in Wonderland. Hatters would use mercury to cure beaver hides before making them into hats. The exposure to mercury caused nerve damage in the brain making them go crazy.

suejester's avatar

Watching the science teacher play pocket ball

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

our teacher telling us that in high school, he wasnt the kid who was the smartest, but he got all the right answers through sheer perseverance.
On all of his tests, we got about 50% credit for writing down random formulas and trying to solve for the answer. If we wrote down the right number of significant figures and the correct unit (meters, or Newtons or whatever) we could get 60% credit on a completely faked answer!

Elumas's avatar

A few weeks ago, my Biology teacher was discussing hypo and hypertonic solutions. She proceeded to take out two jars each with an egg in it. She explained that one was in a hypertonic solution while the other was in a hypotonic one. She went in to the effects for 30 minutes or so and then asked us if we wanted to see the results. We weren’t that enthusiastic, but on a whim she opened the window on the second floor stepped out for all the class to see, and threw the eggs at a wall outside. She came back in and continued the lecture.

Perchik's avatar

(What was the result?)

Elumas's avatar

The egg in hypotonic solution bounced, the one in hypertonic solution exploded.

scotsbloke's avatar

you know, this is gonna sound real daft, but I had such a crush on my science teacher at school, I can remember her name, what she looked like, the smell of her perfume, the sound of her voice, I remember how she used to tie her hair back and it made her look surprised all the time, I can even remember the car she drove…..................... as for science – Who-da-what-now?

Answer this question




to answer.

Mobile | Desktop

Send Feedback