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Science Partners

About Science Partners

As a leading life science and high technology company, we believe it is our responsibility to inspire the next generation of scientists. To achieve this goal, we created Sigma-Aldrich Science Partners (SP), a program that connects our scientists to schools near our facilities around the world. Through interactive, engaging and high quality science lessons, our scientists bring real scientific experiments in the classroom. In select areas, schools may also have the opportunity to travel to a Sigma-Aldrich facility for a more in-depth look into the science we do every day.

We feel we have the responsibility to use our time in the classroom in the most effective and efficient way. Unlike other programs, SP offers full science lessons rather than simple experiment demonstrations. We work with leading educational institutions from around the world to develop and implement meaningful lessons on a vast array of science subjects.

Explore the site to learn more about SP, our scientists and how to become a Partner School.

Details

The Science Partners program is centered on the idea of a “menu” of lessons. Teachers will have the opportunity to choose science lessons from a menu, ensuring lessons correspond with current classroom content. All lessons will encourage students to use the scientific method in finding an answer to the question as opposed to step-by-step directions. All lessons were created with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards in mind and reference these standards through the lesson.

The Program Has Two Options

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Hosted Lessons

  • Hosted at Sigma-Aldrich
  • 2-3 Hours
  • Led by a Sigma-Aldrich employee and includes a tour of the facility
  • As a result of the controlled safety environment, a broader range of experiments will be offered
  • Discussion on career connections and answering the "Why is this important?" question
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Traveling Lessons

  • Sigma-Aldrich employees travel to the school with all the materials needed for an experiment
  • One class period
  • Most experiments will be replicable for continued learning at home or in school after the Sigma-Aldrich employee leaves
  • Discussion on career connections and answering the "Why is this important?" question

While both of these options are provided at no cost, schools are responsible for transportation to and from hosted lessons at Sigma-Aldrich facilities.

Meet Our Scientists

  • Caroline
    Technical Specialist

    Caroline is the go to authority for genetic engineering at Sigma-Aldrich. Caroline enjoys being able to share her passion for science education and an unlikely path to her current career at Sigma-Aldrich.

     

  • Jon
    Product Safety Specialist

    Prior to coming to Sigma-Aldrich, Jon helped coordinate science summer camps for students from under resourced areas in St. Louis. With this experience and his chemistry expertise, he works to inspire the next generation of scientists.

     

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If you have any questions, please email us at

Information for the Teachers

SP lessons are designed to be an additive piece of your classroom curriculum. We find that students are able to receive the most value from SP lessons when they have at least baseline knowledge of the topic. Sigma-Aldrich will work with teachers prior to entering the classroom to ensure our volunteers are able to maximize their time with students.

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Become a Partner

We partner with schools that have a desire to enrich their curriculum by connecting their classrooms to community professionals. To be eligible to participate in the SP program, schools must become certified as a “Partner School.” The partnering process is explained below.

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Verify Location

Use the map below to identify where the SP program is operating. At this time, we are only able to partner with schools near our sites. In select circumstances, we are able to partner with rural schools not located near our sites.

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Review Lessons

Review the list of available lessons to verify the program and its lessons are appropriate for your school/classroom.

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Fill out the Partner Request Form

Please use this form to apply to become a SASP Partner School. If you have any questions, please email us at sciencepartners@sial.com


Required Field = Required Field

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Science Partner Lesson Library

Chemiluminescence

Overview

The Chemiluminescence lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:

    • What is chemiluminescence and how does it happen?
    • What are some of the different forms of energy?
    • What is the structure of an atom, and what are the names of the three main
      particles?
    • How is energy absorbed or released in a chemical reaction?

Topics Covered

Energy, Energy Transfer, Chemical Reactions, Structure and Properties of Matter.

Summary/Goal Statement

This activity introduces students to the role of electrons in a chemical reaction and addresses energy transformation and the difference in energy between reactants and products. The investigation shows students how chemical reactions can emit light and allows them to investigate the effect of temperature on the reaction. Chemiluminescence has many practical applications, including glow sticks and forensic analysis.

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Photosynthesis

Overview

The Photosynthesis lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • What is an electromagnetic wave?
    • What is energy?
    • How do organisms (such as plants and bacteria) get and use the matter and energy
      the need to live and grow?
    • What is the overall reaction of photosynthesis?
 
Topics Covered

Plant Science, Photosynthesis, Electromagnetic Radiation, Energy.

Summary/Goal Statement

Photosynthesis is an essential process because it transforms the sun’s energy into energy we can use. This activity introduces electromagnetic radiation as it relates to photosynthesis, and how that reaction relates to the energy on the planet. The investigation allows students to explore different factors, as shown by the chemical equation that might affect the rate of the reaction. Photosynthesis has many technological applications including solar energy devices, such as dye-sensitized solar cells.

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What is DNA?

Overview

The What is DNA? lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • What is DNA and where is it found?
    • What is the structure and function of DNA?
    • How does DNA store and transmit genetic information?

Topics Covered

Plant Science, Cells, DNA, Molecular Basis of Heredity.

Summary/Goal Statement

DNA science it used every day in our world. Forensic labs test DNA evidence, farmers use genetically modified seeds, and doctors target disease treatments using DNA markers. Everyone has heard of it, and everyone has it, but what is it? In this activity students will learn about the structure and function of DNA.

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Genetic Inheritance with Reebops

Overview

The Genetic Inheritance with Reebops lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • What is heredity?
    • What is a physical trait?
    • How are traits passed from parent to offspring?
    • How is genetic variation related to biological evolution?

Topics Covered

Cells, DNA, Molecular Basis of Heredity, Genetic Variation, Meiosis.

Summary/Goal Statement

Genetic inheritance is responsible for most biological variation and evolutionary change. In today’s lesson students will learn about genetic variation and inheritance. First the students will investigate physical traits by performing a group activity. Using the imaginary model organism Reebops, students will then explore chromosomes, genes and the process of meiosis. Experiences in this hands-on activity will demonstrate the idea that genetic variation is a component of a population’s diversity and evolution.

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Heat Transfer

Overview

The Heat Transfer lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • What is heat or thermal energy?
    • How is heat transferred from one object or space to another?
    • What materials make the best insulators?
    • What does it mean to conserve energy?

Topics Covered

Heat Transfer Methods: Conduction, Convection, & Radiation, Conductor & Insulators, Energy Efficiency. 

Summary/Goal Statement

The burning of fossil fuels to heat and cool our homes uses 4.86 quadrillion BTUs per year, a non-sustainable strategy. Heating and cooling our homes uses more energy and costs more money than any other system – typically making up 56% of our utility bill. One strategy for decreasing our energy usage is to improve insulation in our homes. In this activity, students will explore thermal energy by investigating heat transfer methods and principles. The engineering challenge is to apply what they know and have learned about heat transfer to design an insulated house that keeps cool in the summer.

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Life Boat Rally

Overview

The Life Boat Rally lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • What is an engineer and what do they do?
    • How is the engineering design process like the scientific method?
    • What is buoyancy?

Topics Covered

Engineering Design, Engineering Careers, Density, Buoyancy, Properties of Matter, Forces.

Summary/Goal Statement

This activity introduces the student to engineering, and uses a design competition as a way to learn through inquiry about the principles of density, buoyancy, and gravitational and buoyant forces. The student will explore the physical properties that affect buoyancy, and apply acquired knowledge to design and re-design a lifeboat.

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Tools of Science: Pipetting & Gel Electrophoresis

Overview

The Tools of Science: Pipetting & Gel Electrophoresis lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • What is the difference between a compound and a mixture?
    • What are the physical properties of molecules?
    • How can electric forces affect molecules?
    • How do scientists gather data?
    • How can scientific findings be useful to society?

Topics Covered

Chromatography, Microbiology, Genetics, Gel Electrophoresis, Scientific Instruments and Measurements.

Summary/Goal Statement

In this activity the students will learn how to use some common microbiological tools and techniques. They will also learn how the size and polarity of one molecule can be use to differentiate it from another. The students then apply these techniques and knowledge to solve a real-world problem in society – detecting an inherited genetic disease.

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Tools of Science: Microscopy

Overview

The Tools of Science: Microscopy lesson aims to answer the following essential questions:
    • When do you use a microscope?
    • How does a microscope work?
    • How is a microscope’s magnification calculated?
    • How are plant and animal cells the same, and how are they different?

Topics Covered

Scientific Tools, Microscopy, Light and Optics, Plant and Animal Cells.

Summary/Goal Statement

Microscopes are important tools used to enlarge objects that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. In this activity, students will practice using compound microscopes to gain an understanding of the equipment and technology. Students will learn how to make wet-mount slides, and apply these skills to investigate plant and animal cells.

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