Supporting Powerful STEM Learning with Technology: Project-based Interdisciplinary Learning


– [Principal] Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School also known as HeLa High School is located in Vancouver, Washington. We have five different programs of study. Pharmacy is one of those programs and this specific project on sunscreen and the effects on the environment is one example of the type of projects students will do here. – [Amy] I’m very fortunate I get to go to Hawaii frequently, and so I have learned
about the devastation that sunscreen had been
doing to their coral reefs. For me, pharmacy’s not just the
products behind the counter. Pharmacy also includes the
over the counter products. And so it’s very easy for me to pull the sunscreen into my pharmacology because we make choices with
over the counter products all the time. – [Payton] We made a molecule based on what we found in sunscreens. So we did a lot of research to determine that oxybenzone is truly
bad for coral reefs and for your skin. And basically what parts
and active ingredients in sunscreen are bad for you and others. – [Amy] Then I laid out pretty
much my expectations for them as far as their poster
project of the molecule as well as their public information piece. – [Hannah] We got to choose which molecule that we were going to do. My group ended up choosing avobenzone and so we started researching
that specific molecule, what sunscreen’s it’s in, how toxic it is for the
environment verses for people, what sort of benefits it has
like what it protects against, what kind of sun rays. – [Nely] So we went on
PubChem thanks to Dr. Houger and we looked up the structure and then after looking it up like seeing how many carbons, hydrogens, or oxygens there are. – [Payton] textbooks it’s usually just 2-D and so you can partially see it and it’ll give you the chemical formula. But it doesn’t exactly give
you a full understanding. And PubChem allows you to use a 3-D model so that you can understand completely and the angles and all of that. Using PubChem and making the molecule I can physically like
put them together myself and see exactly where they go. – [Hannah] I think actually
making the molecules ’cause this was our first
time actually making them and seeing the actually
structures with the benzine rings and understanding double
bonds and how they all relate and how these molecules actually look and how they are connected. That was really cool for me to see. – [Payton] For the infographic we just put information
about what oxybenzone does, some statistics, and why it’s important to actually understand it. Some people don’t realize that the active ingredients in
sunscreen are important. And oxybenzone is a very specific one because it makes a big impact. – [Paola] It’s a lot different
when someone’s standing there and you’re just supposed to sit there and absorb all the information than when you’re hands
on doing it by yourself. (upbeat music)

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