New Science Teacher And Teaching Middle-Aged Kids About Mass Spectrometry? 4 Tips To Get You Started

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New Science Teacher And Teaching Middle-Aged Kids About Mass Spectrometry? 4 Tips To Get You Started

14 September 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you are a new science teacher and planning to teach students about mass spectrometry, this can be a very hard subject to learn. You can make things go easier for them and you if you learn some tips on teaching this subject. Keep reading and you should have a class full of students interested in this subject.

Teach Students the Basics

Start out by teaching your students about ions, This is a good starting point of learning about mass spectrometry. As you already likely know, when teaching a class about mass spectrometers, the main focus is on positive ions.

Besides learning about positive ions, the children should learn the basics of mass spectrometric analysis and understand the basics of a mass spectrometer, such as the parts used to make it. The children should be taught about laboratory safety and hygiene.

Provide Activities

Once the children have learned the basics, do some hands-on activities related to mass spectrometry. Many kids learn much better using the hands-on approach verses simply reading something in a text book.  You can find several activities the children can do online, as well as some free printouts to help you in the classroom. Make sure you choose activities that go well with this age group. Provide each child with a lab coat so they will feel like a professional while they are learning.

Hire a Guest Speaker

You may want to consider hiring a guest speaker to come to the school to teach the children about this subject. They are very skilled in teaching children in a way they can understand. The guest speaker will likely do many activities and demonstrations and invite the children to help them. You can also learn a lot from the guest speaker.

Learn About the Spectrophotometer

Because this class is focused on a spectrophotometer, the children should learn a little about how it works and how to use it. First they will place a sample solution inside the spectrophotometer and shine a light source on the sample.

A monochromator splits the light into individual colors. Each light is held in a cuvette, which is a small container. When handling the cuvette, the children have to be very careful not to get their fingerprints on it, as this will interfere with the results. Each light sample is read and then displayed on a screen.

Once the children have learned about mass spectrometry, you should teach them how it is used, such as in pharmaceuticals, different aspects of the environment, and geological areas.

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