WILLIAMSTOWN -- Two student organizations at Mount Greylock Regional High School are partnering with the Peter M. Goodrich Memorial Foundation to create a science lab curriculum for students at a school in Afghanistan.
Twenty-two students with Peer Team and Amnesty International spent Friday putting some of their favorite science experiments into writing for students and teachers at an all-girls school in Afghanistan's Logar Province.
The school was established by the Goodrich Foundation in 2006. The foundation was created by Donald and the late Sally Goodrich in memory of their son, Peter, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, who died when the plane crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The mission of the foundation is to better the educational opportunities for students in Afghanistan.
Senior Naomi LaChance, who co-founded an Amnesty International chapter at Mount Greylock this year, said early Friday afternoon that 32 labs had been developed so far, and the goal was to have everyone develop two to five labs by the end of the school day.
"We're also going to look at what materials are need for the labs, and what of those materials can be applicable in Afghanistan," she said.
Goodrich, who met with the Mount Greylock students Friday, said when he went to Afghanistan in July 2011, he requested the school's principal and the village elders prepare a list of things they believed the school needed, and one of the things on the list was science labs.
"They don't have the resources to study science in the ways which can best educate them about physics, chemistry and biology. They read, memorize and learn it, but they don't have the experiments to develop the critical thinking skills that science labs can provide," he said.
While some of the labs students had been developing were ones they remember from middle and high school science classes, others were recorded on surveys asking high school students to identify their favorite science labs, Senior Samantha Quinn, a member of Peer Team, said.
"We then went to the teachers and got the directions for the labs," she said. "We have chemistry, biology, physics and anatomy labs."
The students are collaborating with Science Teacher Larry Bell and Lisa Jennings, a wellness and peer team teacher, on the project.
Jennings, a friend of Donald Goodrich, said the project began as a conversation between her and Goodrich about the need for lab experiments to be included in the Logar School's science curriculum.
She then approached LaChance about it being a project for Amnesty International, she said.
LaChance said that in the spring, students from Afghanistan will translate the labs, and then the Goodrich Foundation will work to get the appropriate equipment to the Logar School.
"It's a great opportunity to be able to work on this project. It has a very positive effect being able to use our resources to help out a school in another country," she said.
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