High schoolers take hands-on biology course in SF

Lyanne Melendez Image
Friday, June 20, 2014
High schoolers take hands-on biology course in SF
Hundreds of high school students in SF are taking a hands-on class this summer to make up a biology credit in order to graduate.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- For those of you who have taken summer school, you know it can be slow and maybe not very appealing. But high schools in San Francisco have come up with a way to try to overcome boredom. For example in biology, students found some water, mud, and a little fresh air to make things a little more interesting.

Welcome to summer school in the park.

Students from different high schools in San Francisco are making up a biology class needed in order to eventually graduate. Most are sophomores and juniors.

They're here because, well, let's just say they didn't do so well in biology. So instead of relearning the material in the classroom, they get to spend five weeks learning from Mother Nature.

They recorded the temperature of the creek at Glen Park Canyon and took samples. They also measured the pH levels on the spot. Students also took some mud back with them to study the microorganisms they can't see. And they recorded every new observation.

"Letting them look at the water under the microscope and they'll see all those little things in there, there will be a lot of questions," said science teacher Larry Cohbra.

Everything they take from this park, they will study in a way they've never experienced before.

"I like that we get to see more of nature for biology," said student Sandra Hernandez. "I get to learn more, like visualize."

Student Alexa Quintero added, "Honestly the way we see it, life, basically instead of just seeing it on a piece of paper because many people won't pay attention that way."

"The classroom, that environment, that closed-in environment, it's not good," said Cohbra.

Some of these city kids have never seen this canyon, much less pick wild blackberries.

"It's just nice to slow down, take a look for a while," Cohbra said.