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Policies

Requesting Services


*In order to properly prepare all labs we request 10 days advance notice for requesting visits and/or loans.
We are aware that things may change and are flexible about this but the sooner the better when it comes to requesting services.

All requests for services should come through our web site www.westminster.edu/sim and be as specific as possible. If you do not need ordinary glassware, ring stands etc. please indicate this on the form.

An equipment loan means that the equipment will be dropped off for the classroom teacher to use. When equipment remains at a school it is assumed that it will be stored in a secure location. A certain amount of breakage is considered routine and to be expected. If the amount exceeds $100.00 we may have to have a talk about your school district's liability insurance. In order to ensure that the equipment is available for others to use we will limit the length of the loan to one week.

Science in Motion's purpose is to assist teachers in teaching science. All of our activities must be related to that goal. We do not, as a general rule, do "Magic Shows" or other activities that are strictly entertaining in nature. We will do everything we can to improve science education in all schools. However, we must comply with our mandate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and be careful about liability considerations.

 

Laptop Computers


In the case of computers there must be no alteration to installed programs. No attempt should be made to download or install new programs. Be sure that the "workstation only" box is checked before attempting to log in or the computer will search for the college network until it decides that the network cannot be found.

If you need to access the teacher notes on the web page you will need a password. If the one you learned at the workshop does not work or you have forgotten it contact your mobile educator. For obvious reasons this information is not published anywhere and will change periodically.

 

Lab Pros and Probes


When using our Lab Pros with more than one probe at a time be sure to use only those probes that are compatible in accordance with the chart you received at the workshop. Some probes use a lot of current and will not work effectively from the same power source. After using the Lab Pro with batteries remove at least one battery or press START/STOP then QUICKSTART to shut off the Lab Pro. Other wise it will continue to consume power and the batteries will be dead in a few hours. If you are not using batteries use only the 6V adapters supplied with the Lab Pro. Using any other type may damage the Lab Pro and violate our warranty.

 

Safety


Our policy is that anyone working in a laboratory must be wearing eye protection and appropriate clothing (i.e. no shorts or sandals). The enforcement of this policy is left to the classroom teacher. All labs are designed to be as safe as possible and with minimum use of harmful chemicals. As we all know things can happen.

An MSDS for each chemical we use is keep on file in the office. Each teacher attending a SIM workshop will receive a CD with an MSDS for every chemical we use.

 

Visits to the Westminster College Campus


If you would like to use equipment that is not transportable or your schedule does not allow enough time to successfully complete a lab, contact us. We may be able to find a day when your students are in school but the college facilities are not being used. Assuming that the details can be completed, you could schedule a field trip and do the lab at the college.

 

Home School Policy


Since we want to help science teachers teach science more effectively, we certainly want to include those who choose to teach at home. The first step is for the teachers to attend one of our workshops in order to learn what is available and how it may fit into their curriculum. For safety reasons, it is also important to see how the equipment works before trying to do it on your own.

In order to provide these services in a safe and efficient manner while meeting the demands placed on our resources by all other users the following guidelines have been adopted.

Due to budget, time restraints and liability issues we ask that home-school groups be formed with ~5- 15 students of like age. (Like age grade equivalents: k-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

We are now accepting new home-school groups from Mercer County, Lawrence County, and northern Beaver County only.

The teacher responsible for the class must: be the contact person, be present during the visit or equipment use and be responsible for safe and efficient use of the equipment. Neither Westminster College nor Science in Motion will be libel for any damage or injuries incurred as a result of participation in any of our activities.

We prefer that groups arrange a visit to the college as described above.

A second option is to arrange a visit to a mutually agreeable facility. This must be an adequate facility with proper lighting, electrical outlets, running water, ventilation, tables/chairs and space. We cannot schedule in-home visits.

Requests for visits or equipment loans should be made two weeks in advance by submitting a "Request for Service" from our web page.

All equipment use must be documented by submitting a "Post Visit Evaluation" form from our web page.

 

Science Fairs, PJAS etc.


We encourage participation in academic competitions and will lend equipment for that purpose as long as it does not interfere with normal classroom use of the equipment.

 

Resources for Summer Programs


There have been requests from science teachers for support for summer programs. If possible, we will accommodate these requests according to the following guidelines.

All requests should be made through our web siteto the project director.

We will support educational programs that are sponsored by school districts or other educational units recognized by the Department of Education or organizations known to support education.

Requests for support will be honored when staff and resources are available. Summer is when workshops are conducted, and the equipment is inventoried, checked, and repaired. It is also the time staff members take vacations. For these reasons, program resources are limited. Therefore, only requests that make reasonable demands on staff and are submitted in a timely manner will be considered.

 

Professional Development


If your district is looking for something useful for the science department to do on the next Professional Development day contact the SIM office. Our staff is available to provide a full or half day workshop for all science teachers in your district. We have a full schedule of continuing professional development for teachers. We are an approved provider of Act 48 credit for teachers certified in Pennsylvania. All of our workshops provide Act 48 credit with no cost to the teacher.

 

Remember: there is no cost for any services provided by Science in Motion