Garfield-Palouse High School: A Promising Practice in Creating an Inclusive High School Science Lab
George Landle is a science teacher at Garfield-Palouse High School in Palouse, Washington. Having a student who uses a wheelchair made him aware of difficulties experienced by students with mobility impairments as they attempt to access standard science lab stations. The stations in his lab were all built at a height that required students to sit on stools or stand to use them.
With funding from a DO-IT AccessSTEM Minigrant, Mr. Landle created a lab station that allows a student with a mobility impairment to participate in high school biology, chemistry, and physics lab activities from a seated position. Mr. Landle purchased an adjustable lab station, a lap-top computer with assistive technology, a microscope and flexicam, and appropriate beaker, slides, and safety equipment. Mr. Landle integrated the accessible station within the lab, so a student using the new station can work side-by-side with classmates.
The inclusive science classroom at Garfiled-Palouse High School is a promising practice because it allows students with mobility impairments to fully participate in science labs with their non-disabled peers.
Additional information on purchasing accessible lab products can be found at the Barrier Free Education website and in the DO-IT publication Making Science Labs Accessible to Students with Disabilities.
For general information on working with students with disabilities in science courses, consult Working Together: Science Teachers and Students with Disabilities and/or view the video by the same title. Strategies for fully including students with disabilities in science and math activities can be found in The Winning Equation: Access + Attitude = Success in Math and Science publication and in the video by the same title. You may also wish to consult the comprehensive resource and presentation materials Making Math, Science and Technology Instruction Accessible to Students with Disabilities A Resource for Teachers and Teacher Educators.
AccessSTEM mingrants were funded under The Alliance for Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (AccessSTEM, Research in Disabilities Education award # HRD-0227995).