Material pick-ups enable hands-on learning at home


Anika Marino

Students gather materials necessary for online classes.

As students continue online school through the ongoing pandemic, the school board is making changes to make the transition a little easier. The board arranged for students to pick up materials from their teachers without the risk of catching COVID-19.

Since the school board implemented distance learning, interactive classes have been majorly affected. In the case of science classes such as Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, labs became nearly impossible. 

“Labs are probably the number one most affected part of our class, and I’ve had to eliminate a lot of labs, and I’ve had to modify others,” said Sara Shayesteh, Carlmont’s AP Biology teacher.

According to Shayesteh, lab kits have limitations based on the materials needed for labs. Shayesteh created a list of materials for approval by the school board to send home to students. The list consisted of both non-harmful and harmful materials found in a grocery store.

Not only was there an issue with creating lab kits, but also with the cost of the materials because now individual lab kits must be created for each student as opposed to the typical pairs or trios.

Katelyn Gambarin, a junior taking AP Biology, acknowledged that science classes are most affected by online courses and material pick-ups. These classes typically entail several different labs throughout each semester.

Typically, you have all the materials you need present to complete a lab, but with some materials either being too dangerous or not easily accessible, it has limited the number of labs we can perform throughout the school year,” Gambarin said.

Despite the limitation on sending materials home to students, the material pick-ups allow students to participate in basic labs that they would otherwise not be able to do without such specific materials.

Teachers set up lab kits and homework packets for students to collect from the material pick-up center.

However, going to campus can prove to be problematic for students who live farther away. 

“Both of my parents are busy during the day, so they often can’t take me, and normally during school, I take the bus. However, the bus takes a long time, and I would prefer not to have that much contact with people on the bus,” said Valentina Espinosa, a junior.

Espinosa noted that living far from campus made doing homework difficult, as traveling to and from campus took a significant amount of her time. She thought that material pick-ups needed to be hosted for extended amounts of time each day to make them more accessible to students who cannot make it during the small window of time.

Jacey Kelly, a senior who lives in Half Moon Bay, mentioned that she does not want to go to campus for papers because of traffic, which Half Moon Bay is infamous for. 

“Sometimes, I just don’t want to make the commute; I’d rather not have to go through Half Moon Bay traffic,” Kelly said.

Despite these challenges, all three students recognized that the material pick-up center was well-organized and well-conducted, following COVID-19 regulations.

Espinosa said, “The pickup was well set up; I didn’t see anyone but the person directing us; it was also very easy to find the materials I needed.”

Material pick-ups occur in the Scots Gym from 2:30-4 p.m. every school day.