Blinded with Science: Senior works as science department’s first-ever teacher’s assistant

Kara Stewart/Staff Writer

Who says you have to be in college to be a TA? Senior Louis Redfern jumps the gun by going above and beyond with his science skills as a CFHS teacher’s aid.

He does everything from organizing and alphabetizing to rewriting lab experiments, although his jobs vary from day to day. “The biggest challenge is knowing when to ask for help and when to make my own decisions. If I ask for help every five minutes, I’m not helping anyone,” Redfern said. “I haven’t messed up yet, so I think I’m doing a good job.”

During the first week of school, Redfern spent his science class time in the chemical storeroom, organizing and alphabetizing everything. Redfern said, “It was a mess.” While organizing the chemical storeroom, Redfern saw a two-liter jug of bright blue solution, and he knew there was copper in it, but the label said: Cu2 ?M. The unknown factor was the ‘?’.
“There was a big jug of some solution with copper and who knows what else, and nobody knew the concentration,” Redfern said. “I may take a sample and run some analysis on it later this year if I have time.”

Lately he has been helping in the biology department quite a bit and has been making the AP biology lab more effective by using sensors instead of the old respirometers.

“I even got to make ion exchange resin burrets,” Redfern said. “I did some maintenance on some of the chemical eye-wash stations in the chemistry and physics rooms too.”

This is the first time a CFHS student has ever done something like this. Redfern said, “I don’t think the teachers have a ton of expectations for me because they’ve never had anybody in this sort of position before, so nobody really knows what to expect; some of the science teachers didn’t even know I was around until a few weeks ago.”

Redfern enjoys helping the department out. “I most like how the teachers with whom I’m working are beginning to start to come up with more and exciting jobs for me to work on this year,” he said. “I haven’t played it up as a big deal with many people but my friends, but some people have mentioned how they wish they would’ve thought of the idea.”

Class of 2014

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