Lake George High School recently began a new tradition that blended the love for chemistry with the spirit of Thanksgiving – introducing “Chem’sgiving.” This event brought together 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students currently enrolled or previously enrolled in chemistry courses at Lake George.
The idea arose from the Science Teachers Association of NYS (STANYS) Conference attended by William Brown, LGHS chemistry teacher, who found new ways to connect with students. Chem’sgiving aimed to celebrate the hard work and dedication of students navigating the challenges of Regents Chemistry and AP Chemistry. Despite these classes not being required for high school graduation, the students willingly dive into the subject, driven by an enjoyment for science and a dedication for future success.
On Chem’sgiving, 40 participants, including 36 chemistry students, along with the Mr. Brown’s family, gathered to share not only a delicious feast but also the stories behind the dishes. Students were encouraged to bring a dish that reflected their family’s Thanksgiving traditions, bridging a sense of home and the school community community. The event provided students with the unique opportunity to come together a few hours early to either cook their own recipes in the school’s Home and Careers room or assist others in the culinary process. The result was a delightful spread of potato latkes, apple pies, chocolate pies, berry pies, cookies, along with classic Thanksgiving staples like turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and corn.
Chem’sgiving was more than just a feast; it was an effort to strengthen the classroom community and forge deeper connections between students and staff. The goals included celebrating students’ efforts, building friendships, and allowing teachers to develop personal relationships with the students, gaining insights into their families and traditions.
Inspired by the idea of building a LAB classroom that promotes Love, Access, and Belonging, the chemistry teacher drew inspiration from Billy Green, the 2023 NYS Teacher of the Year, who shared his experience of hosting a Friendsgiving with students. Chem’sgiving was born from the belief that building connections and understanding can enhance the educational experience for everyone involved.
Looking ahead, Mr. Brown aim to continue the Chem’sgiving tradition, using it as a springboard to engage chemistry students in community service projects throughout the school year. The hope is that this event becomes not only a celebration of academic achievements but also a platform for giving back and reinforcing connections within the Lake George High School community.