Labs Requiring Bunsen Burners Resume After Repair

Ashley Ho

Megan Guevara, Staff Writer

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Because the gas pipes were filled with water in the science classrooms, students have been unable to use the Bunsen burners. The final lab was repaired last month.

“The flood(ed) pipes definitely put a damper on the amount of labs that required burning,” junior Michael Eboh said.

Four years ago, water got into the pipes, which made gas incapable of flowing through.

“We do a lot of labs that require specific measuring and sometimes, if we have to heat anything, it’s with a Bunsen burner,” junior Briana Owens said.

The gas lines provide natural gas in order to ignite a flame.

“The (gas) pipes enter the building from the roof and branch out into the building,” Chemistry Teacher Toby Bane said.

Chemistry Teacher Marci Sinor said that there is not a definite explanation for why the water entered the pipes but there are a couple of assumptions.

“The plumber for the district believed it to be caused by students attaching rubber tubes from the sink spouts to the gas jets and turning on the water causing water to enter the pipes,” she said. “He removed the devices that would have allowed them to be hooked up, however we have continued to have periodic issues with water in the gas lines since.”

Although, all the science classrooms were affected, Chemistry classes had a harder time dealing with the inconvenience, Sinor said.

“The district plumber came in and pushed air through the gas lines to force the water out,” she said. “It took them several tries before the water was fully removed.”

After the problem was resolved, classes continued to use the pipes.

“We did an experiment where we had a glass rod and rolled it over the flame,” Owens said. “Once the glass was hot enough, we were able to bend it which was pretty cool.”

Students in Bane’s classroom first used the Bunsen burners on Nov. 4.

“This is the first time I’ve used the gas pipes (in) all my two and a half years here,” Eboh said.

Sinor said only Chemistry classrooms use the gas pipes and it required her to alter lessons.

“I like to do labs to reinforce the content we are covering,” she said. “But when the gas lines don’t work, I either have to put off the lab for a period of time or do it with unrelated material.”

Owens said the messed up pipes did not bother her because her class has been doing experiments for a long time despite the flooding.

“It’s important to have the pipes working properly,” she said. “That way teachers at least have the option to do experiments that require a flame.”

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