Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!
I'm Mr. Lancaster, and I am so excited to be seeing all of you in person at last! Whether you're in chemistry, AP chem, or zoology, we're going to get to learn a lot of interesting things about the natural world and how it works.
You've made a good start by coming here to my teacher website. Where should you go from here? Well, you've got some options:
- Read on to learn a little more about me
- Skip down below my bio to find my class rules, expectations, and syllabus
- Look for more information in the pages listed to the left
- Follow this link to get help on how to sign into Teams and get connected to the class
- Follow this link to go to Microsoft Teams
- Email me if you're just feeling completely lost or have a question that isn't answered here
See you all soon! - Mr. L
Phone: (314) 632-6169
Degrees and Certifications:
BA in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis MS in Bioengineering from University of Illinois at Chicago Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University
Mr. Joseph Lancaster
I grew up in a suburb west of Chicago, Illinois. I've had a lifelong interest in all science, but especially marine biology. You'll quickly notice that I take any opportunity I can to talk about the ocean and the things that live in it. I went to college at Washington University in St. Louis to study biology and met my wife there. I then got a Master's in bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, married the woman I met in college, and spent a few years working in the research world. Finally, I decided to go into teaching and got a Master of Arts in Education degree from Webster University.
I'm a proud geek who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy books, anime, video games (mostly survival sims), and Marvel movies. I am a certified SCUBA instructor, I have had the good fortune to travel to many different countries around the world, and I visit Chicago often to see family. My wife and I have agreed to root for the Cardinals, but we're hanging onto the Blackhawks (sorry, Blues fans!). I have two gigantic dogs, a fish tank in my classroom, and I will have my first child in January 2022. I'm very excited about that last one, but it will probably mean that you'll have a somewhat spaced out and sleep-deprived teacher in the Spring semester. Be kind.
I look forward to meeting you all, whether you're reading this as a student or a parent. See you soon! - Mr. L
Q & A
Zoology (pronounced zoh-AHL-uhgee, not zoo-AHL-uhgee) is the study of animal life. That includes tiny animals like mites and ants as well as large animals like blue whales and elephants. The main things we'll learn in this class are how animals are related, what similarities they have to one another, and how evolution resulted in all of the different animals we see today. See the syllabus for more information.
Chemistry isn't as commonly encountered today as it was when public school was first invented. Nowadays, there are only a handful of careers (doctors, pharmacists, research scientists, etc.) that really require understanding chemistry. However, there are several good reasons to still learn chemistry:
1) You might want to go into one of those jobs someday, and if you don't learn this basic chemistry, you'll be WAY behind when you go to college.
2) Just to understand how the world works. Why are solid things solid? What the heck IS fire, really? Why do we need to breathe, and what is air made out of? There are millions of questions about how the world works and what it's made of that will be answered in this class. And it's worth learning chemistry just to understand the world.
3) To learn how to think through logical problems. The main reason we teach kids science in high school is to teach them how to reason through things. I know you're probably thinking, "are you calling me stupid?" And no, I'm not. But thinking logically and rationally is not natural and we all have to learn it. If we don't, we wind up making bad decisions and creating things like climate change, mass extinctions, and mass shootings. Also, being able to think critcially can help protect you from scammers and con artists trying to sell you things.
On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is taking a nap and 10 is the hardest math class you've ever had, this is probably going to be a 7 or an 8. I believe science is easier than most math classes because it deals with more stuff that you can actually see and touch, but I also believe in my students and know that they can do impressive, high-level work. And so I will expect that kind ofwork out of you.