Funding from Annual Appeal Reaps Cutting Edge Science Equipment for Students at St. John'sby Virginia Wallace
The tremendous success of the inaugural Annual Campaign of St John the Baptist School in Kenmore enabled the school to purchase cutting edge science equipment for their students. The infusion of funds from the school's alumni, parishioners, parents, and friends has allowed the school to purchase Probeware and laptops for use in its middle school science lab, in conjunction with its Smartboard technologies. The funds also funded the structural improvements made to the science lab earlier this year.
Advancement Director Michelle Salemi is charged with securing the necessary funds to underwrite the costs of these forward-thinking initiatives. "Math has long been a strength of our middle school," states Salemi. "This places an equal emphasis on Science. The acquisition of this Probeware equipment will further develop our students' abilities to critically reason and decipher information. These skills are crucial for today's world whether or not they pursue a career in science. Our focus on STEM/STREAM instills a cross-curricular mode of thinking into how they learn to process information and approach problem-solving strategies. My hope is using this equipment will make STEM/STREAM learning, which incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, as well as Religion and the Arts, more effective."
Science chair Katie Cooke explains, "These probes go beyond simply preparing our students for high school. They are teaching them how to do real, authentic science. They are learning how to collect and interpret data, trouble shoot, and communicate their scientific findings." All middle school students will be getting opportunities to work with the probes. They are capable of measuring temperature, pH, weather, light, sound, force, and more.
Cooke continues, "My hope is that students will become comfortable with using this technology, as it is what is currently used in the field of science at universities and in the workplace. This technology provides real world data in real time, allowing students to literally see the data and graphs as it is being collected. This makes it much easier for students to understand correlations with complex activities, to say nothing of the pride it affords students in the work they are producing...The monies donated by our parishioners, alums, parents, and so on made a tremendous impact on the quality of education I am able to deliver to my students."
Students enjoy using the new equipment. Cooke concludes, "The kids said it's like Santa came to St. John's...they think the touch-screen computers are amazing...there is no better way to gain an understanding of a concept than to test it out and actually do it! Science should be a verb, that is to say, it is an action. It's not about memorizing facts; it's about doing the science."