Upper school chemistry lab completed thanks to Beazley Foundation

Norfolk Collegiate’s strategic plan gives us the distinct ability to shape our learning spaces around our students’ needs. When our science teachers expressed the need to bring two of the upper school labs into a more student-centered, technology-driven curriculum, we were eager to get started.

Thanks to the generosity of a two-year grant from the Beazley Foundation Inc., the second of two labs was completed this summer. The new and improved lab provides chemistry students a collaborative space to explore their curriculum.

The space is equipped with new plumbing, floors and safety equipment and provides Upper School Chemistry Teacher Michele Purrington better line of sight over students making it easier for her to make rounds and answer questions more efficiently. Lab stations now host four students simultaneously compared to two in the old setup and support collaborative work for a 20-student capacity. Stations are equipped with sinks and dedicated gas lines, the safety equipment has been updated and streamlined, and the teacher prep space and storage has been expanded. Additionally, a moveable interactive panel has been added to the space. 

“We were really excited to walk into the lab on the first day of school,” said Purrington about herself and her students. “Our new interactive panel lends itself well when I need students to take notes, and our space is just more engaging. It’s brighter and open concept and a great place to work.”

“The more independent a student is in a lab experience, the better he or she will be prepared for a university lab course,” said Director of Development Nicole Pellegrino, an integral member of the team that secured the Beazley Foundation Inc. grant. “With better storage, preparation space and updated technology, faculty are more focused on hands-on experiences, giving way to a stronger science curriculum.”