Upper School Science Students Explore New World in Beazley Foundation Lab

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 the Beazley Foundation Inc., the first of two laboratories is up and running and students are already making great use of the lab in their anatomy, biology and AP biology, marine biology, AP environmental science and forensics science classes.

The lab was specifically designed to allow every student to face forward, giving the instructor line of sight over his or her students to ensure everyone’s safety. Lab stations can host four students simultaneously and support collaborative work for a 20-student capacity. Stations are equipped with sinks and gas and safety equipment has been updated and streamlined, while also providing expanded storage and teacher prep space.

“We completely reconfigured the lab from its original design,” said science department chair Alan Stell. “It’s a really great space to work in because it was truly made just for us.”

The space also includes an InFocus board. It acts as a whiteboard, Internet browser and is attached to a projector that allows students to watch a teacher-led demonstration from their lab stations.

“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. “The direct impact of the improved configuration on science curriculum itself has allowed more labs to take place in each course. With better storage, preparation space and updated technology, faculty are more focused on hands-on experiences, giving way to stronger science curriculum.”