09/21/18

New Donated STEM Lab Allows Student Scientists to Get Hands-On

By IMS Staff

Did you ever wonder what stars are made of and why some stars glow more brightly than others? Thanks to the new Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lab at Saint Martin of Tours (SMT), 7th graders will soon be able to answer those questions (and many more on a variety of scientific topics).

SMT kicked off the 2018-19 school year with the grand opening of a brand new STEM lab! The lab, constructed in memory of the late Patrick McGovern (SMT Class of 1951), will honor Patrick’s legacy as an information technology pioneer and enthusiast. Thanks to the extremely generous donation of $100,000 made by Patrick’s sister, Laurette Verbinski (SMT Class of 1946), on behalf of the McGovern family, her brother’s love of science and technology will live on and inspire the young minds of all who have the opportunity to learn and explore in this space.

“With this lab, students will be engaged in a Discovery Streaming STEM curriculum that allows them to navigate the NextGen Science standards that are aligned with specific lab reports and questions of practice to enhance their thinking,” said SMT Principal, Matthew Grill.

Equipped with all the amenities you might expect in a state-of-the-art science lab – a brand new smartboard, 30 chrome books, extra electricity, a sink to help with completing Science labs and cabinets fully-stocked with new science materials – the space will give teachers the chance to plan hands-on labs and simulations aimed at giving students the opportunity to further their knowledge in STEM subjects and encourage them to think deeper.

“Our new program, Discovery Education Science Techbook, seeks to engage students by using the 5 E model,” explains SMT STEM Chairperson, Hilary Strang. Following the curriculum, students become “investigators” as they are presented with real-life problems that they engage with, are given the chance to explore and dig deeper using different modes of media and hands-on activities, are asked to explain by thinking like a scientist and finally they elaborate by completing hands-on, real-world application STEM activities.

You don’t need to be a scientist to conclude that SMT’s new STEM lab will provide an engaging platform to prepare our students for future careers and encourage them to be problem solvers and critical thinkers – skills that are necessary for success in the 21st Century.

Our heart-felt thanks go out to the McGovern family for giving our students this unique opportunity to shine as brightly as the stars they will be learning about!