Grant Money Provides for SMHS Science Lab Upgrades

The science labs at St. Mary’s High School are receiving a nice boost thanks to a grant the school received from the Carl W. and Carrie Mae Joslyn Charitable Trust.

The Joslyn trust awarded a grant last fall that will enable the school to purchase items that will be used in Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Ecology, and AP Biology. Those items will include 12 microscopes, one digital microscope, two stereomicroscopes, a lab incubator, and a water bath.

Kathy Hanshew, SMHS science department chair, said the instructors in the Science Department are very excited about utilizing all of the new equipment.

“The microscopes we are currently using are scopes that are a least 50 years old and are slowly giving out,” Henshaw said. “It will be nice to have all the classroom microscopes the same so the students will become more proficient with them.”

Science students are looking forward to the new equipment too. Senior Aleah Erenberger said she finds the AP Biology labs to the most beneficial part of learning.

“Work in the lab provides opportunities to actually know and develop a genuine understanding of the biological world around us,” she said.

Senior Cannon Wille agrees. He’s found lab experiences to be the most effective way to learn last year in AP Chemistry and this year in AP Biology.

“The lab allows us to literally see the chemistry at work,” he said. “For me, one of the best academic feelings is when I am able to replicate results that match what I know should be happening. To do this, we need accurate lab equipment.”

Hanshew said the two stereomicroscopes and lab incubator will be used in the school’s new AP Biology course to study microscopic organisms and culture bacteria. The grant application stated that the equipment will allow the science department to implement the 12 labs that are required by the AP College Board for the students to receive AP credit.

The water bath for chemistry will be a welcome replacement for the beakers that the class has been using for water baths. And, Hanshew said, the digital microscope will allow the teacher to project images on a screen so the students better understand what they are they are looking for when using the new microscopes.

“It will be so nice to have this new equipment in the sciences,” she said. “In adding AP Biology this year, being able to purchase equipment for the class is essential.”

By Amy G. Partain, Communications Associate
St. Mary’s High School

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