Physical science lab unveiled at school

Christian Heritage School unveiled its new state-of-the-art physical sciences lab. In conjunction with the expanded science offerings which now include college-level coursework in chemistry, biology and physics.

Funded by special gifts, this project is a culmination of years of planning work by Dan Cote, CHS science department chair, administrators, designers and contractors.

“Special thanks goes to our in-house talent and tradesmen (Robert Hilton, and David & David Greer) as this $110,000 project was completed on time and for under $50,000,” said John Naeher, director of operations.

This lab is designed to meet the current and future needs of CHS’s science program, with the flexibility to accommodate laboratory courses in multiple disciplines.

“The new lab facility is comparable to some of the newer college research-grade physical science labs,” said Cote, who is also a University of Connecticut adjunct professor and physics instructor, who has more 20 years of science industry experience.

Some key features of the new science lab include:

• Workbenches for 30 students, arranged in a U-shape to allow the instructor to easily monitor and assist students from a central location, and foster a Socratic venue for teaching.

• A fume hood set up for students to safely perform advanced experiments without risking exposure to any hazardous substances.

• Interactive technologies which allow students with iPads to work with the instructor through the school’s new cloud system, wireless Apple TV installation, wireless data acquisitions modules, and SMART Board technology. These are accessed at workstations designed for data collection, research and report writing.

“The ability to work in a modern lab setting is a vital skill for students in our STEM program,” said Cote, referring to the science, technology, engineering and math. “CHS has shown its commitment to providing students with the tools necessary to succeed in the new sciences.”

The CHS students and parent community have high science program standards, with 25% of all students taking AP/ECE Physics and 20% of students taking AP/ECE Chemistry — and more than 90% scoring 3, 4, and 5 on the AP exams and earning 8-16 UConn credits.