Fenway High School opens new Science lab
BOSTON - Mayor Thomas M. Menino joined Superintendent Dr. Carol R. Johnson, Fenway High School Headmaster Peggy Kemp, students and staff today in opening the school's updated science laboratory. The new lab was made possible thanks to the pharmaceutical company Pfizer's Research Technology Center, which donated time, resources and money for the project.
"Science lessons can be most engaging when they involve hands-on experiments," said Mayor Menino. "The new lab will allow students to take charge and conduct the types of experiments that will keep them interested and coming back for more. Science is an increasingly important subject to master, and Boston students must have access to state-of-the-art classrooms in order to meet high learning standards."
The Mayor and Superintendent Johnson thanked Phil Vickers, Site Head of the Pfizer Research Technology Center (RTC), and RTC employees for winning an $80,000 lab renovation grant from the Pfizer Foundation. The RTC amplified the grant by providing project management services, engaging TRG Builders and Denine Architects in developing plans, and moving quickly to secure used cabinetry that was slated for demolition. These services were provided free of cost to Fenway.
Beginning with the Class of 2010 (current sophomores), Massachusetts high school students must pass at least one MCAS exam in science as a new state requirement for graduation. Superintendent Johnson noted that lab work plays a big part in student preparation for those exams.
"Our students deserve a comprehensive science education including instruction and experimentation to help them grasp the complex topics covered in high school," said Superintendent Johnson. "Fenway High School's new lab and similar labs across the district are helping students not only to learn science but to love science."
The multi-purpose lab was built in Juliana Thompson's classroom and includes six sinks, outlets for computers at each station, sufficient counter, work and storage space, new tables and stools, a shower and a dishwasher.
In 2004, RTC staff and scientists welcomed Fenway's invitation to come judge student science fairs. A partnership developed, and RTC scientists have since supported student work in science, a science curriculum review, professional development for science teachers, and equipment purchases. An RTC scientist sits on Fenway's Board of Trustees.
"We at the Pfizer RTC are thrilled to have partnered with Fenway High School on this project," said Phil Vickers. "Working with the faculty and staff, and especially the students, has been very rewarding. We hope that some future researchers will find inspiration at these labs, and that they'll join all of us in the biomedical research community in our quest to find new treatments for disease."
9th Graders Shaquana Mathis (white jacket) of Dorchester and Karie Everrett (tan jacket) of Roxbury demonstrate an experiment for guests at the grand opening of the new Science lab at Fenway High School.
4 schools, and recently won the Broad Prize for Urban Education as the top city school district in the country.