Lake Melville School was constructed during a time when computer related technology was literally non- existent within the learning environment of a school. With time computer interface technology began to play a more prevalent role in the education system. As a consequence, the science lab was converted into a make shift computer room with students having to sit at work stations that were not ergonomically favorable for long term use. In addition, since there were computer work stations occupying the lab benches there was no real space for the students at the school to conduct the various lab experiments associated within the wide spectrum of science curriculum at a K to Level III school.
Since we were operating the school without an adequate science lab or computer lab we looked into taking a large room on the bottom floor of the school and converting it into a functional science lab space and the other half into a functional computer lab space. It was at this time that we approached the International Grenfell Association and Vale with our proposal, and generously received the funding needed to go ahead with the project.
Work progressed on the room throughout the 2014-15 school year, building and installing the computer work centre near the front of the room first then building and installing the science lab bench, and finally adding to the room much needed storage space.
As can be seen, the space has been dramatically transformed from an area that had no real defined use to an area where students are able to work efficiently and comfortably within the science, and technology based subject areas. When entering into the room you are presented with a “u” shaped computer work area, where all students are able to come in and make use the computers. Towards the back of the room you will see a newly constructed lab area, with everything that is needed to complete work throughout the science curriculum. Finally, along the back wall we now have plenty of storage, where both science and technology equipment can be safely and securely stored.
Before renovations began in the lab area, and due to the height of the computers up on the old lab benches, the younger students found it difficult to work at the computers.
Now with a more ergonomic arrangement, usage has picked up amongst students in the younger grades.
The completion of this project allowed the school to achieve a number of goals, such as:
- increase functionality with respect to subject instruction
- use smaller design countertop space to maximize viewing area, space, meetings, and work by participants
- better support hands-on, minds-on student engagement especially with regard to science instruction and lab work (K- Level III & distance education)
- create an area supportive of co-teaching
In conclusion, the staff and students of Lake Melville School would like to express our sincere gratitude to the International Grenfell Association and Vale for making this project possible.
Submitted By: Chad Carroll – Teacher at Lake Melville School