Breaking Ground: Science Wing Renovations

Abby Smith, Staff Writer

As the end draws near for Blake’s current Ankeny Science Center, a new realm of possibilities opens for science taught at Blake. All new classrooms, labs, and workspaces will herald a new age for science.
“It’s exciting to be a part of this transition, and its exciting to think about… where’s our curriculum now, where would we like to see it go, where would we hope to see it go,” Biology teacher Jen Vance explained in an interview, “[to be able to] dream… about the exciting things that students and faculty can be working on”.
These new renovations will completely remodel the current science wing, turning it into fewer but larger spaces, all designed to help students learn and work. “In the biology rooms our tables are going to be movable,” Ms. Vance said, very excited at the prospect of being able to have easier class discussions. Two biology and chemistry rooms will be on the first floor along with two advanced labs and the physics labs will be moved to the second floor near the library space.
These labs are a very exciting prospect for both the students and the faculty of the science department. “This is an opportunity to set up some longer term projects,” Ms. Vance mentioned, talking about the merits of specialized advanced labs. With one lab for chemistry and biology and one for physics, will allow for more detailed and long term work in engineering and robotics. This way, individual students will have equal lab access for independent studies.
Other aspect of the new science wing will also aim towards increased independence in students learning. A conference like room could be used for “A group doing an independent study… thats a place where they could meet, just four or five kids,” was one of the examples cited by Ms. Vance, but they could also be used for teacher meetings, and study sessions. “Like the fish tank” she said, “but a little more productive”.
All in all, there will be some major changes going on starting this spring, but especially for all those students who love science. A full model of what it will look like is located next to the gallery, so stop by in between periods or before class and take a look at the rooms you’ll be learning in next year, but a whole lot smaller.