Benedictine Academy Dedicates New Science Lab

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ELIZABETH–Inspiration…endless possibilities…the keen pursuit of careers in science- these hopes and dreams took shape and form when the Rev. Msgr. Manuel A. Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, dedicated Benedictine Academy’s new interactive science lab on Sept. 15. Many of the school’s alumnae, students and faculty, along with distinguished guests, packed the new facility to mark the “start of a new era”, as noted by the academy’s Principal Kenneth Jennings.

Bishop Cruz, who noted he has a passion for science and medicine, told the students in attendance, “You are the future of our school and our society. Science and medicine are wonderful because every day we can discover something new that can help others.”

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“This is a place of knowledge”, he continued, “given freely, and you have to be excited, curious, and have passion” for such studies, Bishop Cruz stated. Acknowledging those whose financial contributions helped make the new lab possible, he commented, “Through the generosity of so many of you, our children are able to learn, to become women of knowledge. This is a dedication to the progress of learning, to the search for the wisdom that guides the Christian life.”

Students at the Academy started the school year off this fall conducting experiments in the new interactive lab which features lecture space with a SMARTBoard, and, eight new workstations. Each workstation sports a laptop computer, a motion sensor, and the powerful, intuitive interface state-of-the-art program, “LabQuest”.

Over 150 different science labs are actually embedded within the “LabQuest” program, which includes real-time data analysis. Students use the motion sensors to conduct experiments in a variety of subject areas including Newton’s Law of Motion; Air Resistance; Sound Waves and Beats; Speed of Sound; Impulse and Momentum; and many more. The “LabQuest” equipment allows students to gather information through instructions, figures and data tables.

Sister Kathleen McHugh, S.S.C., Benedictine Academy’s new science instructor, explained that the “LabQuest” equipment has been in use in schools around the country just a little over three years. “Instrumentation is the trend,” she noted, and “this lab will provide the latest learning in the area of science technology.” Offering a reflection at the lab dedication on “Women in Science”, Sister McHugh noted that “a paradigm shift is in process”…“babies are being born in artificial wombs and we have bio-ethics decisions to be made. It is a super-exciting time to be alive and to be a scientist,” she added.

“The dedication of this interactive science lab marks the start of a new era at the Academy, returning science to its place as one of the most exciting and demanding fields of study,” Jennings told the guests who attended the dedication.

Work on the new lab began in June and was completed in time for the start of school on September 8. The old space was completely gutted when renovations began and was totally replaced with new equipment.

The Rev. Msgr. Manuel A. Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Newark, dedicated and blessed Benedictine Academy’s new interactive science lab on September 15. Bishop Cruz (center, at podium) told students, “You are the future of our school and our society. Science and medicine are wonderful because every day we can discover something new that can help others.”

Bishop Manuel Cruz sprinkles holy water during the blessing of Benedictine Academy’s new science lab at the recent dedication. “This is a place of knowledge, given freely, and you have to be excited, curious, and have passion”, Bishop Cruz stated. “This is a dedication to the progress of learning, to the search for the wisdom that guides the Christian life.”

The dedication of the interactive science lab at Benedictine Academy featured demonstrations of the state-of-the-art equipment. Pictured at a new work station are (l-r) Academy junior Andrea Mendoza of Union, and alumnae Bonnie Bussler and Margaret MacNeill. Each of eight new work stations sport a Laptop computer, a motion sensor, and the powerful, intuitive interface state-of-the-art program, “LabQuest”. Over one hundred-fifty different science labs are actually embedded within the “LabQuest” program, which includes real-time data analysis.

Students use motion sensors to conduct experiments in Benedictine Academy’s new interactive science lab in a variety of subject areas including Newton’s Law of Motion; Air Resistance; Sound Waves and Beats; Speed of Sound; Impulse and Momentum; and many more. The “LabQuest” equipment allows students to gather information through instructions, figures and data tables. Sister Kathleen McHugh, S.S.C., Benedictine Academy’s new science instructor, (second from left) points out features of the new program to students (l-r): Geraline Arroyo of Union, Alicia Onacki of Roselle and recent 2010 Academy graduate Vanessa Devia of Elizabeth, currently a computer engineering student at Seton Hall University. Looking on (far left) is Bert Sison, technology consultant at the Academy.


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