Kerry Fehr-Snyder, Arizona Republic, September 4, 2009
A Chandler elementary school has built one of the first K-6 science labs in the state to spark the scientific imagination of natural born scientists – children.
The lab at San Marcos Elementary School celebrated its grand opening last week with comments from its student council president, principal, teachers and students who were downright giddy about its opening. “I’m excited to have the S.T.E.M. lab finally open for experiments,” said Angel Miranda, a fourth-grader who welcomed guests to the ceremony. S.T.E.M. stands for science, technology, engineering and math – exactly what the students will be taking turns doing now that the lab is functioning.
Jason Phillips, an instructional specialist with Chandler Unified School District, said science literacy has become important for schools as the state Department of Education has changed its standards, requiring testing in science each spring to measure students’ progress.
In Chandler public schools, elementary school students routinely learn about science as part of their classes. But it’s not until junior high school and high school that they are required to take a lab science course and experience hands-on science experiments.
The district hosts a science fair in February each year at Hamilton High School. The Hamilton Invitational Science and Engineering Fair showcases the best student science projects.
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