New lab gives Uplift Luna Primary scholars the opportunity to experiment with science

Beau Hartweg, the Uplift Luna support coordinator, spends his week divided between the Primary and Secondary school.
Beau Hartweg, the Uplift Luna support coordinator, spends his week divided between the Primary and Secondary school.

Uplift Luna Primary scholars regularly utilize the schools partnership with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to engage their inner scientist.  Now, thanks to the unveiling of the brand new science lab at Uplift Luna Primary, scholars can find their inner scientist within the campus.

Before its transformation into a lab, the extra-large room served as a classroom. However, in an effort to further emphasize a focus on the sciences and further align instruction with the Perot, the lab was introduced.

“Having our partnership with the Perot and looking at the space we had, it just made sense to bring a lab to the school,” said Karen Aikman, Uplift Luna Primary Director.

Big enough to fit two full-sized classes inside, the lab allows teachers to lead a number of hands-on activities that may have no been possible without the new facility. Science kits full of materials provide visuals for the content pieces of their lessons. Scholars so far have explored types of soil, studied inherited traits, and seen liquid nitrogen in action. A full-time faculty member coordinates activities and demonstrations between the Perot museum and the schools.
Beau Hartweg, the Uplift Luna support coordinator, spends his week divided between the Primary and Secondary school, located in Deep Ellum, and the Perot, bringing materials and lessons directly from the museum. All of these efforts are focused on emphasizing inquiry learning by having the scholars ask questions about what they see, feel, touch or hear in the lab.

“But remember scholars, never taste,” said Mr. Hartweg.       

The scholars have come to understand that the lab is a special place and that they need to be careful. They’re encouraged to use their five senses when appropriate except for tasting. But the impact of the lab goes beyond just science and safety. Scholars are taught to read and make their own conclusions.

“The lab has had such an impact on scholars. The simple action of leaving the classroom and coming into the lab excites them. It’s a different environment. They just love leaving the classroom and coming into this special room. The lab helps them see and understand science in a bigger way,” said Ms. Aikman.

So far, the lab has been a big success and will continue to be used for exciting hands-on activities that encourage active participation and critical thinking skills. Teachers will continue to lead investigative science lessons and scholars will naturally use higher level thinking by questioning what’s going on in front of them.

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