S.T.E.A.M. Lab Now Open at J.B. Nelson
Full steam ahead! After three years of brainstorming, planning, fundraising, and building, the J.B. Nelson S.T.E.A.M. Lab is finished and in use.
JBN kindergarten classes were among the first to have the opportunity to visit the newly opened STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) Lab and were challenged to work in teams to get a gingerbread man over a “river” without falling in.
Take a peek at kindergarteners’ reaction to the new S.T.E.A.M Lab and their first activity …
JBN’s new S.T.E.A.M. Lab features several stations for students to explore, including a green screen for video, a LEGO table with chairs that double as LEGO storage containers, a construction corner, a robotic zone, and a work area with two giant workshop tables that can accommodate an entire classroom. The new space also features a story/reflection zone and storage wall.
“We’ve been doing S.T.E.A.M. projects in our LRC for the last two full years, which really helped us design the new Lab. We learned what worked and didn’t work for our students, and what made sense to include in a dedicated creative space. During our planning stage, we also visited several makerspaces in other schools, libraries, and museums. We wanted to make sure that whatever we built would enhance student learning at all levels. It’s been a big undertaking, and we could not have done it without the fundraising support of our PTO and numerous parent and student volunteers and staff members who helped with planning and construction,” said JBN LRC Director Julie Phillips. “It truly has been a labor of love.”
Actual construction of the JBN S.T.E.A.M. Lab started in the summer of 2018. J.B. Nelson Principal Nicole Prentiss and Mrs. Phillips, enlisted the help of their extremely handy husbands to build the two massive wooden work tables in the Lab. Each table features long step stools for younger students to comfortably and safely stand while creating.
“There were at least 100 or more hours of work put in by our volunteer WATCH D.O.G.S., parent volunteers, and the BPS101 maintenance crew since this summer,” said Mrs. Prentiss. “I’m so grateful! I feel like our vision is coming into focus. We wanted a flexible, multi-age learning environment that could be used during the school day as well as after school by the community. There are several kids’ clubs and organizations that can benefit from this type of creative space.”
Mrs. Prentiss and Mrs. Phillips said they will be applying for additional grants from groups like the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence to purchase S.T.E.A.M.-related activities for the new space, which will be evolving throughout each school year by grade level.
To keep up with the S.T.E.A.M. Lab and other JBN activities, follow along on Twitter.