Watch: Mr. Frank Barona, chair of the Science Department, discusses the enhancements made to the Biology and Chemistry Laboratories in preparation for the 2015-2016 academic year.
On Thursday, September 9, just days before the first official school day of the 2015-2016 academic year, Regis High School formally unveiled its renovated Biology and Chemistry Laboratories and blessed the newly revamped space.
The effort to fund the modernization of those labs was spearheaded at the 2015 Parents Club Auction, where roughly $215,000 was raised through the annual Auction Challenge effort. Construction began as soon as the 2014-2015 academic year ended, and was completed by the first week of September. The families that financially supported the auction challenge, along with those who graciously helped organize the effort, joined a contingent of Regis faculty and staff at the official unveiling and blessing.
(Pictured: Rev. Jim Croghan, S.J. addresses guests prior to formally blessing the newly renovated science laboratories.)
The new labs showcase a host of improvements, including a setup that will allow students to work in much more sophisticated surroundings, in smaller lab groups, and in a safer environment.
"They look and feel very different from the old labs," said Mr. Frank Barona, chair of the Science Department. "We've added a center aisle, converted three islands into six, installed all new plumbing, appliances, and cabinetry."
Barona, who oversaw the renovations throughout the summer, highlighted the beneficial changes to lab instruction moving forward.
"This is going to allow us to keep our lab group sizes small increase our students' hands-on learning opportunities. Student will gain a more intimate knowledge of the lab equipment, a better understanding of their responsibility for the equipment, and get better at collaborating with lab partners."
"All in all, we will operate more efficiently in the lab," added Barona. "Students will engage in material more actively and in a way that’s more meaningful to them."
(Pictured: Mr. Frank Barona, Chair of the Science Department, helped distribute the Science Department's experimental "Beaker Blast", a unique, Regis-red punch drink created for the lab unveiling.)
The Science Department faculty, too, will have the opportunity to engage with the students and their instruction differently.
"The faculty is really excited to see what we can do with the space and to see how we can revolutionize our own teaching in response to the changes we have made."
After Barona delivered brief remarks to the attendees of the lab unveiling, Rev. Jim Croghan, S.J. formally blessed the new space.
"May they be places of creativity, deep learning, new discovery, and—ultimately—the pursuit of wisdom," said Croghan of the labs during his blessing.
"Bless those who teach and those who learn here. Bless all whose generosity have made all this possible. And grant that all of us may find You to be the source of all truth."
Above: The Science Department staff pose for a photo in their official "Regis Science" t-shirts. A limited number of shirts are now available for purchase through the Regis Shop.
Above: Guests and faculty celebrate the new Science Laboratory space.
Above: Rev. Jim Croghan, S.J. offers a prayer before blessing the newly renovated lab rooms.