Schools To Experiment with Lab Upgrades

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Article by: Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan

Andes Central science teacher Kristen Maynard will no longer need to cover science fair expenses with her own money. Meanwhile, Avon science teacher Paul Kuhlman can buy additional equipment without going to his school board or seeking donations.

And Elk Point-Jefferson science teachers Karlene Stabe and Melanie Norris can purchase items allowing students to perform experiments not now possible.

The three school districts can upgrade their science departments after winning more than a combined $12,000 through the SD EPSCoR and Fisher Science High School Lab Make-Over Awards. Andes Central and Elk Point-Jefferson each received $5,500, while Avon received $1,100 through the SD EPSCoR and Fisher Science School Challenge Competition.

For Andes Central, the funds will benefit a district with a large number of low-income students, Maynard said.

“Due to the economic situations of many of the students in my district, I pay for most of the expenses for the science fair out of my own pocket,” she said.

“The equipment we purchase with this (lab make-over) award will not only help us with future science fair projects but also with expanding the scope of our science curriculum.”

Kuhlman has eyed something that will benefit both his classrooms and science fair entries.

“I’m thinking about purchasing a large format printer so that, instead of presenting our projects on boards, we can print out posters instead,” he said. ‘They look much more professional, are easier to edit and easier to transport to events.”

Meanwhile, Elk Point-Jefferson plans to take its science department to the next level, Norris said.

“Last year we had the privilege of winning $1,500. (We) used that money to purchase Vernier Science Probes for the students to use in our classrooms and for science fair experiments,” she said.

“Our plan is to purchase more equipment that will provide the students with extra opportunities to engage in experiments that we previously didn’t have equipment for.”

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