October 3rd, 2012
Building A Lab From The Ground Up
Team Effort Between Sheldon and FPDS Leads to Wow Factor!
First Presbyterian Day School
When First Presbyterian Day School (FPDS) decided to build a new science lab, they literally started from the ground up. With the help of Sheldon Labs, the K-6 school turned an outdoor picnic pavilion into a stimulating, age appropriate laboratory that quickly made science a favorite subject.
“We had developed a hands-on science curriculum that would engage our students, but we didn’t have a clear idea of the kind of furniture and equipment we’d need to implement that curriculum,” Headmaster Gary Herring explains. “Sheldon Labs was our partner from the very beginning. We told them we wanted the finest elementary school science lab in Mississippi, and Sheldon did the rest.”
FPDS hired a contractor to put in the floor and the walls, but from that point forward, it was all up to Sheldon Labs. Sheldon’s designers and engineers consulted with Herring and FPDS Science Department Head Patti Lewis, then created the entire lab.
“Sheldon listened to our needs, ideas, and dreams, then made recommendations and gave us feedback,” Lewis says. “It was truly a team effort.”
“The entire lab was delivered on one truck and installed in one week,” Herring adds. “They were efficient and they were on time, which is critical in the school business.”
The lab’s functional, engaging design allows children to work independently or to collaborate in groups. Special features include a climatarium for growing plants in various types of light; a vented animal study center that’s currently home to a chinchilla, a guinea pig, and a bearded dragon; and a series of apparatus panels that includes every piece of equipment needed to conduct an experiment on one easy-to-use, easy-to-store panel.
“Sheldon gave us our dream lab, but it’s a practical space as well. Everything has easy clean up and there’s plenty of storage space,” Lewis says. “Sheldon definitely understands the realities of the teaching world.”
“Sheldon didn’t leave us after the installation,” Herring says. “After we built it, we had a few issues, which is typical of anything with this many moving parts. Sheldon followed up immediately on every point to make sure it was right.”
“Their service is as good as their products,” Lewis agrees. “If I have a question or a problem, Sheldon is here to take care of it. I am so thankful for Sheldon Labs and their amazing staff. Without them, everything would have been much more challenging.”
“Our science lab is a showplace,” Herring says. ”What I wanted to create was a wow factor. I wanted current and prospective parents, especially those who work in science or the medical field, to come in and say, ‘Wow,’ and that’s what Sheldon delivered.”
Of course, the best indication of the lab’s wow factor lies in the reaction of FPDS students.
“The intention was to bring excitement and motivation for science learning to our students. This it does!” Lewis says. “Since building the new lab, I have seen a huge development in the children’s love for learning science.”
“The new lab has made science a major emphasis for our school,” Herring says. “Many of our parents have told us that science is now their child’s favorite subject.”
One of those students is fifth grader Katie Hubacek, who has conducted several experiments in the new lab.
“Reading about science just makes you anxious to do it,” Katie says. “Actually doing it in our science lab makes it real.”
Furniture & equipment provided by Sheldon Labs to First Presbyterian Day School included:
• Apparatus panel boards and storage system
• Axis Infinity tables
• Casework and storage
• Climatarium II
• Demonstration drop-down mirror
• Plant growth center
• Port-a-plant study center
• Teacher demonstration desk
Please feel free to call us at 1-800-531-7604 or visit our website for more information.