Science Laboratory Remodeling
UPDATE: Mayatan has received funding for and completed construction of our science classroom and lab stations!
Mayatan is currently seeking funds to equip our science classroom with lab stations with chemically resistant surfaces, proper plumbing, electricity, stools, and an emergency shower.
This will allow us to round out our current secondary school science curriculum, which calls for laboratory work that we cannot currently perform on campus. In the long-run, the lab stations will prepare students from rural Western Honduras for higher education and the technological and scientific jobs of the 21st century, ranging from agricultural sciences to medicine and beyond.
Details and Rationale
Mayatan has never had a laboratory classroom. Though we set aside a science laboratory/classroom when we built our school, we have not completed the laboratory due to lack of funds. A successful science program introduces students to the scientific method through hands-on wet-labs, use of science equipment (microscopes, glassware, balances), taking measurements, and handling chemicals.
Although the primary users of the science laboratory will be our 82 students in secondary and colegio (ages 12-18), all of our 300 students will use the facility. The secondary science teacher assists primary teachers with their science curriculum and provides space and equipment for safe primary school science.
Based on an outfitted laboratory, our secondary science teachers will develop an effective hands-on wet-lab program keyed to the science curriculum and school standards. At the high school level, students take the following sequence: 10th Biology; 11th Chemistry; 12th Physics. Each chapter always has a lab component to help students comprehend the material. Some lab work uses commonly found materials but many times labs cannot be conducted due to a lack of laboratory supplies.
This project will allow Mayatan students to better participate in laboratory sciences, leading to increased exposure to chemistry, biology, and physics, and allowing students to receive credit in these areas. We expect student test scores on the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills) and the number of students pursuing science-related fields to rise as a result.
Many of our students come from poor families with little or no general education and no specific science education at all. We want our students to lead Honduras in the highly technical and scientific world of the 21st century. The science program provides our students the tools and experiences needed to work or seek vocational, technical and bachelor’s programs. They will be able to work immediately or seek further study in vocational, technical, university programs. As one example, past graduates have attended Zamorano, the agricultural sciences university, after which they can manage agro-businesses rather than work as day labor. Other students are now studying medicine, psychology, and other scientific fields.
A local architect recently drew up plans for the project (below), and provided an estimate. We could build the lab stations on site for a total of $5,024.29. Read the architect's Project Estimate.