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New Year, New Labs

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This fall, ‘Iolani chemistry students started the year off in brand new laboratories. Over the summer, the old classrooms were replaced with new lab spaces and state-of-the-art equipment that incorporate a fresh, modern look. The demolition of the old rooms began on June 6, shortly after the graduation of the Class of 2016. The construction of the new rooms took the entire summer to complete.

One of the main reasons for the renovation was that, in the past, the sharing of classrooms and lab spaces made it more difficult for teachers to plan when the rooms would be available. The newly expanded space allows faculty to use the labs whenever they need to. “I had to fit the lab into a particular day of the week in order to do the experiment,” said chemistry teacher Bertha Tomiyasu, “Now, I can choose any day.”

   The new laboratories display many noticeable differences. Upon walking into the room, the first thing that catches the eye is the bright orange accent wall.  In addition to that, the floor is a vibrant pop of blue. Each lab space includes four black tables, complete with their own sinks. At the front of the room is a projector screen that can be pulled down with a simple press of a button. As expected, students are really enjoying these new features.

“I think the cool thing about the new lab is that the height of tables are able to be controlled by a controller,” said chemistry honors student Chenyi Hu 19. “So, if we have some tall people in our group, we can just ask Ms. Tomiyasu to adjust it.”

Chemistry student Megan Tagami ’19 also likes the tables. “I like how there are sinks built into our desks so that everything we need for the labs are in one place,” she said.

Students are not the only ones who are loving these changes. Ms. Tomiyasu said, “There are so many things that I like. I like the screen because I don’t have to jump up and down to pull the screen down. I just push the button and it automatically drops.” She also appreciates that the tables are angled, so everyone can see each other, allowing for more discussion.

These new lab spaces have not only been great for students and teachers, but  have also attracted former students and alumni who wish they could take chemistry at ‘Iolani again. Furnished with everything a student or teacher could possibly need, they will surely bring about generations of skilled chemistry scholars.

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New Year, New Labs