WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/148623

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Page 131 of 211

On the Cutting Edge Prior to the addition, Weston High's science classrooms were visibly The Greenhouse Effect crowded, as computers were balanced precariously on windowsills, The science wing project was a united effort among the town of wires protruded in spaghetti-like arrangements, and labs didn't meet Weston, School Committee, the general contractor, and even students, state size requirements. "I feel like we understand the point of our les- who had a say in the type of ergonomically-correct furniture chosen sons better," confirms WHS senior Kate Silberberg. "Because everyone for the labs. In addition, the facility was constructed to the standards now has access to their own materials, we can be more hands-on, as of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's (LEED) silver opposed to just watching one group do a lab." level, as required by the Town of Weston. "It's true – we've been teaching for years in non-science rooms that Another highlight of the wing is a combination heated greenhouse were retrofitted," says Larry Murphy, science chair at the high school. and solarium. "Last year, we set up experiments relating to a tenth- "We now can do a lot of lab work, and kids aren't tripping over each grade biology project," Murphy explains. "We experimented with dif- other, which is a significant change from the past. Just this year, we ferent colors of light on plant growth." Murphy says the greatest conducted a dissection of a three-foot long shark, which would have benefit to the greenhouse-solarium is that it fits an entire class at once. been difficult in the tiny space we had before." "In the old facility, only three students at a time could enter," he recalls. Similarly, science teacher Christine Chiodo enthuses, "We can do year, and we were able to use new equipment such as a thermocycler," We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 3 Innovative tools are now part of the mix. "I took a DNA class last more experiments with our environmental science and biology cur- says Tom Chen, a member of the class of 2014. Likewise, Vernier riculum. Recently, some of our students conducted research on how to probes, which ensure precise accuracy, are employed with computer- grow a sustainable salad in this space." interfaced data collections. Students use these probes for biology and physics coursework. 130 Meanwhile, there's a strong allure to an outdoor classroom situated behind the science wing. Subtle landscaping and stone benches

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