Lutnick Hall Science Classrooms and Labs

Jude Herwitz, Staff Writer

After years of anticipation, the new Lutnick Hall will bring 10 new science laboratories and four new science classrooms for the use of the Upper Division.

There will be three laboratories designed for chemistry, biology and physics, though each lab can be used for the study of every discipline, Science Department Chair Dr. Stephen Palfrey said.

One of the labs will be designated for science research and can be set up for experiments in engineering.

“The most important change, from a curriculum point of view, is that we’re no longer going to be restricted to working in the lab just during our one lab period a week,” Palfrey said.

All UD science classes will be able to use the laboratories whenever teachers wish to, and most honors level classes will meet in laboratories everyday, so teachers will have even more freedom to choose between experiments and regular teaching.

One of the core design ideas behind all the new labs and classrooms is flexibility, Palfrey said. The spaces can be manipulated to suit teachers’ needs for experiments and classes. In the biology and physics labs, the furniture will all be on wheels, so that from one period to another the laboratory can be changed to better fit the requirements of a specific experiment, he said.

“I think the new science building really symbolizes Horace Mann’s commitment to STEM and that emerging field… while still having a fundamental focus on a solid liberal arts education,” Ben Doolan (11) said.

Doolan also believes that “a fresh new space that is contemporary in design will allow for the collaboration of ideas more easily, along with a more comfortable learning environment where everybody can learn together as a group,” he said.

The science department has been involved with the building’s design since its beginnings, and went through the plans with the architect and made significant changes to the basic layout of the building, Palfrey said. One example is to allow for more collaboration in the hallways by making them more spacious, he said.

“I think the new research lab will give students the opportunity to find innovative ways to exercise their curiosity and utilize the skills acquired in their science classes,” science teacher Dr. Rachel Mohammed said.

Certain features were included in each of the different types of labs, such as floor drains and overhead water sources in the biology labs to allow for more experimentation with ecology and plants, Palfrey said.

“We think the new spaces are going to allow us a lot more ability to do more laboratory work which we think is essential,” Palfrey said. “It’s going to provide a lot of opportunities for students to have more collaboration in their science classrooms.”