A New Science Wing- More than Just a Building


Students in the science classrooms at Hastings Senior High will ring in the new year with new labs.

The new Hastings High science wing is set to have an official ribbon cutting ceremony mid-December. As construction crews work on final touches to the building, teachers say they're anxious to move in.

Superintendent of Hastings Public Schools, Craig Kautz, said, "There is no doubt we have improved our science instructional facilities over what we had (by) quite a bit."

Kautz said the current classrooms were built in 1955, when lesson plans were different.

Now that area will soon be known as 'the old science wing,' because a $7 million federal grant has allowed the district to make some changes including the construction of the new science wing.

"There is no limit to the kind of instructional settings we can put together, given that kind of equipment in this kind of setting," said Kautz.

There are limitations in the current science classrooms that range from a lack of storage space, to poor indoor climate conditions; and teachers say they're anxious for the new space.

Science teacher Rod Tickle said, "I've had a few lesson plans that have failed because of the room that I was in. Temperatures in the winter is brutal... When you're in the basement you have all the heating pipes underneath your floors so if you stored, for example, fruit fly projects on the right side of the room, come Monday they would be like cupcakes-- flies are dead and the fruit is dried out."

Tickle said he's looking forward to the move.

"A few of the teachers are very well situated and some others are really not, so we kind of have to share rooms … and if you get stuck in a classrooms without a lab you don't do a lot of labs."

The science teacher said with the new facilities, there won't be any more failed lesson plans.

"All the classrooms will have labs, there will really be no excuse for teachers to say 'no, I can't get any hands on activity done because we don't have lab space,' so we're excited."