Charter School awarded $200,000 for science lab upgrades

The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School plans to add two new classrooms after learning it will receive a $150,000 grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to upgrade the school’s science lab. Part of this funding is a matching grant from Island nonprofit Options In Education which brings the total award to $200,000 for the Charter School to spend on new science equipment, according to a press release.

“We take science education seriously,” Charter School director Robert Moore said. “We are grateful to the Life Sciences Center for this unprecedented award which will give our students, from kindergarten to grade 12 from all Island towns, a first-rate science experience.”

With the grant in hand, the school plans to embark on an ambitious building project that includes the construction of two new science classrooms to house the modern equipment funded by the grant. The construction project will occur over two summers with the new labs opening in the fall of 2015, according to development director Paul Karasik. The school will use the opportunity to build a new basketball court and reconfigure the parking area to improve safety.

“We continue to increase high school enrollment at the Charter School and we urgently need more space to accommodate enrollment,” Mr. Moore said. “We are also beginning to implement the state STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] science curriculum which demands a 21st century science education be delivered in a 21st century science lab.”

“Training students to enter the life sciences workforce is a critical part of the Center’s mission,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. “We want to make those opportunities available to all students across the state. These investments will both strengthen and diversify our life sciences workforce in Massachusetts.”