Grant will upgrade Long Trail science and graphic design labs

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DORSET — Students at Long Trail School will soon see a quantum leap in science and technology when lab benches and new graphic design technology are installed thanks to a two-year grant.

School officials announced recently that Long Trail has received a $150,000 grant awarded by the Sarah K. de Coizart TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust for the purpose of further expanding the school's emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math curricula.

"This grant testifies to the growing scholarly reach of our students and program, and the sensational creativity of our superb faculty in integrating sophisticated research within the Upper School learning experience," Head of School Seth Linfield said in a prepared statement. "We are grateful to the trustees of the de Coizart Trust for caring about our students and investing in their 21st century tomorrows."

The lab renovations will allow students at Long Trail, which serves 195 students in grades 6 through 12, to access research technology that will prepare them to pursue science at the university level.

About $100,000 of the grant will allow for the installation of lab benches, each of which will accommodate three or four students and will be equipped with running water, sinks and bunsen burners. Not only will the lab benches eliminate logistical bottlenecks and other challenges to efficiency that bog down the learning experience, they will also bring the labs up to levels consistent with university labs, giving students a better understanding of the scientitific method and the surroundings they'll be working in at college, noted science teacher and department chairman Scott Worland.

Already, even without the lab upgrades, Long Trail science students are turning in some impressive work and bringing home awards. Worland expects the new equipment will only enhance those results.

"We wanted to expand the research space to allow more independent group inquiry-based research," Worland said. "We want them to be the investigator, the scientist, to reflect on the nature of science and the topic they're exploring."

For art students, about $50,000 will fund new technology — a set of Macintosh desktop computers with accompanying software that will allow students to explore curricula in photography, graphic design and a wide variety of other design-based skills and creativity.

According to Anrahad Llewelyn, arts department chair, many students have personal Macs they use in their art lessons, but the department computer is a Windows PC, which has compatibility issues with the Macs.

So the new technology will allow for faster, more collaborative work for the students exploring careers in a wide variety of areas involving graphic design or photography. There will also be a 3-D printer.

Llewelyn said the new set up will be accompanied by the addition of new classes and projects.

Officials said the graphic design lab will allow Long Trail to offer a more diverse curriculum in the visual arts through exploration of digital applications and a Computer Aided Design program that will allow students to make deeper connections between science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

"We are very excited and very grateful," Llewelyn said.


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