L.A. Unified unveiled a state-of-the-art science facility in Glassell Park Monday that bears the name of the late astronaut Sally Ride, in hopes of inspiring a new generation of students to pursue careers in math and science.
The Sally Ride Center for Environmental Science is a $4.8 million LEED-certified facility that sits behind the Sonia M. Sotomayor Learning Academies. The 6,000 square foot facility, less than a mile from the L.A. River, includes three state-of-the-art labs that will focus on areas such as hydrology and energy. The labs have high-tech, professional grade equipment, including a photovoltaic demonstration system, a PH water lab, a centrifuge, and field spectrometers.
The site will be used not only as a hands-on science lab for students who will conduct water and soil testing and energy conservation research, but also to train teachers.
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A pilot program to incorporate the iPad into classroom instruction is meeting both support and opposition in Manhattan Beach.
The idea of deploying the latest technology in the schools wins approval from parents like Geri Miller.
"We have to think of it as the steppingstone to make kids ready for a global economy," Miller says. "They’re entering into a life where computers, iPads, whatever, is part and parcel of being a sought-after employee."
Miller’s son is a junior at Mira Costa High School in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District. That school is participating in a district-wide program that’s using iPads in the classroom, and most parents seem eager to expand the program to every student in the district.
But teachers aren’t feeling the love for iPad.
Teachers at every instructional level say it’s one thing to have the device, and quite another to get the support they need to incorporate it into their lesson plans.