A Model of Collaboration: SGS Lab Unveiled!

Jordan Hodge
Science teacher, Jordan Hodge, walks us through the inner-workings of the science lab and explains how it serves as a model for collaboration, a core SGS principle here at SGS.
Welcome to Room 216, also known as the Lab here at SGS. Throughout the year, the lab is shared by multiple subjects such as Science, Math, and Spanish! This necessitates the incorporation of different design aspects in the lab and other SGS classrooms to meet the needs of everyone who shares that space. This models to the students that not only do they have to work together collaboratively, but we teachers also have to collaborate and work together. An example of this in the lab is having a Spanish wall dedicated to vocabulary, tables in the back of the lab separated by grade levels, and communication about the lab materials being used.

Even though multiple subjects share the lab, it is the main location for science classes at SGS. When designing the lab, the science department decided how the back wall of the lab would be accessible to the students so they could grab materials they would need for an experiment or project with ease. Some of the materials you can find in the back of the lab are pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, markers, scissors, string, and many more. We wanted students to feel that they had control over their materials and allowed them to explore their scientific thinking.

While students are in the back of the lab, they can also notice the various amounts of lab materials that are in bins on the left and right shelves. Students can then get a glimpse of some of the possibilities that can happen in the science classroom, such as seeing microscopes, magnets, the laser cutter, baking supplies, and much more! Kids can ask questions about materials they don't know yet or ask when we will use particular items. This helps encourage the students' curiosity when it comes to science because it allows them to think about the different possibilities that can happen in the classroom.

What benefits the students in regards to sharing the space with other science classes is that it allows other grades to get a peek into what grades are up to. This can help encourage cross-grade conversations with each other where they share their ideas.

The lab is always up to something, whether that is growing plants and seeing if they can live in bleach, identifying mystery chemicals, dissecting sheep brains, or making LED cards. There is something fun and exciting for everyone to see.
Located in the Central District, Seattle Girls' School is an independent school for girls and gender nonconforming students in grades 5-8. Our mission is to inspire and develop courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change.