Joppatowne, Edgewood and Harford Technical high schools are getting state-of-the-art science laboratories.
Chemistry, biology and physics teachers at the schools have had to move out of their science labs while those rooms are renovated. The move means they aren't able to offer the full range of experiments in their temporary quarters.
The renovation is to be completed in six months, and teachers and administrators said the inconvenience of teachers and classes having to move will have been worth it.
"Colleges now are showing off labs that are the way ours are going to be in six months," said Joppatowne Assistant Principal Patrick E. Neary.
When the rooms are complete, they will be equipped with Apple Macintosh LC 580 computers for student lab groups and Power Macintoshes for the teachers, Mr. Hunter said.
Using probes, students will be able, for example, to take their pulse, take temperature readings, read the length and amplitude of sound waves and instantly graph the results, he said.
Software will allow students to conduct simulated experiments otherwise impossible in the classroom, Mr. Hunter said.
The rooms will also have projection systems through which teachers can display computerized graphs, data and other information for the entire class.
And updated laboratory stations, more storage space and separate preparation areas should make it easier for students and teachers to conduct experiments, said Mr. Neary, a former ** science teacher.
Reshuffle was necessary
Moving classes to make room for the classes that would normally meet in science labs could not be avoided because of the length of time necessary for the work to be completed, according to school officials.
When they learned that the science labs were to be renovated, several students at Joppatowne High School arranged to take science courses in a later semester, according to Principal Doris L. Williams.
No students at the other two high schools have rearranged their science schedules, according to principals there.
Science labs at Bel Air and Fallston high schools are next in line to be renovated, according to William E. Hunter, science supervisor for Harford schools.
A state construction grant is paying for the renovation and county money is covering the cost of the new computers, according to Mr. Hunter.
The work at Joppatowne is costing a total of $949,000; that at Edgewood $509,000; and that at Harford Technical $609,000, according to school system spokesman Donald R. Morrison.