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Copiah Academy Science Lab: Versatility At Its Finest.

January 21st, 2013

Copiah Academy’s Flexible New STEM Lab Serves Students From K-Junior College

Project: Copiah Academy
Location: Gallman, Mississippi

Download Case Study (PDF, 365KB)

When generous donors made a substantial gift to Copiah Academy with instructions to use the gift to enhance education for the entire community, the school decided to invest the funds in a new science building.

Copiah Academy’s existing science lab was outdated, poorly equipped, and simply too small to serve all of its students. There was no doubt that Copiah Academy needed a modern laboratory capable of meeting the needs of students from elementary school through high school. The only question was where to begin, and Sheldon Labs provided the answers.

“When the opportunity presented itself to build a new science laboratory, we were thrilled, but we were honestly unaware of what ‘state of the art’ really meant in terms of equipment and design,” says Copiah Academy science teacher Rita Henley. “Sheldon representatives spent a great deal of time educating us on equipment and floor designs that would offer the best and most cost-effective environment for teaching problem solving and critical thinking skills. Rather than offer a ‘cookie cutter’ design, Sheldon Labs presented us with a lab design that met Copiah Academy’s unique needs.”

Sheldon worked hand-in-hand with the architect to design a new science building with four classrooms and a spacious, well-equipped laboratory. Sheldon not only guided school officials in the selection of furniture and equipment, but also developed a floor plan that allowed optimum use of classroom space. The new lab was designed to accommodate students at every level, from elementary school students performing simple experiments to high school students studying AP anatomy,biology, and physics. The end result was the state-of-the-art science facility Copiah Academy’s staff and students had dreamed of.

“There is no comparison between the old laboratory facility and the new laboratory facility,” Henley says. “Adequate space and equipment allows all of our students to work effectively and efficiently without delays. There is no down time while students takes turns. There are no skipped laboratory experiments because of a lack of equipment or safety features”.

In addition to enhancing the science education experience at Copiah Academy, the new lab has fulfilled its donors’ vision of enhancing education in the community and inspiring students at every level. Henley also teaches science courses at nearby Copiah-Lincoln Community College; the labs for those courses are conducted in the Copiah Academy Laboratory. Henley also credits the new facility with contributing to her student’s improved science test scores.

“For the first time, our ACT sub-scores in science reasoning have shown improvement,” Henley says. “With continued laboratory experiences, we hope to see continued improvement.”

As Henley sees it, Sheldon Labs was not merely a vendor, but a true partner.

“Sheldon was outstanding in guiding us in the selection of furniture and equipment, and once all the equipment was delivered, installed, and inspected, the Sheldon experience was not over. They’ve continued to work with us to make adjustments and improvements,” Henley says. “From the beginning of our planning stage until this day, Sheldon has been there. Once you opt into Sheldon Labs, you haven’t merely decided to purchase furniture, equipment, and products. You’ve made a decision to acquire partners in education.”

Furniture & equipment provided by Sheldon Labs to Copiah Academy included:

  • Axis Infinity Workstations
  • Focal Point Teachers Demo
  • Fume Hood
  • Safety Center
  • Apparatus Panel Boards
  • Privacy Panels & Storage
  • Skeleton Cabinet
  • Torso Cabinet
  • Tote Trays & Storage Cabinet
  • Variety of other Clear on Oak Casework