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The students at Immaculate Conception School on E. 151 st Street began the school year with a brand new science lab, which promises to add an applied learning experience to their education.

School officials transformed Room 312 into a lab over the summer break, packing it with as much high-tech equipment as possible. The $75,000 lab has new floors, fresh paint, wooded supply cupboards, protection equipment, a TV and a lab table with sinks. There are also electrical sockets at the floor of every workstation so students will be able to plug in their new electronic microscopes, as well as computers.

Planning for the lab began in the fall of 2005 with a consultant from the New York Hall of Science. The consultant worked with school staff on all aspects of planning from room design to book selection. Teachers also conducted professional development to become comfortable teaching in and using the new lab.

The new lab will allow students to conduct experiments never before possible. In one recent class, students used models to build three-dimensional molecules, helping them gain a better understanding of how different elements combine to form chemical substances. In another session, students used their new microscopes to examine miniature organisms.

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