Springfield Gardens school gets new computer lab

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The Ralph Bunche School in Springfield Gardens — PS 132 — was abuzz with excitement as parents, teachers and students waited for the ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening the schools new ScanTEK 2001 computer lab.

The ScanTEK 2001 will also be installed in PS 118 in Hollis in the few weeks.

Schools Chancellor Harold Levy opened the new computer lab, which is geared to helping raise students test scores on the fourth-grade science achievement tests. The lab will enable the school’s 534 students to use technology to explore earth science, life science, physical science and scientific reasoning.

“It is impressive,” Levy said as one of the school’s teachers showed him how the students’ progress can be monitored from the main computer. “Anytime you bring technology into the class it is a good thing.”

He told the more than 200 people who had gathered for the event that the lab tells children education and technology are important and vital for their future success.

“This district can lead the city. District 29 can be the best in the city,” Levy said, which drew a loud cheer from the crowd.

School District 29 is responsible for educating 27,000 students from Queens Village to Rosedale and St. Albans to Bellerose in addition to Cambria Heights, Laurelton and parts of Fresh Meadows and Jamaica.

The new lab — decorated with charts of the digestive system, circulatory system and solar system — was filled with 16 computer work stations. Michael Johnson, district administrator, said the technology lab at PS 132 at 238th Street and 132 Avenue in Springfield Gardens was the first of its kind to be installed in the city’s elementary schools.

There are different ScanTEK labs throughout the city’s intermediate schools, including one in each of District 29’s middle schools.

Eleanor Andrew, principal of PS 132, said the students’ scores will not improve overnight because of the lab. There will be a tremendous improvement on the tests after teachers are able to work with the students in the lab over an extended period of time, she said.

“The lab will make sure the children are exposed to everything they need,” Andrew said. “The lab is hands-on using modern technology. We are using technology to explore and go further.”

Imani Rhone, a 10-year-old fourth-grade student from Queens Village who was allowed to test out the lab before it opened, sheepishly said she was studying the human body. She explained she was able to use different diagrams and programs to discover the different parts of the human body.

Nathaniel Washington, president of School Board 29, said the new labs “will raise the bar” on the educational standards in the district and he hoped to have the technology labs installed into every one of the district’s 23 elementary schools.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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