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Takoma Academy, Potomac Conference, Academy Opens Two New STEM Labs, STEM, Charles A. Tapp, Shaun Robinson

Takoma Academy Opens Two New STEM Labs

Story by Shaun Robinson

Takoma Academy (TA) recently celebrated the opening of two newly renovated STEM science labs. One of the updated rooms will serve as the general science lab for Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Anatomy and Physiology. The other room will serve as an innovation lab for engineering projects, 3-D printing, Adventist Robotics league preparation, Ten80 racing practice, and a direct-to-garment design and production center.

Prior to the installation of the new labs, science classrooms were dubbed as experimental spaces for students. The new general science lab will provide TA students with a modernized space to conduct experiments, collect data and complete research projects. The school plans to partner with Adventist colleges and universities across the country to prepare its student body for the kind of lab experience they will receive in higher education.

“I feel the new lab will give students the opportunity to experience research or engineering on a different level,” says MySha Miller (’24).

A major impetus for the renovations was a long-standing desire of the school’s administration to continue its mission of providing “excellence in academics.” Upgrading the science lab will be pivotal in maintaining that goal. As providence would have it, Steve Laing, Potomac Conference superintendent, and Gabriel Madrid, assistant superintendent, visited TA last semester. They discussed with TA staff the idea of creating an innovation lab that would not only serve TA students but the Adventist elementary and middle schools in the Washington metropolitan area. Shaun Robinson, TA STEM coordinator, was tapped to lead the project, and Ron Braithwaite (’93), the fundraising efforts. The Alumni Association helped the school reach its goal of more than $200,000 in less than 10 months.

“The alumni giving back to the STEM lab has provided us with resources that not only make us more enthusiastic about learning science but also reminds us to give back once we’ve become professionals ourselves,” says Cameryn Smith (’24).

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new labs was held in November. Attendees included Charles A. Tapp, Potomac Conference president; Dwayne Leslie, senior vice president and general counsel of Adventist HealthCare; and Steve Silver (’71) co-founder of the ONIX Group, and they were recognized for their individual and/or organizations’ donations and support. TA staff presented Dana Brathwaite and Danielle Arceneaux from Arceneaux Design Collective with gifts for their extraordinary interior design work in the labs.

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