Juan Diego Catholic High School is expanding its campus to include several innovative science and engineering spaces. These new state-of-the-art education facilities include a virtual reality lab, eight new cutting-edge science labs and classrooms, an engineering lab, four collaborative classrooms, and a newly renovated computer lab. This will allow students to have more opportunities to learn about these subjects in an interactive way.
“It has been incredible to witness how our science and technology programs have grown in the 17 years that I have taught at JD.” Dr. Christine Celestino, Director of Faculty Development says. “We went from offering just basic science classes to every AP science, as well as several options for independent research. Our Academy of Sciences program is now in its tenth year. We accomplished all this growth with just four lab spaces, all set up for generic science classes. I cannot wait to see how we will continue to grow with the expansion providing us with eight state-of-the-art lab spaces, each specifically designed for its subject area. Our teachers will be able to do so much more with our students and our program will benefit tremendously.”
The New, State-of-the-Art VR Lab
Continuing Juan Diego’s long-standing partnership with Arizona State University, a virtual reality lab is under construction and will innovate the process of learning. The VR technology lab is set to be fully operational in 2023 and will revolutionize how students learn. With this new technology, teachers will be able to conduct virtual reality lessons in which students interact with the content in focused, virtual environments.
After an Arizona State University field trip with Juan Diego Students using the Dreamscape VR, Juan Diego parent Tim Howard commented “Five Juan Diego students had the exciting opportunity to visit Arizona State’s virtual reality lab. During their visit, students produced two short VR experiences. This was the highlight of the trip! The students are looking forward to programming more immersive environments in JD’s very own VR lab. Juan Deigo’s VR lab will also be a great resource to enhance curriculums for many departments. Imagine a biology class that uses VR technology to transport students inside a cell to witness a virus attaching to receptors. This is exciting technology!”
Hands-on Science Labs
The eight new science labs at Juan Diego Catholic High School will allow for hands-on learning in biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and health science. The well-designed labs will seamlessly integrate into the teachers’ daily lesson plan and will greatly enhance the student learning experience by combining both practice and theory.
Spaces of Collaboration: The Engineering lab, the Collaborative Classrooms, and Computer Lab
The new engineering lab will benefit students by incorporating technology and tools into the classroom. When combined with specific engineering coursework, the newly developed engineering space will provide students with opportunities to explore design thinking, problem-solving, technology, and creative skill sets. Additionally, the lab provides a space for students to work on team projects and build prototypes. These opportunities will help students to develop the skills they need to be successful engineers in the future.
The four collaborative classrooms have been renovated to provide students with more opportunities to collaborate and learn together. The new design will encourage them to be active listeners and effective speakers. This is important because it allows students to learn from one another, share ideas, and build relationships. When students work together, they can problem solve and come up with creative solutions starting in these collaborative environments.
The new computer lab, available to both middle school and high school students, will provide students with opportunities to learn and research using the latest software and hardware. The state-of-the-art facilities will allow students to explore these subjects in a hands-on environment, which will prepare them for success in college and beyond.
Please join us at our Fall Open House on October 25th at Juan Diego Catholic Schools. You can tour our school, meet our students, faculty, and administrators, and learn about all that we offer. This event is open to parents and students in grades PK-5, 5-7 pm by appointment only, and 6-8 pm for students in grades 6-12 without an appointment. Sign up for an appointment here. We hope to see you there!