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State-of-the-art STEM education laboratory opens in Newark

Students at S2S labs.

Newark students working in labs of the S2S program. Photo courtesy of S2S website.

Students at S2S labs.

Newark students working in labs of the Students 2 Science program. Photo courtesy of S2S website.

Newark Public Schools, the city of Newark and nonprofit Students 2 Science opened the Students 2 Science (S2S) Newark Technology Center in May. The center is located in downtown Newark.

The S2S Newark Technology Center is a 10,000 square foot, commercial-grade laboratory which will be outfitted with $4 million of state-of-the-art instrumentation. It features six working analytical laboratories and two virtual laboratory (V-Lab) studios each equipped with a hybrid communications platform. S2S Newark seeks to close the gap in STEM education by offering experiential STEM learning to all Newark 5-12 students through its three signature programs – ISAAC, V-Labs and teacher professional development.

ISAAC, which stands for Improving Students Affinity and Aptitude for Careers in STEM, provides middle and high school students with on-site, real-world STEM instruction led by volunteer professional scientists. The S2S program is expected to reach more than 32,000 Newark students and their parents beginning as early as 2019.

Students 2 Science (S2S) Newark Technology Center marks the newest chapter of Newark’s revitalization and its commitment to STEM education. Joining S2S co-founder and president Paul Winslow were U.S. Senator, the Honorable Cory Booker; Mayor of Newark, the Honorable Ras Baraka; and, Newark Public Schools Interim Superintendent Robert Gregory.

During the opening ceremony, Tom Gebhardt, Chairman and CEO of Panasonic Corporation of North America, awarded a $1.5 million grant to support the S2S Newark Technology Center.

“Today, we are thrilled to announce with our partners – Newark Public Schools and the City of Newark – that with the new S2S Newark Technology Center, we are bringing comprehensive, 21st century STEM education to students in the district with our program aimed at inspiring, motivating, and educating them to pursue global careers in STEM,” said Winslow, retired Ph.D. chemist and co-founder of Students 2 Science, including its first lab in East Hanover and the Newark center.

“We are also enormously grateful to Panasonic for the generous support, as well as to our other longtime supporters that have helped us reach our goals including PSEG and Thermo Fisher Scientific.”

At S2S Newark, students work side-by-side with volunteer professional scientists using modern instrumentation to investigate critical world issues, such as the impact of global overpopulation on food scarcity, water pollution, pandemics, and more. These real-world investigations are grounded in Newark’s curriculum and the “Next Generation Science Standards” — rigorous science standards adopted by the state — and represent some of the most vital issues facing today’s youth.
In addition to the ISAAC program’s on-site instruction, S2S Newark also offers its V-labs, where students do hands-on, project-based learning with professional scientists right at their desks. This remote, virtual instruction broadens S2S’s reach by eliminating geographic barriers and language constraints through Connectivity, a sophisticated proprietary communications platform available in 200 spoken languages with interpreters on demand, bringing S2S’s offerings to global capacity.
Teachers are also a focus of the S2S Newark Technology center. It will provide professional development and technical assistance for teachers in STEM. Both in-lab and in-class instruction include mentoring, teacher support, and rigorous science education compatible with the Next Generation Science Standards and career pathways for 21st century jobs.

“At Newark Public Schools, our partnership with S2S and the City of Newark on the S2S Newark Technology Center underscores the high priority we place on STEM education for our students,” said Robert Gregory, NPS Superintendent. “It is vital that we educate our students with high-quality instruction that promotes critical and complex thinking, while also providing our teachers with the innovative and meaningful professional development they need to deliver this critical STEM content.”