Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

North High Students Working in 2 New Computer Labs Addition of Areas and Teachers Offers Studying in Math and Science, Writing

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

North High Students Working in 2 New Computer Labs Addition of Areas and Teachers Offers Studying in Math and Science, Writing

Article excerpt

Students at Francis Howell North High School are keyed up over two new computer labs, one for those studying math and science and the other for those working on their writing. Each lab has 15 computers and is open before and after classes for all to use.

The school previously had one small computer lab. Teachers who were knowledgeable about the computer software could take their students to use that lab. But the new labs come with their own teachers, ready to help entire classes or individuals who need help with a homework assignment.

The new labs were built in what had been space used for counseling. The counselors moved around the corner.

The math lab teacher, Sally Scott, says the best part of the renovation is "just the fact that we have labs full time and are able to help the students a lot more."

The small room used in the past, she said, had only a few computers and a long waiting list of students.

The new labs, says Scott, are the result of efforts by a farsighted building technology committee, which was headed by Bob Troha, a computer programming teacher.

With the new equipment and additional teachers assigned to them, Scott said, "By the time students graduate, about 80 percent will have taken computers, and we feel that with others exposed, about 100 percent will have some knowledge of computers by the time they graduate."

Many teachers now have computers with similar software as the labs in their rooms, says Scott, and more will be getting them this school year.

About half of the students in the math and science labs are in classes, and the others come for help with their studies. Although some of the latter students were reluctant to come to the lab at first, Scott said, "They've discovered that there is nothing to be ashamed of, to be able to get help."

The science lab teacher, Martha Thompson, said that in addition to chemistry software programs, including one that allows students to dissect a frog, there is also a program allowing students to make graphs and take measurements.

While the math and science lab have their own full-time teachers, the writing lab is staffed by different English teachers. Among them is Mary Baker, who said, "I can take a whole class in to work with computers, and I can also help a student individually" while others are writing.

Baker spends two hours a day in the writing lab. She says the increased space and equipment give teachers and students more flexibility in their approach to writing and allow more time to emphasize organization of material and how to write.

The new computer equipment allows students who use DOS disks at home to bring them to school and use them in the MacIntosh computers. …

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