Beulah science labs get an upgrade

Beulah student Lina Manson and her science project using a simple chemical reaction to produce a volcanic eruption.

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Two science laboratories at Beulah Adventist College, Tonga, have been renovated and upgraded through generous donations.

The labs were recently opened by Trans Pacific Union Mission president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga, who is an ex-student of the college.

For more than two decades, Beulah Adventist College has used the science labs of institutions such as the University of the South Pacific and Tonga Institute of Education, and other secondary schools.

Dr Elisapesi Manson, education consultant for Adventist Schools in Tonga, said the absence of science labs has led to increased challenges in delivering quality science education, which has influenced learning outcomes in areas such as numeracy.

“Science labs provide opportunities for students to engage in the scientific inquiry process and learn how to organise and interpret data necessary to develop numeracy capability,” Dr Manson said. “Also, science labs enhance the understanding of scientific concepts, effectively link theories to real contexts, and provide opportunities for hands-on learning experiences, paving the way for improved numeracy skills.”

Valued at $A90,000, several donors collectively contributed to the labs’ refurbishments, updating them to a 21st century standard. The major donor, Beulah Ex-Students in Australia, funded 80 per cent of the project. Support was also given by the Tonga Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Tongan government, church members and friends in Tonga and abroad.

The renovated labs provide science teachers with the equipment they need and chemicals for experiments.

Dr Manson said the opening of the new labs allows science teachers to have the equipment they need and chemicals for experiments. They also have computer facilities to prepare for their lessons, internet access for researching and smart TV screens that can be used for digital science simulations.

“I am so relieved I do not need to worry about asking other schools for equipment to do the necessary science experiments for my students,” one of the science teachers said.

The school will start using the new facilities this week, engaging in activities including a tour of the science labs, quizzes, science exhibitions and assessments.

“The rationale for science laboratories at Beulah Adventist College is premised on the philosophy of Adventist education: to provide quality learning where opportunities are provided for young people to develop spiritually, mentally, physically and socially,” Dr Manson said.

“By studying the sciences in laboratories, young people gain an insight into the complexity and purpose evident in nature, which reflect God’s intelligence and original design.”

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