HOW WE Equip
With college-level lab equipment in the new McIlroy Center for Science and Innovation, our Senior School science curriculum follows a project-based approach driven by student interests. Our students are actively involved in their science courses, gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in college lab environments.
Our scanning electronic microscope (SEM) allows students to investigate the chemical composition of objects through X-ray analysis. Using our SEM, a group of Shady Side students partners with a local museum to analyze and classify minerals such as tourmaline according to their composition. In an independent study project, one student used the SEM to research the hydrophobic properties of loofah sponges with the goal of developing a sponge that cleans oil spills.
The gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) enables students to separate and identify substances within a test sample. Organic chemistry students analyze the chemical compounds in liquid e-cigarette pods and learn about their toxic effects on the body. Students have found that heating the liquids produces new, harmful chemical compounds not listed on the product packaging.
At Shady Side, every student has access to industry-leading science equipment – opportunities most high school students don’t experience until college.