Tucked away on the West Front Street side of Oak Hill Academy’s beautiful twenty acre campus is its unparalleled Soler Science and Environmental Center (1363 West Front Street) on the grounds of the Harris Scienceplex. Dedicated in the names of Joseph A. and Theresa F. Soler, the Science and Environmental Center opened to students in September 2010. It provides valuable educational opportunities for our entire community.
With five dedicated labs, exciting new technology, and abundant natural resources, the Science and Environmental Center allows our students to study science in more dynamic ways than ever before. The Center houses cutting-edge equipment including digital microscopes, interactive whiteboards, a building energy dashboard, and a hydroponics system to help students investigate their world. Oak Hill has developed an innovative curriculum that explores scientific themes within an environmental context. Making use of sustainable materials and harnesssing solarpower, the facility provides a healthy environment for hands-on,
inquiry-based learning, while minimizing the impact the building has on
A boardwalk traverses the wetlands area that separates the current Oak Hill Academy campus from the Center. Take a walk along The “Boardwalk Trail” that leaves this important habitat intact while allowing students to observe in their world some of what they learn in class. An outdoor classroom, plant garden, greenhouse, rain garden, solar panels, and telescope site complete the facility and provide an educational experience unique in our area. In an effort to serve the community, Oak Hill hosts free workshops for some area public schools and preschools.
Students in grades PreK-4 routinely meet with Oak Hill’s science specialist and perform experiments in the two laboratories dedicated to young scientists. The curriculum covers all areas of general science and encourages proper scientific methods at an early age. All Lower School classes use the attached greenhouse to experiment on plant life. After school programs help these learners expand on their love of science.
Students in grades 5-8 visit the science center for an extended block of time in their three dedicated labs. These classroom laboratories are dedicated to the specific disciplines of life science, physical science, chemistry, and earth science. An interactive science curriculum encourages proper lab techniques in preparation for high school work. A large central meeting area called “The Nucleus” allows for guest scientific experts to share their knowledge with the Upper School students.