Grant gives school means to open lab

I hear and I forget.

I see and I remember.

I do and I understand.

- Confucius

LAWRENCEVILLE - Daniel Duque knows his mom will be proud if he excels in science.

By participating in experiments in his school's new science lab, the 7-year-old thinks he'll do a great job in the subject.

Freeman's Mill Elementary School opened its science lab Wednesday, two weeks after it received a $20,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation.

"We realize how very important hands-on science exploration is at an early age," principal Marian Hicks said. "We are so excited to receive this $20,000 grant from AT&T. ... We feel very fortunate to have a community partner who recognizes how important it is to make resources available to students in the field of science."

Previously an art room, the science lab is a place where classroom teachers at all grade levels can bring their students for hands-on lessons, Hicks said.

Second-graders who visited the lab Wednesday donned white lab coats and safety goggles and rotated between stations that allowed the children to explore equipment such as microscopes, scales, beakers, digital thermometers, laptops and an interactive white board.

"I think it's really neat," student Taylor Young, 8, said. "It's a cool place to be where you're doing science."

Lisa Bartram, co-president of the school's PTA, said her children, who are in first and third grades, were excited to see the new science lab. She said her son said he wanted to be a scientist after he saw the room.

"I think this is unforgettable education," she said. "This is something they'll never forget."

The science lab is an area that will allow children to apply skills such as math and problem solving in an inquisitive environment, said Mary Elizabeth Davis, Gwinnett County Public Schools director of science.

"There will be children at Freeman's Mill who will choose science as a career as the result of this moment," Davis said.

State Rep. Mike Coan, R-Lawrenceville, helped the school receive the grant from AT&T.

"I really appreciate them stepping up for the children," Coan said.

Delores Crowell, region manager for external affairs at AT&T Georgia, said the partnership is the company's investment in the future.

"The level of execution here can serve as a model for what we do across the state," she said.