The Sisterhood of Science
A Tradition of Excellence in Science
A Brief History 1946 – 2018
Elmwood’s long and strong tradition of excellence in science education began in 1946, when the Southam and Ahearn families donated the funds to build a new wing which included a modern science lab. In 1967, thanks to donors, the original space was enlarged and outfitted with best-in-class equipment and furniture. From 1967 to 2018, the space remained much the same with minor modifications and updates.
Throughout this time, Elmwood students excelled in science with a greater number of girls pursuing studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Today, over 50% of graduates attend STEM programs at universities and colleges around the world.
The Science and Innovation Wing - 2018
The reality was that the success of Elmwood girls in STEM has been in spite of our science facilities, not because of them. This all changed in 2018 with the creation of the Science & Innovation Wing and renovation of Elmwood’s Biology and Physics Labs providing facilities that matched the dedication and expertise of the teachers and the passion and determination of Elmwood students.
Made possible through the generous support of Elmwood’s community of donors, the Science and Innovation Wing opened in 2019. These new state-of-the-art spaces – which include glass walled Innovation Labs and Lab Prep area with flexible furniture, a central Collaboration Hub and a Virtual Reality Room – promote the transparency of learning, cross-disciplinary teaching and educational best practices ensuring the best possible STEM education for Elmwood girls.
The Chemistry Lab and STEAM Centre 2021
The Chemistry Lab
The original intention was to renovate the Chemistry Lab together with the Biology and Physics Labs in 2018, but the complexities and cost of renovating a 60+ year old building simply did not allow all three spaces to be completed at the same time.
Now, with renewed commitment and need, we are partnering with experts in the field from top universities and research centres to design an exceptional space to enhance the learning of Elmwood girls, in all grades from the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools.
The new Chemistry lab will be designed to be transdisciplinary – allowing for maximum flexibility. The Chemistry Lab walls will be glass, allowing for transparency in teaching and supporting cross-disciplinary studies, and classroom furniture will be modular to be configured to easily and seamlessly adapt to different teaching and learning needs in the moment.
The transformation of the Chemistry Lab will take place in the summer of 2022 completing the Science and Innovation Wing.
Junior School STEAM Centre
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – an extension of STEM with the inclusion of hands-on activities that emphasise the application of scientific concepts as our girls experience them in their daily lives. Introducing a STEAM education in our Junior School will focus on preparing and inspiring our youngest students to meet the challenges of, and thrive in, a new global society through innovation, collaboration, and creative problem solving.
An existing space in the Junior School will be renovated with science in mind, alongside the inclusion of the latest technology and equipment to inspire innovation, flexible seating and tables to facilitate collaboration, as well as materials and tools to encourage creativity, ingenuity and communication.
With the support of the Elmwood community through the In Our Element Campaign, the transformation of the Chemistry Lab and the creation of a Junior School STEAM Centre in the summer of 2022 is possible.
Learn how you can get involved in transforming the Chemistry Lab and the Junior School STEAM Centre here
Did you know?
Every year, approximately 50% of Elmwood graduates pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs at universities and colleges around the world.
According to the National Coalition of Girls' Schools girls in all-girls schools are six times more likely to pursue math, science and technology and three times more likely to pursue engineering at the post-secondary level compared to their co-ed counterparts.