New 4th and 5th Grade Science Labs open at Indian Hill, courtesy of the HFEE

The Holmdel Foundation for Educational Excellence (HFEE) unveiled two of their most recent gifts, the 4th and 5th Grade Science Innovation Labs at Indian Hill School, last Tuesday evening.  HFEE trustees and Holmdel families who generously sponsored the labs at last year’s Gala were treated to a tour provided by faculty members as they showed off these new facilities with pride and excitement.

The rooms were completely renovated with new flooring, freshly painted walls and built in cabinetry.  New furniture was provided which included group tables and “wobbly” chairs.  Paintings with vibrant colors now decorate the walls.  Finally, Google Jamboards were also provided giving the students access to some of the latest technology available to further add to their experience.


Diane Newton, a 5th grade teacher at Indian Hill, captured the sentiments of everyone with her enthusiasm.  Diane explained, “The new science lab is beautiful. It provides a spacious and safe space with all the amenities needed to conduct experiments. The group tables are large enough to seat five comfortably, the “oodle” seats are a favorite of the students, and the safety glasses are easily sanitized, which is important. The students love going to the lab. Science is hands-on and the new science lab makes it possible in a safe and fun environment. We can’t wait to use the Jamboard!”
The labs have easily become the favorite classroom of many of the students.  The popularity of the rooms is driven by the unique setting that they provide.  There is nothing else like them at Indian Hill which instills as sense of excitement in the students as they learn and study science.    Building volcanoes, raising crayfish and constructing a roller coaster are just some of the educational projects that will take place in these new facilities.

Dr. Dineen Seeley, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Holmdel Schools, attended the event and was greatly appreciative for the HFEE’s contribution. She stated that the Science Innovation Labs are flexible spaces that provide an opportunity for our 4th and 5th grade scientists to collaboratively engage in discovering and exploring science phenomena.

The students aren’t the only beneficiaries that are excited as members of the faculty are also looking forward to instructing their classes in these new settings, including Jenna Atkinson, a 4th grade teacher at Indian Hill. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to use the gorgeous, new STEM labs generously funded by the HFEE here at Indian Hill School.  My students are loving the modern, design-inspired flexible seating and I can’t wait to use the Google Jam Board for interactive, collaborative learning experiences.  It is truly a remarkable space”, Atkinson, a 4th grade teacher, remarked.

(Members from the sponsoring families are pictured above from left to right:  the Rice family, the Rabkin family, the Rukin family, the Sottile family, the Burden family, and the Hanhan family.  Sponsoring families not pictured include the Benyon family, the Savarese family, and the Striano family.)

This is just one of the many initiatives the HFEE has funded to improve the experience of students at Holmdel Public Schools. These projects are fully-funded through donations from the community and without this financial support, these initiatives simply do not happen. Every donation counts and contributes to the next exciting project.

If you would like to support the next project sponsored by the HFEE, please donate today!

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