STEM Building Open House

In order to properly showcase Aliso Niguel’s prized new STEM building finished this semester, Capistrano Unified School District held an open house for the building.

The open house took place in the new Physical Science building on Tuesday, April 19 at 3:30 p.m. The open house was led by Principal Hatcher.

  Prior to the event, vice president of the CUSD Board of Trustees, Krista Castellanos, stated “Everyone is welcome! This event is open to the entire community.” Feeder school principals, CUSD trustees and district leadership, city officials and local dignitaries, PTSA leadership, as well as students and families were all invited.

One person in attendance was the mayor of Aliso Viejo, Ross Chun. In his address to those at the event, he said “how happy [he was] to see this building as a shining example of the focus on education and on science in this part of our city and all across our city.”

Gayle Paride who organizes events in CUSD shared how “classrooms will be open and may have demos or experiments after the short program and ribbon cutting. The Science Olympiad entry will also be on display.” 

The open house toured the new, two-story, 20,000-square-foot building. CUSD Insider’s article, Aliso Niguel High’s new Physical Sciences Building a state-of-the-art facility for science classes, reads “The building cost $11.5 million to build, funded with the remaining Mello-Roos monies from Community Facilities District.”

The building has four chemistry lab classrooms and two physics rooms. The building includes lab prep rooms that serve as space for equipment and chemicals. WiFi bandwidth is able to support up to three devices per student in the new building.

Additionally, Principal Hatcher described how in the near future, the lobby of the building will be furnished to serve as a lounge area available for students. 

During the program, Hatcher stressed how important the new learning environments are for the students in order to provide them full opportunities to visualize and engage in ways they were unable to before. The lab stations, movable desks, and spacious classrooms allow for the students to work in ways that inspire their growing interests in the STEM fields. 

One of the most important features of the building, however, is its names.

Hatcher explained, “We wanted to honor the work of women and minorities in the idea of sparking interest in all of our students so we can uncover discoveries and work that scientists have done that maybe aren’t at the front of our textbooks.”

In order to properly represent these values, each classroom is named after a different groundbreaking scientist. The two physics classes are named after Chien-Shiung Wu and Edith Clarke. For the chemistry rooms, the scientists they decided on were Rosalind Franklin, George Washington Carver, Mario Molina, and Marie Daly. The hope is that these scientists and their accomplishments will inspire the students to follow in their trailblazing footsteps.

Concluding the speeches on the program, the principal and other organizers held the official ribbon cutting ceremony. This was followed up by a tour of the classrooms for all in attendance. 

Along with showing off the new building and all of its glory, the open house served as a testament to all of the hard work and dedication put in by everyone who contributed to its thriving success.