Park science department seeks donations

Parents asked to help cover supplementary supplies


Sophie Livingston

Science teacher Alexander Polk makes an announcement during his fifth hour class. He teaches tenth grade chemistry.

Gabriel Kaplan

In order to cover the cost of extra lab materials and other equipment, the science department has resorted to asking the Park community for support, according to department head Patrick Hartman.

“A lot of our science supplies cost a lot of money. To do some of the labs that we do, we spend a fair amount of money on stuff, and (the donations) are to help us supplement some of the stuff and also breakage,” Hartman said. “We have a lot of beakers and other things that break throughout the year, so we have to replace them and some consumable materials as well.”

Physics teacher Dan Ruzek said the department has been seeking donations for many years.

“It is something we have been doing for years,” Ruzek said. “Just asking our students and our families for extra financial support for lab supplies and stuff like that. Things that are not in the standard budget.”

Freshman Pema Dolkar said she thinks it is reasonable for the department to ask families for financial support, but it should not be the preferred way of finding funding.

“It is a good idea to use the student’s money as a source of income,” Dolkar said. “It should be a last resort method (as) the district should be paying for the science and school needs.”

According to Hartman, the department reaches out to parents and families several times at the beginning of the year.

“We have a letter that we hand out to students, and then it goes out to parents on the open house night and it is something that I sign off on and then the principal, Scott Meyers, signs off on,” Hartman said.

The efforts are generally successful and are often neccessary, according to Ruzek.

“We do get a fair amount in,” Ruzek said. “It seems to do a pretty good job, so we can replace some items that normally would have to be repaired or just done without.”

Sophomore Julia Salita said she believes donations may be necessary in order to provide a good education to Park students, but also thinks the science department should not need to ask for donations in the first place.

“If the science teachers do not have the right equipment or tools to teach the kids at the science level that they are at, there is something wrong,” Salita said. “Kids should be able to learn. Sometimes that might mean asking for (money) from the kids to get something, but in general, the bigger stuff should be provided for (by the district).”