Back in December radical changes began happening in the science room. Students, who were mildly concerned from the inconvenience of not being able to use the room, wondered what was going on. Just like the chemistry room before it, it was being… renovated. Students came back after Christmas vacation to discover the old desks had been replaced with new, open-air desks. Each had an outlet installed in the floor underneath it instead of the old desks with the outlet built in.
The initial reaction was both positive and negative. Some student really liked the new desks, saying they look new and professional. Others hated the update.
“One of the reasons I liked the Biology room was because of the tables. The reason I liked the tables was because the room felt more… cozy with them,” said opinionated student Catrina Son. “‘Cause the [electrical outlets] were on the table and your phone has to be put on the floor. So either you get a longer wire or someone steps on your phone. But I kinda like the new tables too. They are newer and don’t have and writing or gum on them – they are clean.”
But, why were the tables changed in the first place? To answer my question, I sat down with Mr. Mason – SAA’s high school science teacher – to hear his two cents about the tables: “As you recall, the former desks were bolted to the floor, so the electrical wires extended from the floor and were attached to the inside of the desks; that wasn’t safe. Imagine kicking your feet and getting zapped. Let’s be honest – kids will kick their feet. Some of the desks were getting unbolted and the wires could’ve been cut. So in a nutshell, it was for safety. Even though you might miss the old desks (and how it was a lot easier to sneakily go on your phones and such), these desks are better for your safety. And we got them because I care about you. Secondly the tops are heat and chemical resistant. They’re more sanitary. Fluids will not seep into the tops – unlike the old desks. One other reason: it’s a lot easier to move the tables now, so the room will be cleaner.”
Another controversy about the new tables is the difficulty of finding chairs to fit them. “The stools were NOT the right height. It wasn’t my mess-up by the way, I didn’t order them,” Mr. Mason said in his defense. “With the stools at that height, students would be falling left and right. But I wanted stools in the first place so the floor wouldn’t be scratched up by the regular chairs. So… that issue still needs to be addressed. Over spring break they’re going to retile the floor. The outlets are also an issue the school needs to address.”
The students may not all like the update but they do appreciate the reasons the school had for changing them. “When I first heard we were gonna change them, I imagined we’d get the same kind [of desks] as in the Chemistry room,” Catrina confessed, “SO I was disappointed when I saw these. But I’m glad Mr. Mason was thinking about our safety [when he changed them].” Whether hate them or love them the new desks are here to stay.