Golda Och Academy in West Orange is planning to build a center to educate its upper school students in the STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — curriculum.
The new, state-of-the-art STEM Center at the Conservative day school’s Eric F. Ross Campus will be named in honor of Dr. Lynne B Harrison, community philanthropist and school grandparent, who donated $1 million toward the facility.
The three-story center will be located in the front of the building next to the cafeteria.
Two of its floors will include space for a full competition field for the academy’s robotics team, the CodeRunners.
Other areas will be designated for students to construct projects, along with three-dimensional printers, and a workshop fully stocked with tools and instruments.
The center’s third floor will serve as a multipurpose space for students to collaborate with one another and attend lectures and demonstrations.
“This new STEM center expansion is something we are all excited about, and we know that it will go a long way toward enhancing our program and moving our school forward as a leader in STEM education,” said Adam Shapiro, GOA’s associate head of school and upper school principal, in a Jan. 13 press release. “We hope by giving students access to state-of-the-art labs and high-quality instruction, they will be well-positioned to be successful both here and beyond in their future careers,” he said.
The Center for Initiatives in Jewish Education and the Gruss Foundation are working with the academy to design the facility. “Our goal is to design space that is versatile and fully functional,” said Shapiro.
“We are truly indebted to Dr. Harrison for her support and vision for STEM education here at GOA,” said head of school Rabbi Joyce Raynor. “We feel so fortunate to be able to give our students a dedicated high-tech facility to expand their knowledge in these disciplines.”
Harrison is the president of Harrison Research Laboratories, a product safety testing facility in Union, which she founded in 1981.
She is a member of the board of Space Israel and is the newly appointed chair of the USA Board of Space Israel. As vice chair of the Hillel International board of directors and a member of its board of governors, she was named Hillel’s “Woman of the Year” in 2009.
She is an officer of the board of trustees of Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ and a member of its executive committee.