Life Lab lizardThe Lourdes College Life Lab, located in the St. Agnes Hall, has been providing an interactive plant and animal learning laboratory for pre-K through eighth grade students for over 20 years. Students can encounter exotic birds, fresh and saltwater fish, frogs, turtles and butterflies as they learn about the ecosystems in which they live.

With a host of other woodland creatures living just outside its windows, Life Lab classes often take to the outdoors to observe the life-cycles of animals in their natural habitat. For several years, the Life Lab has also offered a summer science camp for youngsters.

Last year, the Life Lab staff, volunteers and sponsors provided numerous opportunities for children in our region. In 2010, the Life Lab will begin to focus on sustainability issues and energy in its endeavors to serve the community.

Sponsorships and scholarships

  • In 2009, the Science Alliance for Valuing the Environment (SAVE) granted over $500 in new nature books to be given to the Life Lab field classes. The organization also provided nearly $1,000 for Summer Science Camp scholarships.

  • The American Association of University Women (AAUW) who provided funding to young women for the 2009 Summer Science Camp, hosted an appreciation and learning event. At the event, Director of the Life Lab Sr. Rosine Sobczak, OSF offered an "Earth Renewed" presentation. Linda Penn, Curriculum Coordinator and Marge Malinowski, Tech Supervisor and Animal Care Specialist, then offered a nature experience for those gathered. In total, the AAUW has sponsored over 160 young women for summer camps.

  • The Christ Child Society (CCS) provided significant funding for field classes and transportation for children in underrepresented areas. In addition, 27 CCS women volunteer to assist during these field classes.

Benefactors and alumni

 Life Lab mural

  • The Jeff Bixler Family funded the latest Life Lab mural. Located in the lab's foyer, the mural was created by Anjelika Manakhimova ('01, BA, Art) in appreciation for her Lourdes College education.

    Executed in acrylics, the 16" x 8' mural depicts realistic nature settings with birds, butterflies, swans and other plant and animal creatures along with a William Wordsworth saying "Let nature be your teacher."

    Kathy, Jeff, David and Mark Bixler visited the Life Lab over the Christmas holiday to tour the facility and see the mural. Two plaques near the mural credit the artist as well as the donors for this inspirational and invigorating addition.

  • Joshua Klein, a Lourdes work-study student, donated the original drypoint print he created of snail cultures he worked with over the last three years. Joshua will obtain his associate degree in art in 2010 and is currently pursuing his bachelor of science degree in accounting.