• Launch of the MPLS Commemorative Plaza to take place at the 2014 AFPLS Picnic

    Posted: Jun 21, 2014

    By Lynn Dykstra
    Department of Teaching
    College of Education

    The Malcolm Price Laboratory School (MPLS) Plaza is one of three commemorative projects initiated by the Alumni and Friends of Malcolm Price Laboratory School (AFPLS) and the Ross A. Nielsen Board (RAN) to preserve and commemorate the legacy of the school. The Laboratory School History website has been operating successfully for the past year while the MPLS Plaza will be launched with the unveiling of the design concept rendering at the upcoming AFPLS picnic on June 28. The third project includes the future design and development of a MPLS Commemorative wall in the Schindler Education Center.

    The MPLS Plaza Subcommittee envisioned the plaza as being a contemplative and reflective space that would inform past and future generations of UNI faculty, staff, students, teachers, and community members who were part of the Laboratory School’s 129 year history, of its integral role and significant contributions to the University of Northern Iowa and impact on the field of education.

    Over the past year, the MPLS Plaza Subcommittee met frequently to develop plans for the plaza, and consulted with representatives from the UNI Executive Management Team, the Foundation Office, Facilities Planning and the Arts and Architecture Committee. Based on the design values and criteria outlined for the project, the subcommittee hired and collaborated with Ritland+Kuiper Landscape Architects from Waterloo to design the MPLS Plaza keeping in mind: utility, cost effectiveness and aesthetics and that the plaza would be commemorative, rather than a memorial.  

    A location for the plaza was identified just south of where Malcolm Price Laboratory School once stood, close to the bridge crossing over the creek to the Towers dorms on the University of Northern Iowa campus.  The subcommittee recognized the advantages of tying the plaza to the natural landscape and having it located in close proximity to both the nearby bridge and the stream, serving as a “bridge” between the campus and the site of the Laboratory School, representative of the Lab School’s connection and significant role in serving teacher education and the University’s mission.

    The plaza will include a defined area with trees leading to and from and surrounding the main space which is proposed to be a square area in the range of 65’x65’. The stone lintel that was originally above the front doors of the building facing Campus Street with the words “Laboratory School” engraved on it will serve as the main focal point and artwork for the plaza. The lintel will be made into a wall that will include the words “Laboratory School” printed on one side heading north and the “College of Education/University of Northern Iowa” printed on the other side facing south and will serve as a gateway to and from campus. There will be a walkway in the center of the wall designed to provide an intimate and active commemoration experience reminiscent of walking into the Laboratory School building. The original cornerstone identifying when the Laboratory School was constructed on Campus Street (1951) and another cornerstone reflecting when the school was originally established (1883) on campus will be placed on the walls. QR code stations will be also installed on the backsides of each wall section so visitors may access more information about the Laboratory School from the history website. The plaza will incorporate several of the actual physical components of the Laboratory School building including the lintel, bricks, granite stairs and cornerstone and it will include trees, landscaping, paving, benches and lighting to create a commemorative and reflective space.

    Aesthetic qualities of the plaza will be unique yet aligned and unified with other entrances to campus and plaza areas such as that surrounding the Campanile. The plaza will be designed to recognize and give tribute to Malcolm Price Laboratory School by evoking the spirit and feel of the school while adding beauty to the campus during the day and when lit up at night.  

    A cost estimation has been outlined for the construction of the MPLS Plaza. Although a significant portion of the budget and resources have been allocated by the RAN Board, the College of Education, the University, and a private donor, additional campaigning is planned to fund the remaining amount needed to complete the project.  Those attending the AFPLS Picnic may learn more about the MPLS Plaza project and have the opportunity to contribute donations to the project during the event and/or may submit them online at the Laboratory School History website at http://www.pricelabhistory.org/.

    AFPLS/RAN Board MPLS Plaza Subcommittee Members:  Co-chairs Jim Kelly and Lynn Dykstra, Sarah Eastman, Rick Knivsland and Bob Stephens. University Liaisons: Bill Calhoun, Andrea Elliot, Morris Mikkelson, Amy Selzer, Dwight Watson.


    Posted: Jun 15, 2014
    Over the course of the school's 129-year history, the school was known under several names including the Model School, the Training School, the Campus School, the Laboratory School, the Campus Laboratory School and finally Malcolm Price Laboratory School.  Despite the many name changes that reflected an evolving conceptualization of the school's purpose and function in the teacher education program, one aspect remained constant--LEADERSHIP.  Without strong and supportive leadership the school would not have transitioned from the "Model School" in Gilchrist Hall to be nationally recognized for excellence in teaching, teacher education, clinical field experiences, curriculum development and research.

    From the Model School's early beginnings until MPLS was closed in 2012, twenty-two men and women  assumed leadership for the school. SEE THE LIST OF DIRECTORS OF THE LABORATORY SCHOOL FROM 1883 - 2012
  • MPLS Picnic Scheduled for June 28th

    Posted: May 15, 2014
    MPLS Picnic

    The Alumni and Friends of Price Lab School picnic will be held on Saturday, June 28th, in Nielsen Field House (on 19th St. between Campus St. and Hudson Rd). The rest of what was Price Lab School has been demolished, but alumni and friends are invited to reconnect with each other, to learn more about plans to celebrate and memorialize the legacy of the school, and to see how a part of the field house is now used as the UNI Child Development Center. Your RSVP will help us to plan our food order.

    Please RSVP by clicking on MPLS Reunion Picnic--June 28, 2014.  Complete the form and you will be good to go.  Questions should be directed to becky.hawbaker@uni.edu

    Hope to see you in June if not before!

    Posted: Apr 25, 2014

    Beginning Reading Conference

    Joan joined the faculty of MPLS in 1965. During the decades that followed she helped to shape the direction of the elementary curriculum both at Price Laboratory School as well as through the many committees and commissions she served on both on campus as well as nationally.  She had a major influence on the direction mathematics and science education developed as the reform movement got under way in the 1980s.  Read Joan's profile.....


    Posted: Apr 09, 2014
    Two new items have been added to the RESEARCH section of the PLS history website:

    Abstracts from six dissertations completed by PLS faculty or by UNI graduate students completing their doctoral work and collaborating with MPLS in data collection, observations, curriculum development and evaluation.  Access dissertations by going to DISSERTATION RESEARCH RELATED TO MPLS.

    A historical review of curriculum development efforts conducted at MPLS.  Published in the UNI Century in 1979, the article provides a summary of projects related to mathematics, science, social studies and language arts.  Go to the RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PAGE for the complete text of the article. 

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