4 Notable Lab School Achievements
Throughout its 129 years, the lab school was known for leading the way. As we explore its history, we are uncovering many notable achievements. Here are 4 we've recently begun to look into. You can read about more achievements, recognitions, and awards on the About Malcolm Price Laboratory School page. If you know of other notable achievements we should look into please let us know! You can contact us through our website or by email: pricelabhistory @ gmail.com
1. One of the first high school Defense Councils formed in the United States after Pearl Harbor.
ISTC Laboratory School Director Dr. Guy Wagner formed the Council in January 1942. It consisted of 11 Laboratory School seniors, including ISTC President Malcolm Price’s daughter, Nancy (today the nationally-known novelist). The Council collected and mailed boxes of food, books, and magazines to soldiers—especially Lab School alumni. It also worked to conserve electricity, paper, and soap to make the shortages less. A Victory Corps for the whole school was soon organized which focused on recycling waste, physical fitness, and Red Cross work.
Both programs received national magazine attention.
2. Pre-school string quartets – begun in the late 1940s by Lab School music teacher Melvin Schnieder.
The Suzuki method of nursery and kindergarten violin playing came to the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Again the Laboratory School was pioneering.
3. Nationally praised Atomic Energy curriculum in 1950 for elementary grades through high school.
This full atomic energy curriculum was the first of its kind attempted in the United States.
The “Iowa Plan for the Study of Atomic Energy” was described as “the best being done” by the July 10, 1950 Newsweek magazine. A committee led by Dr. Guy Wagner created the elementary “bulletins” which were shared in one-day teacher institutes in 32 Iowa communities. Iowa teachers could incorporate the atomic energy “course” into existing science or social studies courses or they could teach the unit independently. Students studied both the science of atomic energy and its historical and ethical dimensions. The program was first tried at the ISTC Laboratory School.
4. 1994 – Helping plan for the Internet
The Lab School fourth-grade was one of three classes in the nation chosen to participate in a teleconference to help determine the route of the “information highway” (Internet)
These are just a few of the many noteworthy achievements credited to the lab school. Keep watching our website for more history of these and other projects as we continue to research the legacy of the lab school.