ND labs support high school science

Author: Rachel Novick


The Colleges of Science and Engineering are partnering with the the Office of Sustainability to launch ND LIGHTS, a program that donates surplus scientific instruments from Notre Dame laboratories to high schools in need of lab equipment. ND LIGHTS, which stands for Laboratory Instrumentation Giving Hope To Students, was initiated by Dr. Michelle Joyce, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who is working to build the initiative into a highly successful program. “The impetus for starting ND LIGHTS was a combination of my belief in the value of education, desire to contribute to Notre Dame’s legacy of serving others, and experience with retired laboratory equipment,” said Joyce.

ND LIGHTS will rely on donations by faculty in laboratories across campus and will accept equipment throughout the year. The program will enable science and engineering faculty to participate in an initiative that contributes to the training and education of both science teachers and students at resource-limited schools. The Office of Sustainability is collaborating in the partnership in order to build a repurposing and space-saving project with the faculty here at Notre Dame. “We in the Office of Sustainability are excited about the ND LIGHTS program as it provides the opportunity to repurpose equipment and put it to good use rather than simply dispose of it,” explained Heather Tonk, Director of Sustainability.

Because of Notre Dame’s existing relationship with the Alliance for Catholic Education, the initial recipients for this program will be ACE schools. In the spring, the list of donated instruments will be given to ACE directors and will then be allocated to ACE schools based on need. The ACE summer program is an ideal time for the teachers to receive training in using the instruments in their own classrooms. Eventually, ND LIGHTS will pursue other recipients in need-based areas. “The goal is for ND LIGHTS to establish a proven track record of useful laboratory donations and grow to serve numerous schools in the local community and beyond,” said Joyce.

To make donations, please contact Dr. Michelle Joyce @ 1-2786 or mjoyce@nd.edu