By KATHARINE FRIEDMAN
When it comes to science in high school, words often used to describe it range from fascinating to confusing.
There are those students who excel and those who scratch their heads while looking at the periodic table.
Keyport High School has done its best to make science easier and exciting for their students, but the lab needed a huge upgrade.
With a generous donation of $50,000 from the Dino Lambos Foundation, Keyport High School now has a science lab worthy of CSI.
Dino Lambos was a graduate of Keyport High School in 1962, but never forget where he came from.
“He always found a way to give back to his community,” said Michael Waters, principal of Keyport High School. Lambos also earned a spot in the Keyport High School Hall of Fame for his success and contributions.
Unfortunately, Lambos passed away after many battles with cancer over a five-year period. Knowing he still would want to give back to the students, the Dino Lambos Foundation was created by his family, friends and widow, Jean Lambos.
For over 15 years, the Foundation awarded between $1,000-$1,500 scholarships in
Lambos’ name to graduating students going to college and pursuing their science/technology dreams.
When Keyport High closed for the summer break, Jean Lambos and Louis
Monteforte, one of the scholarship fund executives and close friend to Dino Lambos, met with Keyport Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lisa Savoia, Waters and Director of Guidance Anthony DePasquale to discuss the scholarship.
Unsure of how much longer the scholarship was going to continue, Lambos and Monteforte pitched an idea to change the school. Instead of giving small amounts of money to help the graduating students, why not give a bigger donation to the school for what Dino loved — science, math, engineering and technology?
Savoia, Waters and DePasquale happily agreed. The decision was made for a new science lab to be constructed over the break and be ready by the time school started again.
The Dino Lambos Foundation wrote a $50,000 check to the school to make the lab exactly what the school needed.
“We are very happy about it,” said Savoia.
The lab was officially opened Dec. 2 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. New items at the lab include a SmartBoard for interactive learning, Vernier equipment providing real-time information as an experiment is performed, a large saltwater fish and touch tanks housing marine life, better flooring, furniture and paint.
Savoia, Waters, science faculty, members of the Foundation and former recipients of the Dino Lambos Scholarship were present as Jean Lambos cut the red ribbon, which officially opened the Dino Lambos Science Lab.
Cori Lichter, a 2013 recipient of the Dino Lambos Scholarship was happy to hear about the lab and had to be at the opening.
“They gave so much to me; I thought it’d be nice to be there,” said Lichter.
She is currently at the Rutgers School of Engineering, majoring in biomedical engineering and expects to graduate this year.
It does not matter what science students study — from biology to chemistry — the lab will be available to help make science easier and interesting. Students can go into the lab during their open lunch should they need help for any science course.
“We wanted all of our students to experience the benefits from [the lab],” said Waters. “Keyport High School now hosts the most state-of-the-art lab in this area.”
Two senior students — Gabby Forbes and Jessica Castro — have seen the lab and are excited to work there.
“Our new labs are pretty cool,” said Castro.
After graduating, she wishes to pursue a career in public relations while Forbes’ plans are pursuing a medical degree when she graduates. Both are waiting to hear back from schools.
Their advice to future students: “Don’t break the equipment!”