On October 28, 2021, Sacred Heart Model School (SHMS) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new state-of-the-art science lab donated by an anonymous donor for junior high students. The lab was dedicated as the Sister Dominica Hettinger, OSU Science Lab. The school’s new lab is similar to labs found in high schools and universities.

Ursuline Sister of Louisville Dominica Hettinger, OSU, held a Ph.D. in Biology. As the first dean of Ursuline College, she played a major role in strengthening Sacred Heart Junior College and establishing Sacred Heart Model School. In 1920, she was appointed community supervisor of Ursuline Schools, organized and administered Sacred Heart Model School, was the dean and directress of education at Ursuline College, and later headed the Science department there.

To support the hands-on learning of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Sister Dominica Hettinger science lab serves the school’s Level Seven and Level Eight students with foundational lab safety features not typically present in a middle school setting. It has five adjustable student lab tables and one teacher demonstration table, each with water and gas sources and electrical outlets. The lab also boasts safety features such as an eyewash station, safety shower, and lab goggle sanitation closet. The built-in storage holds equipment, tools, and materials with locking drawers for chemical storage. The spacious lab is full of natural light and a positive ambiance.

Dr. Karen McNay, president of Sacred Heart Schools and Tricia Forde, assistant principal, spoke to the importance of the new space for “hands-on, MYP science curriculum.” Two Level Eight students, Savanah Dunaway and Truman Needham, also spoke on what the new lab means to them and the future of science at SHMS.

Ursuline President Sister Jean Anne Zappa, OSU, provided the blessing for the new lab on behalf of the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, who sponsor Sacred Heart Schools. Sister Jean Anne said, “Today, we ask God’s blessing on this center of seeking, discovering, and learning of what is true. We ask for God’s blessing on the donor whose generous heart made this possible. We ask God’s blessings on the teachers and students of this space to come to the realization of whatever is taught, the final learning is about love of God and neighbor and witnessing to the gospel of love and justice.”