Westtown School Driving Hands-On, Action-Based Science Learning

The West Chester day and boarding school unveils a new state-of-the-art Science Center, hosts Science Day and ramps up for first summer of Westtown Science Institute

West Chester, PA (April 23, 2014)- Over the past few months, Westtown School has had some exciting developments in its science department which include unveiling a renovated, $13 million LEED-certified Science Center, hosting Science Day at Westtown, and students designing and building a prototype for a prosthetic hand for a local boy using a 3D printer.

Science Day, held on Saturday, April 12th, was a free, family-friendly event open to the community. The event featured hands-on science experiments, demonstrations, games and more, as well as an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new Science Center. Attendees had a chance to explore the school’s 600-acre campus and experience the various aspects of Westtown’s flourishing science program.

In teacher Steve Compton’s design and engineering class, Westtown students have been using a 3D printer to design and build prototypes for a prosthetic hand to meet the needs of an actual client – 8 year-old Steele Songle, whose mom Ellen works at Westtown. Songle, born without a left hand, will be able to adjust the device for different activities. Students have been working on the design since January,

Westtown School graduates an impressive number of students who go on to major in STEM subjects in college (1 out of 4 vs. the national average of 1 out of 10) and the school’s female presence in STEM courses lies well above the national average.

This summer the school will be hosting the Westtown Science Institute for the first year, featuring science programs like LegoBots (an introduction to designing, building and programming) and Multimedia Java (an introduction to structured programming). Offerings are available for grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Below is a summary of recent coverage.


NBC Philadelphia

Philadelphia Inquirer

Technical.ly Philly

Frankly Speaking: