EKU's New Science Building: Further Opportunities for CRAFT to Grow
A revolution in science education at EKU began this Fall (2011) when Phase I of the New Science Building welcomed the Departments of Chemistry and Physics & Astronomy. Supported by $1.2 million in federal funds for scientific equipment, the project promotes dynamic, collaborative, experience-based teaching. It will multiply research opportunities, help attract and retain highly qualified faculty and students and make EKU students more competitive in advanced study and science-based professions. An inviting, interactive design engages the university community in the process of scientific inquiry and discovery. "The New Science Building," affirms President Doug Whitlock, "is a major contribution to our university, the economic growth of our region, and Commonwealth and the academic relevance of EKU."
The long awaited start of classes in EKU’s New Science Building came on Monday, January 9 as the building opened to students for classes and labs. Faculty and staff worked diligently over the holiday break to move and set up offices, classrooms and labs in the new building. One student described it as “my Epcot away from Epcot”, a typical remark as the new building wows both students and faculty. The building is the first phase of Eastern’s effort to bring science education into the 21st century with state of the art facilities.
Many members of the CRAFT Research faculty will have lab space in the New Science Building dedicated to both CRAFT related and non-CRAFT related research. “The purpose of the new science building will showcase the high quality of research (including CRAFT projects) currently being performed on campus. This will allow students and visitors to see what type of work is being done with CRAFT as well as the facilities where the work is done. It is a very impressive building”, says Associate Professor of Chemistry and CRAFT Researcher Dr. Darrin Smith.
The science education classrooms on the ground floor of Phase I will open to an outdoor classroom behind the building. The Physics and Astronomy section will include studio laboratory classrooms so classes can be taught in inquiry-driven mode. Chemistry classrooms and laboratories will be positioned so instruments can easily be shared, and biochemistry labs will be situated near molecular biology labs (phase II) to permit close collaboration. “Each chemistry faculty member with CRAFT will have their own state-of-the-art research space in the new science building. This will allow for student and faculty researchers to better perform their work. In addition, a centralized chemical instrumentation laboratory is available that will house a majority of state-of-the-art instrumentation currently being utilized by students and faculty with CRAFT projects”, says Dr. Smith.
The as yet unfunded second phase will house Biological Sciences and Geography & Geology.
Published on February 08, 2012