New Classrooms, New Discoveries

New Classrooms, New Discoveries

In between blizzards this past spring, there was a hint of activity in the rock courtyard east of room 107, the biology room. The occasional sound of hammers and reciprocating saws has gotten the science department excited! This summer will see the culmination of several years of dreaming, exploration, conversation and capital campaigning all centered around new science facilities.

June 4th marked the start of the construction for the science faculty. Several of us, myself included, moved out of our spaces for the last few days of the school year. It was an inconvenience we could tolerate with the end goal in sight. Below rooms 104 - 107 and the science office are 3 new classrooms in the works. Two of them dedicated to chemistry course work and the third to the biomedical engineering program.

The biomed classroom is truly what I have my sights on, since I will be leading that charge next year. For the past couple of years, our biomed program has been shoehorned into a classroom without adequate space, storage, or a separate laboratory preparation area. The department has done our best to cooperate in space use, but this move is certainly needed.

Technology has allowed us to have a few virtual peaks at the subterranean classrooms, and the department is just stuck in that “new homeowner waiting for the house to be built” mode. The classrooms promise a lot of adaptable work spaces that will allow students to focus on the doing of science. As a science staff, we have been good stewards of the facilities and equipment provided over the years, but student interest in science and engineering classes has us bursting at the proverbial intercellular junctions!

We all like the look and feel of “new” and these rooms will see a shift to not only brand new but shuffling existing classes to a better fit for students and faculty. The North Building hosts several sections of physical science in a former residence Family and Consumer Science classroom. Moving chemistry and biomed allows the department to consolidate students, staff and equipment to a more science conducive classroom.

The staff has had lots of input into learning and teaching needs in the vision of these student work spaces. Interactivity in lab and instruction was the primary thought going into the rooms and they promise to deliver. Multiple sections of biomedical engineering, from the case study medical science approach in Biomed 1 to the independent research of Biomed 3, will find equipment and space to make those connections between biology and engineering necessary. With the engineering classrooms literally across the hall, students will have easy access to the tools and machinery for production of created designs in the biomed classes.

As construction unfolds outside our windows, we wait anxiously to have new spaces for exploration of basic science in chemistry as well as incorporating design principles with biological concepts in the biomed pathway. The sound of hammer drills and heavy equipment will lead to great student experiences here at BSM.