NDSU’s new STEM Classroom and Lab Building will open for classes in January 2016.
The state of North Dakota provided $29.4 million to build the structure. It has been under construction for more than a year, and today NDSU held a dedication ceremony to celebrate its near-completion. NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Sen. Tim Flakoll, NDSU Provost Beth Ingram and NDSU Student Body President Eric McDaniel spoke at the event.
Members of the State Board of Higher Education were also present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Rich Goldsbury, president of Doosan and Bobcat Company, North America and Oceania, and Scott Park, president and CEO of Doosan Bobcat, also participated in the ceremony. Earlier this year, Doosan and Bobcat Company donated $3 million to fund a STEM-related scholarship program. The state of North Dakota matched the donation, adding $1.5 million—making the combined gift of $4.5 million the single largest gift to establish a scholarship endowment in NDSU history.
“The building is the first of its kind at NDSU and in North Dakota and signals a new era for teaching and learning at the university,” Bresciani said. “We greatly appreciate the state of North Dakota making the building possible. This investment will benefit generations of future leaders and innovators.”
The building concept breaks from the tradition of an academic building belonging to a particular discipline or department. It is a student-focused structure made up entirely of classrooms, labs and study areas, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses.
The 119,505 square-foot building has 23 labs, nine classrooms and 13 areas for students to work collaboratively or to study. Classroom capacity ranges from 24 to 300 students. It will serve approximately 4,000 to 5,000 students every day.
“This building will be a game changer for NDSU students,” said McDaniel. “Every space was designed in the best way to serve students, through the new study spaces, large laboratories and opportunities for learning and innovating in an environment that incorporates cutting-edge technology. Students are really looking forward to having classes there.”
The building is designed for flexibility, interdisciplinary collaboration and teaching innovation.
·Flexibility: Classrooms and labs can accommodate multiple uses, a variety of teaching approaches and changes in equipment and technology, allowing the space to be maximized now and in the future.
· Interdisciplinary collaboration: Faculty members from many disciplines will teach in the building and share preparation spaces. Likewise, classrooms, labs and student spaces are built for collaboration. Interdisciplinary collaboration has the potential to lead to even greater innovation by faculty members and students.
· Teaching innovation: Faculty members who teach in the building will use a set of student-centered teaching approaches called active learning. These teaching approaches promote discussion and problem-solving and often involve students working in small groups.
“Buildings that encourage innovation, offer instructional flexibility, and merge multiple fields of study are a great training ground for the real world work environment,” Dalrymple said. “The demand for professionals in the STEM fields continues to grow as a result of our strong economy, and this facility will help NDSU prepare students for great careers right here in North Dakota.”
One type of classroom that will support innovative teaching is called a student-centered active learning environment for undergraduate programs, or SCALE-UP. The largest classroom of this type will seat up to 135 students at nine-person round tables that promote small-group discussion and work.
The classroom’s technology makes it easy for groups to create and share content with the entire class. Each table has connectivity for three laptops, but can send a signal from one computer to a designated monitor. Faculty members will be able to project content from the instructor computer or select a student display and project it on a large screen for the whole class.
All classrooms are equipped with multimedia equipment, including:
· Ceiling mounted projector
· Windows computer, mouse and keyboard
· Wireless mouse
· Document camera for projecting transparencies and opaque documents
· Apple TV for wireless display mirroring of iOS devices
· Laptop computer connectivity
· Audiovisual control system for easy control and switching between devices
Other building features include:
· Student seating by windows for natural light
· Atrium that will provide natural light to interior labs
· Card access for building, floors and rooms
· Two gender-neutral restrooms
· Lactation room
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