The Paw Print
Adams State University has unveiled another addition to the campus, a center for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics departments. Physics professor and department chair Dr. Nehring says, “STEM is a collection of disciplines that has received national attention and focus… needing more students to go into those particular fields.”
The STEM Center is located on the third floor of the Porter Building. The STEM Center officially opened on February 7. The STEM Center was funded by the Title V STEM grant. In according with this grant, the STEM Center will “comprehensively address students’ academic support needs across STEM departments.”
This grant was awarded to Adams State University in October 2011. The U.S. Department of Education awarded Adams State $3.6 million due to Adams State being classified as a Hispanic Serving Institution offering STEM programs. This grant will be in effect for five years, and will aid Hispanics and low-income students to complete a STEM degree. Renovations to the Zacheis Planetarium last summer were also funded by this Title V STEM grant.
The STEM Center is being utilized as a meeting and work area for students. Some faculty even have their office hours in the STEM Center to be more accessible to students. Within the STEM Center, there are individual rooms, which students have access to for tutoring and educational needs. STEM students no longer have to trek all over campus. Most everything a STEM student would need access to academically is now located within close proximity.
Another component of the STEM Center is a large study room which will be operated for supplemental instruction sessions and learning workshops. The chief goal of the STEM Center is to synergize all the STEM students into a common area and to give students a productive and inspiring learning environment. Adams Atoms and Women in Science are two university organizations that are already scheduled to meet regularly in the STEM Center.
Dr. Nehring continued, “Part of what we were trying to do is build a community. Our hope is that students are going to become much more tight-knit amongst themselves, as well as much more closely bonded with faculty, by using this student space.”
President Svaldi thanked everyone in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that unveiled the new STEM Center. He said, “This is going to be about the students and about the faculty having a place to interact, mentor and really form a cohort and belief that they can be scientists and engaged in technology and engineering and as mathematicians.”
The STEM center strategically positions Adams State University to attract STEM students, as well as aid them in the academic endeavors while enrolled at Adams State University. Dr. Nehring finished with, “This facility and this grant fit the valley, but it’s also part of a much larger picture throughout the country.”