What Works: Facilities
Spaces that assist in building robust interdisciplinary programs:
- are living laboratories in which to explore issues relating to environmental concerns
- enable interdisciplinary collaborations in learning and research.
Spaces that serve to strengthen student learning:
- are flexible enough to support and adapt to multiple pedagogies and learning styles
- foster sustainable learning communities
- are fully mediated and interactive (wireless, chairs/tables on wheels)
- have ubiquitous opportunities for writing, for collaborating, for connecting to and through technologies
- send a message about the efficacy of active, discovery-based learning, and about the relationship of the quality of space and the quality of learning.
Spaces that accommodate the advantageous use of digital resources:
- are designed to support different levels of technological sophistication
- support the anywhere, anytime use of these resources
- become themselves laboratories for learning, making the doing of science visible
- anticipate the future with their flexibility and adaptability.
Spaces that ensure the success of under-represented groups in STEM learning communities:
- provide hospitable, welcoming environments for individual learners and for collaborating groups of learners
- showcase the relevance and human nature of the scientific and technological enterprise.
Spaces that infuse a global dimension into the undergraduate STEM learning environment:
- accommodate regular (electronic) communication with colleagues around the world, enriching learning and enhancing research.
Spaces that serve student learning:
- reflect institutional goals for student learning
- facilitate a wide range of student learning styles and pedagogical approaches
- foster learning communities
- make the doing of science a visibly human activity.
Spaces that link insights about how people learn into curricular reform:
- allow for active, collaboration, inquiry-based learning (anything else is malpractice!)
- illustrate the inter-relationship between curriculum, spaces, and goals for student learning.
Spaces that motivate students to pursue STEM carreers:
- are centrally located– open, inviting, accessible
- are transparent– reflecting that "doing science" is a human activity
- accommodate the technologies and tools used by 21st century practitioners in STEM fields
- encourage interactions between students, students and faculty in a research-rich environment
- have social spaces in which students can connect with each other and to the world beyond the campus (with technologies).
Spaces that attract and serve all students:
- are open and welcoming at all times to students
- enable flexible scheduling and use by students with different learning styles
- are themselves laboratories for learning
- serve the entire campus community
- reflect an understanding of the central role that science and mathematics play in 21st century educational programs.
Spaces serving the preparation of students for STEM careers:
- accommodate a research-intensive and technology-intensive learning environment
- facilitate access to instrumentation common in the study and practice of science/technology
- accommodate the pedagogical approaches that lead to the development of skills for the 21st century workforce: team-work, problem-posing/solving, etc.
- accommodate the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the practice of science
- play a role in recruiting strong faculty scholars who are effective role models and mentors.
- from the PKAL 2003 Assemblies