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Student-Centered Science Facilities Create Dynamic Learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduate-level experiences at the undergraduate level. 

Faculty mentoring by dedicated professionals who are accessible, and knowledgeable of the latest research and practices.

Facilities that put state-of-the-art technology at the fingertips of students.  

“BW has always had an exemplary record of preparing students in the sciences," said BW President Dick Durst. "Now we have facilities that match the quality of our programs. This is another step forward in providing the types of experiences that enable our students to get into some of the best graduate programs and medical schools in the nation."

With the recent dedication of Art and Helen Telfer Hall, the final component of the Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation, BW's science complex is dynamic, interdisciplinary and impressive.

Included in the 15-month project is the renovation of Telfer, Wilker and Ward halls. It also includes new construction for a 9,000-square-foot connector uniting Telfer and Wilker halls.

Creating a Hub Where Science Flourishes
With sleek and spacious classrooms and labs that boast of the latest technology while encouraging the integrity of traditional textbook study, BW’s new science complex houses biology, chemistry, geology, neuroscience and physics. 

Attention to detail can be found in the design, layout and function of the facility. The labs are spacious, safety-conscious and conducive to efficiency, collaboration and student use. 

Designed by Burt,Hill, a leading architectural firm, the Telfer-Wilker complex has dedicated labs for microbiology, gross anatomy, genetics, zoology, plant biology, ecology, human physiology, developmental biology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, acoustics, optics, applied physics and more. 
 
In addition, there is an expanded neuroscience wing equipped with neurophysiology and histology labs, a small-animal surgery and additional animal rooms. Other specialized spaces are devoted to research on learning and memory and fetal/neonatal studies. There are general purpose labs and thesis labs for seniors doing individual research projects.
 
Neuroscience also has an imaging room where impressive equipment allows students to view and analyze images of the brain as they are projected from a microscope onto a computer screen.
 
Elsewhere in Telfer-Wilker there are zebrafish aquaria, an insect room, anechoic chamber and outdoor native plant and rain gardens for students to gain practical experience. A new two-room greenhouse annex contains a workroom fully equipped with plant growth chambers as well as a glass-paneled greenhouse that has automatic heating and lighting systems.
 
Facilitating Real-World Learning
Within the complex, research spans from individual student studies to corporate partnerships and ongoing studies funded by national agencies like the National Institutes of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis and others. The real-world relevancy and complexity of the work is comparable to that of graduate and professional schools.
 
In the past, space limited a student’s ability to work seamlessly on a project. Today, no longer confined by small labs or the need to put away experiments for the next group of students using a room, BW students enjoy easy and open access to equipment, projects and consultation with faculty. 
 
“In the previous space, students would assemble an experiment, work on it for hours and then store the materials away in a cubby hole.  The next day they would have to reassemble it,” said Andrew Mickley, chair of BW’s neuroscience program. “Now students have individual research spaces where they are assigned a small lab that is essentially their dedicated space for a semester or two.
 
Mickley went on to say the additional space and advanced-level equipment has enabled the College to move its neuroscience program forward as greater numbers of students choose this popular and career-marketable major.
 
Putting Technology at Fingertips of Students
In the gross anatomy lab in Telfer Hall, students examine a cadaver while professor Joe Yavornitzky, D.D.S., looks on. Midway into the lesson he speaks aloud to the class and directs their attention to magnified images of the abdominal cavity being displayed on multiple large projection screens positioned within the room. Ceiling-mounted cameras capture every move as students look on with amazement. An overhead surgical light illuminates the subject, adding to the feeling of being in an operating room of a teaching hospital. 
 
“Hands-on opportunities like these are unheard of at the undergraduate level,” he explained. “When our students go to medical school and tell their professors they’ve already performed cadaver dissection, they are looked upon favorably. They are chosen to be lab leaders over students from nationally prominent institutions."
 
In a chemistry lab in Wilker Hall, a team of students work on experiments utilizing the new fume hoods. The fume hoods, along with a series of flexible exhaust tubes called snorkels and an impressive building-wide ventilation system that continuously circulates fresh air, are some of the safety measures that drastically reduce student exposure to hazardous and noxious fumes, vapors and gasses.

In Ward Hall geology students utilize new labs and a map room. Devonian fossils, part of an extraordinary collection of materials dating from that time period, have brought BW attention from scientists throughout the world.

“Thanks to the commitment of Art and Helen Telfer, James '59 and Sally Thomas, and other benefactors of Transforming Lives:  The Campaign for Baldwin Wallace University, we have facilities that are state-of-the-art," noted Durst. "But what sets us apart is what our students are doing inside and the way they bridge classroom studies with practical application."

Read more about the Thomas Family Center for Science and Innovation

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