A New Home for Science
Photos by Bob Handelman, Bill Denison and Dave Tewksbury
"This is a time of enormous change in the teaching of science. Our understanding of the world has been transformed by significant new discoveries and approaches that did not exist even two or three decades ago. At the same time, there have been conceptual changes in the approaches to science instruction, namely an increased emphasis on the research experience. In most science courses at Hamilton, there is no longer a clear distinction between laboratory and lecture; students engage in laboratory work at the same time they discuss the theoretical significance of the material, encouraging them to become the researchers and ask meaningful questions.
"Another dimension of change in the science classroom has come with technological advancements, many of which involve computers. Students can see molecular structures of chemicals and then rotate the images to understand their structural features, run simulation programs that show natural processes in action, and perform DNA analysis of the kind that is used by forensic experts.
"The Science Center was designed to accommodate these changes by providing flexible space that supports the creativity of professors who are constantly learning how to improve their effectiveness in the classroom. The most exciting difference between the new facilities and the old ones is that this building allows us to see the creative work in science education and research that our faculty and students are accomplishing. That visibility makes it an exciting place to teach and learn, and has raised the quality of experience enormously for all of us.
"Although it is hard to imagine what science education will be like in a couple of decades, and impossible to predict what path rapid technological advancements will take, Hamilton's new Science Center will enable smooth transitions for many, many years to come."
-- Doug Weldon, the Stone Professor of Psychology and science curriculum and facilities coordinator
More about the Science Center
Inside and Out
From the 622 tons of Pennsylvania sandstone chosen to complement the original Science Building, to suspended "atriette" stairways that provide vertical connections between disciplines, read about the Science Center's interior and exterior design features -- many of which are environmentally friendly.