PKAL Volume IV: What Works, What Matters, What Lasts

Interviews & Stories: STEM Facilities Planning

Planning new or renovated spaces for science is, for most undergraduate communities, a once-in-a-life-time experience. Many of the campuses involved with Project Kaleidoscope suggest that this is a defining moment in the life of their institution. This is not just because problems of inadequate space have been resolved, but because the process became a communal effort— that building community and a building for the community was the intent of both the process and the product.

In recent years, exemplary facilities for undergraduate STEM have been planned and constructed on campuses across the country. Each of these projects pursued a common set of questions about the relationship of space to program, of science learning to institutional mission, of student learning to faculty/student research. Learning how other campuses have addressed questions about purpose and design in ways fitting for their mission and circumstances provides invaluable insights about lessons learned and what works. We hope these interviews and stories provide both nuts and bolts advice and the inspiration to move ahead confidently in your planning for new spaces for science.