March 21, 2003

The new PKAL publication (Volume IV) on what matters, what works and what lasts will include stories and analyses of facilities and spaces that serve to strengthen student learning in STEM fields over the long term; there will also be essays and checklists on how to arrive at such spaces.

The publication will include materials that emerge from the invitational March Roundtable on Facilities of the Future, to be held at Cranbrook in Michigan. Roundtable participants are considering the facility of the future from four perspectives: community; technology; science; and systems and sustainability. Their preliminary papers will be posted, and we invite the larger PKAL community to review and comment. The Roundtable "community" paper can be found here.

PKAL's vision of what works from the perspective of facilities is that they:

  • support learning that is experiential and steeped-in investigation for students from the very first day through their time as graduating majors
  • reflect the educational goals of the STEM faculty, as well as the institutional identity and mission
  • acknowledge the role of serendipity in the quality of learning and research within scientific communities
  • recognize that the practice of science is increasingly collaborative
  • accommodate new directions in science and technology that are changing dramatically both the practice and learning of science
  • are themselves laboratories for learning, venues for exploring, discovering and satisfying one's curiousity
  • are welcoming and hospitable environments for the learning and practice of science, inviting to the broader community within the campus
  • connect to the broader community beyond the campus.

Workshop Deadline Notice:
Planning Facilities for Science

How to arrive at such spaces is the gist of sessions at the PKAL facilities workshop at Drury University in April. The Early Bird Registration Deadline is February 15, 2003. Applications received after that date will be accepted on a space-available basis. For more information on the an updated agenda, click here.


Two recent meetings have occured in Washington, DC that are of particular interest to the PKAL community.

Education for a Secure and Sustainable Future
3rd National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment

Mathematics and Science Initiative
U.S. Department of Education