Since 1992, Project Kaleidoscope has given significant attention to shaping spaces that facilitate, nurture and strengthen student learning in STEM fields. PKAL's focus on structures for science reflects the conviction that there is an integral relationship between the quality of the spaces in which students learn and the quality of the program. Since 1992, over four hundred colleges and universities have participated in one or more of the over twenty PKAL workshops on facilities planning.
Resources on Facilities: Buildings for the Future of Science Education
What Difference Do Improved Facilities Make?
In February of 2002, the PKAL community was asked the question, "what role do new or renovated facilities play in attracting strong students and in sustaining their interest in STEM fields?
On Permeability- The Biology of Architecture
An essay addressing the question, "What will the spaces and structures for undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) look like in ten years, and what are your reasons for making such predictions?"
Characteristics of the Ideal Spaces for Science
At the 2003 PKAL Roundtable on the Future, participating architects, design professionals, and academic leaders were asked what the ideal science facility would look like in 2012.
21st Century Science & the Facilities of the Future
The profound transformation of science during the past decade has compelled major changes in undergraduate science education and the facilities that house such program. This essay from the 2003 PKAL Roundtable on the Future examines how the changing nature of science impacts the design of science facilities.
Resources on Facilities: The Process
Investing in Facilities: The People and the Process
How people are drawn into and engaged with the process of planning new facilities for science has a direct relationship with the quality and character of the spaces that emerge from that effort.
Building Community: Asking the Right Questions
Questions about amount of square foot needed per faculty member, about how to devise adequate HVAC systems may be easier to answer than some more basic questions, but if you ask the right questions from the start, you will save both time and money in the longrun.
Top 10 Characteristics of Community: Linking Science Facilities to the Campus
Buildings facilitate connections between students and teachers at all educational levels, as well as with politicians, industry and community leaders and philanthropists. The importance of designing a facility that builds and sustains a learning community that encompasses the entire cmapus broadens the base and the support of the community that understands, teaches and learns about and supports science.
Advice and Counsel at an Early Stage of Facilities Planning- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
On this campus, the Keck/PKAL consultants recognized that the community had moved too quickly to consider new facilities. They recommended a significant ‘step-back’ from thinking about spaces and suggested that a first step in the process of successful facilities planning was to have a broad consensus on goals.
The Basics of Facility Construction
- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
This small college on the west coast wishes to construct a new science facility. The consultants concluded that the college should develop comprehensive plans, establish working relationships within the campus and between the campus and the surrounding community, design the facility to accommodate trends in science education and adequately prepare to finance this large-scale project.
Start with a Focus on Student Learning
- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
On this campus, the Keck/PKAL consultans recognized that the community had moved too quickly to consider new facilities. They recommended a significant ‘step-back’ from thinking about spaces and suggested that a first step in the process of successful facilities planning was to have a broad consensus on goals.
Not Ready for Construction? Take These Steps First- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
There are many ways to improve an undergraduate science program. Upgrading scientific equipment, changing pedagogy, engaging in faculty development, providing summer research opportunities and renovating or enlarging facilities all play an important role in program development. The consultants that visited this midwestern college agreed that the college will need to renovate and add to its existing science facility to establish a top-notch program. But they emphasized that a full-fledged building program is not the immediate next step for this department; the institution must take several preliminary steps before moving to facility construction.
Ready for Facility Construction? Develop an Institutional Vision- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
This private, liberal arts college located in the northeast revised their science curriculum with success. Now, they wish to construct state-of-the-art facilities to complement their curricular revisions. They realized the construction process begins with coordinated planning efforts and faculty collaboration.
Questions and Answers from the PKAL Ursinus College Facilities Workshop
These burning questions were submitted by participants prior to their participation in the PKAL Ursinus Facilities workshop.
Questions and Answers from the PKAL Drury University Facilities Workshop
These burning questions were submitted by participants prior to their participation in the PKAL Drury University Facilities workshop.
Cost Planning: A Powerpoint Presentation.
The cost management cycle includes planning and preliminary budgeting, pre-design and programming, design and construction, and post construction activities. Larry Gleason of CPMI advocates balancing all interests including, budget advocates, program advocates, and design advocates. Key issues in the cost cycle that need to be addressed are: the need for reliable data, the need for standardized estimates, calculating hard and soft costs, and monitoring and controlling budgets. Successful facility construction involves establishing clear responsibilities among the owner, users, and designers and using quality control of contract documents during construction.
Resources on Facilities: Renovations & Additions
Chrysalis: Transforming the Laboratory Environment
An institution endeavors to transform their outdated laboratory rooms into a place more suited to an inquiry-based philosophy with little resources.
Renovation of Psychology Department Research Facilities
Vassar College invests in improvements of its psychology department's research facilities to provide a modern, safe and appropriate space for implementing its research-based curriculum in the neural and behavioral sciences.
Scaling the "Wall of Science:" The New Science Center at Oberlin College
Strong facilities have been always been the key to Oberlin's premier position in the field of science. When it was completed in 1961, Kettering Hall was a state-of-the art facility. Since then, much in science education has changed. Although Kettering was modified to accommodate these developments, eventually it became too outdated to permit the best possible science education.
Planning an Addition to an Existing Facility- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
This private university in the south is ready to begin the planning process for renovating and constructing an addition to the existing bioscience facility. Several planning stages must be passed through before construction can begin, but the consultant team agreed the university is ready to begin the process.
Preliminary Steps for Facility Renovation- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
This small, midwestern liberal arts college wishes to renovate their current science facility, but they need assistance in planning for new spaces. The college wishes to renovate the science hall that houses the biology, chemistry, math, computer science and physics departments.
Embracing Contradictions: A Powerpoint Presentation
On many campuses mistakes of the past appear insurmountable. Kent Duffy of SRG Partnership examines the story of one university where the main library was located at the symbolic heart of the campus, but it was unappealing to students and it had no campus presence as a result. When analyzing such situations, it must be remembered that all is not lost. Steps can be taken to renovate such facilities. Several examples of state-of-the-art facilities rejuvenating entire campuses are presented here.
Resources on Facilities: New Construction
Constructing New Facilities: One Step at a Time- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
The president of this small, private, mid-Atlantic college requested the consulting team come to campus to help a standing committee determine whether the current science building could be renovated or a new facility is needed. The team determined a phased project–one in which additions to the existing structure are completed as funding is made available–suited the needs of the college. They also made design recommendations for the future facility.
The Natural and Physical Sciences Building at Lawrence University
Lawrence University recognized the need for 21st century science teaching and research spaces and pursued a planning phase over a period of eight years in which several possible proposals were considered and rejected by members of the departments. During this time the project evolved from a small-scale addition to major renovation and construction, and each step showed marked improvement in the proposed working and teaching environment.
Creating a Sense of Community - Spaces Matter: The Grinnell College Story
At Grinnell College, nearly all students take a science course and 75% of students take calculus. Therefore, their new science facility will be a major focal point on campus for years to come. Pictures of the previous facility illustrate the need for a new facility. We see run-down laboratory spaces, crowded, dark classrooms, and unpleasant study areas. Before construction began, pedagogical and curricular reforms set the stage for their state-of-the-art facility. In conclusion, the presenters show us the newly constructed science facility. We see a building with maximum exposure to the outdoors. We see study areas, laboratories, restaurant/banquet areas, and classrooms that are open, inviting, and technologically advanced.
Resources on Facilities: Laboratories
What is the Lab of the Future?
At the 2003 PKAL Roundtable on the Future, participating architects, design professionals, and academic leaders were asked what the lab of the future will look like in 2012.
Building Programs and Spaces at Hendrix College: ATEC, an Integrated Junior Level Laboratory
Anyone familiar with the process of facilities design understands the question, "What to put where?" What they may not be realizing is that curriculum and facilities are inherently tied. And so, perhaps the more appropriate question for undergraduate science facilities is "What should students learn where?"
Resources on Facilities: Incorporating Technologies into the Learning Environment
The Facility of the Future: Information Technology
Where will science be in the future? The speed of scientific discovery is constantly accelerating and science education must keep up. In order for departments to be competitive they must intertwine technology with pedagogy.
A Technology-Enabled Learning Environment
A two-year institution makes use of technology as a learning multiplier through a fusion of new pedagogies, new facilities, and new teaching and learning technologies.
How to Embrace Technology- A Report from the PKAL-Keck Consultation Program
At this private, four-year institution in the midwest, it was determined that investing in technology was needed for success. Investment in technology is required to sustain science departments in today's ever-changing world. This institution needed to embrace the technological revolution in order to remain relevant and exciting to students. Implementation of the following recommendations will enable them to join the ranks of institutions with outstanding natural science departments.
Resources on FacilitiesProject Kaleidoscope Facilities Index: Facilities listed by Design Professional Project Kaleidoscope Facilities Index: Facilities listed by Discipline or Feature Project Kaleidoscope Facilities Index: Facilities listed by State PKAL Volume III: Structures for Science: A Handbook for Planning Facilities for Undergraduate Natural Science Communities.
Washington, DC: Project Kaleidoscope. 1995.
Then, Now and in the Next Decade - A Commentary on Strengthening Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education
Frank Rothman, Brown University & Jeanne L. Narum. Washington, DC: Project Kaleidoscope. 1999.
What Difference Do Improved Facilities Make? A Report from the Project Kaleidoscope Committee of Visitors.
Washington, DC: Project Kaleidoscope. 1998
Steps Toward Reform (Report on Project Kaleidoscope 1997-1998).
Washington, DC: Project Kaleidoscope. 1998