STEM Center Officially Opens Its Doors!

stem center ribbon cuttingOn Monday, November 18, 2019, over 200 people gathered for the inaugural ribbon cutting to celebrate the  opening of the Science, Technology, and Health STEM Center at Skyline College. Attendees included Skyline College leadership, faculty, classified staff and students, members of the SMCCCD Board of Trustees and the community!

Launching with seed funding through the College’s STEM Pathways Grant, the STEM Center works to engender a vibrant community of students, faculty and staff all supporting each other to foster student success within Science, Technology, Health, Engineering, and Math courses. The STEM Center, located on the third floor of Building 7, is the newest addition to the STEM Collaboration Space which encompasses the Fabrication Lab, Anatomy Lab, Simulation Lab, Biotechnology Lab, MESA Center, Math Quad, study spaces, meeting rooms and much more!

Vice President of Instruction, Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, kicked off the event by speaking to the ambition the Skyline College community has for fostering student success in science, technology, and health. SMT Dean Ray Hernandez, Engineering and Computer Science Professor Nick Langhoff and Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning, Maintenance & Operations Jose Nuñez all echoed similar sentiments and the positive impact the STEM Center will have on the Skyline College community.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests remained in the STEM Center for an open house tour of the space. The three large touch-screen TV’s in the space flexed their potential by switching back and forth between their two key functionalities. The first functionality is connecting to computers through screen-sharing (either via WiFi or cable connection). Picture slideshows were in display advertising all of the lab spaces available in Building 7. Second, converting to digital whiteboards allowing guests to write and draw welcoming messages and fun exercise problems.

Many students in various clubs took this opportunity to showcase some of their current research projects/interests. The Astronomy Club, Engineering & Robotics Club, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), and WISER! (Women In Science and Engineering Represent!) were all in attendance. On display were a series of telescopes, engineering simulation models, biotechnology lab equipment, a distillation lab demonstration (synthesizing crude oil), computer graphics models, student research posters, math games/puzzles, and a solar boat built by students! View photos taken from the Ribbon Cutting online!

The STEM Center will serve the students by providing a space to collaborate, learn, and connect. With the additional space and immediate vicinity to faculty offices, students gain the opportunity to work closely with their faculty and mentors. The STEM Center also looks to rethink how office hours are conducted by hosting them so that faculty meets the students where they are at, literally.

From inception to design to construction, development of the STEM Center at Skyline College was realized through the dedication and hard work of a diverse set of teams and individuals throughout the College, district and design construction partners. The STEM Center team would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who contributed!

The STEM Center will be open and available to students Monday through Thursday at 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Friday at 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For further information about the STEM Center, contact Bryan Swartout at (650) 738–7939 or swartoutb@smccd.edu.

Article by Nicholas Langhoff, Jenny Le and Bryan Swartout | Photo by Marie Kyla Perez

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