in square footage]
space has been greatly expanded. The center includes a research
laboratory for every faculty member, and all labs are appropriately
configured for joint research with students. The center accommodates
45 student researchers in biology. Research laboratories were
designed to support the various specialized fields that have
developed within the discipline of biology.
center contains a cell-culture room that allows more effective
instruction of cell and molecular biology techniques. The
facility also provides the flexibility needed to accommodate
future developments in the field. This kind of adaptability
is crucial to first-rate biology education.
laboratories are configured for modern instruction. Sized
for sections of 12 to 16 students, they are large enough to
accommodate the equipment necessary in specialized labs. Modern
biology relies on expensive instrumentation, much of which
is difficult to move, and the appropriate placement of instrumentation
in labs makes students' work more efficient. The labs allow
small-group investigative work and interactive learning to
be more fully incorporated into the curriculum.
addition of a seminar room has enhanced the effectiveness
of tutorial sessions, which were previously held in labs.
Discussions held in comfortable, appropriate surroundings
are sure to be more productive.
courtyard and garden occupying the center of the biology area
bring natural light into the building. The garden features
a collection of shade-tolerant native plants that are used
as examples in teaching.
greenhouse on the third floor/roof of the biology area features
state-of-the-art environmental control. In addition, growing
space is been zoned for different kinds of flora, allowing
the biology department to keep a much more diverse collection
of plants than was previously possible. The glazing used in
construction is more weatherproof and energy efficient than
the glazing on the old greenhouse.
in square footage]
handling in the organic/inorganic chemistry laboratory was
an especially important consideration in the design of the
building, and the lab features fume exhaust hoods for every
student. There are also adequate numbers of hoods in the laboratories
of faculty members whose research requires them, making it
easier to work with student researchers. The air-handling
system replaces room air every six minutes, which has significant
implications for heating and cooling throughout the building.
To increase energy-use efficiency, the center was built with
state-of-the-art window treatments, and the variable air-volume
hoods adjust the level of air flow as hood doors are closed.
and laboratories were designed to be very flexible, blurring
the distinction between lectures and lab sessions. Classrooms
have computer connections, permitting the easy integration
of interactive computer exercises within a lecture. In designing
teaching laboratories, sight lines and traffic patterns were
carefully considered. Students can see the instructor and
the blackboard from every seat in the room, and because benches
are low, with aisles in between, instructors are able to reach
students in difficulty very quickly.
general chemistry laboratory, which can be partitioned into
two smaller labs, gives the department increased scheduling
main instrument room contains equipment valued at about $1.5
million, including a state-of-the-art, 600-MHz NMR spectrometer,
a 200-MHz NMR instrument, and an X-ray diffraction facility.
new facility includes a laboratory specifically designed for
biochemistry, something the old facilities lacked.
research lab for lasers was establishedanother area
lacking in prior configurations.
centralized instrument room helps student and faculty researchers
work more efficiently and brings people together, enhancing
the "culture of science" in the department.
computer classroom on the second floor greatly enhances the
teaching of the Chemical Information course. Students are
now required to use scientific literature in nearly every
level of inquiry, and teaching students to retrieve and understand
resources is recommended by the American Chemical Society.
The computer classroom makes it easier to teach students how
to use remote bibliographic databases and other electronic
in square footage]
the availability of the new classrooms in the center, neuroscience
lectures are being held in the same building as laboratory
sessions for the first time. The program also gained a seminar
room, a departmental office, a stockroom, several research
laboratories, laboratory preparatory rooms, and faculty offices.
These new features have increased efficiency in everything
from ordering supplies to mentoring students.
space for students has been expanded. In its new quarters,
the neuroscience program can accommodate 15 student researchers.
number of instructional laboratories has doubled.
renovation of the Sperry wing provided rooms that facilitate
greater student involvement in research and training in the
technical procedures used in neuroscience. An electrophysiology
suite on the first floor provides the physical stability needed
by researchers who measure the electrical activity of single
cells. A behavioral testing room, a cell-culture room, and
a microscope/drawing room on the second floor makes researchers'
work more efficient and pleasant.
in square footage]
basement of the Wright Laboratory of Physics was renovated
in 1994. The renovation of the upper floors as part of the
science center construction brings the entire building to
a single standard of excellence.
part of the renovation, the lecture hall on the second floor
of the Wright was equipped with modern audiovisual equipment
and capabilities, allowing projection of laser discs, material
from the Internet, and other computer-driven projections.
department regularly uses the Norman C. Craig Lecture Hall
on the second floor of the new center. The most technologically
sophisticated of the three lecture halls in the center, this
hall has multiple-projector capabilities, a 20-foot-wide screen,
and data ports at every seat. Video and computer connections
to the observatory in Peters Hall allow for live display of
telescope images, greatly enhancing Oberlin's teaching of
seminar room was added for small classes and discussion groups.
reading room/lounge provides a place where physics students
can work and relax together. The American Institute of Physics
noted that it is important to reduce isolation and build peer
support among students "by providing majors with a sense
of ownership' in the department. No matter how pressed
you are for space, provide a lounge or office that physics
majors may call their own. They will work together and learn
from one another while building an esprit de corps there."
instructional laboratories were outfitted with movable furniture
that can be rearranged to provide appropriate layouts for
traditional laboratories, integrated lecture/laboratories,
and general-audience courses that combine lectures with intensive
components of demonstrations and hands-on projects.
faculty research laboratories were added.
physics department was physically joined to the other sciences.
The connection engenders the kind of collaboration and interdisciplinary
outlook inherent in the practice of modern science.
renovated facilities are visually attractive. This gives current
students and faculty members pride in their surroundings and
is important in attracting prospective students and faculty
Library and Commons [changes
in square footage]
location of the library is ideal, central to all the laboratory
new library, which is more than two times larger than the
old library in Kettering Hall, contains areas where students
can work alone or in groups, including a computer classroom
and two group-study rooms, as well as carrels where two to
four students can work together. Tables in the reading room
are also available for group work.
addition of a reference desk and a computer classroom (which
is fitted with a ceiling-mounted projection unit) enhance
the staff's efforts to educate students on how to access and
use scientific resources. This is required from the freshman
year on, as research is incorporated into the curriculum at
study carrels around the perimeter of the library have live
data connections (as do the single-user carrels in the center
of the library), allowing students to connect their own laptop
computers and have access to the Internet.
for the collection was greatly expanded; thus more of the
collection is readily available to faculty and student researchers.
Compact movable shelving, which nearly triples storage capacity
over regular shelving, combined with the acquisition of more
journals in electronic form, should allow for 17 years of
growth in the journal collection and will make the current
collection readily available. Storage capacity for books was
comfortable, glassed reading room looking out on the greenery
of North Bowl, enticing even non-scientists to use the science
library. A major hurdle in imparting science literacy to all
students is getting non-science students to overcome their
fear of science. Inviting facilities can only help in that
commons, a 4000-square-foot area directly opposite the library,
is a place where students meet to work on group projects,
eat lunch, and hold meetings. Students and faculty members
come here to relax and to get to know one another across disciplines.
Similar to an atrium, completely glassed and two stories in
height, the commons looks out onto a patio. The commons is
an ideal space for poster displays of students' research projects.