CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded a $700,000 grant to create state-of-the-art learning environments for students in the new Linus Pauling Science Center at Oregon State University.
The grant will enable teachers to use technology to pioneer methods for bringing live laboratory experiments to classroom auditoriums. It also will make hands-on, lab-based learning available to students in OSU’s distance learning programs.
The new facility will contain classroom and laboratory space for undergraduates, graduate students and researchers studying chemistry, biochemistry and the life sciences. Approximately 10,000 OSU students, more than half the student body, take chemistry courses each year.
“The Linus Pauling Science Center will provide opportunities for many of Oregon’s future doctors, pharmacists, environmental and food scientists and science teachers to gain fundamental knowledge and skills,” said Doug Stamm, CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust. “With distance learning capabilities, it has potential to benefit people across Oregon. We are pleased to be a partner in this critical educational venture.”
The grant will enhance teaching laboratories planned for the science center, slated for groundbreaking in fall 2008. One chemistry lab and one introductory biology lab will be structured for a unique purpose – to model distance delivery of laboratory education, permitting off-campus students to observe and even participate in lab exercises. While lectures are regularly broadcast from classrooms to students around the state and beyond, extending laboratory sessions to off-campus students has not been possible.
Funds from the Meyer Memorial Trust also are expected to outfit a 200-seat teaching auditorium with advanced presentation technology. Electronic infrastructure will connect the auditorium to some of the center’s teaching and research labs, which will allow students in the auditorium to observe live lab experiments.
“Because so much of science is about observation and measurement, the hands-on component is the most important part of this kind of learning,” said Sherm Bloomer, dean of the College of Science. “Modern technology can make the learning environment much more dynamic. You can visualize molecules in three dimensions, for example, or call up information immediately. We wouldn’t be able to provide these educational tools without the Meyer Memorial Trust’s support.”
It is hoped that the Linus Pauling Science Center labs will become models that show other departments across campus – and beyond – how to enhance teaching with new technology, Bloomer added.
The Meyer Memorial Trust was created by the late Fred G. Meyer, who built the chain of retail stores bearing his name throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Meyer Trust is not connected in any way with Fred Meyer, Inc., the retail enterprise.
Named for a 1922 OSU graduate and the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes, the Linus Pauling Science Center also will house the Linus Pauling Institute, nationally renowned for research aimed at promoting health through diet.
The center is a major initiative in The Campaign for OSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Guided by OSU’s strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen Oregon and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $363 million has been committed to date, including more than $58 million toward a $100 million goal for scholarship and fellowship support for students.