STEM Building Becoming New Gem on Campus

STEM Building Becoming New Gem on Campus

The new STEM building sits at the southeast end of UCO. (Cara Johnson/ The Vista). 

The University of Central Oklahoma is in the early stages of construction for the Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching and Research Center, a new building for the College of Mathematics and Science that is scheduled to be completed sometime in the Fall of 2018.

The theme of the new building is interdisciplinary research. Dr. Wei Chen, the Dean of the College of Mathematics and Science, said that the new building will promote collaboration across all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines by placing faculty and students in different fields together in connected teaching and research labs.

Dr. Chen said that today in research, its normal for researchers in all STEM fields to work together and the new Interdisciplinary STEM building will be a great way to foster such collaborations. Currently, students in math and science majors are spread across several buildings on campus, limiting any possible collaboration that could occur.

“Students will be able to work in research labs with their professors who are also collaborating with others across different areas of study” said Dr. Chen.

The new building will have two floors and will be used for new classrooms and offices as well as new teaching and research labs. While the new building will be adding these new rooms, it’s not viewed as only an expansion project, but also a means to promote the collaboration between disciplines in an interactive space.

The new 57,000 square ft. building cost $24 million to complete but was funded by a bond issued through facility fees paid by students and it did not have any impact on the budget for the math and science department.

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