University of Michigan-Dearborn’s $51 million renovation of its Natural Sciences Building will open today. Four disciplines are represented in the building: biology, chemistry, geology, and environmental biology.
The renovation, which was supported by $30 million in funding from the state, features updated technology for teaching and research, nearly 40 laboratories equipped for hands-on instruction, recitation rooms for interactive learning, and student common areas.
“(The building) is student-centered; it encourages student-to-student collaboration; and it encourages hands-on, engaged learning,” says Daniel Little, chancellor of U-M Dearborn. “This approach will help our students gain the creativity and imagination that good work in the natural sciences requires.”
He says U-M Dearborn announced renovations of its former Science Building in 2012 in response to growing student and industry demand.
The school’s Natural Sciences programs had seen a 21 percent increase in course enrollment, and STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM jobs from 2000-2010, and growth is expected to increase another 17 percent by 2018, says a study from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Founded in 1959 with just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from Ford Motor Co., U-M Dearborn has 9,100 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, health, and education.