University of Georgia

UGA Science Learning Center opens for student instruction

A photograph of the science learning center's exterior

The University of Georgia’s Science Learning Center is now open for student instruction.

The three-story, 122,500-square-foot building was tailor-made for teaching undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the goal of increasing the number of students who pursue careers in the STEM fields.

A dedication ceremony will be held Aug. 17 at 10 a.m. The event will include state officials, university administrators and others. The ceremony will include remarks from University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby; UGA President Jere W. Morehead; Gregory Robinson, UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor in Chemistry; and Hayley Schroeder, an undergraduate student majoring in ecology and entomology.

Supported by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and funded by Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly, the center cost $48 million and includes 33 instructional labs designed specifically for interactive learning in core undergraduate science courses, two 280-seat lecture halls, two 72-seat SCALE-UP classrooms as well as spaces for informal student collaboration. The space is designed to foster communication between instructors and students as well as between students and their peers.

The goal is for the building’s features-paired with effective instruction from UGA faculty-to enhance a strong foundation in the sciences. With updated instructional spaces able to facilitate the most effective STEM teaching methods, the SLC is geared toward retaining and recruiting more STEM majors. In 2015, nearly 21 percent of degrees awarded to undergraduates at UGA were in the STEM fields-an increase from 15.1 percent a decade earlier.

• The labs-20 chemistry, 10 biology, two ecology and one physics-are designed to promote face-to-face interaction between students as they engage in hands-on learning.

• SCALE-UP classrooms, which stands for Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs, promote collaboration between students to discover solutions to problems in a team format.

• Tiered lecture halls have flexible seating with chairs that can be turned to promote active learning.

Located on the southwest corner of the D.W. Brooks Mall adjacent to Pharmacy South and across from the Miller Plant Sciences Building, the Science Learning Center houses numerous study areas for group projects and individual learning, as well as a café.

In addition to the classroom space, the SLC will feature informal meeting rooms and study spaces that support learning and collaboration for all levels of students. Rooms for formal instruction will be used primarily for introductory courses in chemistry, physics, biological sciences and ecology.

Parking for the ceremony will be available in the South Campus parking deck as well as the Carlton Street parking deck.