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Jan. 13, 2023

STEM building's hybrid space is creating hands-on discoveries

In a new-tech classroom on the second floor of Michigan State University’s innovative STEM Teaching and Learning Facility, engineering students are modifying and testing materials by heat treating, stretching and breaking samples. Students investigate the internal structure — the so-called microstructure — of materials that power the engines of industry.

Students conducting lab tests in the STEM facility
The ChEMS space in the STEM Building fuses segmented disciplines with current industry trends

From early Monday to mid-day Friday each week, up to 20 students, primarily from materials science and other engineering disciplines, gather in the new lab to test metals, polymers and ceramics.

They are taught in a dual-purpose room (lab and classes) that is furnished with equipment previously dispersed among various engineering teaching laboratories. The Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science designed the space as a single location to fuse segmented disciplines in line with current industry trends and expanding student opportunities.

“There is great synergy between the two degree programs — materials science and chemical engineering,” says Christina Chan, Ph.D., university distinguished professor and interim department chair. “The STEM building encourages the collaboration of the two disciplines.”

The STEM building’s opening in 2021 represented an innovative use of sustainable materials, natural light, and the core of MSU's former Shaw Lane Power Plant. The 150,000-square-foot building’s tall glass windows open the space to panoramic outdoor views.

To read the full story, visit the College of Engineering website.

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