Science Center

at Saint Francis University

  • Science Center Mosaic Optimized
  • Inside the Science Center

    Our students are encouraged to develop a healthy mind for exploration that goes far beyond the classroom. The new flagship facility which opened in  fall 2013 provides the ideal space for students in the School of Sciences to engage, gather, study, and learn. It also hosts many of the foundation courses in the School of Health Sciences. With a focus on research and experimentation, students of all major benefit from this new academic space.

  • Building Overview

    Enhanced Teaching and Lab Spaces

    This facility is a vibrant, cross-program space that moves away from the traditional lecture-hall classrooms of the past.

    • discipline-specific field work and research zones
    • high-tech classrooms with combination classroom and teaching labs
    • plenty of spaces for faculty and students to work side-by-side on projects

    Science on Display

    The center was engineered with the idea of “science on display” at its heart with lots of features that serve as hands-on practice grounds for our students while being public educational opportunities.

    • marine biology aquarium large enough to fit a diver
    • environmental engineering soil strata display
    • STEM-focused outreach area with k-12 educational activities

    Student Gathering Zones

    Some of the best learning opportunities happen when you provide spaces for students spend time with other students who have similar interests.

    • discipline-focused gathering zones in prime locations throughout the center
  • Ground Floor

    Upper Level Engineering Lab (Engineering and Environmental Engineering)

    • Space to conduct experiments on a scale that is much larger than the bench-top of a typical science lab. 
    • Open floor plan so that our students can design, build and test engineering systems comparable in scale to the systems that they will work with during their careers
    • Tools and equipment housed around the perimeter; furniture will be movable enabling the lab to be configured as a studio classroom
    • lab is to be located next to the atrium, large windows will put “Science on Display”

     Strata Display Area (Environmental Engineering)

    • "Science on Display" working model
    • Features process known as redox cycling that creates complex color layers in the soil to illustrate principles of chemistry, physics, and biology

    Physics Lab (Physics and Engineering)

    • Multi-use room capable of combining lecture and lab activities in what is called a Studio classroom
    • 2-screen system to maximize teaching flexibility
    • One screen will be a SMARTBoard (a board where instructor or students can use pens to control a computer presentation, write and make annotations to the presentation) while the other will either display the SMARTBoard information or other related information

    Programming and Network Facilities (Computer Science and Mathematics)

    • The New DiSepio Information Assurance Laboratory: This dedicated CS laboratory will have more than twice the square footage for Security and Computer Science Research than present space.
    • The "Wall of Monitors": Multiple student team stations with large screen monitors for design and programming activities.
    • Upgraded VM Enterprise Network and enhanced bandwidth: This unique space will be a playground for the CS student and provide ample opportunities for students to exercise their talents in network and security administration on the dedicated CS Network.
    • The Advanced Programming Classroom: Dual monitors and mac mini parallel client technologies will provide a unique environment for Mathematics and Computer Science students to learn and develop. CS students will manage the technology of the room as well as administer the various software environments. Applied and Actuarial Mathematics majors will be able to carry out advanced modeling and research activities.

    MECS Secure Community Room (Mathematics, Engineering, and Computer Science)

    • A dedicated student zone for MECS students to relax and learn in, share ideas, discuss research, and just hang out.
    • Students can leave their laptops, books, and belongings in a secure, locked facility

    Vivarium (Biology and Psychology)

    • Small rooms designed to house research animals including rats, fish, reptiles, and insects
    • Climate-controlled to meet diverse species needs
    • Built to meet federal research funding standards used in undergraduate research projects

    Animal Behavioral Testing Lab (Psychology)

    • Active research space designed for our psychology students
    • Includes mazes and other behavioral experiments using rats

    Field Staging Area (Biology and Environmental Engineering)

    • Located near the main entrance, this will be a hub of activity as students prep for field work trips both regional and and international
    • Sample processing area before entering lab zones
    • Houses SCUBA diving gear, soil and water sampling equipment, and ecological monitoring instrumentation 

    Multi-use classrooms (all disciplines)

    • Multi-use classroom open for all disciplines to use for classes
    • Sympodium display platform (computerized images and text) to promote interactive classroom experiences

    1st (ground) floor Science center

  • First Floor

    Environmental Research Lab (Biology and Environmental Engineering)

    • Multidisciplinary research lab which will be used by biology and environmental engineering faculty and students, with the expectation that sharing space will lead to sharing ideas
    • Studies in ecology, animal behavior, environmental degradation and remediation will be conducted here.

    Greenhouse (Biology)

    • Greenhouse for raising and holding plants to be used in teaching and research
    • Temperature, light and humidity controls, and will be used primarily

    Student/faculty Research Lab (Biology)

    • Shared research laboratory for biology students and faculty
    • Research in cell and molecular biology and plant and animal physiology.

    Tank Room (Marine Biology)

    • Large salt-water aquarium and attached maintenance room
    • Marine fish and other organisms on display for all visitors, faculty and students.
    • Maintained by students in the marine science program in the Biology Department.
    • Tank will be large enough to hold a diver for cleaning and educational programs

    Microbiology Lab (Sciences and Health Sciences)

    • Teaching laboratory for Microbiology courses and course projects
    • Serves students in various majors in both sciences and health sciences
    • Accommodate up to 20 students without compromising safety or functionality
    • Improved audio-visual design so that students can view computer or Smart board projections as well as material written on a white board by the instructor

    Genetics Lab (Sciences and Health Sciences)

    • Teaching lab for genetics and molecular/cell biology/developmental courses and projects
    • Serves students in various majors in both sciences and health sciences
    • Accommodate up to 20 students without compromising safety or functionality
    • Improved audio-visual design so that students can view computer or Smart board projections as well as material written on a white board by the instructor

    Freshman Lab (Sciences and Health Sciences)

    • Teaching lab for general biology courses and course projects
    • Serves students in various majors in both sciences and health sciences
    • Accommodate up to 24 students without compromising safety or functionality
    • Improved audio-visual design so that students can view computer or Smart board projections as well as material written on a white board by the instructor

    Aquatics Lab (Biology)

    • Combination teaching and specialized research laboratory for marine and freshwater biology
    • Facilities designed to withstand corrosion and water damage
    • Accommodate up to 16 students for lecture, teaching labs and research projects

    Ecology Lab (Biology)

    • Designed for the labs in ecology, animal behavior and other courses and serves as a general lecture room
    • Improved audio-visual design so that students can view computer or Smart board projections as well as material written on a white board by the instructor.

    Anatomy Lab (Sciences and Health Sciences)

    • Teaching lab for comparative vertebrate anatomy, human anatomy, physiology, and vertebrate physiology courses
    • Serves students in various majors in both sciences and health sciences
    • Accommodates up to 24 students without compromising safety or functionality
    • Improved audio-visual design so that students can view computer or Smart board projections as well as material written on a white board by the instructor

    Cell Culture Lab (Biology)

    • Small specialized laboratory for growing animal or plant cells in vitro
    • Cultures serve both teaching and research needs
    • Special care must be taken to keep cell cultures clean and free of contaminants, so special hoods and work spaces are included for ultra-clean air and water

    Dark Room (Biology)

    • Small laboratory to accommodate certain molecular-biology techniques that are light sensitive and require darkened conditions for correct results
    • Also used for animal behavior studies that involve studying the effects of light and where it is also important to regulate the intensity and quality (particular colors or wavelengths) of light.

    Biology Secure Community Room (Biology)

    • A dedicated student zone for Biology students to relax and learn in, share ideas, discuss research, and just hang out.
    • Students can leave their laptops, books, and belongings in a secure, locked facility.

    2nd floor science center

  • Second Floor

    General Chemistry Lab (Sciences and Health Sciences)

    • Laboratory for all freshmen chemistry courses including Chemical Principles for School of Science majors, and Human Chemistry for Allied health majors such as PA, PT, Exercise Physiology and Nursing.

    Studio Classroom (Chemistry)

    • Special classroom designed so that instructors can freely switch from a lecture format to a more interactive discovery teaching style
    • When a topic is introduced that would benefit from a laboratory activity, the students and instructor do not have to wait for a specialized lab time to explore

    Organic Chemistry Lab (Chemistry)

    • Laboratory focused primarily on the sophomore year organic chemistry experience
    • Chemical hoods provide a safe working environment for the students and faculty.
    • Number of hoods will allow room to be used for other special synthetic chemistry courses.

    Science Outreach Room (Science Outreach)

    • Room that focuses on the School of Sciences contributions to the community through the Science Outreach Center and the Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids (ROCK) program
    • Space to host K-12 teachers and students for workshops and hands-on science activities
    • “Science on Display” space

    Cold Room (Biology and Chemistry)

    • In Biochemical studies, many proteins must be kept at cool temperatures in order to prevent decay (denaturation)
    • Refrigerated room allows students and faculty will better be able to study biomolecules key to understanding human health and well-being.

    NMR Room (Chemistry)

    • Houses a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) instrument, one of the most useful tools for chemists to determine the structure of a molecule
    • An NMR is a very safe instrument more commonly known as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) used for diagnostic purposes in the medical profession.
    • Special facility protects the expensive instrument from chemical fumes and routine traffic.

    Upper Level Lab (Chemistry)

    • Multiple use laboratory for specialized upper level chemistry courses that can include Inorganic, Physical, and Environmental Chemistry
    • Equipped with hoods to keep the students and faculty safe as well as a variety of instruments for use during lab.

    Instrument Room (Chemistry and Environmental Engineering)

    • Houses most of the Chemistry Department’s analytical instruments including a GC/MS, (Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectroscopy) several HPLC’s (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography) and GC’s (Gas Chromatographs)
    • Environmental Engineering Department’s ICP housed here
    • Provides a space to consolidate the large volume of departmental equipment, which will facilitate the teaching of Quantitative Analysis, Instrumental Analysis and instrument use for research laboratories

    Biochemistry/ Forensic Lab (Biology and Chemistry)

    • Specialized area for Chemistry/Biochemistry and Chemistry/Forensics
    • Dedicated space for construction and use of long term projects such as “crime scenes”

    Student/Faculty Research Lab AND Biochemistry Research Lab (Chemistry)

    • Dedicated space for students and faculty engaged in undergraduate research
    • In addition to the biochemistry research lab, there is a lab dedicated for synthetic research (organic and inorganic), for analytical, and for physical chemistry research.

    Fluorometer Room (Chemistry)

    • Small room attached to one of the Student/Faculty research Labs specifically designed to keep the fluorometer in a darkened area as the detection of scattered light is critical to its use
    • Recently upgraded fluorometer allows for study of small and large molecules such as proteins

    Chemistry Secure Community Room (Chemistry)

    • A dedicated student zone for Chemistry students to relax and learn in, share ideas, discuss research, and just hang out.
    • Students can leave their laptops, books, and belongings in a secure, locked facility

    3rd floor science center

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