Our New Classroom - Holt 291 Gets a Facelift

This spring the Department of Science Education fulfilled a long-term goal of creating a model classroom space for science education.

Since the formation of the Department of Science Education in 2008, classes were taught in standard science lab rooms that remain unchanged since 1974 when Holt Hall first opened. Our world has changed dramatically in those 40 years – advances in technology, scientific understanding, and pedagogical practices have completely transformed universities yet the classrooms we taught in did not reflect the 21st Century. 

The latest education research has demonstrated that students learn best when they take charge of their own learning and work actively to construct scientific ideas rather than simply listening to an instructor’s lecture. For the Department of Science Education to provide “the North State with the highest quality science education for all learners,” as stated in our mission, we needed a classroom to serve as a model science learning space for the rest of the College and University. 

Science Education was lucky enough to be granted the use of Holt 291. The space was once a biology computer lab that then transitioned into half storage space and half math tutor lab. The primary advantage was that it offered an open floor plan and we quickly began transforming it into a flexible use, active-learning space for our core Liberal Studies science classes. Through a combination of departmental funds and startup funds contributed by Dr. Irene Salter, we furnished the room as a flexible project workspace with light-weight movable tables and chairs so that students can easily shift between different configurations (individual tables for small group work, clustered tables for large group work or lab stations, a circle of tables for group discussions, and rows of front facing seats where necessary). The room includes two large sinks, lab counters with storage, beautiful windows, and an instructor’s workstation with a projector and video player.  

Students and instructors came back from spring break 2012 to a beautiful surprise and we’ve been thrilled ever since. Come visit us in our new space!

before remodeled
A standard Holt science classroom Holt 291 after the remodel