COSAM News Articles 2019 October Alumni Learn How New Leach Science Center Elevates the Student Experience

Alumni Learn How New Leach Science Center Elevates the Student Experience

Published: 10/29/2019

By: Maria Gebhardt

After this year’s Fall Leadership Council meeting of the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) Dean Nicholas J. Giordano and Dr. Edward Thomas, Jr.  gave an inside tour of the new Leach Science Center.

Members from the Leadership Council learned about this new 62,500 square-foot addition that is a core center for research on campus.

“The Leach Science Center was designed to elevate the student experience and unite the entire Department of Physics,” Dean Giordano explained.

The facility was built to have solid, consistent Wi-Fi in all areas.

“I am really impressed with this entire facility,” explained Dr. Richard Champion, a 1965 COSAM alumnus.

Throughout the new Leach Science Center, areas for students to meet with faculty, collaborate with peers, or study are filled with natural light to help enhance student learning.

They can also conveniently charge their devices before or after classes.  The facility was smartly designed with power outlets built-in below the seating areas.

In the laboratory rooms, power is smartly routed down from the ceiling instead of from wall plugs, so students can observe a demonstration and then easily reconfigure the room for optimal lab work.

“I taught labs to students when I was earning my degree in physics and worked as a teaching assistant,” shared Mike Bangham, a 1978 COSAM alumnus. “These new labs will offer students an in-depth experience to learn about physics and gain hands-on experience in a collaborative environment.”

The storage spaces in the labs have white board fronts to offer students and faculty more space to work on projects together.

On the third floor, a large lecture room is also a high-tech control center for the rooftop astronomy terrace. Students can easily sit in the classroom and from each computer adjust a corresponding telescope station located on the roof. Students can record data from the telescope for review at a later date.

Students are greeted with red running lights as they exit the elevator to the roof.  The special lighting will help them easily adjust from a night of working under the stars.  From the roof, students can use the telescope stations to observe the solar system. 

The third floor also offers a room for the Society of Physics Students, who meet every other Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The new Leach Science Center is a home for students pursuing a degree in physics as well as students from throughout Auburn University who want to take an engaging astronomy elective.

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