COSAM News Articles 2019 December Science Center Classroom Holds Memories in Time Capsule

Science Center Classroom Holds Memories in Time Capsule

Published: 12/03/2019

By: Melanie Vynalek

Just over 15 years ago, Auburn University’s Science Center Classrooms opened its doors to an advanced learning environment for COSAM students. Yet before young scientists filled the auditorium and handled the high-tech lab space, a time capsule was placed to commemorate Auburn’s advancements in the year 2004.

Not to be opened until Auburn’s bicentennial celebration in 2056, the time capsule holds memorabilia pertaining to life as a member of the Auburn Family. Its contents include:


  • Former COSAM Dean Stewart Schneller’s dedication message
  • COSAM scrapbooks containing history of the college and the university
  • Editions of The Auburn Plainsman, Journey – COSAM’s magazine, and TIME
  • Programs and brochures from the 2003-2004 academic year
  • Sample class syllabi, student applications, and school bulletins
  • Auburn lapel pins
  • The 2003 COSAM Christmas card
  • S. currency
  • Local maps
  • …and much more!


Schneller led the dedication of this time capsule in a ceremony in the Lower Quad-area on March 19, 2004, according to a media advisory released March 17 of the same year.

Marking the construction of the three-building, $39 million science center, Schneller emphasized, “now is the time to look forward.”

To do so, COSAM took to a time capsule as a way to draw Auburn to the future.

Prior to being sealed away for 52 years, the time capsule welcomed the essays of three Auburn City Schools students. In a contest open to fifth-graders across the district, students wrote about how technology and science are used in the life of a child in 2004. Those three lucky winners of the essay contest were given a youth-size t-shirt to wear during the ceremony. In 2056, they will receive a larger t-shirt to wear at the official opening of the time capsule.

In Schneller’s 2004 message, he reminds all ages of the Auburn community that while we do not know what the future holds, COSAM’s mission must endure – to transfer and preserve knowledge, discover new knowledge, and disseminate that knowledge.

Schneller wrote, “We can teach science, we can train scientists, but more than that we need to radiate an appreciation of science as a way of thinking. We need to develop tools to not just cater to the science majors, but to be cognizant of the science literacy needs of our student body as a whole. We need to foster an attitude that demystifies science and says, ‘C’mon in, the efforts are worth it’”.


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