The physics department and faculty were consolidated in the Leach Science Center, and one Auburn lecturer is looking to make the transition smoother.
The physics department was consolidated from Parker Hall and Allison Laboratory, as the buildings are being demolished to prepare for the new classroom and laboratory complex.
Over the summer the Leach Science Center opened the doors to its $24 million extension, and this fall semester, the building is being used in its official capacity.
The building contains group study areas, nine new labs and a rooftop that can hold up to 18 different telescopes.
The 62,500 square-foot addition was designed to be more student-centric, allowing the students to have more places to study, hang out and work collaboratively.
Ameya Kolarkar, senior lecturer in the physics department, is in charge of improving the student experience at the Leach Science Center and making the building more student-centric.
“The mission of the Leach Science Center is student education,” Kolarkar said. “We don’t only have labs for research here, but also student-centered objectives."
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There have been a few small issues with the building concerning foot traffic and the functionality of certain aspects, Kolarkar said.
One of the stairways was built with the intent of being more of a showcase, but has ended up being a high traffic area for the building.
The stairwell doesn’t reach the top floor, causing staff and faculty with offices on the top floor of the building to take unconventional routes.
Regardless, the Leach Science Center isn’t stopping at just the addition.
Kolarkar said there are several plans to help foster the student centered atmosphere the addition has helped create.
Sometime in the near future, the lobby of the new building is going to be used as an activity space to hold different types of events.
There are plans for physics experiments that students can come and observe and toys to be put out for students to play with that help with the physics learning process.
“We want it to be a hangout point,” Kolarkar said. “We want to bring in other students from different educations.”
Kolarkar said he hopes by holding all of these events, the physics department can remove the fear students have around physics.
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