Countless possibilities through thoughtful and innovative space design
A ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 18th celebrated the opening of an innovative collaboration hub and nucleus (if you will) for Skyline College’s Science/Mathematics/Technology division. The Skyline STEM Center project transformed mundane hallways, offices, and traditional classrooms in the middle of Building 7 into a vibrant, flexible multipurpose space for studying, tutoring, and lecture-style events.
The event brought together College leaders, Board members, faculty, students, and the community to celebrate the new possibilities enabled by the space. Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, Vice President of Instruction, presented on the Center’s design features (including space partition, furniture arrangement, and wheeled and digital wipeboards). Division dean Raymond Hernandez celebrated the realization of a space capable of fostering stronger connections between instructors and students, responding to extensive faculty input. Demonstrations were arranged by several student clubs to feature current research projects, engineering simulations, a distillation lab, interactive games, and a solar boat.
Perfectly situated by the college’s STEM Collaboration Space – including the fabrication, anatomy, simulation, and biotechnology labs; staff offices; and the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) program – the new STEM center is designed as a welcoming space that encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration. A Skyline College newsletter noted how the Center is even prompting rethinking of faculty office hours, perhaps relocating them to the Center “so that faculty [can meet] the students where they are at, literally.”
Even the spaces, furnishings, and graphics are preparing students for their careers. Tech company(/prospective employer)-inspired bold colors, cutting-edge technology, and patterned wall graphics depicting star charts, chemical structures, binary patterns, and the Fibonacci sequence establish an inspiring backdrop for student pursuits. Fittingly, the marquee signage was designed by students in the neighboring fabrication lab.
Shortly after opening, the Center has become a popular destination for group work, tutoring, lectures, and special events with industry and cultural representatives…and equipped to support many unimagined functions ahead.
Below are a few images from our photography session. (It wasn’t hard to find students and staff to illustrate the space’s various uses – they were already there!)
Congratulations and particular thanks to our partners: Agbayani Construction Corporation; Laura Ciravolo, Project Manager, San Mateo County Community College District – Facilities Planning Department; and Gwen Alldredge, Project Coordinator, San Mateo County Community College District.
Photography by Group 4 and Cary Groner. More images of the ribbon cutting can be found on Skyline’s Flickr page.