Learning at the ELC

University of Calgary science students will have new lab space by 2009 if funding can be secured for the planned Experiential Learning Center.

The $300 million ELC would see an entire building of new labs built on campus, and is one of four planned capital projects which the university hopes will create 7,000 more student spaces by 2010.

“Students will engage in much more inquiry-based learning, and will become better thinkers and problem solvers,” said ELC project manager Mike Boorman. “They will have greater opportunities to work on group projects than is currently possible.”

The new approach will let science students indulge in state-of-the-art technology and provide opportunities for students to do more hands-on learning, group work and develop skills needed in any modern career, said Boorman.

“The impact of having 7,000 new students in the U of C by 2010 demands that we start work on new facilities for those taking courses in science and science related disciplines,” said Boorman, adding the ELC will allow students to escape from crowded, impersonal lectures into labs where they can participate in smaller group projects.

It is hoped the ELC will help students better understand the material they are taught in class, and will also provide the opportunity for them to go beyond and think for themselves.

“All students currently enrolled in programs in science and many of those in the social sciences and kinesiology will be expected to use this facility,” said Boorman. “In addition, with the planned expansion of the number of undergraduates by 7,000 students by 2010, one can anticipate that a large proportion of these–maybe as many as 50 per cent–will have the opportunity to learn in the ELC.”

The building itself is still in the design stage but Boorman expects it to be located in the area south of the Biological Sciences building.

The ELC is scheduled to be up and running by 2009 but Boorman noted it may take a bit longer due to the competitive construction environment in Calgary.

“Doing it right is, in the long run, more important than doing it fast,” noted Boorman.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.