Union College STEAM Center is officially open

Published on
September 10, 2018
Photo of 3-D printer in action

The Union College STEAM Center is officially open, providing cutting edge technology to students, faculty, staff, and community members. 

The Center is equipped P-12 STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Mathematics) curriculum, guides, manipulatives, and like-materials, including two 3-D printers and five Compound Microscopes with Universal Smartphone Optics. The Carson Intermediate Compound Microscopes have the ability to connect to smartphones, allowing the user to capture images and video with their device. The LulzBot TAZ 6 3-D printers allow users to create three dimensional objects from digital files. With this technology, users can create anything from sculptures to operational motors. This technology opens doors for a wide array of programs and will be available to all students, faculty, and staff at Union College.

“The opening of the Union College STEAM Center has gone over very well. We have had a lot of interest from the campus community across all majors and interest areas,” said Professor of Education and Dean for Educational Studies Unit (ESU), Dr. Jason Reeves. “I want to thank the Weeks-Townsend Memorial Library and Tara Cooper, Vice President of Learning & Information Resources, for all of their assistance.”

STEAM Center materials are located in the Weeks-Townsend Memorial Library and available for anyone to use. Guests will only be required to pay for materials used (i.e. plastic used for 3-D printers).

The Union College ESU, in partnership with the Union College Office of Advancement, secured funding for the Center through grant and foundation requests. Pending several additional grants, the Center will continue to grow and provide further opportunities to the Union College community. 

“Over time, we hope to expand our services,” said Dr. Reeves. “Rather than just being a warehouse of materials, we’d like the center to be a place of collaboration among different groups, not only P-12 educators, but anyone who has an interest in integrating STEM or STEAM into their workplace.”

The Union College STEAM Center will be utilized during a STEM Professional Development event on Sept. 17 and 18 in partnership with Berea College’s Promise Neighborhood Program. Educators from Knox County, Barbourville City, and Corbin Schools will have the opportunity to attend the workshop free of charge.