Most new facilities are opened with a ribbon cutting. Washington University in St. Louis' MySci Resource Center opened with a bang.
After a round of science experiments featuring Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and speeches from dignitaries, the new facility was opened with a launch and a spray of confetti.
The Wash U Institute for School Partnership (ISP) MySci Resource Center opened Monday at 6601 Vernon Ave.
The center will host programming for teachers and will be open students and parents at special times of the year – such as Science Fair time — to offer assistance and materials in support of projects.
Lindsay Hendrix, a kindergarten teacher at Jackson Park Elementary School, attended the opening. She said the MySci program has been a great addition to the science curriculum in U City Schools.
"It brings it all to life," she said. "If we are studying animals, they bring them out and the kids get hands-on experience."
Refurbished with the help of a $2.2 million grant from the Monsanto Fund, the MySci Resource Center houses educational classrooms, meeting rooms and a warehouse of educational science materials. It will be the nerve center of the ISP, WUSTL’s signature effort to strategically improve teaching and learning within the K-12 education community in the St. Louis region.
Among the features in the new 17,500 square-foot resource center is a lobby/display area that houses a conference room, a kitchen and an instructional and interactive area for teachers, as professional development is another cornerstone of the ISP program.
The MySci program is in its eighth year serving the St. Louis community. Funded by the Monsanto Fund, it began as a multidisciplinary effort to cultivate the region’s next generation of scientists by engaging elementary students in science through interactive learning experiences and creative curriculum.
In addition to the MySci Resource Center, the ISP launched a new website, schoolpartnership.wustl.edu, that has curriculum guides, lesson plans and an interactive component for teachers.
Jan Holloway, senior vice president, chief of staff and community relations for Monsanto Co., told the students in the crowd that Monsanto's future was based on innovation.
"I hoe you set your sights really really high," she told the students at the event. "I hope you plan on a career in science because we need you."