Wayne State University has completed construction on the STEM Innovation Learning Center, and commemorated the occasion today with an interactive virtual celebration complete with live remarks, a 3D tour, drone flyover and more.
The facility, made possible by a $14.75 million commitment from the state of Michigan and bond proceeds to WSU, will serve as a campus hub for interdisciplinary teaching, learning and innovation. The building features 100,000 square feet of flexible classrooms, instructional labs, a maker space, and 3D printing lab with state-of-the-art technology to support hands-on and project-based learning.
“The STEM Innovation Learning Center will provide countless educational and research opportunities for students and faculty from across campus,” said Wayne State University President M. Wilson. “In supporting this project, the state of Michigan has also invested in talent and workforce development, and this facility will benefit Wayne State — and the city of Detroit — for generations to come.”
In keeping with the university’s current health and safety guidelines, the STEM Innovation Learning Center opened with limited access and will initially be used for space necessary for essential student support services. In the future, it will play a crucial role in achieving Wayne State’s vision for STEM education and research, as well as supporting K-12 students from the greater Detroit area with experiences and exposure to hands-on, creative learning to ignite their interest in science and technology.
“Detroit is and always has been a center for innovation in Michigan, and this new facility will provide a crucial resource to Wayne State students and Detroit-area K-12 students who are interested in pursuing a career in STEM,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “This is exactly what we need to attract more talent and investment to our state and build a strong workforce. I applaud Wayne State University for their dedication to Detroit-area students, and look forward to working with them moving forward.”
The STEM Innovation Learning Center will provide undergraduate instructional laboratories, classrooms and dedicated student collaboration zones for STEM and STEM-collaborative courses across the 10 Wayne State schools and colleges that support undergraduate education. Additionally, the building will support faculty and graduate students as a unique, inspiring space for seminars, teaching and research presentations.
“This is a tremendous project that will bring tremendous opportunity to our students and the greater Detroit community,” said Tonya Matthews, associate provost for inclusive workforce development and director of the STEM Innovation Learning Center. “The easy problems have already been solved! What lies before us in STEM are the kinds of challenges and innovations that require diverse teams trained in rigorous, interdisciplinary contexts. Wayne State is training future Warriors to take on some of the most pressing science and society issues of the day, from global pandemics to machine learning to using STEM as a tool for social justice — and now we have an extraordinary space designed to do so.”