Stuckey Optics Lab Officially Dedicated As Part of Homecoming Proceedings
Written by Victor Cascio on October 26, 2021
Victor Cascio | KWU Student Media
The field of science is one that is constantly growing and evolving as new research and information become available. As such, it is essential that universities nationwide are keeping their scientific learning centers up-to-date in order to ensure that their students are best suited to graduate and enter their respective fields with the proper skill set to thrive.
So when a group of Kansas Wesleyan University alumni, now referred to as the “Great 8” for their contributions to the school’s various science departments, returned for their 50-year reunion, they were shocked and disappointed to learn that the equipment being used by KWU science students were the exact same instruments that they had been utilizing a half a century earlier.
This past Friday, however, marked the turning of the page for the Kansas Wesleyan University science department. The Mark Stucky Optics lab was officially dedicated with several donors and other contributors in attendance. Through this new state-of-the-art learning facility, students now have access to scientific equipment and research that was not previously available to them. As such, current students who are aspiring physicists, biologists, chemists, etc, are now much more likely to feel more prepared when their time at KWU comes to an end and they move forth into graduate school and ultimately a career in science.
“This is an important moment as we look to continue to do things to advance the educational experience at Kansas Wesleyan and specifically the sciences today,” said KWU President Dr. Mark Thompson.
However, the alumni’s observation of the outdated equipment was not the only factor in getting the ball rolling for the new science lab. In his address to the audience during the official ceremony, President Mark Thompson noted that a lack of student preparedness was also one of the motivating factors in the initiation of this project. Upon returning from a Summer science research program, students informed Thompson that, although they had learned a great deal in terms of scientific content during the event, they also reported that they felt partially unprepared because they had not yet had the opportunity to work with the equipment that was presented to them at the research experience. Following this conversation, Dr. Thompson began meeting with various alumni and friends of the university to discuss what actions could be taken to alleviate the issue and give the students an improved learning experience.
As remarkable as it is that students now have instant access to the equipment necessary for constructing optical activities and interferometers, the most exciting part of the whole ordeal is that this is just the beginning when it comes to the expansion of scientific research at KWU as a result of the new labs.
“So much is possible now that was not before,” exclaimed Kramer. “We can now provide the basic experiments that students should see that we didn’t necessarily have the parts for before, and we can now push into some things that are more modern. If you are going to go to work in a research lab, the equipment that you will be working with is what we now have here. If you can align these optical components, then you will be able to do them anywhere you go.”
So, thanks to the generosity of a group of alumni that expressed a desire to give back to their alma mater, ambitious science students who step foot on KWU’s campus and inside the revolutionary, modernized laboratories of Peters Science Hall will have the chance to get involved and exceed throughout their journey here, allowing them to grow and change with the field surrounding them.