St. Clair County Community College has received an Innovation of the Year Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College for its work in establishing its interactive, STEAM-based Experience Center. The college won the award in the category of Community Engagement Education and Forward-thinking Partnerships.
This year, the League nationally awarded 57 winners, including just four from Michigan. SC4 team members recognized for their work on the Experience Center include President Dr. Deborah A. Snyder, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kirk Kramer, Executive Director of Budget and Project Management Becky Gentner, Institutional Technology Manager Spencer Hazlewood, Project and Purchasing Manager Jessica Smith, Professor of Physical Science Suzanne Doherty, and Professor of Biology Carrie Dollar. Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Director Mel Drumm also was recognized.
“We are honored to receive this award,” says Dr. Snyder. “The Experience Center is a place where students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members of all ages can feel engaged and inspired. We are grateful for the continued support, collaboration and leadership of our community, here on campus and far beyond.”
SC4 announced an official partnership with the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and its Unity in Learning initiative on the 16,000-square-foot center in fall 2018. The center — the only one of its kind in the region — provides interactive teaching and learning opportunities for students and guests of all ages through exhibits, field trips, and educational programming opportunities.
Located in the college’s Clara E. Mackenzie Building, the center features interactive displays, traveling exhibits, 3-D pens and technology, a circuit center, a coding station, a virtual reality simulation, an augmented reality sandbox, a fossil dig area and larger-than-life exhibits in its Dr. Bassam H. Nasr Science Museum — including a woolly rhinoceros skeleton replica, T-Rex and Mastodon skull replicas.
Future Experience Center enhancements include a Jacob’s Ladder display that highlights the power of electricity and a gifted Tarbosauras skeleton cast thanks to the SC4 Foundation and two Community Foundation of St. Clair County donor advised funds.
Additionally, the Experience Center is a growing regional field trip destination, partnering with the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) to ensure field trips seamlessly align with K-12 science-based curricula in the region. For more information on scheduling a visit, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.