DUBUQUE, Iowa – Loras College, Iowa’s first college, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA). The funds will support the creation of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) innovation laboratory in the College’s St. Joseph Hall of Science.
The new facility, estimated to cost $12,500, will add to lab space that currently houses 3D printers and tools, and will provide students with the ability to better make connections between STEM disciplines. In addition, funds are also being donated by alumni and friends of the College for more equipment to further supply the lab.
“By supporting the STEM disciplines, Loras and the DRA are helping to meet critical workforce needs in Dubuque and the surrounding area,” Jim Collins, president of Loras, said. “Increasingly, students need additional space in which to experiment with their own ideas, and this lab will help meet that need.”
In the lab, students will design and build prototypes, test scientific theories, and use technology and mathematics tools to analyze what they have created. The projects involve physical design and 3D printing, electrical circuit design and construction and programming software for embedded computers. Students will engage in projects that range from first year and senior year design projects to design and build projects for internal and external customers.
In addition, the lab will be used in numerous community outreach programs hosted by Loras for area youth, as well as by eastern Iowa STEM teachers who study in a state-sponsored professional education program at Loras.
Renovation is underway with the entire project scheduled for completion by December, including training students in use of the equipment, outreach and classes being held within the space.
ABOUT LORAS COLLEGE
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine.