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UW Colleges, Libraries to Open Cutting-Edge Innovation Center

October 13, 2017
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The Coe Student Innovation Center is a joint venture among UW Libraries, UW Information Technology and the colleges of Engineering and Applied Science, Education, and Arts and Sciences. (UW Photo)

Efforts to create and foster innovation are the main driver behind a new cutting-edge educational space opening soon for students and faculty at the University of Wyoming.

The Coe Student Innovation Center (CSIC) is a joint venture among UW Libraries, UW Information Technology and the colleges of Engineering and Applied Science, Education, and Arts and Sciences. It will open its doors officially this month, and the center will be a resource available to all audiences on campus and for invited guests and groups from the community and region.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies, open to the public, take place Thursday, Oct. 26, at 4 p.m., and guests include UW administrators and donors. After the ribbon cutting, the CSIC will host an open house for interested guests.

The CSIC, located on Level 2 of William Robertson Coe Library on the UW campus, was designed as a top-of-the-line “maker space” lab to foster imaginative, collaborative and innovative design projects.

“We’re open to all members of the UW community, from students, faculty and staff to local K-12 educators and students,” CSIC Director Tyler Kerr says.

Technology is a critical component of the CSIC. It features four 3-D printers, 3-D scanning equipment, 3-D modeling software, robotics kits, circuitry kits, design and drafting software, electrical test equipment, Lego building materials and much more.

“The CSIC represents a new mode of library services based on deep and meaningful collaboration with our campus partners,” Dean of Libraries Ivan Gaetz says. “We hope to develop this type of collaboration with other units on campus as we move into implementation of the university’s strategic plan.”

Kerr says the center was designed to encourage and build upon project-based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning at all levels, from K-12 through college.

“The CSIC will inspire creativity and critical thinking from students of all ages, and those principles are fundamental to producing successful engineers and computer scientists,” College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Michael Pishko says. “I look forward to seeing how this facility will benefit our students and the community.”

Support staff members will provide training and workshops on equipment use, prototyping and design to all interested members of the UW community, and CSIC staff members encourage visits from all creative thinkers on campus.

“Ultimately, the CSIC seeks to serve as an innovative hub to connect UW students, faculty and staff to the broader Laramie community,” Kerr says.


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