By Belinda Raines
The Science Research Institute (SRI), located on the campus of Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania, recently announced that plans are moving forward to renovate the spacious Leo Camp Building into a state-of-the-art facility optimized for experiential learning, elite training, technological exploration, and community engagement.
The nonprofit Science Research Institute, with programming for K-12 grade students, is a multi-year Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) grant recipient and is supported by more than 80 organizations nationwide. SRI and the CGIF have enjoyed a strategic partnership that dates back to 2017. Additionally, SRI utilizes the CGIF’s Materials Science Classroom Kits in its STEM education programming.
Slated to be completed in June 2022, the Science Research Institute Camp Building renovation will include 25,000 square fee of state-of-the-art science and technology laboratory and research spaces — all designed to create an environment that encourages innovation, complemented by access to research-grade equipment, exposure to cutting edge technology, and introductions to modern sciences by skilled mentors.
“A unique combination of industry-grade equipment — and safety features designed specifically for middle and high school students — will make this facility a one-of-a-kind in the United States,” said Adelle L. Schade, ACerS member and dean of pre-college and summer programs and director of SRI at Albright.
The building will feature hands-on experiences via several high-level scientific resources including a materials and glass science laboratory, advanced imaging equipment (electron microscope, confocal and fluorescence imaging), and laboratories dedicated to computer science and 3D printing and design.
Since SRI’s inception in 2015, enrollment has increased by 800% and the program has been recognized nationally and internationally for STEAM education. Nine students have pending or provisional patents for their SRI projects.