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Blue Dot #239: New Science Building Promotes a Paradigm Shift in Science Education at CSU Chico

Dave visits his alma mater, CSU Chico to check out the new science building and the big takeaway isn't just the magnificent edifice, but what is going on inside the studio classrooms, comfy student-friendly public spaces, and state of the art research labs.

Blue Dot's host visits with professors and students in Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science and Science Education as well as two of the administrators deeply involved in the design and execution of the beautiful facilities which have made CSU Chico a jewel in the crown of the CSU system when it comes to science education.

From its eco-friendly design to its beautiful natural lighting provided by thermally efficient glass windows, the new science building is a marvel both inside and out with an amazing water capture system that helps water surrounding native plants and energy efficiency designed to reduce the building's carbon footprint. Even more impressive are the studio classrooms designed to create a collaborative learning environment where students do science as they are immersed in their studies.

Guests include Chemistry professors Erik Wasinger and Lisa Kendhammer with student Zoey Jimenez. Physics professors Hyewon and Joe Pechkis with research students Esteban Teran and Justin Craven. Environmental Science professor Sandrine Matiasek and student Adil Syed. Science Education professor Carolina Alvarado and student Estefania (Stef) Orozco and Dean of the College of Natural Sciences David Hassenzahl and Interim Associate Dean Randy Miller.

Dave Schlom is the longtime host and creator of Blue Dot. From surfing to Voyager in interstellar space, rock guitar to orcas in our imperiled oceans, the topics on Blue Dot are as varied as the host’s interests and connections -- which are pretty limitless! An internationally respected space history journalist, Dave is also deeply fascinated by all aspects of the grand workings of nature’s awesome machinery on scales ranging from galactic to subatomic. And topics take in all aspects of the arts and sciences.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.