New exhibits and displays enhance STEAM-based learning experience at SC4’s visionary Experience Center

The evolution of St. Clair County Community College’s Experience Center continues with the addition of a new electromagnetic exhibit, Jacob’s Ladder, boulder rock garden, a Notable Women in Science display, 3D printer and installation of a gifted Tarbosaurus skeleton cast.

“Our goal is to consistently provide guests with new and exciting opportunities to engage in STEAM-based learning activities,” says Becky Gentner, SC4 executive director of budget and project management. “Among many other new exhibits, visitors can now investigate the power of electricity thanks to our Jacob’s Ladder as well as explore time, history and place thanks to the Tarbosaurus skeleton cast, which was provided by the SC4 Foundation and two Community Foundation of St. Clair County donor advised funds.

“We are again thrilled to expand our offerings and look forward to igniting passions for generations to come through this center.”

Located in the college’s Clara E. Mackenzie Building, the Experience Center already 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.

SC4 announced its 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.

In less than one year of announcing the partnership, SC4 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.

“We are honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Snyder upon receiving the award. “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.”

The Experience Center is a growing regional destination. A fee is charged to groups for a full experience at the center, including guided tours, additional hands-on opportunities, and access to technology exhibits. Individuals may drop in from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for free and explore the exhibits on their own.

For more information on scheduling a visit or field trip, please send an email to experiencecenter@sc4.edu.

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