My Science 411!
Lehigh University Seeks to Redefine Education and Power InnovationOctober 21, 2013
Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., has announced plans to turn two former Bethlehem Steel Corporation research facilities into expansive incubators of innovative ideas.
Lehigh President Alice Gast, Ph.D., said the buildings’ massive open spaces will give students of all subjects “free license to create, to pursue new knowledge, to struggle, to fail, to succeed, [and] to challenge conventional wisdom.” Students and faculty members will be able to work collaboratively and freely on open-ended projects.
Students participated recently in pilot projects at Mountaintop, including a “Supercar” project that sought to predict how automobile performance will evolve.
In a letter to Lehigh alumni and friends, Gast said the Mountaintop initiative seeks to spur creative and inventive solutions and to “transcend existing models in higher education by returning higher education to its roots – by focusing not only on the questions, and not only on the answers, but also on the processes that come before and after each: inquiry, exploration, discovery, and insight.”
The Mountaintop project will be lead by a $20 million gift from Lehigh alumnus Scott Belair, Co-Founder of the popular Urban Outfitters stores.
What is known today as the Da Vinci Science Center originated in 1992 as part of Lehigh University.
Project image and video from Lehigh University
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