Great Migrations — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Flaming M&Ms offer chemistry lessons

Flaming inorganic salts offer chemistry lessons high school teachers can take back to their classrooms. The outreach session by professors and students is underwritten by the Jeffrey E. Tickle ('90) Family Foundation.

It's the sciences that will drive funding in higher education in Virginia for the near future. As part of the governor's commission on higher education, President Rose himself helped articulate the Commonwealth of Virginia's higher education funding priorities.

During the Rose era, meanwhile, the sciences at JMU have become stronger than ever — anticipating new frontiers, reaching out to interest youth in science, conducting research, mentoring their students — some as early as freshman year — in hands-on research, undergoing constant growth and developing new facilities.

Biology will cross Interstate 81 this fall to take up headquarters in a new Biosciences Building. The department joins chemistry, physics and astronomy, integrated science and technology, engineering, and health and human services disciplines on the east side of campus. All have access to the new East Campus Library, which specializes in resources geared toward the sciences. The Biosciences Building is designed for today's biology learning environment — collaborating in small groups within larger lecture settings.

In 2007, the physics department became the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The name change could have included outreach, given its community-based Saturday Morning Physics, Astronomy at the Market, showings in the newly renovated and thriving Wells Planetarium (2008) and programs in the outdoor Astronomy Park. What's next? Applied nuclear physics.

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