Baylor University Receives Waco Foundation Grant for BRIC ExhibitsNov. 20, 2012
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Media contact: Frank Raczkiewicz , (254) 710-1964
WACO, Texas (Nov. 19, 2012) - Baylor University has received a $60,000 grant from the Waco Foundation to help fund science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) interactive exhibits and integrate aerospace and industry artifacts throughout the Baylor Research Innovation and Collaborative (BRIC).
When fully operational, the BRIC will offer a unique blend of university research, industry collaboration, workforce development and training, space for start-up businesses, and areas designated for public symposia and conferences.
"Together STEM educational programs and planned motivational displays and kiosks located in BRIC circulation corridors and symposia and conference areas provide a compelling and stimulating environment which will encourage young people to pursue education and training for their future," said Truell Hyde, Ph.D., vice provost for research at Baylor. "Location of the BRIC and the discovery park in the Waco area will allow bright young men and women to pursue these dreams without having to leave the local area to do it."
"We saw this as a great opportunity to help further one aspect of our community's shared vision - that of reducing poverty and supporting education at all stages - with this BRIC exhibit," said Kyle Deaver of the Waco Foundation Trust. "Waco Foundation's Board recognizes the momentum that is building around potential STEM job opportunities throughout Waco. BRIC represents a significant community collaboration that will attract local students to the types of jobs that increasingly represent Waco's future - jobs that pay well and require the kind of education that we want for all the students in our schools."
The funding enables placement of displays which will guide BRIC visitors toward their given interest areas. Baylor was fortunate to obtain, from a recent NASA program and other sources, a variety of exhibit materials from both industry and federal science-based agencies. The BRIC architects are now reviewing some 40 NASA Space Shuttle and industrial artifacts to integrate into the BRIC circulation corridors and symposia areas.
"One example of physical integration is the Tethered Satellite System, a joint NASA-Italian Space Agency science project flown twice in the Space Shuttle payload bay," Hyde said. "Providing stimulating and interactive displays and kiosks along with STEM educational outreach programs will inspire local school children to pursue a higher education."
Although most research centers and facilities are characterized by narrow hallways and minimal laboratory access, the BRIC has been designed with over-size circulation corridors and glass walls that allow full view of research activities. The STEM learning experience areas will be populated with state of the art audio visual equipment and staging areas for the over 3,000 students expected to visit the BRIC annually.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.
The Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative, (BRIC), is the first, and cornerstone, facility of the 21-acre Central Texas Technology and Research Park. When completed and fully occupied the 330,000 sq. foot building will house Baylor University research, university and industry research collaborations, technology workforce development and training, a business accelerator, space for start-up businesses, symposia meeting venues for up to 300 attendees, and K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) outreach programs. Local government and community partners for the BRIC include Baylor University, Bellmead Economic Development Corporation, City of Bellmead, City of Waco, Cooper Foundation, Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, McLennan County, Texas State Technical College, Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Corporation and Waco Industrial Foundation. The first 45,000 square feet are scheduled to be occupied in the spring of 2013.