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New Science Center

Carthage’s new science center to open in Fall 2015


Our excellence in the natural sciences demands a facility to match. Carthage’s new science center will offer even greater opportunity for innovative science education, and further advance our commitment to exceptional research experiences for undergraduates. Scroll down to see construction images!

“The future of undergraduate science education is being created right here and right now at Carthage.” — President Gregory Woodward

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Carthage’s new $43 million science center will increase classroom and laboratory space by 40 percent, provide state-of-the-art facilities for study in the natural sciences, and provide new ways for students and faculty to collaborate on forefront research. The project includes a major renovation of the 70,000-square-foot David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Natural and Social Sciences, and a new 35,000-square-foot wing to the south and east, embracing the center’s lakeside location.

“With this new construction, Carthage will have one of the most up-to-date, advanced, and attractive undergraduate science buildings in America,” said Carthage President Gregory Woodward. “The future of undergraduate science education is being created right here and right now at Carthage.”

Student Focused Facility

The new science center will offer:

Twelve new interdisciplinary laboratories for research in such pioneering areas as materials science, nanotechnology, engineering design, molecular biology, and atomic microscopy.

Collaborative learning areas outside classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices where students and professors can gather for informal discussions, continued learning, and project work.

A two-story, glass-enclosed atrium for exhibits, public gatherings, student poster presentations, and planetarium shows.

Multidisciplinary teaching laboratories and TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning) classrooms to allow expanded curricular integration across the sciences and to encourage student-focused pedagogy.

A stepped seating area with advanced media capabilities.

An outdoor classroom overlooking Lake Michigan with natural stone seating.

Glass-walled classrooms and laboratories to allow students and visitors to see science on display.


Creating the Future of Science

“The natural sciences always have been a strength at Carthage, but the quality of our programs in the natural sciences has really exploded in the last 10 years,” said Brad Andrews, Senior Vice President for Student Success and Strategic Enrollment. From internships and undergraduate research, to exploring genomes, to working with NASA, the quality of the experiences students have at Carthage makes this an exciting time to be in the natural sciences.”

In the last decade, the percentage of Carthage graduates who have a degree in a natural science has doubled, along with the percentage of incoming students interested in majoring in biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, geography, mathematics, neuroscience, or physics.

Click on any image above to view larger

More construction photos on Flickr:


Did You Know?

  • The Division of Natural Sciences at Carthage currently has more than 720 science majors — a number that has doubled in the last five years. In addition, the Division serves every student on campus, as all Carthage students must take 8 credits in the natural sciences.
  • Carthage is among the best in the country at preparing undergraduate physics students for careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), according to the American Institute of Physics.
  • Carthage has the nation’s oldest undergraduate technical entrepreneurship program. Founded in 1994, the ScienceWorks program has propelled hundreds of Carthage graduates beyond traditional postgraduate options and into entrepreneurial and innovative areas.
  • The architect for the new science center is Stantec, a firm known internationally for its science buildings and student life centers in higher education. Carthage worked with Stantec (then Burt Hill) on the Campbell Student Union, completed in August 2011.
  • The new science center utilizes the lake as a natural focal point. “The lake is symbolic of the division’s emphasis on interdisciplinary, grand challenges in science: energy, fresh water, the brain, the cosmos, climate change,” explained Prof. Kevin Crosby, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences. “It provides us with a way to re-envision our curriculum around these societal challenges.”
  • Learn more about how the new science center will transform science education at Carthage

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  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …