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Having recently opened the largest science facility on any campus in the Commonwealth, Eastern Kentucky University’s College of Science will celebrate with Science and Mathematics Week on the Richmond campus.

The celebration, from Monday, Sept. 11, through Saturday, Sept. 16, will feature a dedication of Phase 2 of the University’s new Science Building, special speakers, hands-on activities for visiting high schoolers, tours of the facility, a free Hummel Planetarium show, Family Nature Day at Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory, and more.

“The completion of the new Science Building is, by itself, a good enough reason to celebrate,” said Dr. Tom Otieno, dean of EKU’s College of Science. “But there are other reasons. For example, our faculty and students continue to excel and receive recognition, new degree programs in biomedical sciences and geographic information science have recently been established, and we have made great strides in many fronts in our first year of existence as the College of Science.” (The College of Arts and Sciences split into the College of Science and the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.)

Otieno said the “amazing” new Science Building “will greatly impact our teaching and research missions in a positive way and, hence, student learning.”

The dedication ceremony will be held on Friday, Sept. 15, at 10:30 a.m. in the Science Building atrium. Those planning to attend are asked to make reservations for the ceremony and following reception at

Other events are designed to engage alumni, donors, retired science and mathematics faculty, and the community. All events are free and open to the public.

“Part of the College of Science’s mission is to educate students to have fruitful careers in science, computing and mathematics and to advance knowledge through basic and applied research,” Otieno said. “Clearly, we cannot do this without the support of the many stakeholders. That is why our celebration of science and mathematics is also a celebration of our partners.”

 The week’s keynote speaker and an alumni speaker will celebrate the college’s commitment to diversity. Dr. Sylvester James Gates, National Medal of Science recipient and the first African-American physicist elected to the National Academy of Sciences, will address “Einstein vs. Roberts: Does Diversity Matter in Science?” in a Chautauqua lecture on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building.

The alumni speaker, Dr. Tracie Prater, a 2006 EKU physics graduate now serving as an aerospace engineer in the Materials and Processes Laboratory Engineering Support Office at the NASA Marshall Flight Center, will speak on “The Role of Advanced Manufacturing in NASA’s Space Exploration Initiatives.” Her public lecture is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 3104 of the Science Building.

Students from Madison Central, Madison Southern, Berea and Model high schools will be on campus daily Monday-Thursday, enjoying a variety of hands-on science and mathematics activities, as well as campus tours. In addition, Prater will speak to Model students on Monday, Sept. 11, at the school.

Hummel Planetarium will present a free showing of “Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope” on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. The program, recommended for eighth-graders and up, follows two students as they interact with a female astronomer at a star party and explores the discoveries made by astronomers over the last four centuries. A question-and-answer session with EKU Physics and Astronomy Professor Dr. Mark Pitts will follow. Anyone wishing to attend the program should make reservations at The planetarium seats 194.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, representatives from Novelis Aluminum Corporation will be on campus to present a gift toward the college’s summer science camp. The firm has pledged $21,000 over the next three years.

Family Nature Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory, which straddles the Garrard/Rockcastle county line. The event will feature hands-on, interactive and diverse activities for entire families, including Nature Journaling, Insect Madness, Fishing, Weather Wonder and Creek Critters. Those planning to attend are asked to pre-register; a link will be available at after Tuesday, Sept. 5. For more information, contact the EKU Division of Natural Areas at 859-622-1476 or email Karen Pratt at

The week’s complete schedule is available at