Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute and UB Clinical TranslatLaboratory Design Newsletter has published a new piece from Stephen Blair focused on how higher education can better leverage design as a tool to help recruit and retain STEM students. As Blair’s piece notes, “Opportunities abound for STEM graduates today, but preparing enough STEM graduates to drive the scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations of tomorrow will be a daunting task for colleges and universities.” Current estimates suggest we will need 1,000 more STEM graduates than we are set to produce at our current rate.

The article – which was featured on Laboratory Design Newsletter’s website and e-mail to all readers – highlights efforts at SUNY Buffalo and University of Utah as best-in-class examples other institutions can follow. Here’s one key excerpt:

On Getting Out of the Basement

“Traditionally, STEM teaching labs and research spaces were located in building cores or basements. These underground “lairs” were uncomfortable and uninviting to students and faculty using these facilities. They featured little to no windows, no natural light and the overall environment felt more institutional than educational…Countless studies show the design of classroom environments influence students’ motivation and learning, and universities are seeing the value in encouraging the student body to observe the scientific process to raise curiosity and interest.”

Read the full Lab Design Newsletter piece online here.