Labs and equipment
Currently, the primary facility for science is Shoker Science Center. This is a 10,000 sq-ft underground building with labs for biology, chemistry, physics and computer science. Faculty offices, a student study area, reference library and computer work stations are also housed in Shoker Science Center. Additional space in Founders Hall provides lab space for the general-education science courses and additional faculty office space.
The Austin E. Knowlton Science Center will transform science education at Bluffton when it opens in academic year 2020.
The 32,500 square foot building is designed for 21st century teaching and learning
for students in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, pre-medicine, nursing and
dietetics and as an integral part of Bluffton’s liberal arts education for all students.
>>> more about the Knowlton Science Center
Biology labs are housed in Shoker Science Center. Standard equipment consists of optical microscopes, walk-in refrigerator, sterilizer and various instruments shared with chemistry such as spectrophotometers.
The Miller Greenhouse sits adjacent to Shoker Science Center.
The university maintains a Nature Preserve where students can observe and obtain specimens. Riley Creek runs through the nature preserve and Little Riley Creek runs through campus. Students have pursued various studies in these creeks as well as the nature preserve pond.
The Moyer Nature Center is located near the main entrance of the nature preserve and serves as a place for field study in the sciences, programming for recreational leadership, and environmental and sustainability education for the public.
The chemistry labs in Shoker Science Center contain modern instrumentation such as FT-IR, FT-NMR, GC, HPLC, UV-VIS and AA. Students will use these instruments regularly as part of their laboratory experience.
A small machine shop is shared with other sciences.
Physics labs in Shoker Science Center include typical instructional equipment such as air tracks, as well as electronics work stations, radiation detection equipment and computer data-acquisition systems. A small machine shop is shared with other science disciplines.
Physics also maintains Astronomy equipment including several small refracting telescopes and two computer-guided Schmidt-Cassegrainian telescopes(Meade LX-200 8-inch and Celestron Nexstar 5-inch.)Astrophotography can be pursued with film cameras or with a Meade digital camera.
General education labs
The general-education science requirement is two semesters of science in two different science areas, of which at least one must include a lab. Non-science students select from several general-education science offerings, including a year-long integrated science sequence. Labs for these courses are held in the Founders Hall Labs. Lab sections are limited to 12 students so everyone can receive a hands-on experience under direct supervision of a science professor.