Always looking to provide STEM opportunities for its students, Livingstone College will be opening a Science Annex this Friday! Get the full story from David Whisenant at WBTV below.

The event will be held on Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. in front of the new science center on campus, followed by a reception and tour inside the building. (Credit: Livingstone College)

Livingstone College plans “STEMulating” grand opening for Science Annex named after sixth president

Livingstone College is preparing to celebrate the grand opening of its state-of-the art F. George Shipman Science Annex, named after its sixth president.

The event will be held on Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. in front of the new science center on campus, followed by a reception and tour inside the building.

Among special guests will be immediate and extended members of Dr. F. George Shipman’s family, including his only child, Rev. Sheldon Shipman, as well as former co-workers and local, state and national educators.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting of the new science annex punctuates the college’s growing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program and focus on encouraging more African-American students to major in STEM areas of study.

The new 16,000-square-foot science annex will feature dedicated laboratory/research spaces for microbiology, human anatomy/physiology, biochemistry and general chemistry, with smaller laboratory spaces for specialized research and a tissue culture lab.

One of the significant highlights of the facility is its planetarium/immersion theater with SciDome IQ 2400 technology, where students have a virtual-reality experience in human anatomy, physics, astronomy and earth science

In addition to the planetarium, the annex includes a SCALE-UP classroom that facilitates active and collaborative learning, and a hydroponic greenhouse.

The new annex will allow Livingstone College the proper environment to implement a $2.24 million STEM grant it received in the fall from the National Science Foundation. The grant was the largest, single grant received in the history of the college and will fund a program called “Livingwell@Livingstone” to enhance persistence, retention and graduation rates in underrepresented minority students.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to cut the ribbon and showcase our new state-of-the-art science annex to the public,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “This annex coupled with the STEM grant will allow us to leverage partnerships with community science entrepreneurs and enhance the STEM student experience.”

Dr. Dawn McNair, dean of the Division of Mathematics and Science, is heading up the festivities that also includes two student-centered events leading up to the grand opening that will be livestreamed on Livingstone’s Official YouTube channel:

· Passport to the Future, Livingstone’s first STEM White Coat Ceremony, featuring Dr. Opeyemi Olabisi as keynote speaker. The program begins at 5 p.m. on Feb. 8, inside the F. George Shipman Annex’s Immersion Theater. He is assistant professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, at Duke University School of Medicine.

· Passport to Entrepreneurship, featuring Dr. Anika S. Goodwin, a board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of OpulenceMD Beauty, an eye-specific beauty brand featuring luxury magnetic lashes. Goodwin was a contestant on “Shark Tank” and secured a $100,000 deal with Kendra Scott. The program begins at 11 a.m. on Feb. 9 inside Tubman Little Theater.

“A key driver of STEM student success is STEM identity,” McNair said. “The F. George Shipman Annex provides a dedicated space designed to enhance scientific research and conceptual understanding. Our students will see the endless possibilities that exist in STEM, and how they might contribute to future science enterprise.”

Those attending the in-person grand opening and ribbon cutting must follow the college’s COVID-19 protocols, which includes showing proof of vaccination or presenting a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the event. Masks must be worn indoors for the duration of the program, but may be removed briefly for eating and drinking.