UNIQUE CLASSROOM: ISU Lounge Transformed

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A former NASA director is bringing a new perspective on the history of space flight to Iowa State University.

It’s a new experimental classroom with no doors and it is proving popular in its first month in use.

More students enrolled in the History of Space Flight class, so instructors needed more class space. ISU Aerospace Chair Rich Wlezien came up with the idea to convert a student lounge into a classroom in Howe Hall.

The room has 12 monitors, moveable chairs and white boards. Wlezien says that combination makes the room good for lectures or group projects…  

“’I think the challenge is to find the right mix of classical teaching and new technology, I’ve gone to classrooms where they put every bit of technology they can find, and then the poor teacher doesn’t know how to use it. Here I bring in my laptop, connect up and I’m ready to go,” says Wlezien.

The project cost $250,000 and was designed by the Smith Metzger architect firm of Des Moines. 

The classroom can hold 120 students.