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STEM Center carves out new space

The Palomar College STEM center is an integral part of Palomar College’s science, technology, engineering, and math departments.

The center, located on the third floor of the Natural Science building, provides students in these disciplines an area to study, access to tutors and reference materials, computer use, academic planning and counseling.

The STEM center has been intermittently closed since summer 2015 before re-opening its doors with expanded space in April 2016.

“Students have been accustomed to having the center ever since it opened up in 2012,” said STEM Center Tutorial Specialist Jessica Ambrocio. “Having to explain to students that it was closing… was difficult at times because they really needed a meeting space.”

There are other areas on campus where students can go to study and get tutoring help, such as the Tutoring and Learning Center, but the STEM center is most helpful for students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

“It’s more focused on the subjects that I am taking like math and computer science,” said Palomar student and computer science major Joel Jernigan, who frequently takes advantage of the tutoring that is offered.

“Studying [at the center] is way more efficient than going home because you get all distracted. In [the center] there is nothing to do but work on your stuff,” he added.

The reopened center provides more space for students. The center is tranquil and filled with light that floods in through large windows that look out over the Palomar arboretum.

“The best part is that we have more space and more equipment for students. It used to get really crowded and so students would just kind of walk by and if they weren’t seeing an empty seat, they would just leave,” said STEM Center Supervisor Mireya Gutierrez-Aguero.

“The fact that we gained the space means a lot to me, because… faculty were willing to give their offices in order for us to expand this. They saw that there was a need and they supported that. We are very thankful,” she added.

The new center will provide student mentoring and on-site counselors and staff throughout the academic year, as well as workshops beginning in November. Walk-in tutoring is available for chemistry, earth science, engineering, life science, physics, some math, and other STEM courses.

The center also hosts symposiums in the spring where former and current Palomar College STEM and Bridges scholars present original research. These symposiums are free with RSVP and allow students to learn about student research opportunities as well as the ability to connect with current student researchers. The symposiums also help students learn more about STEM majors and programs.

The STEM Center is open to all students and is located in the Natural Science building in room NS-312. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

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