CSI grand opening set for February


Photo by Nayeli Perez

Trinity’s newly constructed Center for the Sciences and Innovation is having a weekend-long grand opening dedication in February.

Faculty and students from several departments are working together to plan a variety of fun and engaging events for everyone to enjoy. The celebration is intended to attract a large audience from the San Antonio community””including city officials, architects, donors, alumni and prospective students””as well as current Trinity students, faculty and staff.

The dedication will commence at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony outside of CSI.

“We’re trying to figure out a way to cut the ribbon without using the stereotypical scissors. We’re trying to be scientific about it, whether it’s a laser or dry-ice or liquid nitrogen,” said David Ribble, chair and professor of biology.

Ribble has been working very closely with the university departments since the initial planning for the grand opening, which began last summer.

A reception will follow the ribbon-cutting, with student posters displayed in the Atrium. Later that evening, Liz Ward, professor of art, will give a tour of CSI’s art.

The celebration will continue at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, with Tiger Talks from alumni, which are modeled after TED talks.

“We’re bringing in some alumni that have done really interesting things in their careers to demonstrate the power of interdisciplinary and innovative ways of thinking that we’re trying to infuse with this building,” Ribble said.

Trinity students are not the only people who will be able to participate in events for the weekend. A Geekbus will be on campus to expose younger students to STEM-related experiments.

“The Geekbus is something that was created by Rackspace to introduce elementary, middle and possibly high school kids to some of these technological things that might encourage them to have an interest in learning more about computers and maintaining their interest in science,” said Nancy Mills, professor of chemistry and one of the people involved in the initial design of the building.

There will also be science on display from the eight different science departments at Trinity. These demonstrations will be led by Trinity students and will be open to prospective high school students as well as those who have already been admitted to the university with an interest in science.

“The flavor of this is to give them a sense of what’s going on both in the science disciplines and also at Trinity,” Mills said. “There’s an intent to inform the community about what exists in CSI and try to encourage students to consider attending Trinity for college.”

High school students who attend at least four of the interactive science demonstrations will be eligible to enter a drawing for a MacBook Air at the ice cream social that follows.

Aspen Gonzalez, director of admissions operations, has been working closely with the education department to coordinate the prospective students.

“The goal is to put science on display in an interactive way,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve been printing and mailing invitations to San Antonio-area admitted seniors who have an interest in the greater STEM areas, because the demonstrations are more science-geared.”

They are hoping to have 100 prospective and admitted students attend the event.

The dedication will close out with a party for Trinity students outside of CSI, with food and performances by the Trinity Jazz Ensemble. There are also plans for laser graffiti on the walls of CSI.

“We’ve tried to incorporate a lot of different elements of the San Antonio community, but also give it a personal touch with all of us having a good time on Saturday night,” Ribble said. “It’s shaping up to be a really fun and exciting event. The more people who show up, the more fun it’ll be.”