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Science education receives $750K from Murdock grant

College of Idaho students will soon enjoy updated teaching laboratories in Boone Science Hall with the help of a $750,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust that is supporting a major renovation of the facility.

“The College of Idaho’s philosophy is to help students learn science by doing science,” said C of I President Marv Henberg. “That means engaging our students in research and directed inquiry, and this generous grant will help us create improved teaching spaces for doing science.”

The College is in the midst of a $9.5 million renovation of Boone Science Hall that is strengthening its long-standing legacy of outstanding teaching, learning and research in the sciences. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust grant will support the project’s $2.1 million Phase II, set to take place in summer 2014.

Phase II will remodel teaching laboratories, classrooms and support areas into more flexible and interactive spaces that better support individual work, group projects, and interdisciplinary and problems-based approaches to learning. Enhancements will be made to accommodate growth in computing throughout the curriculum and additional student research.

The first phase of the Boone Hall renovation, a $7.4 million project completed in September 2010, made improvements to the building’s infrastructure, accessibility, safety and research facilities.

Henberg noted that 30 percent of degrees awarded to C of I graduates in 2012 went to students majoring in the natural sciences or mathematics, a percentage nearly three times the national average of 12 percent of college graduates. As The College of Idaho’s enrollment has grown significantly since 2006, the number of science degrees awarded has nearly doubled and new majors have been added in health science and environmental studies.

“The College’s PEAK curriculum requires every student to earn a major or minor in the sciences because we know how important that knowledge is for the success of our graduates in the 21st century,” Henberg said. “Completing the renovations to Boone Hall will touch every C of I student and ensure they continue to benefit from both outstanding facilities and excellent faculty.”

The M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust (www.murdock-trust.org) seeks to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants and enrichment programs to non-profit organizations that seek to strengthen the region's educational, spiritual, and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.