Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center
Name: Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center
Address: 1116 Eighth Ave.
Purpose: Houses the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics, and psychology.
History: Construction on the original two-wing science center began in 1951, with an addition in 1964 and then in 1986. Extensive renovation and expansion began in 1995 and again a decade later. It was renamed the Noyce Center in 1997.
Named for: Robert Noyce ’49, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and co-founder of Intel.
Kistle Science Library (nickname: SciLib): Known for its glass facade, Kistle Science Library opened in the fall of 2008 and houses all science-related College books, journals, and reference materials. The first floor offers dual-boot Macintosh computers; second-level study carrels overlook Eighth Avenue and the Rosenfield Center ’25.
Study Commons: For each major housed in the building, Noyce has common spaces that are popular for group meetings or studying. Although designated by major, commons areas are study spaces for all. Students work (and sometimes sleep) in these spaces at all hours of the day and night.
Laboratories: More than $2.5 million in grants has provided excellent equipment. Specialized equipment in the department include equipment for sequencing and quantifying DNA, several thermal cyclers, tissue culture suites for animal and plant material, biological safety cabinets, two Beckman high-speed centrifuges and an ultracentrifuge (Beckman model L7-55), an assortment of rotors, UV/visible spectrophotometers (some can measure enzyme kinetics), fluorometers, a liquid scintillation spectrometer, protein and nucleic acid electrophoresis chambers, capillary electrophoresis system, hybridization ovens, a darkroom, -20° C and -80° C freezers, cold cabinets, plant growth chambers, large capacity incubators, electrophysiology equipment, image analysis systems (for gels, plates, and blots), a cryostat, five fluorescence photomicroscopes, a Noran laser scanning confocal microscope, and plant ecophysiology instrumentation, and a suite of instruments for nutrient analyses, including a Shimadzu TOC/N, a ThermoFinnigan Flash CN, and a Lachat flow-injection system.
Classrooms: Among the innovations in the Noyce Science Center are the lab and seminar rooms. Grinnell’s approach to science includes not only teaching the subject matter but also teaching students how to think like scientists in small classrooms full of hands-on research opportunities.
Ahrens Atrium (“The Elbow”): A curved, glass-walled hallway that’s a great place to study and a beautiful space for having class poster sessions or informal meetings with visiting lecturers.
Physics Historical Museum: For 70 years, from 1928 until his death in 1998, Professor of Physics Grant O. Gale collected obsolete scientific apparatus and equipment. That collection is now the core of the Physics Historical Museum, on display throughout Noyce.
Offices / Resources:
- Biological Chemistry
- Computer Science
- Environmental Studies
- General Science
- Mathematics and Statistics
- Technology Studies
- Math Lab
- Kistle Science Library
- Physics Historical Museum
What is CERA?
The Conard Environmental Research Area — known as CERA (“Seera”) or “The Bio Preserve”— is primarily a protected facility for class use in the study of ecology and student and faculty research. Located 11 miles from the Grinnell College campus, the 365-acre spot is home to the Environmental Education Center (EEC), which uses a geothermal heating-cooling system and cistern for gray-water recycling, graphs real-time data on water and energy use (compared to other similarly-sized buildings), and gets over 90 percent of its power from a 50-kilowatt wind turbine.