Penn State’s Lab of Learning

DUNMORE, Pa. -- A gift from a Penn State alumna is helping current students learn. Penn State Scranton in Lackawanna County unveiled a new IT lab Wednesday for students studying computer science.

The cut of a ribbon officially christened the new classroom at Penn State Scranton. Members of the Information Science and Technology department showed off the new active learning and innovation lab.

"It's a really good improvement to use all these new devices, new computers. They're new machines, bigger screens and a lot of new technologies on them," said senior Jinal Patel.

It's meant to be a more collaborative computer lab turning students' desks in a circle so the students can look at each other as well as at their screens.

"I was here when it was the old IST lab. It was just rows of computers next to each other. It was hard to work on group projects," said sophomore Edward Andrukitis. "Reorganizing it like this really makes it a lot easier for group projects. It's a more convenient learning experience. It's really impressive what they've done here in the last couple months."

The other dramatic change in this building is how technology has changed the conference room. It used to be filled with servers. Now, there's just one rack.

"Ours were punch cards, and for a program, you could have a stack of cards like this, if you dropped them or one was out of order, back to the drawing board!" recalled Penn State alumna Suzanne Thomas.

Suzanne Thomas once had class in this very room. She's a graduate of Penn State and donated $100,000 to help pay for the new lab.

"'I'm glad I did it. It gives you a really nice feeling to know that kids are going to benefit from it," said Thomas.

Penn State's past helping out its future.

"It's moving away from that traditional Penn State environment, and I think that's important for Penn State as a college," Andrukitis added.

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