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STEM Virtual Tour

Biological Sciences Collection Greenhouse

Biological Sciences Collection GreenhouseThe Illinois State University Felmley Science Greenhouse houses a diverse collection of flowering and non-flowering plants that are used to support teaching in the School of Biological Sciences. The collection is very unique, attempting to capture some of the taxonomic diversity of plants. There are living examples of all the classes of vascular plants and many examples of non-vascular plants.

Image by Melissa Doellman

Biomechanics Laboratory

Biomechanics LaboratoryThe Biomechanics Laboratory is a part of the School of Kinesiology and Recreation. Biomechanics studies the forces acting on a living body and the patterns of movement caused by the forces. This provides insight into improving skill performance, understanding skill development, and identifying the eitiology of overuse injuries. The lab is equipped with instrumentation for the collection and analysis of force, muscle activity, and video data.

Image from Google Earth

Chiller Plant

Chiller PlantThis chiller plant provides the reliable chilled water for southeast zone buildings. The outward appearance of the building makes it not easily recognizable as a chiller plant. This plant provides chilled water to Watterson Towers and Stevenson Hall. It is going to be hooked up to Watterson Commons in the next few years. The plant capacity is 1,600 tons of chilled water. One ton of cooling equals 12,000 btu of cooling per hour. It is estimated that this facility produces 10% of total campus air conditioning capacity.

Image from ISU Campus Map

Confocal Microscope

Confocal MicroscopeThe confocal microscope, located in the Science Laboratory Building, produces high resolution fluorescent images and is used for a number of research purposes. Confocal microscopy offers advantages including controllable depth of field, the elimination of out-of-focus information, and the ability to collect serial optical sections from thick specimens. Spatial filtering eliminates out-of-focus light in specimens thicker than the plane of focus.

Image from the Department of Biological Sciences

Exercise Physiology Laboratory

Exercise Physiology LaboratoryThe Exercise Physiology and Fitness Laboratory comprises a total of approximately 4300 square feet for hands on instruction in the areas of fitness assessment, metabolic testing, body composition, pulmonary function analysis, and blood chemistry. Students are encouraged to gain experience by either participating in or helping with the variety of physical assessments (body composition, lung function, oxygen consumption analysis, etc.) that frequently occur throughout each semester.

Image from Google Earth

Fell Arboretum

Fell ArboretumIllinois State University's Fell Arboretum was granted arboretum status in 1995. Jesse Fell, one of the founders of the University and the Town of Normal, had a love for trees. It was his vision and hope that every kind of tree that would flourish in Central Illinois would be planted on campus grounds so studies of botany and forestry could be pursued. The Fell Arboretum consists of 490 acres with thousands of established trees in the heart of the Illinois State University Quad representing more than 154 species.

Image from Campus Stock Photographs

Geology-Geography Learning Resource Center

Geology-Geography Learning Resource CenterThe Geography-Geology Learning Resource Center is located on the second floor of Felmley Hall of Science in room 203 and is open to students and the public. Nearly one thousand minerals, rocks, and fossils are displayed as well as artifacts acquired by John Wesley Powell during his exploration of the western United States. Many of the specimens were donated by Mr. Lafayette Funk and Mr. and Mrs. John Carlon. The remaining specimens were collected by the faculty and staff of the department.

Image by Melissa Doellman

Horticulture Center

Horticulture CenterThe Horticulture Center encompasses 10 acres and is located on Raab Road near Interstate 74 in Normal. The Center provides a focal point and support for instruction and scholarship as well as public demonstrations and outreach in horticulture. There are several gardens at the Horticulture Center representing a wide variety of plant species. Some of the plots are also used by ISU faculty for research purposes.

Image from Horticulture Center

Hydrogeology Well Field and Research Station

Hydrogeology Well Field and Research StationThe well field and research station is located near Little Kickapoo Creek on Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District land, a short drive from campus. The site is used as a teaching facility for undergraduate and graduate courses as well as for research purposes. Activities include hydraulic head measurements, field water quality measurements, water sampling, field chemical analyses, aquifer tests, slug tests, vadose zone tests, injected tracer tests, stream flow measurements, and on-site collection of weather data (air temperature, air pressure, wind speed and direction, humidity, and rain fall).

Image provided by Dr. Stephen J. Van der Hoven

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Facility

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) FacilityThe NMR facilities at Illinois State University are located in the Department of Chemistry on the second floor of the Science Lab Building. The facility features two Bruker Avance III NMRs (500MHz and 400MHz spectrometers). These spectrometers are used in both research and teaching capacities.

Image from the Illinois State Department of Chemistry


PlanetariumThe ISU Planetarium was established in 1964 and strives to provide a form of educational entertainment, contribute to University-Community relations, and allow new Physics students to learn about the operations of a planetarium. The Planetarium offers live and taped shows in addition to educational services in the form of school and community group presentations, teacher workshops, adult education classes, and the Travelling Telescope Program. Effects such as clusters, binary stars, and eclipses are also available.

Image from the Illinois State Physics Department

Renewable Energy System - Horticulture Center

Renewable Energy System Horticulture CenterThe Center for Renewable Energy also features a hybrid wind/photovoltaic system, with a 1 kW residential Bergey wind turbine on a 100' guyed tower and a 1 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array. Combined, the system is capable of producing roughly 3,000 kWh per year. It is off-grid, but it has all of the basic equipment necessary to tie into the electric grid. You can find the wind/photovoltaic system on the grounds at the Horticulture Center just off of Raab Road.

Image from the Horticulture Center

Robotics Laboratory

Robotics LaboratoryThrough a $1.2 million donation from the Caterpillar Corporation, the state-of-the-art Caterpillar Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory was constructed in Turner Hall room 160. The laboratory features 10 automated systems workstations, with each including an industrial robot, programmable logic controller, conveyor, vision system, and a computer. An adjoining classroom features equipment facilitating student learning of fluid power, digital and analog electronics, programmable logic, and more.

Image from the Illinois State Department of Technology

Roof-Mounted Solar PV System

Roof-Mounted Solar PV SystemA roof-mounted solar PV system on Turner Hall is comprised of twelve 200 watt panels for an capacity of 2.4 kW. The system is connected to the electrical system of the building and the power is used to meet part of the electrical needs of the renewable energy and integrated manufacturing laboratory. The Center for Renewable Energy has a number of renewable energy projects.

Image from the Illinois State Center for Renewable Energy

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)The FEI Quanta 450 tungsten environmental scanning electron microscope, located in the Science Laboratory Building, operates in traditional high vacuum mode as well as low vacuum and environmental modes that allow the specimen chamber to be at higher pressure than the column for imaging of non conductive specimens. The scope is equipped with a Peltier stage, secondary electron and backscatter electron detectors, and Oxford Inca 250 energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy.

Image provided by Martha E. Cook

Solar Car

Solar CarThe Illinois State University Solar Car Team aims to offer a unique learning experience for students interested in science, engineering, and technology as well as to provide an educational program to demonstrate the benefits of alternative energy to Illinois State University and neighboring communities. The student team is advised by Professors in the Physics Department.

Image from the Illinois State Physics Department


TrebuchetThe Physics Department at ISU sponsors a yearly Trebuchet Team. A trebuchet is a weapon that was employed in the Middle Ages either to smash walls or throw projectiles over them. The device features a counterweight mechanism that launches a projectile. The team competes in the Morton Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival and holds local mini-trebuchet contests for high school and university students.

Image from the ISU Department of Physics

University Farm

University FarmIllinois State University maintains a university farm through the Department of Agriculture. The farm supports teaching, research, and community outreach activities. The University Farm is located near Lexington, Illinois, approximately 18 miles northeast of Normal. The main goal of the farm is to educate students. In addition, the University farm expands the capability to perform quality agriculture research, employs many students, and provides a number of benefits to the local community. Current enterprises include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, swine, beef and sheep.

Image from Google Earth

Vertebrate Animal Collection

Vertebrate Animal Collection

The John Wesley Powell-Dale Birkenholz Natural History Collections, which was begun in 1867 by the explorer John Wesley Powell, contains scientific study skins of 6,000 birds and mammals, along with skeletons, frozen tissues, and stomach contents. The collection is used for research and teaching in the Department of Biological Sciences and can be found in the Science Laboratory Building, Room 411.

Image provided by History Collections Graduate Student

2020-02-20T15:54:05.492-06:00 2020