New Sci-Space creates room to connect for science students at Burnaby Campus

January 19, 2023

Science students at Burnaby campus have new opportunities to connect and gather thanks to the opening of SFU Faculty of Science’s new Sci-Space in AQ 3146, near Renaissance Coffee.

“We are thrilled Sci-Space is finally open,” says director of strategic enrollment management Kathryn Savage. “The space will offer students the opportunity to experience a sense of community in the Faculty of Science and student engagement in a safe, all-inclusive location.”

Sci-Space is Faculty of Science’s central hub for student engagement and services on Burnaby campus, including academic advising, career advising and co-op, health and wellbeing support, tutoring and peer mentorship. It includes bookable meeting space for student groups, a kitchen, and offices for the Faculty of Science Sci-Space team, as well as office space for other SFU staff to meet with students.

This new student space addresses years of undergraduate survey data and student experience research that indicated a need to make student services more accessible for science students.  While SFU offers a diverse set of opportunities and supports for students, the university can be challenging to navigate. Many science students are less likely to be aware of or use the services that are available to support their success at SFU.

Sci-Space provides space for students to connect with support staff from across the university.

The team is working to change that. Since opening, they have planned two workshops on gender discrimination in the academic sciences with SFU’s Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office, as well as two academic skills workshops with the SFU Library Student Learning Commons. They are actively seeking out collaborations with other groups on campus.

In a faculty as diverse and geographically spread out as Science, finding opportunities to connect and socialize in a casual environment can also be a challenge. With comfy seating, science-themed art and abundant power outlets, Sci-Space provides much-needed space for students to spend their downtime between classes.

A dedicated team of volunteers, the Sci-Space Crew, are working with staff to co-create events and programming in the space. “I like applying my critical-thinking and self-reflection skills towards mitigating challenges that science students face,” says Sci-Space Crew member Tiffany Deng.

The Sci-Space Crew. Back row, left to right: Mansehaj Sandhu, Sparsh Sharma, Carys Kenny-Howell, Ivy Huang, Preet Thandi, Nicole Lowenstein. Front row left to right: Tiffany Deng, Fatima Yaseen

The Crew’s first event, Take a Break in fall 2022, provided an opportunity for students to drop in and de-stress before final exams. Now that Sci-Space is finally open they are looking forward to creating more opportunities for students to connect.

“I like that with the Sci-Space Crew I can plan events that I would want to attend and wish I had when I was at that stage in my university life,” says Fatima Yaseen, “and I like that I get to work with people who have different views and outlooks allowing me to grow myself as well.”

Sci-Space is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in AQ 3146. Check out upcoming events. If you have an idea for an event or collaboration using the space contact the Sci-Space team.