The New Constellation refers to four new bright spots on the campus map--four new buildings, each with significant spaces dedicated to welcoming the public to come experience science as exploring the unknown.
The four new venues are Microbial Sciences Building (opened September 2007), the WID/MIR building (opening fall 2010), the New Union South (opening spring 2011), and the renovation of Old Biochemistry (opening 2011).
In 2007 the Center for Biology Education, the Science Alliance @ UW-Madison, and WISCAPE organized a seminar series entitled "The New Constellation" featuring speakers who provided ideas and insights into ways science outreach programs can prepare for the opening of four major new campus venues between now and New Year's 2012.
As a cluster, the New Constellation invites science outreach programs to imagine bold approaches to retool and refuel the Wisconsin Idea over the next decade. While some science outreach programs may find a new home in these buildings, many programs will not; yet all science outreach programs will be affected by the new opportunities to connect to learners of all ages from all over Wisconsin.
Therefore, The New Constellation series will probe the questions of how the university can organize, fund, facilitate, staff and evaluate its science outreach programs, and questions of how learners can gain greater access to the researchers and resources of this public land-grant university.