Penn State Behrend has begun construction of a $112,000 “Innovation Commons,” a collaborative lab where students, faculty members and industry partners can develop product ideas, create prototypes and consult with lawyers, bankers, marketing experts and others who can support entrepreneurial projects.
The Economic Research Institute of Erie, a research center of the Black School of Business at Penn State Behrend, has partnered with the Erie Community Foundation to provide data and analysis for Erie Vital Signs, a benchmarking program that tracks the region’s performance in seven key areas.
The move sharpens the program’s local focus. The analysis previously had been done at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Yahn Planetarium at Penn State Behrend, a 55-seat astronomy theater, opens Thursday, Nov. 6, after more than a year of renovations and improvements. The facility, housed in the School of Science at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, expands the original mission of the planetarium, a fixture in Erie since 1959.
The Erie County Historical Society closed the planetarium in 2013 to focus on other holdings. Penn State Behrend took ownership of the equipment, which complements the college’s outreach programs, including the popular Open House Nights in Astronomy.
In the Lego lab, where the girls built yellow-mouthed robot alligators, using motors and cables and motion-sensors to snap the jaws onto any little Lego man that wandered past, Cassandra Reese talked about her dream job.
She wants to be a marine biologist. She wants to swim with dolphins and net starfish and save the coral reefs, which support a quarter of all marine life.
In the Christmas tradition, starlight is magic: It guided the wise men to Bethlehem.
“Let it Shine,” this year’s holiday concert by the Young People’s Chorus of Erie, builds on that, mixing traditional classics – “This Little Light of Mine” and “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” – with African spirituals and contemplative Gregorian chants.