Lycoming College's physics and psychology departments will benefit from a $100,000 grant from the George I. Alden Trust in Worcester, Mass.
The grant will be used to buy physics laboratory equipment and upgrade psychology classrooms and labs.
"Lycoming College is grateful for the generous and continued support from the Alden Trust," said Lycoming President Dr. James E. Douthat, noting that the college received a similar grant from the trust a few years ago for its biology department. "The upgraded labs will continue to foster a hands-on learning environment where our students gain valuable experience while engaging in collaborative research with our faculty. The grant will enhance the preparation of students in these two programs for graduate school and the many other paths that lead to their professional careers."
The physics department will acquire equipment in the areas of mechanics, electromagnetism, modern physics and condensed matter, and thermodynamics.
During the last 10 years, 40 percent of the department's seniors went to graduate school in physics or astronomy, as compared to a national average of 35 percent, according to the American Institute of Physics, and in the same period, 45 percent of majors have been women, compared to just more than 20 percent nationally. Because of the department's emphasis on lab-based instruction, majors and non-majors alike learn experientially beginning in the freshman year.
Psychology is one of the two largest majors at Lycoming.