Freedom. Inquiry. Discovery. Purpose.
"This atmosphere of excitement, arising from imaginative consideration, transforms knowledge. A fact is no longer a bare fact: it is invested with all its possibilities. It is no longer a burden on the memory: it is energizing as the poet of our dreams, and as the architect of our purposes." ― Alfred North Whitehead
What does a 21st century environment for learning, discovery and engagement look like?
How should the development of the next generation and the process of discovery be interrelated? How should people in different fields of study challenge and enlighten one another? And how can universities foster these relationships in a way that stimulates learning and growth in participants, leads to insight, and enables action in a complex and changing world?
These are just some of the questions Lehigh University is asking—and answering—through its Mountaintop initiative.
Inside a former Bethlehem Steel research facility atop South Mountain, Lehigh is creating a vibrant and unique learning environment—a space in which students are given the freedom to pursue answers to open-ended questions while working in, and across, all disciplines. In the process, the students are challenged to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, for taking intellectual risks and learning from failures, for collaboration, for recognizing important problems and opportunities to effect constructive and sustainable change.
"I am continuously surprised how great ideas have the shelf life of bananas. It takes courage to test an intoxicatingly great idea- it takes perseverance and it sometimes takes so much time, you even forget what the whole reason for it was in the first place… Good ideas can beat you down."- Nik Nikolov, Faculty Mentor
The New York Times
A Classroom Leaves the Syllabus to the Students
(July 18, 2014)
You Wish You Went To College At This Invention Space In An Old Factory On Top of A Mountain
(November 13, 2013)