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College of Arts and Sciences

  • A student gives a thumbs up and smiles at the camera while seated at a lab bench. In front of her are various pipettes and specimen containers.

New biological sciences labs foster collaborative learning

Three new biology labs in the Jones Physical Science Center are giving students hands-on experience with exploring science. 

Located on the first floor, the suite which houses the labs also features a collaborative lounge and workspace where students can take a break between classes or catch up on homework.  

The space also includes prep rooms to allow instructors a separate space to set up materials for the week, keeping the instructional areas free from clutter.  

The labs provide more flexibility for movement around the rooms, which increases safety for the students. In these large, unobstructed spaces, students will dig into the wider application of the science they are learning. 

They’re doing science and learning skills they’ve never encountered before. The new lab spaces are a great asset for introducing biology concepts to the students.

— Amanda Zeigler   

“The new spaces allow us to be intentional about the courses we can offer,” says Amanda Zeigler, director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Biological Sciences. 

Most of the students who will be using the labs are introductory biology students, who formerly used the basement-level biology labs.   

The new labs offer students bright, welcoming places to learn foundational science skills such as examining cells under microscopes, breeding fruit flies to studying genetics and conducting dissections.  

The biological sciences labs are located right next door to a new genetics lab which shares the suite. The first course in this lab was offered last spring and utilized zebrafish from the Poulain Lab, also housed in Jones PSC. 

Students participating in the genetics lab course used incubators, nanodrop spectrophotometers for quantum research and cell cultivating machines, which allow for the extraction of DNA and RNA.  

“They’re doing science and learning skills they’ve never encountered before,” Zeigler says. “The new lab spaces are a great asset for introducing biology concepts to the students.”   

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