Campus closed for COVID-19? No problem: Concordia profs make chemistry lab to go
MONTREAL -- Of the university students who have learned they’ll be doing their classes online next semester, few are going to feel the change as deeply as science students.
It’s hard to imagine studying science without lab work, hands-on and done in person. But some professors at Concordia have found a solution: not to do it remotely, but to send the labs home with the students.
“Right away, when it was suggested we weren't going to campus, I said, ‘You know what? We can do very basic stuff for an introductory course like this in the kitchen,’” says Cerrie Rogers, a chemistry professor at Concordia.
She’s one of the designers of a new at-home lab kit for first-year chemistry students at the university.
The experiments students will be doing with them are simple and you can find all the ingredients at the drug store, she says.
Young scientists need to learn the tools of their trades, and it’s just not possible to do that online, Rogers says.
“It's the real hands-on working with the equipment that's absolutely essential,” she told CTV. “Like, imagine trying to play hockey but you’ve never been able to lace up skates, never mind go out on the ice.”
One student said it’s actually even more interesting than regular class to try out the experiments at home.
“You're using all these things that normally you don’t even think of in a chemistry context,” she said. “So then at home it's like, ‘Wow, this is chemistry still.’”
Rogers says nothing beats a real lab, but it’s a creative solution to the strange circumstances.
Watch the video above to see some examples of what students will be doing with their to-go lab kits.