Adapting lab activities during the pandemic

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Science faculty and lab technicians have found innovative ways to ensure that students continue to gain the knowledge and develop the skills that make Marianopolis the best preparation for university studies in a variety of Science-related fields.

“We have been using a mix of synchronous and asynchronous delivery depending on the discipline, course team and faculty,” says Jeremie Vinet, Science Program Coordinator and Science Department Chair.

Here is how Science labs have been adapted, by discipline:

Biology

Lab technicians created videos for General Biology I and II labs, which students watch and respond to during synchronous labs. Videos help students understand proper laboratory techniques. Students have their questions answered in breakout rooms during the lab periods.

Chemistry

From the beginning of the Fall semester until the red zone was declared, all General Chemistry (first year) and Organic Chemistry (second year) students were invited to participate in optional intensive half-day Chemistry lab workshops on campus. These workshops provided hands-on experience handling equipment, carrying out experimental techniques, applying the scientific method, employing lab-safety best practices and engaging with faculty and staff, while respecting strict safety protocols.

Students in all Chemistry courses have received virtual lab safety training, which covers safety practices and emergency response measures in the lab.

All students have virtual labs featuring custom-made slideshows, pictures and videos to recreate what happens in a lab. They also do e-learning exercises in which they receive immediate feedback on their lab work.

Physics

Students taking Waves, Light and Modern Physics were provided with a lab kit at the start of the semester, which included the materials they would need in order to set up and perform their experiments at home throughout the semester.

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Students work in groups during synchronous Mechanics labs with their teacher and a lab technician, focusing on collecting and analyzing data, and learning to use new software.

Waves, Light and Modern Physics and Topics in Applied Physics students can also take advantage of daily virtual office hours with technicians.

As well, students can easily get support from technicians and faculty through various online platforms available to them.

“We keep hearing from students about how much they appreciate how available teachers and technicians are,” says Professor Vinet. “We are making sure that our students have the best possible experience.”