by Abigail Megginson
The students spoke, and PSC responded. Thanks to vocal opinion, PSC has finally added a science lab.
The lab opened the 2nd week of class making it relatively new. Students can find the lab in building 17 in room 1707. It has seated 40 students at a time and is very spacious.
Matt Drum, Biological Sciences department head, stated that the science lab is a place students can come to study with each other or receive help from a teacher or a student tutor. Adjunct teachers are required to spend time in the lab and full time teachers are also encouraged to be in the lab. As for student tutors, the biology club has some of its members volunteering in the lab. Members of the astronomy club are expected to be tutoring soon as well. Currently, all tutors are volunteers. However, Drum says he has hopes to be able to offer pay to the tutors in the future.
So what sciences does the science lab offer help with? All science courses that are categorized as a natural science: anatomy and physiology, astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, and physics. This excludes any kind of social, cognitive, or political sciences.
The technology available to students at the moment is fairly limited, as there is only one computer in the room. However, there are plans to put in more computers over time. Students can deal with this issue by bringing in their laptops or tablets and connecting them to the student Wi-Fi. In addition, there is a projector screen that can be used to project helpful video clips.
Matt Drum stated that he has seen students in the lab before class getting help with their homework. Essentially, the lab is there to help students understand any questions they have concerning their science course. It is also meant to be a place to study with friends and classmates out of the unpredictable Florida weather.
The schedule for the lab is not the same as the math and writing labs. It depends on who will be in the lab at what time. However, upon being shown the schedule by Matt Drum, I saw that many teachers have signed up for the lab at nearly all times. Chances are that you’ll walk into the science lab and somebody will be there. Sonya Urnowey, a Biology and Microbiology professor, says she usually emails her students ahead of time to let them know when she will be in the lab if they have any questions for her. She also says that a teacher can open up the lab for a night class if needed.
So what is the future for our new science lab? Matt Drum has goals of adding more computers, changing the seating, and even putting in a coffee maker. He also thinks they might divide the room into sections for different natural sciences in the future.
Overall, the new science lab will be an aid to any student taking a natural science class. Now students don’t have to struggle with grasping the concepts of science on their own.