By Iesha Fluellen
Northeast’s biology labs have not only been relocated, but have been updated with high-tech equipment, giving students a newer perspective in the classroom. The new labs are a part of the $19.9 million construction project that has been taking place across campus over the past several months.
The labs were previously located in the Industrial Technology (IT) building in IT 104 and IT 109, but have moved to the University Health Sciences (UHS) building.
The new equipment features microscopes that include features such as flat screen monitors and a place to insert an SD card. The professors are enjoying the new equipment nearly as much as their students.
“I think this is perfect for the students,” said Professor of Biology Dr. Brenda Deming. “They can take a picture on their SD card and take it home to study. Also the monitors have good quality images.”
The microscopes are so high tech in fact that the instructors are still learning new features about them.
“We didn’t learn how to use them until the weekend before this semester,” Deming said. “The lights in the IT building were still being worked on, so we had to be completely moved out already. That same weekend, we sort of got a crash course on the new microscopes. We learned how to use them pretty easily, but there’s still new things we discover about them all the time.”
The professors are adjusting to their new equipment to the best of their ability as they continue to instruct their classes. The students taking biology courses this semester seem to be fairly impressed with the new equipment as well.
“The new microscopes are very precise in every little detail,” said Tiffany Johnson. “They’re very easy to use.” The room also holds more lab equipment as well as Biology models and containers.
The new labs have also been refurbished and customized for all of their requirements. This includes new furniture such as shelves, tables and a large number of storage cabinets. The facilities also gained new lights and sink stations.
“Everything in here is new,” Deming said. “I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out.”
Behind the labs are more areas for storage. This specific space holds a refrigerated area for dissecting items. An entire ventilation system was also installed in the new labs to keep unpackaged dissectible items preserved. All in all, the new biology labs are opening up a whole new learning environment for the students in the biology courses.
The new microscopes are very precise in every little detail and very easy to use,” Student Tiffany Johnson said. “They are really, really, really cool.” She said every thing in the lab is visual and “good for the eye to see.”
Dr. Hearron said her department is appreciative of the new lab spaces and the opportunities the equipment offers to the students enrolled in the courses.
“We are very grateful for the new space and equipment we’ve gotten,” said Dr. Mary Hearron.