Dylon Thompson graduated with his BSc from St. Mary’s University in 2019. Having enjoyed his time at the university, he took up the position of Lab Coordinator in the winter of 2020, just before the COVID-19 lockdown. He now plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of our science courses with virtual learning.
Education at the post-secondary level looks very different now than it did a year ago, and prospective science students may have some concerns about how this at-home learning environment would impact their laboratory experience.
Dylon and the other science professors and laboratory staff have been hard at work developing course materials and lab experiences that still demonstrate the teachable concepts efficiently. They are still running in-person labs – following all AHS guidelines, which involves a lab rotation for chemistry, and lots of outdoor work for biology.
When in-person labs are not practical, Dylon and the team have created take-home lab kits for students to work on at home without the time pressure of a booked laboratory schedule. These kits provide students with a more hands-on, humbling experience than they would get in the classroom because every student must perform the lab for themselves.
“Science is everywhere. It’s just up to your consideration and perception whether you are able to notice it and to what degree you notice it,” explained Dylon.
Dylon and his colleagues have created videos with explicit commentary to help students develop a detailed understanding of laboratory techniques, procedures, equipment, and reasoning.
The science department is focusing their energy on the introductory science labs, since these courses capture new students and build their confidence at the beginning of their degrees. They are introducing experiments that would have never been done in the regular lab, while finding creative yet effective alternatives for expensive laboratory equipment.
The current COVID-19 situation should not be a deterrent for any incoming science students. The small class sizes at STMU allow teachers and lab coordinators to connect with each student and cater the labs to a personalized small group.
For more information on the science programs at St. Mary’s University, view our Biology program now!