Dreaming of the Lab: 4 Exciting Technologies Science Students Will Use

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dreaming of the Lab: 4 Exciting Technologies Science Students Will Use


The academic fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, collectively referred to by the STEM acronym, have received lots of interest in the 21st century; this attention emanates from a societal need to leverage technology as an essential part of life.

Modern STEM education focuses on allowing students to spend more time in the laboratory working on projects that represent real-life applications. The days of teaching chemistry by means of introducing concepts and then switching completely to algebraic formulas are coming to an end. The math component is still there, but there is a greater desire among educators to get students in the lab and to encourage them to research and collaborate.

With the above in mind, here are four technologies that science students will be using frequently as part of their modern education:

1 - Laboratory Standards

Certain laboratory standards and practices are not going away. Volumetric containers, distilled acids and other starting materials can certainly be simulated by computer software, but students must still receive hands-on training at the laboratory to become familiar with the standards of spectrometry, atomic absorption, gas chromatography, and others.

2 - Compound Libraries

Personal computers are among the most powerful instruments contributing to the advance of chemistry education over the last few years. In the 1980s, chemistry researchers were delighted to use IBM workstations to catalog their compound libraries, which used to hold thousands of items. These days, chemical libraries can hold millions of compounds for screening or manufacturing purposes; many of these libraries can be accessed online so that students can learn more about the compounds and their classification before they experiment with them.
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3 - Laboratory Automation

The arrival of computers in laboratories, testing accuracy and data analysis were greatly enhanced. Scientists wanted to see a similar enhancement with regard to sample preparation and experimentation, which these days are increasingly being handled by automated processes. There are many lab equipment manufacturers, like CPI International, that offer products and equipment to increase safety, accuracy, and convenience in the lab. Many lab equipment manufacturers have come up with automated workstation solutions that handle liquids and reagents within cartridges before they are transferred onto plates; the process is controlled by means of Windows software applications.

4 - Modern Cytometer

Students of life sciences these days can observe and learn the many functions of organic cells thanks to advanced cytometers that can not only record complex activity and morphology but also interact with sophisticated software that can interpret test results and transform them into digital data to create simulation models.

In the end, STEM students have every reason to spend more time in the laboratory these days thanks to the ongoing advances in instrumentation.

By  Emma SturgisEmbed

Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston. When not writing, she enjoys baking and indoor rock climbing. Find her on Google +.


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